Tuesday, August 10, 2021

ARC Review: The Bastard's Betrayal by Katee Robert

Title: The Bastard's Betrayal (Scandalous Scions #1)
Author: Katee Robert
Publication Date: September 13, 2021
Publisher: Trinkets and Tales LLC
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Purchase: Amazon

//I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review//
She thought it was love.

Rose Romanov is a mafia princess, and everything that entails. Violently over-protective parents. A giant extended family, all ready to kill anyone who looks at her wrong. Learning to run a business that isn’t exactly on the right side of the law. So, naturally, when she meets a nice guy who isn’t in the life, she falls hard… Right up until the she discovers her new boyfriend isn’t a civilian at all.

But he betrayed her.

When Dante Verducci was sent on an undercover mission to evaluate the Romanov family for weakness, he never expected to have an instant connection with their unlikely heir. There’s something fierce and feral about Rose that calls to him. They’re alike, even if they’re both lying to each other during the months they date. Before he could figure out a new plan, Rose finds out who he really is, dumps him, and immediately enters an engagement with the heir of a rival family. Yeah, no, that’s not going to work for Dante.

Now he’ll do anything to reclaim her. Even go to war.

Katee Robert has been one of my favorite authors for the past year or so, having officially won me over with her Wicked Villains series. I read and loved Neon Gods earlier this year and knew that I would probably love anything she published, so I was eager to read The Bastard's Betrayal when it was announced! This was my first mafia romance, but reading one by a favorite author seemed a great way to break myself in!

Rose Romanov is the MC of this story and the heir to the Romanov family empire. When she discovers that her boyfriend is actually a member of a rival family, she takes decisive action against him, but he doesn't take the hint and kidnaps her instead. She is such an absolute badass, pulling no punches and holding her own from page one. I really liked that Katee discussed the challenges that came with a female heir in a male dominated world. 

This series picks up thirty years after The O'Malleys, but you don't need to have read that one to enjoy Rose's story according to the author. I did feel that there were a ton of references I missed, though, so I definitely do want to go back and see how Rose's parents ended up together! 

Something I noticed rather quickly is that this book is much more plot and romance heavy than the Wicked Villains series, which (let's be honest) is mostly focused on the spice. I LOVED watching Dante chase Rose and seeing her annoyance turn to something else. Although they know each other in the beginning, this is still a slow burn romance. The Bastard's Betrayal is essentially a lovers to enemies to lovers romance and I enjoyed it so, so much! 

I will say that I did find the politics of this world a bit tedious at times. There were so many mafia families and so much talk of a war between them that I honestly started to skim over those parts. I'm assuming those are a large part of most mafia romances, and I'm guessing that now that I've been thoroughly introduced to the world the next one will be less info dumpy. 

Even with that minor complaint, I'm excited to continue the series and see what happens next. This book ends with an epilogue that sets up the next romance and it definitely sounds dramatic! I loved Rose and Dante's story and I can't wait to read book two of this new series.