Sinful Empire, by Meghan March is a 259-page contemporary romance novel and is the last book out of a trilogy. It is written from a first-person POV, two-sided.
Oh, heads up…there is a bit of BDSM, really light, but there is anal sex. I thought I should mention that because I read someone’s review of this book and the anal play really disgusted then. And yes, Lachlan is NOT a good man…he’s a mafia boss. So he’s a killer and a manipulator, he is essentially the ruler of all underground happenings in New Orleans. <– Felt I had to throw that in as well because someone had also reviewed that they didn’t understand why Keira (female protagonist) was okay with this. The thing about dark romances is there is rarely a magical turnaround for the anti-hero. They will most likely remain in their profession, be it hired killer, mafia boss, or conman. The books focus is going to be about bringing someone who is “innocent” into the dark world and either converting them to their way of life or having the innocent one provide a balance to the darkness.
Spoilers Ahead ***
I’ll start off by saying I dislike duets and trilogies because I prefer to have a romance be settled in one novel versus going on and on and on…but surprisingly, I didn’t mind it here. Keira and Mount as characters were dynamic and fun to read.
Keira is running her family’s whisky company and doing the best she can even though her dead husband left her with a mountain of debt, her father is retired, and she’s revamping the business to include whisky tastings, a restaurant, and still trying to keep on her staff. Needless to say, she’s a busy woman. What she doesn’t need is Mount–full name, Lachlan Mount, the King of New Orlenas. And we aren’t talking some Mardi Gras King, we’re talking King who runs the town on the dark side. He comes to her and informs her that her ex owes him quite a bit of cash and she needs to pay up. If she can’t give him the cash he’s taking her family’s business.
Does Mount want to blackmail Keira? Yes. Yes he does. He’s a business man, a very infatuated business man. He’s had a thing for Keira for years and this is how he’s getting her. Is it normal for a man to blackmail a woman he’s interested in? Of course not, but Mount is more of a chess master than a normal man.
In the first book it was a big setup leading up to the second. They’ve been hot and heavy for a bit and Keira is still fighting her crazy attraction to Mount. And Mount? Being the strategist that he is will let her deny her feelings for a bit longer. Yes, that sounds manipulative, but he’s a mafia boss, you can’t expect roses and butterflies. That being said, he is trying to woo her, though he is also struggling with the feels. One of the tenants Mount lives by is not getting too close. In his line of work having someone you care about means you have a weakness.
The second book has a lot of flashbacks in Mount’s past. You get to learn more about who he is, how he got to where he is and his anti-heroness really shines through. From him saving women who can’t help themselves, to him being abandoned as a child and going through the system, it’s all kinds of great things to set up a tragic character arc. Here’s another thing about me…I don’t want half of a book I read to be flashbacks. Is his past important? Absolutely. Are the flashbacks necessary? I’d argue not all of them are. All in all, another solid read. I really do enjoy this author when I’m looking to read a dark romance.
The third and final book…whew, finally…I was glad it was finally ending. So much crazy stuff happened in this book, Keira learns that her meeting with Mount was not by chance, it was actually orchestrated by her best friend, brothel madam, Magnolia. You also find out who’s out to get Keira and get rid of her for good, so hopefully, you read all the flashbacks because it is someone from Mount’s past. It was actually a really good twist, I did figure out who it was, but there is definitely hiding in Mount’s midst…I just didn’t make the correlation to the names…you’ll get it if you read it.
In summary, I give this a 3 out of 5
Other reviews for books in this trilogy: