Published by Self-pub on January 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance
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Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.
Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he's a sociopath. Maybe he's a psychopath. Whatever path he's on, people tend to stay far away from it.
Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him--a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something... or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn't quite sure.
You can bet your ass he's going to figure it out, though.
You’d be hard pressed to find a book by J.M. Darhower I didn’t love. There is a reason she is a favorite author and it is this – she never fails to entertain me. Every book captivates me and grabs my full attention making other life happenings feel like white noise. I expected nothing but greatness of this new novel, Menace, and once again the author delivered!
Menace is told from 3 points of view. Our story opens up with a no name character, a little girl, as her house is seemingly under attack and she is taken by a horrible man who she refers to as the ‘Tin Man’. Her chapters are scattered throughout the novel but give an update on what has become of her afterwards, but her identity is somewhat a mystery and plays a bigger role as we delve further into the story.
Lorenzo Gambini is our ‘hero’ of the story, if you can call him that. Maybe anti-hero is the right word. He has moved from his orange grove in Florida to become a mob boss in New York after a massacre that took the lives of many prominent crime bosses in the area (see the Monster in His Eyes series to which this is a spinoff of). Did he have a hand in that? What do you think? 😉 Anyways, Lorenzo had so much personality. I never got bored of his voice (a writing trait the author excels at) with his crude, shameless and sarcastic thoughts and ways. He’s sort of cold and has a bit of a death wish as he seems to have no fear heading into dangerous situations and lacks self-preservation. He had a pretty traumatic upbringing, and he wears the scar slashed through his right eye to prove it. But that knack for living life guns blazing is probably what makes him a good crime boss. But underneath all that you know there is a heart for those he cares about, like the brother he raised. And perhaps even the mysterious Morgan.
Morgan, or Scarlet as Lorenzo like to call her, is the epitome of a strong women who doesn’t take shit from nobody and doesn’t apologize for who she is and what she has to do to survive. She has confidence and holds her own against such an alpha type character as Lorenzo. Her past, and even her present, is a little bit of a mystery and her reasons for being that way are valid and something you start to unravel in this novel as we discover her involvement with a police officer and the Russian mob.
I really enjoyed the direction this story took. How Lorenzo and Morgan came together was not what I expected but one I totally got a kick out of. They sort of played this dangerous and potentially deadly push-pull sort of game and their chemistry was off the charts. I honestly don’t think the characters ever knew whether they wanted to kiss or kill each other. But together their lives intertwined and secrets were revealed, connecting to our mysterious third point of view right at the end, leaving me dying for the next book! Thank goodness the author isn’t keeping us waiting long since the sequel will be out next month! Do yourself a favor and grab yourself a copy of this, asap!
You be what you need to be for somebody. Wear the skin of a rattlesnake even if there’s not a single drop of venom inside of you, because if you make them believe, they won’t come close enough to get bit. They won’t get close enough to see that maybe it’s a disguise; maybe you’re not as dangerous as they think. And if they do get that close, well, then you’ve got a choice: you either surrender or you become the thing they fear most. I don’t surrender.