Thursday, February 2, 2023

Silk Malice by Eve Dangerfield


Eve Dangerfield has become a new favorite of mine with books like ACT YOUR AGE and VELVET CRUELTY. VELVET CRUELTY was an especial surprise to me, because it had so many tropes I normally don't like in romance. The overly innocent heroine and RH mafia premise should have put me off, but it ended up being a pretty action-packed adventure, even if the answer to the "do they bang question?" was technically not. Which is a surprising twist for an erotic romance. Also, I thought it was hilarious that this was a Snow White retelling, but with four mob guys. Disney Princesses really can't stay sweet and innocent for very long in the mobverse.

I was SO excited to get my hands on SILK MALICE, so my whole week was made when the author sent me an ARC a couple days before I planned on buying myself a copy. What a glorious end to a rather exhausting day. Naturally, I started reading immediately. SILK MALICE starts where the last book left off. January has been kidnapped by her evil ex-fiance, and is starting to realize that she feels more for the men who kidnapped her than she should. They feel the same-- not that they'd admit it-- and are willing to move hell and earth to get her back.

SILK MALICE is paced very differently than the first book. It's a lot slower. The beginning was great but then 75% of the middle is basically just smut and romantic confessions. It's not badly done, but it felt like I was launched from Point A to Point C and we'd skipped over a Point B somewhere. I wish the guys' feelings had been taken into account more. It felt like there should have been more of a transition from obsession to tenderness. Book one was SO DARK and it was like January just forgot a lot of the bad stuff they did to her. I didn't get mad about the bad stuff, because it suited the story, but the tonal shift in this story made me blink and think to myself, "But what about all the bad stuff?"

The last quarter of the book is where the story really finally starts to find its footing. There's some real plot. January starts to show more of the spine I expected her to show from the beginning of this book. The scene in the living room and by the swimming pool were particularly good. I loved the contract scene and the epilogue left me with chills. They were little glimpses of the things that hooked me in book one-- clever tongue-in-cheek satire of a genre that also works as a standalone, witty banter, and action-packed, morally grey situations. SILK MALICE is a decent sequel but it's not as good as the first book and mostly feels like set-up for the third book, which is a problem that a lot of second books share. I'll definitely be reading LACE VENGEANCE and hoping all kinds of bad stuff happens to Zachery Parker. Maybe Ms. Dangerfield will even make January the one who gets to hold the knife.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars

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