“Can you love a broken queen?” I asked, smiling though my face felt numb. Arthur searched my eyes. “Can you love a broken king?”
First I want to say that I love Tillie Cole’s stories, be they light like Sweet Home or dark like Raze or The Hades Hangmen.
That’s why I requested Lord of London Town and was thrilled when I got the book!
Sadly, it did not work for me and I truly feel like the black sheep! I know it’s a case of “it’s not the book, it’s me” as it gets outstanding reviews at the moment!
What’s the book about?
This is the beginning of a new series for Tillie in the mafia world of London. That book is filled with English slang and I loved it as I feel London is my second home. It was good to be back, even if vicariously!
The plot revolves around Arthur Adley, heir of the biggest mafia organization in London.
The opening scene is dramatic and just perfect as Arthur is remembering the brutal death of his mother and sister, wanting to experience the pain they must have been in!
He is thirteen and has already killed his first man.
He’s been put into adult shoes very early on and the loss of his mom and sister will make him numb. His father encouraging him to be cold, removed and always show a poker face.
On that day, Arthur will meet Cheska, posh Chelsea princess.
Their relationship will be highly unconventional.
Arthur does not believe he is loveable; the sex scenes will be extremely hot but lacking in tenderness and sweet gestures. You have a true dark read here.
I feel that this book is the setting of the scene for other stories and Tillie took the time to build each secondary character. I really liked that Arthur was open minded and modern to add the girls of the family among their fighting ranks!
Of all the characters, I confess that I am really excited to read more about Vinnie! Especially after that bomb Tillie Cole dropped by the end of the book! Vinnie is more than he seems and I don’t know if he is a sociopath, a paranoid schizophrenic or something else entirely. His character is by far the one I want to read the most in the sequel! He makes me think of Flame from the hades hangmen who is my favorite character.
I must confess that I do prefer Vinnie to Arthur. Shocking I know but I wonder how Tillie Cole will pull that “dating a ghost/sociopath” trick from her hat! I bet the sequel will be gripping, intense and a real roller coaster!
If you have hot sex scenes in the book and the attraction between Cheska and Arthur is undeniable, I rather felt the lust than the love or the romance. They didn’t have deep conversation before a long time and Cheska had a boyfriend while being Arthur “friend with benefits” for years. Yet I know Tillie made that choice because it fits Arthur’s personae of cold and remote man. In this, she is true to her character but it didn’t help me feel the love.Also I can’t stand cheating in books so that did taint my reading enjoyment.
If the lack of romance or love bothered me, I still could appreciate Cheska’s growth in the book! From posh and protected Chelsea’s girl, Cheska is learning to fight and it’s empowering! I so love how the pristine princess is willing to go in the dark and soil some of her soul to stand at her black king side.
Another of my totally personal issues was that Arthur, and later Cheska, was smoking all the time. I can’t imagine kissing or making love to someone smelling like an ashtray hence I had great difficulties being “in” the sex scenes and enjoying them even with Tillie’s craft to write such scenes.
Last thing nagging me: the swearing. “Of course” you will say,” this is a mafia story!”” What did you expect? That they would speak like lords and princes?”
Well no of course but reading the “f” word three times in sentences all the time bothered me. I don’t mind some cussing in books, especially dark reads but this made me feel like the author tried too much to build a believable “tough mafia main character”. We know mobsters are no angels. They kill, sometimes take drugs, drink, can smoke and cuss, no need to “overdo” it to have us realize they are the big bad wolves.
Now when you read about my personal “issues”, you will realize they are pet peeves of mine and have nothing to do with Tillie Cole’s ability to write great stories! This was simply a case of “it’s not the book, it’s me”. And it’s even more embarrassing to write this kind of review when you absolutely adore the author and all the books you’ve read by her. But hey, it happens and I promised to always be honest in my reviews.
What I do know is that many loved that story and if you love dark reads, are a fan of Tillie Cole and don’t have the same issues as mine, you will certainly love this book!
I am now waiting for Vinnie’s book!
Have you read it?
Thanks for reading!