4 Star Review: Crow (Boston Underworld, #1) by A. Zavarelli

Monday 4 April 2016
Crow (Boston Underworld, #1)Crow by A. Zavarelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crow certainly lived up to my hopes and expectations.

Within the underworld of Boston, the Irish, Russians and Armenians battle for supremacy and control of the syndicates that lurk within.

From the start of this book, it's clear that it's going to pack a punch as we meet MacKenzie Wilder who is searching for her friend Talia who was last seen working for the Irish. With the police refusing to help her to find Talia, Mack prepares to infiltrate the Irish ranks by targeting one of their own. To do this, she decides to enter the ring to fight one of their strongest men. No-one suspects a female to enter the ring but when the audience realises who she is, they are left speechless, especially when she makes her fighting skills known. Mack “The Butterfly” Wilder is not just any fighter, she was trained by her late father who held a legendary status in the ring, until he was murdered by the Russians.

After the fight, Mack soon finds it that she has attracted the attention of a key player for the Irish, Lachlan Crow. Grieving the loss of his grandfather, Lachlan is trying to find who, amongst his own men, has betrayed him and his brothers. After laying his eyes on his butterfly, Lachlan’s interest is immediately piqued but a suspicious man to the core, Lach knows that Mack could have been set-up to bring his organisation to its knees. With Lach’s interest seemingly lost, Mack turns to her callgirl friend, Scarlett, to help her find another way into the MacKenna Syndicate and to do that she must turn her back in her fighting skills and embrace dancing instead. In order to secure an audition as a stripper within Slainte, the club run by the Irish, Mack heads into the lion’s den and once again back into Lach’s direct line of sight.

Once her position is secure, albeit tentatively, Mack sets about finding who, if anyone, knows what happened to Talia but what she doesn't expect is for her focus to be redirected onto the beautiful Lachlan. Despite their mutual attraction, neither trusts the other. They battle their emotions and their sensibilities and they try to understand the bond that seems to connect them.

The story continues with Lach trying to protect Mack but she is not ready to submit to Lach’s wishes. With her strength and determination to find Talia, Mack continues with her mission to find out who has taken the girl and she grew up with.

This book had so many layers to it. Ultimately a romance, it carries readers along an uncertain path towards a possible HEA. I really loved the connection between Mack and Lach. Their passion was palpable and their determination matched by no other. Both are travelling different paths but it’s not long before these paths become intertwined as they seek out the answers to their questions.

This is at times a gory read and it does cover some unpleasant subjects but these rarely went into enough detail to turn my head, or my stomach. The story simply portrays the lives of gangsters.

I really enjoyed the writing although some of the irish vernacular pulled me up short as I had to re-read sentences in order to understand where the writer was taking the story. The battle between the three rival factions made the story complicated to follow at times but that just added to the overall feel of the book as we realise just how many players are fighting to take control of the Boston underworld.

I could go on and on waxing lyrical about this book but I won’t. As I’ve already said I really enjoyed it and would happily recommend it to anyone else who, like me, enjoys a good gangster story underpinned by a strong female, an even stronger male and a passionate love story!

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