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(Boston Belles #0.5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  49,218 ratings  ·  4,563 reviews
Troy Brennan

Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes

That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published March 8th 2016 (first published March 1st 2016)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  49,218 ratings  ·  4,563 reviews

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
3 Everyone Loved it But Me...Again Stars *Spoiler-ish*

This was me when I finished this book:


Now, let me get one thing straight before I say anything else:

L.J. Shen can fucking write.

I totally jived with her composition style and I loved me some Shen metaphors and analogies.

Because WITTY.

Need some examples?

I am here but to serve, people.

"I settled in my seat on the wooden bench, my ass hitting the scarred pew with a bang. At 6'4", I looked like a giant trying to fit into a Barbie Drea
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-romance
4.5 Stars!!


Well…this one turned out to be so much more than I had expected. L.J. Shen delivered an intriguing tale that held my attention from the very beginning. A great mix of steam, action and suspense with a little bit of drama, 'Sparrow' was fast-paced, entertaining until the end and also written pretty well because to be honest, I couldn’t put it down. I other words, I devoured it!

“…he was the kind of guy to show up in the local news for all the wrong reasons. He was trouble—hot t
This was a nice, Irish Mafia love story. Every once in awhile, I like to read a mob love-story and this one fit the bill. It wasn't the best I've read, but it was still good and worthwhile read.

Sparrow is pretty much abducted by Troy Brennan, an Irish mob boss. Her father works for him and she isn't really in a position to resist Troy's demands. When he tells her that they are to be wed, she soon finds herself a reluctant participant in her own wedding.

Now, you might imagine that Troy was some
Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword
1 “Feed this to a sparrow, I wouldn’t care. Well maybe because they would die from poison.” Star

“I was completely trapped, a caged bird with clipped wings”

Buddy-read with new adult babe 😏


Well, no news to anybody, but I think I need to highlight again the fact that I HATED THIS BOOK. but is totally fine if you like this, just be aware I have a strong opinion against it

I am relieved by two things: I didn’t spend money on this book thank amazon free deals. and seco
4 Stars

What a pleasant surprise!

I knew I was borderline obsessed with mafia books but what I don’t understand is why I love assholes so much.

Why are women attracted to jerks?

On the one hand, we want super sweet, caring, and polite guys who give us stability. Sounds... boring, right?

Jerks are so much hotter and more exciting. And unable to commit. It’s incredible how much hotter someone becomes when they’re off the market, isn’t it? Women want some chase, some drama, some intrigue. Our inner d
Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥
4.5 stars

I decided to read this book on a whim. I was browsing Amazon, saw the cover, read the first few lines of the description, and clicked buy; mostly because I am total cover whore, and it was free with Prime Reading. I'm happy to report that I made a great decision. I love antiheroes, hate to love romances, alpha males, and strong, sassy heroines. This ticked off all those boxes for me.

Everybody is afraid of Troy Brennan, the son of a deceased Irish mob king, and with good reason. He is s
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
4.5 Stars

My father had sinned. But I was to be punished.

Sparrow Raynes grew up the daughter of a drunken father who happened to work for one of the most feared men in the Boston underground. But now that man is dead, and his son who's known to be even more ruthless is to be her husband...and she has no idea why other than it's been arranged and her father agreed to it. So she'll do it, but she won't like it. In her eyes it'll be a marriage in name only because no way can she give her
Jennifer Kyle
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

”He has a troubled past. A disastrous future. And I’m about to become part of his present, whether I liked it or not.”


This new to be author delivered a fast paced, exciting story. It's about the son of a mob boss, Troy Brennan, crossing off names on a revenge hit list and making good on a promise he made to his deceased father.

”I knew that the road to success was paved with sacrifices. Sparrow Raynes was my sacrifice. I promised I’d marry her, and I had.”

Troy marries Sparrow
Dee Montoya
5++++++RED HOT Stars************

(ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review)

I love discovering new authors, and last year I read the debut novel by L.J Shen and I was very impressed with her work. She writes the kind of stories I like to read, strong and complex characters, passionate plots, with a hint of humor. Now, with this new book I was in total awe. Sparrow had all the components I look for in a story and more. I fell head over heels in love with Troy and Sparrow's sto
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: no-just-no
The premise of the book is a mob boss’s son marrying the town tomboy. He is kind of forced by his father to do so, but we aren’t told why exactly until the end of the book.

