[Blog Tour]Spotlight+Excerpt – Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn

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I am so happy to feature Jill’s (@rantandraveaboutbooks) upcoming debut novel on my blog today. When I saw the tour post, I just knew I had to sign up because:

I loved the Godfather, but always wondered about how it would have read if it had been if women had more role to play in the book. So when Jill mentioned that Corrupt Me was inspired by  the “what-could-have-been” of the relationship between Michael Corleone and Kay Adams, I was hooked!

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Here’s an excerpt from the book: 

Of the three, Luca was the most attractive. And, judging by his cockiness, that wouldn’t be news to him.

Luca cleared his throat, a smirk tugging at his mouth. “Twice in one day.”

He tapped his knuckles on the table. It drove me crazy—the air of confidence he exuded, the whole I-own-the-school mentality. What a pompous ass.

I rolled my eyes and chugged the last sip of my soda. “Yay for me,” I deadpanned, holding the straw to my lips as I fought a smile. “Now, I know you’re stalking me.”

“Where are you really going tonight, bella donna?”

As much as I wanted to smirk, I liked hearing him tell me I was beautiful. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I struggled with my feelings for Luca. The butterflies doing somersaults in my stomach churned up acid from my picked over mystery dinner.

“Bella—” Luca said, breaking the silence.

“That’s not my name,” I just about spit the words. Even though Bella was a nickname for Isabella, I never liked that name much. Luca’s older brother, Mario, always called me Izzie when we were kids, and I thought Izzie better suited me. “You’re an ass, you know that?”

Luca ran his fingers through his dark hair, flashing a very Preston-like smile. “Let me take you out.”

“Not a chance.” My first thought at his words, “take you out,” was that he wanted to whack me, and that provided me with my own personal entertainment. But I knew he’d be pissed if I mentioned that aloud.

I almost felt bad when he frowned, but he recouped quickly. His looks made it so hard to hate on him for too long. Still, I couldn’t allow myself to become involved with someone like him. In some ways, it was a conflict of interest. There was a reason our families severed ties over the years even though I suspected Grandfather had kept in touch with Luca’s father.

I leaned on the table, meeting his gaze. “Is that part of your winning charm? You think you can give me that shit-eating grin, and I’m going to drop to my knees? Like I said, I’m not interested. If this is about earlier, I’d rather give you the money and be done with whatever this is we’re doing.”

He laughed. “I’m not that bad, babe.”

I snorted at his comment, annoyed by his pet names.

He scratched his jaw, the corner of his mouth opening a little bit. He didn’t need game. He had that crooked smile and that sexy mouth I wanted to smash my lips against.

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About the Author:

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Connect with the Author:

Facebook | Twitter | Author Website | Goodreads Profile

Buy Links:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo|iBooks
Goodreads

Book Trailer:

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Do check out all the tour stops:

 

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Silent Sentry – By Theresa Rizzo

Rating:

*Note : I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Buy Links:

Paperback                Kindle

Synopsis:

Someone wants Gianna Donnatelli.  Preferably alive.  Alive and compliant.  He’s willing to kill to get to her.  But she’s got family. 
The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.
When a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve.

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.

Award-winning author Theresa Rizzo delivers a thrilling crime novel packed with suspense, romance, and redemption.

My Review:

At over 400 hundred pages, this is a pretty balanced and wholesome romantic-suspense; with the pace of this book best described as probably being on cruise control! And by that I mean, while it isn’t the kind of book which drops a bombshell every other page or is action-packed, it doesn’t slack much either. This did make for a leisurely read with ample time spent on both the romantic and mystery aspect.

Pretty early on we are given the hint that both Gianna and Joe are from families of considerable clout, more specifically – well-connected to or regularly dealing with old-world Italian mafia families. Neither of them has ever shown any interest in going into the family businesses though. Joe got married, became a successful surgeon, and well, got widowed when his wife was killed in a drive-by shooting. Gianna initially trained as a nurse, with her desire to “care for” stemming from watching her mom succumb to MS. She soon realizes her real passion is in software development though, so she quits nursing and gets into coding. Her altruistic side never leaves her as she decides to live among the poor and dangerous, dinghy Detroit areas to try and lead by example, and also coaxes her dad to help her with the finances to open a clinic nearby.  However, one day her house is broken into and she is attacked, and she ends up in the same hospital where Joe works in. Old, unrequited feelings for him resurface; but reciprocation is the last thing on her mind at the moment, as she tries to work out just what was the attacker after. She keeps her fingers crossed that it has nothing to do with Prometheus , her baby-  an invention that can revolutionize the healthcare industry.

