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A Twisted Duet #1

Blood & Lies

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It wasn’t supposed to be this way. All it took was one bullet and I went from Capo to Boss within the blink of an eye.

What once was my twin brother’s birthright, has now become my curse. While I watch them lower him into the ground I can feel my need for revenge consume me.

The hate, it’s toxic. Addictive. Deadly.

I will avenge my brother’s death if it’s the last thing I do. I will retaliate, and exact due payment.

The cost? Her life.

Tatum Linscott is the cause of my family’s grief. She ruined everything, and now my only goal is to break her, mend her, then break her again.

This war started with her...and it will end with her blood on my hands.

292 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2017

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About the author

Bella J.

49 books1,572 followers
Bella J is an International Bestselling Author who loves writing dark and gritty romance with alpha-holes who have absolutely no redeeming qualities...until they do. Maybe.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 198 reviews
February 20, 2017
Blood & Lies
A Twisted Duet, #1
By Bella J.

I had no expectations going into this book, the only reason why I say that is cuz due to the fact that I’ve never read anything from Bella J before.…. So I was so happy that I could connect with the characters & enjoy this twisted & turns of this story….

This story grabs a hold of the reader from the start & was one hell of a wild ride that had me on pins & needles almost to the very end.

1st of Author start off with WARNING Please be aware that this novel contains scenes of public humiliation, abuse and sexual situations that may be triggers and make some readers uncomfortable. This novel is dark, it’s twisted, and I understand that it’s not for everyone

That should tell us something

Castello Fattore new Capo boss, after the death of his older twin & his father’s second in command. Castello’s fathers heart couldn’t take the lost.. So on that faithful day Castello buried both his brother & father. Bound & determined on vengeance & blinded with revenge for Carlo’s death, Castello set in motion his twisted plan of revenge.

I pity the person that Castello will play his Cat & Mouse game with in his sick game of revenge

Tatum wakes up in cold dark places, all she can remember is the night before wild party. She find herself looking into eyes the man she once loved. Or so she thought he was the love of her life . But yet his eyes they seem so much darker then she remembers.

Tatum finds herself in a world of trouble. She’s pissed off some dangerous men & they’re out to make her pay. She has no idea what she has done to make this family believe she had hand in Carlo’s death

This was intense, action packed & exciting read. If you like Mafia/blood & drama stories with plenty of twists & turns, this is a great choice. I am looking forward to the next book “Blood & Vows” since there is a storm brewing –The war of blood. –The war of brothers… blood isn’t thicker than water & we will mostly see that in “Bella J” next book

I would definitely read more from this author & I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes Dark Read

Hope you enjoy this read & also always keep in mind this is just my opinion
**" "*ARC provided free by the author for an honest review*"..**
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,113 reviews7,132 followers
February 20, 2017
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BLOOD & LIES: This is spoken in 'Dual Perspectives' We're first introduced to Castello who can’t believe he’s in a cemetery saying his last goodbyes to his father and twin brother as they are both lowered into the ground in their last resting place.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Within the blink of an eye. One bullet and a simple phone call was all it took to change my life and to turn me into the souls bastard that I was today.

Nothing from this day forward will ever be the same again. His family has been torn apart and now it’s all left up to Castello to pick up the pieces and glue them back together again.
His only thoughts running rampant through his mind is vengeance, punishment will be dished out to all the families who wronged the Fattore family. Revenge is a dish best served up cold and that’s exactly how Castello works, an eye for an eye. He’s a cold hearted ruthless killer, being from mafia stock family loyalty above all else comes first, and no one knows this better than Castello, now the new Capo Boss is out for blood and one female is on the top of his list and nothing or no one is going to get in his way.

SEVEN MONTHS LATER: Tatum Linscott reins from one of the most prominent powerful families in America, she awakens disorientated, in a cell like room, no windows, no door by first glance, lying on a bed and wearing clothes that aren’t hers, stripped of everything she owned, scared, not knowing where she is or what is going on, or who has kidnapped her.

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This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m so glad I took the time out of arcs and other commitments to fit this in, her writing flows effortlessly, her use of words, she has you right in the palm of her hand as soon as you start reading that first line, who wouldn’t be drawn into the story when the opening chapter is Castello now the head of the mafia family, not by choice but by the hand dealt to him.

