Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori


I'm as surprised about liking this as you probably are. I don't normally like mafia romances. A lot of them are all "tell" and no "show." They have the guy waving his weapon around, telling us all what a bad dude he is, and it just feels like a typical new adult romance trying to talk in a bad Italian accent, courtesy of Google Translate. Not so with this book. I had soooo many people recommend THE SWEETEST OBLIVION to me and I was like "WHY" and "NO WAY" because it didn't seem like something I would be into at all, but when it went on sale for 99-cents, I picked up a copy-- and immediately, I was hooked.

There isn't really MUCH of a plot. Elena has a sister named Adrianna who is getting married to a guy named Nico(las). Nico is the head of a rival mafia family (she's an Abelli, he's a Russo) and it's supposed to be this big brokered peace offering, only-- Nico seems much more interested in Elena than he is in Adrianna. And even though Elena loves her weird, oddball of a sister, that doesn't stop her from flirting with her future brother-in-law every chance she gets.

So, if you don't like cheating, this isn't a book for you. The author made it work but I think it's going to put a lot of my friends off, the thought of a girl stealing her sister's man out from under her nose and basically being the OW. What really sets this book apart from the rest is the writing and the characterization. I've said dozens of times that I don't mind reading about imperfect people if they have reasonable motivations for behaving the way they do, and I thought Lori did a really good job getting inside Nico and Elena's heads. Their narratives both read like totally different people, and that was especially impressive since they were both in the first person, which makes it matter even more.

The writing is smooth and flows evenly. Everything feels very fast-paced and cinematic. The sex scenes are unique and really well-written (bar one questionable line that made me go "Um, whaaaaat? NO") and the sexual tension is off the charts. I also felt like the author made an attempt to research Italian culture and maybe the mafia as well, because unlike other books in this subgenre, I felt like she paid a lot of attention to the politics and relationships aspects of crime, and Nico never had to tell us how bad he was because he SHOWED us. There were a few scenes in here that gave me chills. I love seeing an icy, controlled guy lose it in fiction. It's catnip to me.

I'm sorry I doubted your recommendation, friends. This book was AWESOME. I can't wait to read the sequels.

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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