by Jagger Cole
Book 5 in the Dark Hearts Series
I stole a kiss that wasn’t mine to take.
From a man cloaked in pain, scars, and mystery.
Deadly and beautiful, twelve years my senior, a killer for the Irish Mafia.
...And my best friend's older brother.
But if we're going to point fingers, I refuse to take the full blame.
You see, I may have stolen the first kiss.
But that's only because he stole my heart.
Neither was ours for the taking.
Both come with a no return policy.
I’m supposed to forget about Castle James.
But when a ruthless Mafia don I’ve been promised to comes to collect, will Castle forget about me?
Or take what already belongs to him:
Stolen Hearts is a standalone dark, arranged marriage, age-gap romance with a smart, strong-willed heroine, and an ultra possessive “look at her and I’ll unalive you hero. Readers are advised to read the TW inside. No cliffhanger; HEA included.
Darker themes and graphic depictions of past trauma, including mentions of PTSD and sexual assault. Memories from war. Violence and murder.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR and Jagger Cole for sending me an arc of Stolen Hearts in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I'm going to start out and tell you something that doesn't paint me in the best of light.
It's okay to judge me. I'm judging myself.
Every time I finish a book, I read the author bio.
I was shocked to learn that Jagger Cole is a man.
Don't get me wrong - I wasn't upset with this revelation. It's not the first time, and won't be the last, that I have read books written by men.
It's the first actual romance I've read by a man, though. I've read fantasy books written by men that attempt romantic plot lines, and it never worked out in my eyes.
I wasn't shocked because I'm a slave to how the world has separated and organized gender roles into boxes male and female.
I know there are men who write romance.
I just had never connected to a romance that was written by a man - until now that is.
I really liked this book.
I ended up going to Jagger Cole's Goodreads and added most of his work to my TBR, because I enjoyed it so much.
The story was interesting from both point of views, and I genuinely enjoyed both characters - and the side characters. The whole arc of the story was exciting, and while I predicted some things, I didn't guess how it all played out. Jagger Cole kept me on my toes, and when you have read as many books as I have, that's amazing. He was able to balance the romance, and character arcs really well with the overall world these characters are set in. For a mafia romance, and one that is labeled as a dark romance, it didn't feel like dark romance.
It felt like a very hot, and interesting one, though.
And I mean ... hot.
The only - and I mean, only - thing that bothered me in this book wasn't even important to the overall story, and really comes down to it not being one of my personal turn-on's and kinks. It's not even a physical act, but a word.
But if my only problem with this book is a word, Jagger Cole obviously wrote a great story.
So yes. I learned my lesson here. Just because books I've read in the past written by men didn't do it for me, doesn't mean I shouldn't give other male romance authors a shot. Because Jagger Cole proved to me that there are men in this world that are both great writers, can write romance, and write likeable characters. I will definitely be reading more from him in the future.
Coming soon after publication!