Mafia romances can be a bit tricky to write. Paranormal romance can also be a bit difficult to write. Delta has done a great job of combining the two tropes together. Bryony and Nolan are great together. The situation that they find themselves in is completely believable and enjoyable. Throw in a completely new set of shifters and you have a very different perspective!The Reluctant Retiree
Five years ago I drove away from my birthday party, my father, and his mafia organization. I’ve been living off the grid in Moab, Utah. When my father is brutally killed, I am suddenly a wanted woman by various entities, the Feds, the Cartel, my father’s odious second-in-command, and the head of the Gateway Syndicate, Nolan Hamilton, none of them good.
First, I decide to trade what I know to the Feds for protection. Until it turns out the agent in charge is on the Cartel’s payroll. Before he can deliver me to them, I get away and run to the only man powerful enough to keep me and my people safe… Nolan.
The head of the Rust Belt Syndicate, has been murdered. His only heir is missing. Everyone, including myself, wants to find her. All of us want to take control of the once prosperous territory.
Then the sexy, curvy Bryony shows up on my doorstep asking for sanctuary. There are many reasons to force her to become my mate—her father’s organization, thwarting the Feds, taking on the Cartel, but the most compelling reason is she is my fated mate.
5.0 out of 5 stars I’LL MAKE HER AN OFFER SHE CAN’T REFUSE
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2023
The story is the second story of a new Syndicate Masters series and will be a new beginning for Bryony and Nolan. Bryony Gates is an otter shifter that has left the Bevy, not pleased with her father, and rather than being a mafia princess, plans to make her own way in the world. Nolan Hamilton knows of Bryony and has even been looking out for her for years.
The Rust Belt Syndicate, run by Bryony’s father, Bryan, is weak compared to when his father ran it. With Jared Pettigrew as his Beta, things are even more unstable. Bryony will come home, but leaves and goes into hiding where she creates her own happiness until Pettigrew shows up with his thugs, informs her that her father was murdered, and drags her back to their bevy.
Nolan Hamilton is over the Gateway Syndicate and his pride. He is concerned about the Gutierrez cartel moving into the area with drugs and when Gates is murdered, he learns that Bryony has been taken by Pettigrew. Let the game of Lion and Otter begin.
I liked the characters, their interactions, and for Nolan to learn that his fated mate is none other than Bryony Gates. When she falls into the hands of Pettigrew, that also places her at a greater risk of being bartered to the cartel. I love how smart and clever Bryony is, and even Nolan is impressed with his future lioness. He is willing to follow her around the world, just as long as he can keep her safe.
Rolf: Sounds to me like she is more in tune with being a lioness than an otter-shifter.
Nolan: True. It would seem she has the heart and soul of the lioness, but still, we shouldn’t underestimate what we are asking her to give up.
“Bryony had proven herself to be elusive, clever, and fearless—not bad traits to have in a mate once she had been claimed. Until then, they could prove to be formidable. But that was fine with Nolan. He’d always loved a good challenge.”
Nolan: Is it those who run criminal organizations, lion-shifters, or me in particular that you don’t care for?
Bryony: All of the above.
Nolan: You belong to me, mate—now and forever.
Nolan: Yes. Surrender to me. Let me make you mine and together we will rule a dynasty second to none. I believe we are fated mates and we were destined to be together and keep our people and out futures safe. I wish I could give you time enough to court you and persuade you to see that I am right.
Bryony: How much time do I have to decide if I want to do this?
Nolan: None. Search your heart, Bryony. Listen to your soul.
Bryony: I choose you. Live or die, rise or fall I choose you.
“I get it, I do. I know for you and the pride, I have a role to play. It’s just not a role I ever saw myself playing or even aspiring to. There’s a small part of me that resents that I was just living in Utah, minding my own business and this whole thing just blew up and suddenly I’m everybody’s pawn in a deadly game I never wanted any part of.”
I loved the angst, mystery, danger, action, and adventure that takes place as Bryony submits to Nolan and accepts his claim. She isn’t meek, but he doesn’t want that. She has the heart of a lioness and good or bad, they will work together for both her people and his. The story does not end on a cliffhanger, but as a segue to the next book, Twist of Fate.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable shifter, fated mates, and mafia read!!
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2023
Enjoyable shifter, fated mates, and mafia read!!
This was a good read in an interesting world. This is the first read from this series that I have read and is a stand alone. I enjoyed the FMC, she was strong, independent, and bad a**. The way she was able to take care of herself and get put of tight situations was amazing. I enjoyed the MMC as well, he was the perfect counterpart. Thus read was full of action and steam. You could tell there was chemistry, even though I felt the love scenes fell a little short for my tastes. Good read and I would read more from this series!!
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Debbie A. Orazi
5.0 out of 5 stars Stroke of Fortune
Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2023
This was a fated mates mafia paranormal romance.
Loved this story and the strong female lead. Highly recommend!
Bryony Gates was raised as a mafia princess of the Rust Belt Syndicate until she found out what her father did for a living. She refused to have anything to do with his syndicate, went away to school and later lived halfway across the country. She agrees to come home for a few days for her birthday, but had no intention is staying or going along with her father's plan to marry her off. She is an otter shifter and works in graphic design.
Nolan Hamilton is the alpha of the Gateway Syndicate across the river from her father's territory. He is a lion shifter. He has always kept an eye on Bryony's whereabouts because he knew her father would use her as a pawn especially if anything happened to her father. When her father is unalived by the Cartel he moved to have her brought to his estate for her safety.
Bryony is kidnapped by her father's beta Jared. He plans to force her to marry him and bear him a son. She escaped and goes to the St. Louis airport, booking a flight to Germany she is kidnapped by members of the Cartel. She manages to escape, make her flight and travel to Paris. Nolan brings her to his estate and talks her into mating with him (he realized she is his fated mate when he saw her at the airport). After spending the night together where he gives her the claiming bite to transition her to a lion shifter, she runs away to get time to deal with her confusion. Jared finds her and takes her to the Cartel safe house. Between Bryony, Nolan and his men they take out all the bad guys. She realizes she loves him and they get their HEA.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.