Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Tropes: arranged marriage; kidnapped bride; mafia romance; innocent heroine; anti-hero
Break Me, the final book of her Manhattan Mafia trilogy, has finally seen the light of day, and it is a blockbuster ending to this trilogy. Leaning into her strengths, Break Me is everything you expect of Reiss; non-stop action; spice to the nth degree; and a happy ending for her sordid characters that reminds you of the redeemability of even the darkest of characters.
Break Me picks up where the cliffhanger of Make Me left off. Dario is in a problematic situation, and Sarah is intent on saving the day. This is what I love about CD Reiss and her version of mafia romance. The strongest character of her stories is usually the heroine. Reiss takes the misogyny of mafia romances and interrogates it before upending it through grafting power into her female characters, namely Sarah in this story. She crafts a spectrum of characters from the sheep of these worlds to the ones who abuse power and need threshing. She wraps a story such as Break Me in a fabrication. You believe it’s all about the spice and action when, in reality, she’s seeking to break the molds of the genres for which she writes. It’s why I’ll continue to read her stories because Reiss gifts you with the challenge: to see more than the norm for romance.
Break Me wraps up the Manhattan Mafia trilogy well, and it promises more mafia romance from her. At the heart of her romances, there is always a consideration: ignorance keeps people trapped, so how do we move beyond our ignorance to enlightenment? I wouldn’t miss CD Reiss’s stories for anything. And quite frankly, you shouldn’t either.
In love and romance,