Wednesday, September 9, 2015

review || DEATHLESS AND DIVIDED { blog tour } by Bethany-Kris

Deathless & Divided Cover1
Bethany-Kris | September 7, 2015 | Romantic Suspense/Mafia
The Chicago War, book 1


Lies and love. This is how a war starts.

A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.

Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.

When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.

No one is deathless.
No one.

{ about bethany-kris } .


Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something ... when she can find the time. To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here:

{ excerpt } .

“Why would you do this to me?” Lily asked.

Betrayal stung the back of her tongue as bile spilled into her throat.

Dino tricked her. He said nothing about marriage or anything of the sort when he told her it was time to go home.

Of course, he didn’t, her mind taunted. You would have run.

She still could.

Dino seemed to pick up on her inner dilemma. “Your accounts have been frozen. You will not receive another penny of your shares or inheritance until you are married to Damian Rossi.”

“A Rossi.”

“He’s a good man,” Dino said. “And if I didn’t pick you a husband, Lily, Ben was going to. I’m on a one-way train to prison for the unforeseeable future very soon. Theo will have little to no control at his age, especially where you are concerned. That would mean your welfare and choices are left to Ben. Is that what you want? Because if you think for one minute he would consider anything that you wanted, you are sorely fucking mistaken. Ben wouldn’t care—he’d use you for his gain and nothing more. Even if that meant marrying you off to an abusive prick or a man twice your age.”

“I’m a human being. I am a free woman, Dino,” Lily snapped back. “I can make my own decisions about my life without anyone’s input. I will marry who I want, not who you deem appropriate for me.”

“You know that’s not true. You might have liked pretending for the better part of your life like you’re not involved in la famiglia, Lily, but we both know better. Please understand why I did this.”

She couldn’t.


“Go to hell.”

Dino barked out a bitter laugh. “I’ve already got one foot in the door, Lily. I’m just biding my fucking time while I wait.”

Lily spun fast on her heel and pushed past Dino, needing to get away from him. She only took two steps before coming to an abrupt stop against the form of a familiar but still strange man.

Lily’s hands splayed across the man’s chest as she squeaked in surprise, not even realizing he had intruded on her moment with her brother. She felt her cheeks heat up because not only had he heard a very private conversation, but she was touching him, too.

He didn’t seem to mind.

The same steel-blue gaze that had regarded her earlier at the church looked Lily over once again. She swallowed hard, feeling the bands of his muscles roping across his pectorals under her fingertips jump. His lips pulled into a smirk that looked entirely too wicked for Lily’s liking.

Getting a close up look at this man was bad for Lily’s insides. He was fit with a body built like a boxer’s. The black suit he wore hugged his over six-foot frame perfectly and it only seemed to add to the confident, cool air he sported. A strange disinterest colored his features, but in his eyes, it seemed like he was looking straight through her.

She glanced down between their bodies, noting he stood relaxed and seemingly unbothered by the situation they were in. Even his hands were tossed into his pockets as if he were waiting for something and not like Lily was touching him.

His nonchalant attitude only added to his dark, mysterious demeanor.

Lily still didn’t know how he managed to slip down the hallway without her or Dino noticing or why he was as quiet and still as he was now. What game was he playing?

Who in the hell was this man?

Lily’s heart beat a little harder in her chest, remembering the name Dino uttered earlier.

Damian Rossi.


Lily blinked.

His voice was a dark tenor dripping with richness. The one word slipped from his mouth without his lips even needing to move. She had the pleasure of hearing many accents in her travels, but his was something else entirely.

“Damian,” Dino said, bringing Lily out of her stupor. “Good to see you finally arrived.”

“Ran over a nail in the church parking lot and came out to a flat tire.”

“Ah, I see.”

Lily stepped back from Damian. His gaze didn’t move from her for a second, not even when he talked to her older brother like they were old friends.

Were they?

“Hello,” Damian said again. “Lily.”

Lily snapped out of whatever daze she was in. “Hello.”

“It’s Damian,” he murmured.

“I know who you are.”

