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Vendetta - Autumn Karr, Sienna Lane Review:

"I wish you were someone else," she whispers and I hear the tears in her voice. My eyes open and I kiss her wrist hovering over my mouth, wiping away the single tear streaking her cheek with my thumb.

"Me, too," I say, and I've never meant anything more than I do those two words.

Vendetta is a story about two starcrossed lovers and their fight to be with one another. This is not a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Though, I definitely got a "Montague/Capulet you can't be together" vibe from this story. The Andres and Moores are two families that despise each other. Their feud dates back to the days of Prohibition and the battle over ownership of warehouses holding alcohol. This is important because Vendetta centers around two people — Leighton Moore and Devon Andre. The Andre/Moore mutual hatred was ingrained in both of them from an early age. I loved that the blurb didn't really reveal much about the actual story; it merely clues you into the Devon's frame of mind and the love he feels for Leighton.

The story begins with Leighton spying on a secret conversation between George and Devon. Until now, Leighton believed George's lied with father, but judging from his conversations with Devon, enemy number one, it's clear he's nothing but a rat. Unfortunately for her, Leighton is not that great of a spy and she gets caught. George wants to kill her, but for some reason Devon speaks up and takes responsibility for her.
"I should have just left her there. It's not like I have an overwhelming urge to play her knight in shining armor. God knows she's not a damsel in distress. The woman is poison, like all the Moores are."

Devon takes Leighton back to his uncle's mansion and locks her in a room. Not just any room but HIS room. This was surprising to me and to Devon's best friend, Hayley. In an effort to distance himself from Leighton, he has Hayley tend to Leighton's needs and visit her regularly. Devon's room is clearly one of the nicer rooms. This left me wondering, "Does he care about her? What is going on here?" I WANT ANSWERS!

I was a bit confused about Leighton and Devon's relationship in the beginning of this book because Leighton would say things like "this isn't like Devon to do this" or "what he did shocked me". And what's more, Devon would keep giving in to Leighton's demands for a television or other amenities. There is a twist in this story that happens about half of the way through the book. I won't reveal what it is. But it cleared up some of the confusion.
It's times like these that I forget. I forget that I’m essentially a prisoner, that the man I love is probably going to be the last thing I see before I die. He makes me forget everything.

Devon begins to spend more time with Leighton in her room prison. He can't seem to stay away from her. The more they talk, the more his indoctrinated hatred of her disappears. There is a fine line between love and hate, and soon Devon's emotions began to cross the line from hate to love.
"I fucking hate you for being my weakness."

Things heat up between the two of them within those four walls, with no one in the house being none the wiser. I was so nervous that Devon's uncle was going to walk in on them and shoot Leighton right between the eyes. (Isn't that how the mob rolls?)

The authors laid the foundation for a great forbidden love story — a tortured hero, sexual tension, this mysterious connection between the two main characters, and the war between their two families. All of those elements were there and could have been combined together to make a fantastic story. However, I just don't think the authors put all of those elements together in a way to make the story great. I wanted more tension between the characters than what I got. I wanted to feel their internal struggles, and at times, I did but it just didn't have the emotional impact I was hoping for. Did I like it? Yeah, I did. I didn't love it, though.

I would have liked for several of the big reveal moments to be fleshed out more. I felt like the authors were hesitant to just come right out and say something. Instead, they kind of tip-toed around their points, which left the reader to draw A LOT of conclusions. I felt confused at times and had to go back and reread certain parts to make the connection.

Additionally, I felt like the narrative was really slow in certain parts. The fact that the majority of the story takes place in one room added to the slow pace. I wanted more action during the novel. In the end, it did pick up and I liked it, but the middle dragged. The dialogue between the two characters was a little stilted and awkward at some moments, but in other parts I really liked it. There were several one-liners in this book that I felt were really profound and great, but overall I felt like the narrative left something to be desired.

Despite my issues, I would still recommend this book. The writing needs work, but I liked the bones of the story. If you're a fan of forbidden love stories like I am, I think you would like this book.

*I received an advanced copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Vendetta by Autumn Karr & Sienna Lane


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Excerpt Posted on Shh Mom's Reading. Be sure to check it out and enter to win an ARC!!



Coming Winter 2013/2014

I am not a good man.

I have lied and cheated and stolen. I've decided between life or death, like it was my due. None of it matters, not anymore. These are not my sins.

I see her raise her hands, the dark metal she's clutching reflecting the moonlight. Her finger trembles as she cocks the gun pointed at me. Her eyes are cold, determined, but I know.

I know her.

My name is Devon Andre and I confess my sin. I am not a good man because this is the woman I love.

She pulls the trigger.