Dark Heart: Volume 1 by Ella James
Series: Dark Heart #1
5 Be careful what you get involved with CROWNS
Luca and Elise are wonderful characters, true star crossed lovers who meet one night purely by chance, or so it would seem. Despite the fact that they come from very different backgrounds, Luca is drawn to Elise and she to him. From that first moment, his protective nature sees him looking out for her, defending and taking care of her in whatever way he can. He is such a sweetheart but his home life is rather challenging and he carries a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. His need to protect his family too sees him getting involved in some shady dealings and although he doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal, I couldn’t help but wonder what the future held for this sweet young man.
Elise has everything money can buy, except happiness. She’s a good person but family trauma sees her usual upbeat demeanour swapped for sadness and a heavy heart. Luca’s strength, his attention and kindness, give her that affection, the love, she so desperately needs. He lifts her up. I absolutely loved this couple, especially when it was just the two of them, laughing and enjoying their blossoming romance, talking about their hopes and dreams. I did worry about them too. There was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Nothing was certain and there was a definite sense of foreboding, a bad feeling like there was a black cloud hanging over their heads.
The mafia element in Dark Heart, and Luca’s involvement in it, mostly plays out in the background at first, gradually unveiling itself little by little. As the story progresses there’s a definite sense of “something wicked this way comes” which adds to the building tension. Luca’s role is very cleverly written. He’s a good person who almost by default finds himself sinking further and further into the dark, caught up in something which is beyond his control.
I feel like we’re building up to something explosive in book two. We’re given a snippet of the future in the blurb for Dark Heart, which to me actually seems to mostly relate to book two. I’m hugely intrigued to find out what has happened to Luca to take him from the caring young man of the present we see here to the seemingly hardened mafia man of the future as alluded to in that blurb. My heart truly broke for this pair and I can’t wait to see where the next part of their journey takes them and if their young love has stood the test of time.
I thought he was the white knight. Looking back, it makes sense. I was young and needed saving.
Luca was my strength. He could take on anything—the world, for me. They say first love cuts the deepest. Ours became a blade that bled me out. It turns out I didn’t know a villain when he held my heart in his hands. Now it’s darker—more like his.
Elise was my whole world—until my world burned, and I destroyed her with me. Some betrayals you can’t undo, no matter how much you wish you could. I can’t help who I am now, and why would I want to? I run this city. No one’s going to take me down—not even the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. I heard they’ve got a file eight inches thick on Don Galante. But dodging bullets is my business. They play dirty, but there’s no one dirtier than me.
The DA learns the hard way who’s in charge; he’s out. It should be time for celebration. There’s just one problem: his heir. Or should I say heiress? Elise O’Hara wears a crown of lies, a gown of red, and a fat diamond on her left hand. Now it’s me and her. Or her and me. Only one of us will be left standing when the story’s over.
This is how you write a tragedy.
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I don’t know what the hell I’m doing meeting her here. I’m not big on liabilities, and that’s exactly what Elise is to me. If Arnoldi gets a whiff of this, the house of cards that’s propping everything up will crumble in a heartbeat. I could die because of this. And I can’t bring myself to give a damn.
About Ella James
Ella James is the USA Today and Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of twenty teen and adult love stories. She’s an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.
Ella is an Alabama native who makes her home near Boulder, Colorado, with her writer husband, three young children, and hyperactive dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking the foothills, taking nature photos for her Instagram account, and swilling vanilla cream soda.
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