Ravaged by Passion
by BB Hamel
“Ravaged by Passion” is an age gap, dark mafia romance by author BB Hamel. It’s part of the ‘Iron and Lace’ series about the Bruno crime family, and it takes place 15 years after the previous book in the series. That might sound crazy, but it actually works really well for the story. You don’t need to have read any of the other books in the series to understand and enjoy this one.
Gavino doesn’t trust women and no longer believes in the possibility of having a good relationship, even though he’s seen his brothers have happy marriages. He has good reason for his opinions, but it’s been a long time since the events that broke his heart and changed his life. Jeanie is a young woman with a singular focus – she’s intent on bringing about the downfall of a wealthy, real estate developer with shady connections. When she meets Gavino in the developer’s office where she is working, it’s a crazy first encounter that takes her breath away. Their paths become entangled because he also is dealing with the developer, trying to hammer out an important deal while simultaneously trying to sabotage his own interests. They have that uncommon interest in common, plus scorching hot physical chemistry between them. It leads to a fast-paced, entertaining story.
Pay attention to the trigger warnings, there are reasons for that. Even so, since this is a dark mafia romance, I didn’t think it was too over the top. If you happen to have read prior books in this series, you’ll recognize many of the secondary characters in this story, and it’s interesting to see them after so many years have passed. Some of the main characters are bad guys but you actually end up liking them, whereas the bad guys in the story are horrifically evil. There are some twists and turns that are not all necessarily surprising but are still really good. I liked the ‘happily ever after’ ending Gavino and Jeanie eventually achieve; it’s not a spoiler that there’s a happy ending, because after all, this is a romance novel. I’m sorry that the Bruno family is out of siblings, because this was an enjoyable series