What didn’t work for me:

1. The hero was an a-s-s-h-o-l-e. Don’t get me wrong, I love an asshole with a heart of gold, but this guy did not have one endearing quality. He spends about 70% of the book lying, cheating, and every somewhat decent remark that comes out of his mouth is later taken back when he talks about it in his P
✰ Liz ✰
~4.75 Stunning Stars~

Check out the link here:

"Sparrow had me now, and I wasn't letting anyone harm my little lovebird. If she was going to be ruined, it would be by me."
Sparrow was a nail-biting read full of passion, suspense, and fury! This is my second L.J. Shen book and once again she has captivated me with her witty dialogue and endearing characters.

"Troy Brennan was Boston's master manipulator, pulling strin
Yeasmin Alo
Re-Read 5th January, 2021

This is me reading the Prologue for the first time even the second time

And I am pretty sure that will be my reaction Everytime I re-read it 🙄

Hands down Troy Brennan is my most maniac Book Boyfriend till date 🤧
didn’t stop this toxic bitch from loving him tho

24 August, 2020


StarBoy by Weekend 👁 👄👁

I am crying and laughing
Trust L.J to write shady stuffs and she will get the job done! 💅
This is the Type of Dark romance I've been looking out for 😍
for a while I
SueBee★bring me an alpha!★

I am so curious by this story. It’ll be my first by L.J. Shen. Buddy-reading with TS!

Wow, only 99 cents for a full-length novel!
Amazon: http://goo.gl/8sNnCU

Troy Brennan
Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart-throb with steel-blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes
That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
Lo Bookfrantic

4.5★★★★ Lovebird Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

"Even villains have a happy ending every now and again."


Troy Brennan son of an Irish mob; was powerful and full of himself. Everyone knew not to mess with him; however he used his mob power differently. He decided not to follow on his father's footsteps but do whatever he wished for instead. The death of his father had him thinki
Because of being in a  bit of a reading slump last week, I decided to reread Sparrow. In the hope that a beloved favorite of mine would get me out of my funk.

In this case it's with great pleasure that I can report that Sparrow was as entertaining and fascinating this time around as it was when I read it two years ago. While it's amazing to find a novel that truly worked for me, it's even more satisfying if a reread is as good the second, third or fourth time as it was the first time around.

I lov
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mafia-men, arc
Let me tell you how I spent the day after receiving this arc from the (amazing!) author L.J. Shen:

It was late at night when I got it and I had a "bad" feeling (as in "I'm not going to get any sleep if I start this book now") about starting it so I decided to postpone it until morning...and that's when it all went to shit (no pun intended :P)...


Well...I made the "mistake" of starting the book bright and early...


And from then on I was unable to put it down...so of course I was late to work (but
4 my monster stars

Troy Brennan was the devil, but sometimes, even good girls wanted a healthy dose of evil in their lives.

Me, Sparrow Raynes. Twenty-two. An avid runner. A tomboy. A lover of blueberry pancakes, hot chocolate, sweet summer air and unapologetic boyfriend jeans. That kid.

Troy Brennan made a promise, one he unenthusiastically complies with. Tying the knot was never on his plan but a promise is a promise. His young-bride-to-be, Sparrow Raynes, is the complete
*Amazon US*Amazon UK*

Troy Brennan is not a nice man, and the residents of South Boston know to stay clear of his path if they want to keep their life. Troy's name is synonymous with death for those that cross him, so they stay away. But for Sparrow Raynes, she didn't have that option since Troy came looking for her. Somehow she finds herself married to him, and trapped in a life she wants no part of, and has no idea how she started living.

When LJ Shen asked if I wanted to review this bo
★★★★ 4 Stars ★★★★

Amazon US | Amazon UK

The cover and the blurb lured me hook, line and sinker into this book, so when the author sent me Sparrow to review, I dove straight in whilst trying really hard not to have any high expectations. I have to admit that it's been a long while since I read a Mafia type book that I have enjoyed that's felt authentic, without being over the top and gratuitous for the sake of it.

My first impressions were that the writing was absolutely fantastic, I love t
Well, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book! This is the first time I have read anything by this author, but I can honestly say that I will be eager to pick up her other work as I enjoyed this one very much! I will admit that the first half of the book I wasn't quite sure what I was thinking or feeling; by the second half I was all in, and fully invested in the characters.

Troy Brennan's father was a member of the mob and had been killed. Troy had only vengeance on his mind,
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, 2016, march-2016

Title: Sparrow
Series: Standalone
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: 8 March, 2016
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cliffhanger:. No
HEA: (view spoiler)

Some time ago I’ve read and really enjoyed LJ Shen’s debut novel titled Tyed. I was curious to see how her next story will play out. The blurb of mysterious ‘Sparrow’ revealed very little so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I thought it would be rough mob story (and it was in many ways) but it turned out to be super angsty love story with a t
chan ☆
"I'm an asshole, was an asshole, and have every intention of staying an asshole. It's the makeup of my fucking DNA. But I want to be YOUR asshole."

