Review: Queen of Madness by Lee Jacquot

Queen of Madness is a dark mafia romance with sprinkles of Alice in Wonderland details throughout. It’s freaking amazing. Holy crap. This was such a good book! Let’s talk about it!

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Trigger Warnings

I want to start this one with a good healthy TW list. This is a dark mafia romance, there’s gonna be some. So without further ado. This book contains explicit violence, sexual content, torture, death, mentions of rape and human trafficking, mentions of drug abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

Characters

Onyx is a badass woman who doesn’t take any shit. She’s also a vulnerable little girl, hiding behind a mask of violence and indifference. It’s not a character type we usually see for the female in mafia romances, but I was soooo here for it. Having our FMC be the mafia boss was refreshing, and it was so very well done.

Ezekiel is a badass too, but especially in the bedroom. He exudes “looks like he could kill you, is actually a cinnamon roll” energy to me. He’s so fiercely protective of the women in his life, which now includes Onyx, but he is also a massive, tall dark and handsome. His motivations are firmly rooted in saving his family, which makes his actions understandable, if a little sad.

Maddy, Shire, the twins, and Kilo were all excellent side characters! They added to the story while still standing tall on their own and I need to know what happens to them next! Cat is sus. I think she knows more than she was telling anyone, obviously, and I need inside her brain immediately.

Plot

This is a dark mafia romance, so the plot is somewhat predictable, but it still managed to feel fresh and unique. Without spoiling it too much, the overall plot arc is: Mafia war between two families. One kills the leaders of the other, leaving little Onyx to take over. They continue their war and stuff, Onyx needs a new bodyguard. Enter Ezekiel, who has darker motives for taking the job. There are so many twists along the way, violence galore, and oh my, the intrigue, the spice! It’s wonderful, and I can’t wait for the next book. This book does end on a cliffhanger, so beware.

Spice

The spice in this book was absolutely freaking amazing. The power plays, the push and pull, the dominance. It was all absolutely AMAZING. While I have read spicier books (this is a testament to my own depravity, not the book’s lack of spice), this was top notch and I highly recommend if you’re in the mood for some dark and spicy mafia loving.

Other Elements

World Building: I lived in Seattle for a year and half while my husband was stationed there, and it didn’t feel very Seattle area vibes to me, but the mafia world building was top notch. I really enjoyed how the territories were laid out, and the buildings and business were described.

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spice Rating: 🌶🌶🌶

If you need a reminder of my rating scale, check it out here.

 

Book Information

Title: Queen of Madness (Wicked Wonderland Duet Book 1) Author: Lee Jacquot Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance Release Date: January 4, 2022

Synopsis

The greatest weakness any man can ever have is a woman. The inherent need to protect them can become overwhelming and all consuming. It makes us think irrationally and do stupid things. In my case, falling down a rabbit hole. My sister made a mistake. One that put us in debt with the Italian mob who owns half the state, and as payment they’ve enlisted me to work for them. Only it isn’t them I’ll be working for. It’s for her. Onyx Embros. She’s a ghost, a legend, the head of their rival mafia family, and the queen of Wonderland. In order to save my family, I have to act as her guard so they can find a way to kill her. But the longer I stay, the more I realize Onyx isn’t who I thought she was, and neither am I. Turns out, I’m just as mad.

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