Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
J.T. Geissinger’s Brutal Vows is divine in a “dark romance, focus on the brutality of life in the mob, mafia, or cartel” kind of way. Interestingly enough, there is one word to truly describe Geissinger’s latest and last story in her Queens & Monsters series: hilarious. When you enter her newest romance, you’re expecting an alpha male anti-hero who dominates the woman of his dreams. You expect the eroticism and combustible chemistry to pull you into their story. And this is definitely true for Brutal Vows. However, for me, this book made me laugh with the antics of her main characters.
For one, Spider is moody. Yes, he’s gorgeous and dangerous and all of the things you expect in a Geissinger dark romance. But one minute he’s charming and flirtatious, and the next moment, he’s inward and sullen. Walking with him through Brutal Vows is the equivalent of a Coney Island roller coaster ride. It keeps Geissinger’s heroine, Reyna, on her toes. It also serves to give her the upper hand throughout this book.
Reyna, the FMC, is the highlight of this romance. At first glance, she appears deadly. She suffers no fools, and she has no issue with putting anyone in their place. There’s a reason she’s called the Black Widow, and she lives up to the moniker. As is the case with characters who show a hard shell, they are oftentimes gooey in the center. Both Spider and Reyna live with this protection. And for good reason. Both of them have suffered traumas, and they’ve chosen to live protected behind their masks. Thankfully, their chemistry disintegrates these masks, and together, they find vulnerability and, eventually, love.
Even more exciting about these two is their banter and their verbal sparring. This is where I laughed. It was easy to turn the page because their chemistry entices you to do so. Whether they set the sheets on fire or mocked the other for a foible, Reyna and Spider’s story ended this series well. If I have any criticism, it’s that there is more here, I think. There are questions I want answered. Unfortunately, I’m not the author of this series, so I cannot ask for what I can’t produce. I can only hope that the few unraveled threads will produce another ball of yarn. One can only hope.
I adore J.T. Geissinger, and once again, she reminds me why I will always read her romances. Whether it’s her rom-coms or dark romances, her stories make the act of reading an adventure.
In love and romance,