This book was a train wreck, start to finish. Which GREATLY pains me, since LJ Shen writes some of my absolute favorite new adult books. But I think I can explain to you why this sucked so bad.

Someone asked lovely partner in crime for this read why anyone would like an asshole main character. And it really got me thinking about the psychology behind

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Dual

Troy Brennan was the heir of a well known slain Irish mob boss. But unlike his father, he took a different path and left mob life. However, he wasn’t far from being an angel. He had a mission to accomplish and one of them was marrying a girl he known most of his life.

Sparrow Raynes was just a plain, regular young woman when she was unwillingly plucked into a different life. Having a hard time adjusting to a new environme
Maria✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦

➦I'm normally not a huge fan of anything mafia/crime related or dark, for that matter, but this has an arranged marriage trope and I loooooved Vicious (Sinners of Saint, #1) by L.J. Shen so I decided to give this a shot. Well, it was more of a "forced marriage" trope. Because when you're a powerful mobster you do what you want, k? :D

➦Here I didn't really feel a gradual development in the relationship. Just seemed like these two were hating each other until one day they didn't. I might be talking nonsense... Whatever, this is not real
* Meli Mel *

♥ ♥ ♥ 4.5 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

'I was feeding myself even more lies. Because I told myself I didn’t care. While slowly, he crept under my skin. Piercing through layers. Clawing his way deeper into me. And I knew it was only a matter of time before he reached the most dangerous place in my body. My heart.'

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Troy Brennan is quite known in the city of Boston. Troy is his father's heir, the notorious Iris
S.M. West
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it

This was a really enjoyable and at times dark but not in a deep and depraved way, more in angst and despair.

“…he was also cruel – a savage in a tailored suit – but at the same time, he’d never hurt me.”

I went in blind, only knowing that Ms. Shen had written Tyed and I really enjoyed that one! This was good with a bit of the whole captive/captor thing as well as a revenge plot, an alpha asshole anti-hero, spunky heroine and a nasty bitch to hate. Seriously, there was lots to keep me en
Kelli C
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars for My Capturer. My monster. My savior.

*ARC generously provided per author. Please note quotes used may differ from published work*

Credit to LJ Shen on a story well done! I was totally on board with a new mafia read but after just three pages, meeting Troy Brennen, I was ready to block the world away and focus on this dark and bad man!

I admit I was thrown off the track when the story began with a new setting…a new characters…ummm…a wedding? I had no idea what was happening or even why,
Wendys Wycked Words
I loved it !!

Troy Brennan is the son of a dangerous well-known mobster. Everybody knows about the murders he's committed, but nobody talks about it. Ever since his father died..he has been known as "The Fixer", and his kind of fixing is not the nice kind. He's on a path of revenge, getting to those who are responsible for his father's death.

Troy also has a lot of secrets, he carries around, and some of those secrets involve Sparrow.

 photo A-Eurasian-tree-sparrow--007_zps1hkphspp.jpg

Sparrow is a sweet tomboy kinda girl, who grew up in a roug
Helen 2.0
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, smut-vanilla
I usually don't read books that are solely about two people falling in love, but Sparrow does stand out from the bunch.

LJ Shen's romance was unique because of Troy Brennan, a murderer, thug, asshole, chauvinist, and also the protagonist of the story. At first this pissed me off to no end, but I warmed to the concept when I realized that Shen wasn't trying to pass Troy off as a hero. She never justified his actions or forgave his nature just because he happens to fall in love with a woman. The a
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Sparrow by L.J. Shen - Restarting March 1st 2018 18 25 Mar 08, 2018 06:30PM  

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L.J. Shen is USA Today, WSJ, Washington Post and #1 Amazon Kindle Store bestselling author of contemporary romance books.

She writes angsty books, unredeemable anti-heroes who are in Elon Musk's tax bracket, and sassy heroines who bring them to their knees (for more reasons than one).

HEAs and groveling are guaranteed.

She lives in Florida with her husband, three sons, and a disturbingly active imag

Other books in the series

Boston Belles (5 books)
  • The Hunter (Boston Belles, #1)
  • The Villain (Boston Belles, #2)
  • The Monster (Boston Belles, #3)
  • The Rake (Boston Belles, #4)

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