Damian lifted a single, dark brow high. “Oh?”


“You don’t seem pleased,” he said quietly.

“That I’m forced to marry a man I don’t know and don’t want to know?” Lily asked bitterly. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, Damian.”

Damian’s smirk grew into a grin. “You know me.”


“You do,” he interrupted before she could argue the point further. “Just not that well.”

Lily blew out her frustration in a breath of air, gritting her teeth. Resolve steeled her spine straighter and she reminded herself of what her brother asked her to do. Turning, Lily faced a stone-faced, unbothered Dino.

“I will make nice and play good at this dinner,” she said.

“Thank you,” Dino replied.

“But I’m not marrying that man.”

Dino’s expression didn’t waver. “It’s not your choice.”

“I am not marrying him, Dino!”

“Yes, you are,” Damian said.

The words rolled over Lily’s skin like liquid gold. She could feel the pulse of his breath on the back of her neck.

This would be a great deal easier if she didn’t find him attractive.

And why the hell was he agreeing to this, anyway?

“In two months, whether you agree or not, you will be my wife, Lily DeLuca.”

Lily couldn’t help it; she shivered.

{ playlist } .

{ review } .

Oh, my cover spiel/soapbox... But it's not negative! I actually found this cover to be different and it actually helped draw me toward this mafia story. I think that the story could have easily taken on a different cover, but this one is artistically appealing and by using the female on the cover helps the signify how much of this particular story is about Lily...

Now on to the rest ;)

Lily is all that's still good in the DeLuca family and her brother, Dino, knows this. He knows that the war is about to come to a head and if there's one thing he wants above all else, before he does his time, it's for Lily to remain safe. His uncle Ben is the Outfit's underboss and he's a manipulative man -- so much so that he killed his brother and, knowing that his sister-in-law would run with the kids (Dino, Theo, Lily) and has managed a rift between Dino and Theo -- and as Dino and Damian talk, it becomes more and more obvious that in this current mafia world, family means nothing, money and position mean everything.

One of the aspects I appreciated with Bethany-Kris's writing was the way she teaches the readers about the players in this mafia. Rather than sitting through a boring history lessons, the readers learn who the key players are and their roles in this outfit by way of conversation -- and it's not blatantly obvious either. It's a regular conversation and each person who's brought up is brought up in a way that seems organic.

Damian's nickname is 'ghost' because he does what he's told but he's always the silent individual. He thinks for himself and when he personally needs something done, he just does it -- but is something that puts a target on his back as he's not going to be easily manipulated. Damian became the quiet ghost he is due to familial circumstances as a child. Dino once stood up for Damian and now that Dino's facing an uncertain future, he's coming to collect on that time he backed Damian -- he needs his sister protected, and Damian's going to be that man.

What Dino has done over the years though, is act the part that Ben wanted to see and Lily feels that Damian never cared, that Dino pushed her away and her doing her independent thing was more Dino not wanting her around -- when in truth, it was his way to keep her safe from Ben and his cruel ways.

The last thing Lily expects is to actually fall for Damian. Damian goes along with this agreement because he doesn't have a choice, and the last thing he expects is for love to play a major role in his future. Lily wants nothing more than to not be part of this world -- this world where people die for crimes they may not have committed, a world where death by association happens more often than not, a world where she may be the price simply because she's married to a made man.

I absolutely enjoyed every moment of this story. The reading was effortless and the suspense was on par. Watching the battle that is Lily and Damian, and the need Damian has for Lily to simply say 'yes'... I loved them. The end will throw you for a loop and make you think harder about everything you read up until that point. yes, this story has an ending for Lily and Damian but it does end in a bit of a cliffhanger. Lily and Damian's story may have completed, but the Chicago War has only just begun...

{ Bethany-Kris has stated that Tommas and Abriella have the last book in this series and my goodness, I don't know that I can wait that long! The glimpses we get in here -- especially one of the first ones when Damian tells his cousin that he's not as discreet as he thinks he is... oh my! I can't wait :) }

{ giveaway } .

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