I am super dense and picked up this series and started reading it without realizing that I already know the end of this story because this series is a prequel to the gypsy brothers series which I read. If you've read the Gypsy Brothers series then you know that none of this shit ends well. Ain't no HEA for ANYBODY. I feel like you have to brace yourself for that before you start reading this series. If you just really want to see how Mariana, Dornan and Julz story starts and especially how Dornan winds up the guy you see in the Gypsy Brothers series, this is a must read. Lili St. Germain is brilliant, there are simply no two ways about it. The writing of this entire series is brilliant and completely transformational. When you are reading these books, you are sucked in to the very sick and twisted world where Dornan lives and Mariana is trying to survive. I don't know that I can say you'll be better off after this experience but damn, this writer is awesome.
Here's a weird thing, even though I know how the story of Mariana and Dornan ends, I couldn't stop myself from rooting for them and hoping that there could be some kind of alternate reality. There isn't. I always wondered how the situation with Mariana developed to where we find it in the follow up series and truthfully I was surprised at how it all happened. There is no indication in the Gypsy Brothers series that Mariana was so trapped by her circumstances. I was surprised to find that she was willing to choose Dornan even though she was his prisoner. Had it not been for her son, this story would've ended totally different.
As this book went on, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to happen. I wanted Mariana to wake the hell up and stop just existing as a prisoner. I wanted Dornan to get off the path to utter depravity. I knew for sure I wanted Murphy to die. I wanted John to find a way for Mariana to get her HEA and I also just wanted him to take Julz and flea the scene of the whole shit show. I just wanted so many things reading this book that it drove me almost insane.
But in the end, Dornan is just gobbled up by the filth into which he was born and works. It becomes a part of him and by the time Kingpin is over, I'm sad to report, all hope for Dornan is lost. The interesting thing is that the same way that we hope for Dornan as the reader, Mariana hopes for him to. The same way we watch Dornan fade away, Mariana is forced to accept that her Dornan is gone.
This is a great book but either read it when you are already depressed or when you are so happy nothing can bring you down. It's really doom and gloom but totally brilliant.
**Review Copy Provided by Publisher**