Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rule Forty-Four: Family is Family, Even When You Wish They Weren't

"There are those who can be fucked with,
and there are those who cannot be.
If people knew their place, then the world would be safer.
I just think of it as regulating."
--JJ McAvoy, The Untouchables

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: NYLA
Pages: 356
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Ruthless People
Goodreads Description

"One Secret. Multiple Casualties.”

Everything Melody Callahan has ever been told about her past is a lie. Her father lied. Her husband lied. But like all secrets…they come out. Not only is her mother, Aviela, alive but she won’t stop until she tears down everything Liam and Melody have spent the past year building.

With a new target on their back and the media now focused on their family as the Presidential election approaches, Liam and Melody must fight on two battlefronts. Melody is torn between being in love with Liam and wanting to kill him for lying to her. Being in love and showing love are two different things in her world. Liam wants to do anything to protect his family even if that means hurting the people he loves.

Family is everything… but what happens when they’re out for your blood? Everything they have been through is nothing compared to what is coming...

***Warning: This book contains adult language and subject matter including graphic violence and explict sex that may be disturbing for some readers. This book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.***
The Ruthlessness

Now, what I'm about to say will probably make me sound like a psychopath, but don't be alarmed. I like to think of myself as a very friendly person, I will talk to anyone who speaks to me with respect and kindness. I would never describe myself as nice. I hate the word nice so if you want to stay on my good side don't ever use that word to describe me. I do have a moral compass. I take care of people for a living. But I am also Sicilian and Eastern European. It is in my DNA. With that said, this series speaks to my inner Mafia princess. If I had the power to fuck the people up that hurt me or my family, I would do it. In fact, I fantasize about ruining people's lives that have wronged me and I've been wronged a lot in friendships, etc.. People that are close to me know I'm not one to piss off, I'm not somebody you fuck you, and I'm not somebody you want to go up against in an argument. Needless to say, I can identify to a degree with the likes of Melody and Liam. They do what I wish I could do 90% of the day.

Mel and Liam and their family are ruthless. There is something so refreshing about reading about people who have no regret, no lingering feelings of guilt, nothing to feel bad about the next day after their wrongdoings. Call me crazy (I already know I am) but watching them absolutely destroy anyone who threatens them is empowering. I don't know how JJ McAvoy does it for normal people that don't have this shit hardwired into their DNA, but she makes you care about the bad guys, hate the cops trying to catch them, and make you want to pledge undying loyalty to the family. Hell, she makes you want to take a friggin' bullet for the family. I really hope I don't lose readers after admitting to all my life ruining fantasies but again, blame my parents for their genetic material because some days I have a fuse shorter than Mel's and a tolerance smaller than Liam's. But this is the joy of reading, stories that give you an outlet for your emotions, and this series does just that for me. I love love love it.

The Plot

The plot of this story continues to progress as we get more details surrounding Mel's mother. I won't give any spoilers but this bitch is brutal. You would love and applaud her if she were working on your side but since she's not, you hate her guts. Add to that the Presidential campaign and Olivia's family into the mix and you get quite a lot of drama. Olivia...*sigh*...Olivia needs to get her head out of her ass and see the bigger picture. This bitch has the brass balls to think she can talk back to Mel and if she wasn't so pathetically stupid she would see how this is a horrible idea. I'm all for standing up for yourself but this lady has no idea who she is dealing with...wait, no, I take that back; she DOES know who she is dealing with and she continues to open her ignorant mouth...which makes her even more stupid than we once believed. Mel and Liam are better people than I am because if I lived in this world, I would have already put a bullet in her brain. The ending was especially heart-breaking and I just feel so much for Mel and Liam that I want to make everything okay. WHERE is book 3 American Savages?!

The Drama

This isn't meant to sound like a negative but while the plot progresses in a fantastic arc and the ending is heart-wrenching (no spoilers), the interfamilial drama and life occurrences is what drives the book for me. There are other people besides Mel and Liam living their lives and life has a funny way of kicking you in the nuts when you least expect it. The tangent storylines going on in this book both uplifted and broke my heart. Things happen I never saw coming and I warmed to certain characters even more than I did in the first book. Coraline and Declan, especially, holds a special place in my heart. OH OH OH and can I just say how much I LOVE Secric and Evelyn. These parents deserve a medal for raising these three sons. Holy shit, Evelyn. She's funny and sarcastic and handles these ruthless men like they're nothing more than teddy bears. I love this. So hard

The Love

Liam and Mel absolutely melt my heart. They are brutal and rough and unfeeling with everything and everyone else in your life...except each other...okay, that's kind of  a lie because they are brutal and rough with each other but my FAVORITE parts of this book were seeing Mel and Liam fall even more in love with each other. Mel is a badass and unrelenting in everything in her life, but with Liam, she allows herself to be vulnerable, smile, laugh, care about another person. She fights it, oh does she fight it, but she loves him more than she'll ever let on and I find this beautiful. Another aspect of Mel I can identify with and that's how scary it seems to fall in love and give a part of yourself to another person that can potentially hurt you with that love. It's scary as hell and watching Mel fall yet fight yet fall anyways is romance gold my equally guarded heart. Mel is basically my spirit animal so I just love everything about her. Oh, and the obligatory and obvious ode to Liam being sexy as fuck and an animal in the bedroom. Their sex scenes are out of this world hot and I pray pray *pray* my husband worships me as much as Liam does Mel. Happy wife, happy life.

Backstage Pass
If you love ruthless characters, no moral compass, violent crimes, and getting revenge...this book's for you.

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