Review: Thief by A. Zavarelli

February 28, 2018

Title: Thief
Series: Boston Underworld #5
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2018


I’m a good girl.

I live by a code that can’t be bent or broken. It is my duty to my family to stay innocent and pure. To marry an Italian man. The stars are already aligned.

But Nikolai Kozlov re-writes my destiny with five simple words.

You belong to me now.

He's Russian mafiya. A thief. A skilled liar with no moral boundaries. He is everything I have been taught to hate. A man who stands for nothing. A man who takes what he wants without a second thought.

And what he wanted was me.

He thinks he controls my fate, but what he doesn’t know is, sometimes it’s the good girls you have to watch out for. 

I’m a dangerous man.

I live by a code. The Vory code. It is my duty to my family to protect the brotherhood. To destroy anyone who threatens what we stand for, including her.

She’s a dancer. A beautiful little doll. My prisoner, and my new favorite puppet. This mafia princess thinks she has me under her spell, but in the end, she is simply collateral.

It’s a shame to destroy precious things.

But this is what bad men do.

Before I begin my review, I have to get something out of my system. I'm devastated! I had no idea that Thief was going to be the last book in the Boston Underworld series by A. Zavarelli! 

This series is responsible for my love of mafia romance. Lachlan is one of my favorite book boyfriends, and Mack is one of my favorite heroines of all time! I'm talking, hands down one of my favorite couples ever! Rory and Scarlett aren't far behind them. I read Crow when I was first getting into the romance genre, so I guess you can say it helped me fall in love with romance period. To know that there will never again be another story written about these characters crushes me! I get depressed every time I think about it. Okay, enough about my heart being ripped out! Let's talk about Thief! 

Thief is the story of Nikolai Kozlov, a member of the Russian mafiya, and Tanaka, the daughter of an Italian mobster, Manuel Valentini. Nikolai takes Tanaka captive in exchange for a debt owed to him by her father, but his ultimate goal is to find out what really happened to his mother. He thinks Manuel was involved in her disappearance and will use Tanaka to avenge his mother's death if he finds out he's right. 

Tanaka has been groomed to be a mafiya wife since birth. She grew up extremely sheltered with ballet as her only outlet from her strict family life. The night she is given to Nikolai as collateral, her world is turned upside down in more ways than one. Someone sabotages her pointe shoes ensuring she will never be able to dance professionally ever again. 

Nikolai falls for Tanaka rather quickly and vice versa, but he tries to hold back due to the fact that a relationship between them is impossible. Not only is she Italian instead of Russian, but he may have to murder her for her father's crimes. Even if he offs Manuel instead, the vory will never accept her as his wife, because Viktor, the pakhan, wants him to marry someone else. Denying Viktor would be suicide for both him and Tanaka. On top of that, would she really be able to be in a relationship with the man responsible for her father's murder?

Thief is a gritty mafia romance full of sexual tension and plenty of push and pull. I was intrigued by Nikolai's character in Ghost, and it was great to finally get his story. Nikolai and Tanaka are two troubled individuals that shouldn't make sense together, but in the end, the author convinced me that they did! 

My favorite parts of this book didn't have to do with their romance though. I enjoyed seeing more of Alexei and Nikolai together, and I was happy with where they were with each other when all was said and done. The torture scene was amazing! Bravo to the author for that one! 

I was also ecstatic to see the whole gang together at the end, but it was way too brief for me. With this being the final book, I wanted more. I still loved it though! I'll cross my fingers and hold on to the pipe dream of a novella or a spin off with cameos from these characters. 

The main problem I had with this installment was the lack of build up or development of feelings between Nikolai and Tanaka. I felt like they went from hate to love with not much in between. They may have resisted it, but it was always there. Tanaka is not the kind of heroine I enjoy. She seemed too weak for me. I could go on. However, I don't want to, because I think this may be a case of it's not you, it's me. My personal preferences combined with how much I loved the previous book in the series could have negatively affected my overall enjoyment. 

This wasn't one of my favorites in the series, but it could certainly be yours. If you've read all the other books in this series, I recommend you read this one, too. Ashleigh is a phenomenal writer. She will always be one of my favorites, and I hope if you haven't given this series a try, you do so asap! The Boston Underworld series is incredible, and I recommend it to everyone! It's one of the series I have always pimped the hardest, and even though this is the final book, that's not going to change! Read it, people! 

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The first thing I always notice about a person is their posture. I was raised to believe that good posture conveys good manners, as well as respect for those around you. Nikolai carries his posture like a casual ‘f#ck you’ to everyone around him. There is no decorum in his leather jacket, jeans, or his haphazardly laced motorcycle boots. Everything he wears is black, but the small glimpse of skin beneath is a riot of colors. Tattoos cover every inch of his exposed skin, including his throat.
I’m not sure which is more offensive- the ink or the faux hawk atop his head. This is not the way you attend a ballet, nor is he the type of man I expect my father to keep company with.
“Tanaka.” He reaches for my hand and kisses it in a way that few men would ever dare to do in my father’s presence. “You dance beautifully.”
The words are unmistakably accented. Russian. And I’m struggling to maintain my composure while making sense of this situation. My father has always been protective of me. His own men know better than to speak to me or look at me, but for this stranger, somehow, it’s okay.
My manners, at least, are still intact, so I reply as I should. “You’ve seen me dance?”
Nikolai flashes a boyish smile in contrast to the deepness of his blue-green eyes. “I like to invest my time in the arts.”

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Author Bio

A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies. 

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  1. Fabulous review jessica!! Love the teasers too!! Shared on all my socials!!

  2. Thank you so much, Kathy!! ❤💋