by BB Hamel
“Beautiful Trouble” is a book that is so much more than what you might expect it to be. There is a book that comes before this one in the series ‘The Oligarchs’. That book is called “Perfect Monster” and although you don’t need to have read it to be able to understand and enjoy this one, I do also strongly recommend it. These books are about Oligarchs, who in this case are a small group of incredibly wealthy, powerful people who control the mafia organizations around the world. Tradition, rules and unspoken rules guide many of their decisions.
Darren is smart, fierce and cunning. He’s determined to destroy Roman, a fellow Oligarch and former friend who shot and nearly killed Darren’s younger brother more than a decade ago, when his brother was just a 10 years old boy. He’s been attacking Roman directly and through behind the scenes negotiations with other Oligarchs. Winter is the best friend of Roman’s wife. She has no idea what is going on when she becomes an unwitting and unwilling captive pawn in a deadly game. I don’t want to give plot specifics beyond what I’ve mentioned because it’s so well crafted, the less you know about it ahead of time, the more impactful your reading of the book will be. There’s a lot of personal chemistry and fiery passion between the lead characters, and a couple of scenes that might just make you shed a tear. There’s some violence, but that shouldn’t be a surprise considering the subject matter.
Darren and Winter are both well-developed characters. As the action in the book progresses, and as more background information is gradually revealed about each of them, we get to watch them both evolve. A couple of the revelations in the book are slightly foreshadowed by things that go before, but a couple of other things really shocked me. The story is told in dual POV, which is a technique I like because it gives a more interesting perspective on the behavior of the characters. Several important chapters are also written from the viewpoint of a few secondary characters, which makes it even more dramatic. I thought the conclusion was unexpected and outstanding, and after it we find out the direction the next book will take … and it’s clearly going to be so good!