Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Review: Dove (Emerald Mafia #1) by Jennifer Luna

Author: Jennifer Luna
Series: Emerald Mafia #1
Publisher: Totally Bound
Published: June 6, 2023
Source: arc for review

He wants to protect her from his world, but her past is their biggest threat.

After the traumatic and mysterious death of a close family friend, Emma Marshall flees the prying eyes in her hometown, opting for the anonymity of Manhattan life. Once there, she buries herself in ramen noodle dinners and rigorous academics. When she’s attacked on the street and issued a strange, veiled threat, she takes her defense into her own hands. But involving herself with a man like Jack is far from safe.

Jack O’Connell thinks of love as a liability. In his line of work, caring for someone would only give his enemies a weakness to exploit. But when Emma walks into his gym for a self-defense lesson, she unknowingly threatens the armor he’s curated. Try as he might, he can’t keep himself away. Their chemistry is electric, and she could be everything that he needs.

As Jack delves into her secrets, he finds they might be somehow connected to his dark world, even though he has fought desperately to protect her from it. To his horror, Emma becomes caught in a sinister web that entraps the two of them, threatening their very lives.


I have to admit that I don't read a lot of mafia romance. Don't get me wrong, I love a bad boy as much as the next girl, but there's something about mafia romance that doesn't normally pique my interest. There was something about Dove that caught my eye. So, I gave it a chance. It took me a little while before I really got into it, but once I was, I could not put it down. Let's start off with Jack and Emma. While their attraction was fairly instant, they still had to work for it. Nothing about their relationship came easy. It wasn't sunshine and daisies and I loved that. I love a romance with characters that have to fight their way towards each other. 

Emma and Jack were another reason why I loved this book so much. Emma... Poor Emma. That girl survived so much trauma, I often wondered how she was still able to function. She's an incredibly strong, intelligent woman. Jack is no sloutch either. From the moment Emma shows up for self-defense, there is nothing he wants more than to protect the woman he's grown to love. Although he feels as if there is a monster inside him, he'll do everything to stand up for those he loves.

I am really looking forward to seeing what debut author Jennifer has up her sleeves with the rest of the Emerald Mafia series. Who will be next? I know who I'm hoping for.

Jennifer Luna is an author by night and renowned chicken nugget chef by day—just ask her son. She lives in Virginia with her husband, son, and two cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found cleaning the litter box or doing just about anything for a Klondike bar.

Her debut dark romance, Dove, is the first novel in The Emerald Mafia Series, which exposes the gritty underworld of the Irish mafia and the sacrifices one woman will make to keep her loved ones out of harm’s way. 

You can follow Jennifer on TikTok and Instagram, and find out more at her website.

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