Icon Tag: Dark

Just Business & Hollywood Comes Home: V. B. Emanuele

Just Business

Posted on February 12, 2024 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 5 Comments

Just Business by V.B. Emanuele is the first book in the Club Euphoria series. Now I dived into the series based on its promotion as a mafia romance with dark themes. I had never read the author before, but the premise intrigued me, so I decided to go for it. After all, I had nothing to lose. Besides a few hours of sleep, if the book held my attention,.

 

Just Business & Hollywood Comes Home: V. B. EmanueleTitle: Just Business
Author(s): V.B. Emanuele
Series: Club Euphoria #1
Published by Euphoria Publishing on May 7, 2023
Pages: 349
Genre(s): Erotic Romance, Mafia
Source: Author, Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

While Jenna Prescott is attending one of the world's top universities, she finds herself unable to afford tuition after an unexpected death in her family leaves her with nothing while her older brother, Tyler, inherits millions. Desperate to make ends meet, she becomes an exotic dancer for money she's heard they earn. Jenna is soon caught in a whirlwind romance with Ian Knight, Club Euphoria's owner and local crime boss. He's had his eye on her since the first time he bumped into her in the club lobby and will murder anyone who touches her. His need to protect her, mixed with his infatuation soon blindsides him and he finds himself going to whatever length to keep her ex from getting his own revenge. Will Jenna’s dangerous dance turn into a fatal mistake? Things aren’t always what they seem at Club Euphoria.
This book contains severely dark themes and graphic sexual content. Please check the author's website vbemanuele. com for a full list of trigger warnings.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

 

 

Just Business turned out to be quite an entertaining read. I had a fun time with it. The spice was fine and indicative of what one would expect from an erotic romance. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, Jenna and Ian. Although, it’s my belief that Ian’s character could have done with a little more development.

The romance between Ian and Jenna developed nicely. Their initial meeting was fun. They met on Jenna’s first day as an exotic dancer, and she had no clue he was her boss. Her reaction when she learned his identity was priceless. The suspense element delivered some edge-of-your-seat moments. It definitely amplified the fear factor as far as the main characters were concerned. Mostly in Jenna’s case

The story gave a peek into the world of exotic dancing. It shows how some girls get involved in that world out of necessity, some because they enjoy it. The story also highlighted the dangers associated with the profession. The secondary characters piqued my interest and had me wanting to read their stories. At least some of them. They aided in making the story fun and suspenseful.

Now, as much as I enjoyed the story for the escape it offered, it suffered from one of my biggest pet peeves. Several of the events that occurred were told instead of shown, and as such, readers do not have the opportunity to experience these moments. Also, the situations involving Jenna’s brother felt disjointed in some areas.

As it relates to Ian, readers are aware that he is the owner of an exotic nightclub and that he is also a mob boss. However, information regarding how he became a feared crime boss was not divulged. Also, the story portrayed him as a powerful and feared mob boss, but the reader saw no demonstration of this.

Just Business was tame in comparison to the other mafia romances I’ve read. While I enjoyed the story, it could do with some improvement.

 

Story Evaluation
Plot
3
Characters
3
World Building
3
Writing Style
3
Pacing
4
Cover
4
Enjoyment
3.5
Ending
4
Overall: One StarOne StarOne Star
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Just Business & Hollywood Comes Home: V. B. EmanueleTitle: Hollywood Comes Home
Author(s): V.B. Emanuele
Series: Club Euphoria #2
Published by Euphoria Publishing on August 6, 2023
Pages: 373
Genre(s): Erotic Romance
Source: Author, Kindle Unlimited
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Having a stable relationship when you’re the most sought-after actor is hard. Boston native, Chance Hardwin, is an A-list actor who once fell in love with an exotic dancer, Amber Wilson. After breaking up due to his filming schedule, he relocated to Los Angeles to hide his sadness from his friends. Chance quickly finds himself falling into some trouble. He’s plummeting on a downward spiral of partying with celebrity friends, public intoxication, and drunken interviews. After hearing that Amber might have moved on with another man, he’s swallowed whole by torment and jealousy. With the help of his friend, Ian Knight, he returns home to take back what was once his. Unbeknownst to anyone, Chance’s return to Boston has caused a lot of problems for someone who’s been wanting revenge for a long time. Will Chance get the ending he wants, or will it be too late?
This book contains severely dark themes and graphic sexual content. Please check the book page on the author's website for a full list of trigger warnings.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

 

Hollywood Comes Home is the second book in the Club Euphoria series. This instalment focuses on Chance and Amber’s relationship. These two appeared in book one, and we learned they became involved in a relationship. No details were provided as to how it began or developed. However, by the end of book one, Chance had made the decision to end the relationship, using his career as an actor as an excuse. Right there and then, I saw him as a coward.

Hollywood Comes Home picks up immediately after the end of Just Business. Chance is miserable and as a result, she makes stupid decisions, which ended up hurting Amber. Amber is trying to move on from Chance, but with him constantly in the media, coupled with memories and her feelings for him, moving on isn’t possible.

Chance eventually came to his senses and initiated a reunion. However, the reunion came under threat from a source seeking revenge. The events in book one share a connection with the incidents occurring in Hollywood Comes Home. At first, the connection appeared blurry, but as the story evolved, the murkiness disappeared.

The action and the suspense kept me entertained. I kept reading as the events piqued my interest. I had to know the outcome. The development of the characters could have done with some more work. While background information was provided as it relates to chance, there were still some chunks of his past missing. With regard to Amber, I had difficulty connecting with her as sufficient background information was not provided about her.

The romance failed to wow me. There was a lot of spice, but it lacked an emotional connection. Once again, there was more telling than showing, which seems to be the author’s signature style of writing. A style of which I am not a fan.

The story in this instalment flowed better than that in the previous book. However, the tragic scene involving Chance’s bodyguard threw me for a loop. There was no connection between that incident and the rest of the story. 

This instalment wrapped up nicely, with the threat being neutralized and Chance and Amber’s getting their HEA.

Story Evaluation
Plot
4
Characters
3
World Building
4
Writing Style
3
Pacing
4
Cover
4
Enjoyment
3.5
Ending
4
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

 

 

 

Story Evaluation
Plot
3
Characters
3
World Building
3
Writing Style
3
Pacing
4
Cover
4
Enjoyment
3.5
Ending
4
Overall: One StarOne StarOne Star
Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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