One of the things I liked in the book is the world building. By that, I don’t mean just the descriptions and history of the place this is set in, but also all the characters and occupations and relationships that were mentioned. We are introduced to Joe’s and Gianna’s families and the author does dwell on their histories and the bond their families have shared. We also meet Gianna’s partners at work and Joe’s best friend.  There are times I feel that storytelling in some genres gets so .. insular when it comes to showing us about the protagonists’ lives, with pretty much no details given on anything else about them,  as long as it is playing up to the theme of the book. So it was nice to really know where everyone comes from. But on the flip side, I felt there were quite a few open sub-plots which were hinted to, but we never got any further answers or explanations. One that I can think of which really stuck out was this entire undercurrent of Joe not being on good terms with his extended family, specifically his uncle and cousin, due to some old incident. This was never really addressed. Similarly there were a couple of other things, like Joe having some secret in his past that he didn’t want anyone to know.

Coming to the romance, well most of it was unhurried and I liked that the author addressed how two people with fundamental ideological differences do have their work cut out for them if they have to proceed with a relationship. Having said that, I honestly found Gianna pretty irritating with her sanctimonious manner. And if I may add, self-absorbed, judgmental and insensitive whenever Joe tried to present his perspective. I thought, “C’mon girl, his wife died in a drive-by shooting in Detroit. Is it so hard to piece together why he feels that way about what you do?!”.  Thank heavens she got more bearable as the book proceeded!

The suspense part was not exactly an amazingly constructed whodunit and I honestly felt the entire book could have been much better with sharper editing. But, but, but, I love it when books that lure you into a false sense of closure finally throws up a couple of shocks in the final few pages.  And this is one of those books. I never saw them coming, so I was pretty spooked; and also glad that the book did end in a bit of a flourish!

The Godfather

Rating:

Set in the decade of the second World War, the Godfather is a pretty entertaining story detailing the parallel universe and power structure of the Mafia operating in the United States.

The novel chronicles the life of Don Vito Corleone, as a young boy who is forced to flee his hometown of Sicily to his emergence as “The Godfather”, head of one of the most powerful Mafia families to operate in the country.

The book starts with introducing several secondary characters who are Italian immigrants. Each of them grappling with some major upheaval in their lives or dilemma that they need help with, they reach out to the Godfather.  With this, the author gives us a hint of what lies sprinkled throughout the book in generous amounts – a shrewd and strategic use and redemption of favours by the Godfather.

It was pretty fascinating to read about how each Mafia “Family” functions, runs their family business(es) and operates with a well-defined and established chain of command.

Don Vito appoints two men, Clemenza and Tessio, as his Caporegimes (heading a group of men, or “regime” thereby acting as both a conduit and buffer between the men and the Don) and Tom Hagen as his Consigliere who acts as his advisor and representative in meetings. We are introduced to his family, comprising of his wife, three sons, (Santino, Frederico, Michael), daughter (Constanzia), son-in-law,  Carlo Rizzi and his Godson Johnny Fontane, a singer past his prime and trying to make a successful debut as an actor.

Santino is hot-headed and impulsive, Frederico is indecisive and more of a follower than a leader. Both join their father’s family business readily, with no thoughts of any other career options of doctors, engineers or lawyers in the civil society. Michael is the reluctant one, rebel of the family, who enlists in the Marine Corps during the war, much to the displeasure of his father. However, Puzo is quick to affirm that the Don sees his youngest son as his most suitable successor.

As the story progresses, Michael comes to the forefront and ends up making the decisions that decide the fate of several characters in the book’s final pages.

The book is divided into several parts, with some parts used to shift the narrative back to some of the characters’ origins. I loved Don Vito’s backstory where we learn how he ends up getting acquainted with Clemenza and Tessio. I would have liked the denouement to have packed in a bit more punch though. The author alludes to a “master plan” thought up by the Don that he is holding back to prevent a full-scale war among the mafia families. I just found it unbelievable that the way the Corleones strike back in the end didn’t have any repercussions.

This is one of those “guy-novels” where the female characters don’t impact the storyline. The women in this novel are the spouses who act as child-bearers, the abused partners, the mistresses, the prostitutes, or mid-wives.

My hubby recommended the book, and I was initially hesitant to start reading. I was in the mood to try something on the lines of “light-reading” and not too many classics set in the 1940s fit that criteria. The prose is quite simple and Puzo does a good job of telling a story set in this alternate world of laws, oaths and justice. Definitely worth a read!