The cover and the blurb lured me hook, line and sinker into this book, so when the author sent me Sparrow to review, I dove straight in whilst trying really hard not to have any high expectations. I have to admit that it’s been a long while since I read a Mafia type book that I have enjoyed that’s felt authentic, without being over the top and gratuitous for the sake of it.
My first impressions were that the writing was absolutely fantastic, I love the authors writing style and you can definitely tell that LJ Shen is very dedicated to her craft. The book flowed so well for me and from the very first chapter I was hooked with the story and the interesting characters that she created.
The book begins on the wedding day of Sparrow Raynes, a quiet and innocent woman, she has the unfortunate fate of being the daughter of a mobsters lackey. She has been kidnapped and coerced into marrying Troy Brennan, and for the sake of her father, she agrees to become the wife of a criminal.
“He has a troubled past. A disastrous future. And I’m about to become a part of his present, whether I like it or not.”
Troy is the only son of one of Boston’s most notorious Irish mobsters, and vows to avenge his fathers murder, and the meek and plain woman he’s know all his life just happens to be a part of his master plan. He soon finds out however that Sparrow is far from the plain Jane she first appears to be and loves that she stands up to him and those around her.
“Tory Brennan was the devil, but sometimes, even good girls wanted a healthy dose of evil in their lives.”
As husband and wife get to know each other and find out what makes the other tick, we learn of all the secrets that have been kept hidden and the intricate way that their lives have been interwoven all this time, culminating in the final act of revenge.
I really enjoyed the story, and whilst it didn’t end up being completely mafia-esque in its theme, it definitely had the mafia vibes which made this dark and edgy enough for me to keep reading. Troy is someone who grew on me, he is an anti-hero who makes no apologies for who he is, but it was fun to watch him fall for the red headed spitfire who was the complete opposite to what he was expecting.
Overall, a very impressive read and I urge anyone who likes a semi-dark unconventional romance to pick this up, you won’t regret it.
Sparrow is a standalone novel, told in dual POV.
ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review