Monday, June 29, 2020

Review ~ Devious King by B. L. Mute

The Devious King (The Hale Mafia, #1)The Devious King by B.L. Mute
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so all stories have great and not-so-great moments, but fairness and honesty are at the core of our review policy. If we do not feel like we can be truthful, we just won't write the review. We were okay with the book, but not glued to it.

Not So Great Moments

Come on, we understand readers like strong female characters but Charlie's ability to fight a man in the gym was just way too much. We were certain her wardrobe contained a red, white and blue cape. She could probably leap tall buildings in a single bound. Her super spidey senses told her exactly when a bad guy was packing. She could even take down a big, macho guy with one swat of a high heel. Perhaps, make a bomb out of a mascara wand.

But every superhero has a kryptonite. After Teddy killed a man in a club, Charlie cried. Shouldn't a seasoned super woman expect to run into bloodshed at some point in her venture with the mafia?


At one point, the gun toting, fist flying, superhero said she couldn't love a killer. But she was 'hired' to be a bodyguard to a mafia leader, and killing is exactly what a body guard is supposed to do. The character's emotions did not line up with her talk. She spent 40 percent of the book detesting Teddy, then slapped him in the face after he told her that he had a half-brother. Why? What is wrong with having a half brother? AND in the same breath, she internally professed her own love for him.

And the pet name, Monkshood? Please, someone tell Teddy the name Monkshood isn't sexy, sweet or endearing. Seeing the word over and over again pulled us out of the story.


Teddy was basically a cardboard cutout mafia character. Other than his thirst for blood, acquaintance with Charlie's dad, and the fact that Teddy had a half-brother did not make him an interesting, three-dimensional character. Gosh, this was a letdown-like being served a luscious chocolate cake but not allowed to eat it. Hopefully for those who read the next installment, more will be revealed about Teddy. The morsels of tender moments with Charlie was not enough to make us fall in love with this character.


Teddy is a mafia leader, therefore we expected him to torture and cut off the fingers of his enemies. What we did not expect was his ability to get it on with Charlie before the blood even dried on his shirt.

Yuck. Yuck. Yucky.

And Charlie was okay with nasty blood smears all over her body? That is downright weird.

"This is Theodore Hale, leader of the Hale Family mafia.
Covered in blood, yet so beautiful.
I raise my hands carefully, and run my fingers through his hair, coating them in blood."

But just when we thought the weirdness was over, things got weirder.

"I move my hands and trace the path his hands followed up my body, leaving a trail of blood until they meet. I rest them on top of his. He squeezes me and I moan, letting my head fall back and my back arch with anticipation."

Ew, Charlie allowed him to smear the blood all over her.


The ending was very unsatisfying...a set up for another book. We were left empty handed about the death of Charlie's father and the contents of the mysterious file. Oh, but a character (We will not mention the name) reappeared on the very last page.

Great Moments

1. Love scenes weren't too long. Normally adult romance writers feel like they have to write three- and-four page length love scenes. We don't mind them; however we don't want to feel like we're drowning in body fluids after the book is over.

2. Plotting. This book has an actual plot! Although the unfinished situation with the key and the file folder were not fully answered, we were not given an information dump.

3. Some impressive writing...phrases and descriptions. If the author is new, the writing didn't reflect it.


Since it is obvious this is going to be a series, we have no idea how long it will be before book 2 is available. But because we try to read every book on our schedule, continuing on to the next installment of any serial requires us to be absolutely in love with the first book.



Extra Cup of Regular Coffee
We were willing to read on to find out what happened next.

View all my reviews
Title: The Devious King
Series: The Hale Mafia Book One
Author: BL Mute
Genre: Dark Suspenseful Romance
Release Date: June 26, 2020
“Be ready to have a new book boyfriend in Teddy. That man is hot! The suspense in this book is a killer!” ~Cassie’s Book Addicts
“IT WAS WONDERFUL! Over the top great mafia story with lots of intrigue and a murder mystery and a secret cartel. I couldn’t get enough.” ~Beyond the Covers Blog
“Devious King is a dark, suspenseful mafia romance that keeps you thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.” ~Kerri’s Reading Corner
"My kingdom isn't one you find in fairy tales. Instead, it's built on corruption, lies, and murder."
Raised by the chief of police, I knew tangling with the mafia leader of Northridge Heights was a bad idea. Yet as I gazed into his dark eyes, I couldn't resist Teddy's offer. We made a deal. He helps me find my fathers murderer, and I'll stand by his side as paid protection. But nothing could protect my heart—from him. I saw a side of him few ever do, and it left me aching for him. Now, there's a new deal. Stand by his side and reign as his queen. Am I ready to join the seedy underbelly of mafia life, knowing one among them murdered my father? 
When I made the chief of police a deal, I never knew he had a daughter. After his death, I felt compelled to watch over her and keep her safe. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love. But helping her fit into my world wouldn't be easy. She had to be trained. Groomed. Educated. To my great relief, my beautiful Charlie exceeded my wildest expectations. Still, I live in fear that if the secrets I've kept come to light, my queen will become my enemy.

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