Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
CD Reiss’s Make Me, book 2 of her Manhattan Mafia series, is a force of nature. That is probably an exaggeration, but there is something incredibly unique about this mafia romance even beyond her DiLustro Arrangement trilogy. I’m entranced with Reiss’s characterization of Sarah. As I read her books, I can’t help but consider Reiss’s political identity, laid bare on Twitter. As a former student of literature, I must consider Sarah’s evolution in light of Reiss’s social justice. Make Me is all things Reiss: heavy-handed in her eroticism, intoxicating action, a tyrannical world, a dominant, authoritative, dominant hero. These are the hallmarks of her stories. But it’s her capacity for drawing heroines in the shadows of these book traits that beguile you as a reader. In many mafia romances, the heroine can get lost in the larger-than-life alpha-hero. In this series and her last, the heroines take up the most space and overpower the trajectories of their heroes. They ask for more and rewrite the script on the traditional mafia romance.
In Make Me, Sarah’s journey involves understanding a world that has been kept from her. Each chapter involves another revelation of her world, and information is seen as a commodity for her autonomy. As if mimicking the challenges of our world, by the end of this book, we find Sarah standing in that power, making choices outside of Dario and her past. Reiss creates this anxiousness about Sarah’s lack of experience, especially at the book’s cliffhanger, but it’s clear that her superpower is her intuition. And you can’t help but wonder if that intuition, the sense often attributed mostly to women, will be the thing that saves the hero from himself and both of them from her past.
I’m intrigued and left ready for more of the Manhattan Mafia trilogy. I’m curious about the future of Dario and Sarah, to be sure. However, I’m more interested in Sarah’s ultimate power in this story. She’s already one of my favorite Reiss heroines.
In love and romance,