In the beginning you’ll try your hardest to see if his armour will crack, he’s cold, ruthless but little by little Tatum unfreezes his dead heart.

The sexual tension between these two right from the beginning is off the charts, it’s forbidden, both try to fight it, but it’s like their souls scream out to the other, it’s an undeniable attraction that neither can deny, but at what price will this come at?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My body wanted her, my soul screamed for her, and my monster demanded to have her.

So many twists and turns that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

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One moment
One decision
One bullet
And now everything was fucked up.

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And screams
And dead bodies.

From the get go the author has placed a warning, heed this warning as you the reader need to be aware that this novel contains scenes of public humiliation, abuse and sexual situations that may be triggers and make some readers uncomfortable. This novel is dark, it’s twisted, and I understand that it’s not for everyone

Whilst this wasn’t the darkest mafia book I’ve ever read it does packs one hell of a punch within the pages that kept me reading in one sitting. I devoured this, I inhaled it. But if you're just stepping into the mafia genre or are wanting to read something that’s a wee bit gritty and not too dark I highly recommend this come release day.

*Teaser used is off the authors facebook page*

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Profile Image for Snow.
2,188 reviews632 followers
February 18, 2017
4.75 "Blood vs. Lies" stars

So, this was indeed presented as a dark and twisted romance with scenes of public humiliation, abuse and sexual situations that may be triggers...and what a fuckin rush it was!!!

Tatum Linscott's life has changed in an instant as she wakes up in a small darken room staring at the eyes full of hatred and rage. The eyes of her captor looked familiar and yet they were not. She's confused and lost and scared.
I knew nothing, I chose to know nothing. All I wanted was my drawings, my art, getting lost in my own world of colors, contours, and my vivid imagination

She would soon find out the reason she's been held captive expecting the ultimate punishment for the crime she hasn't commited.
Soon she would discover there are worse things to fear than death, and that eternity in Hell would be a far lesser punishment than what has now become her world. Her world now only consisted of one thing...me.

Castello Fattore has planned this for several months, carefuly strategizing, step by step, it was supposed to be only the beginning of the revenge he and his family planned to carry out, as a retaliation for his twin brother's death, that followed by the death of his father, leaving him the next in line to take over the position of the Boss.
Our family had been torn apart, and now it was up to me to put it all back together. My life was no longer my own as I held the future of everyone who once served my father in the palm of my hands.

the pent up hurt, anger and constant fuel of rage pushed upon him by his mother and younger brother, turns Castello into a hardened, cruel monster inspite of his own tendencies of not being this way. BUt he has no choice but to exact the promise of vengenace.
I felt nothing. No remorse, no regret. There was nothing inside me that even remotely resembled any kind of simpathy or emotion-only complete emptiness.

yet he was a shattered mozaic of grief, guilt and anger mixing inside of him stirring his own dark desires that lingered there on a tiny thread and that fact that he liked a certain kind of women to satiate this dark need, he found his captive weak and pitiful yet she defied him in little glances of her eye, inspite of being scared of the looming fate,
I loved seeing the fear in her eyes, witnessing as it ate away at her soul.

but her defiance, no matter how small, only stirred more rage in Castello to fight within.
This entire goddamn game just kept on feeding, taunting and teasing every ounce of desire I had for the darness, for the forbidden. And God knows she had forbidden stamped all over her.

What he sees in Tatum is a person that hides a dark desire of her own beyond the beautiful features and the allure to let it out is painful not to succumb to it.
"This is wrong on so many levels, Castello."
"Which is why it feels so fucking good."
I loved how she looked at me with hate and lust, rage and desire, fury and need.

Tatum could not surpress the need anymore, even though she hated him, not knowing the reason why she 's being held, tortured, humiliated, abused, punished and then totally submitted to the one man she sould not give in...but the need and the dark that consumed her and crushed the resistance of her will, taking them both into the abyss of undulated passion seeking deliverence somewhere in between pleasure and pain.
We are completely fucked little mouse..in more ways than one..

This was me, this was her, this was us. These moments where we consumed each other, these were the dark moments that defined us both. It's in these moments we escaped, embracing our inner demons, our depravities, and forgetting about the world that so eagerly judged and destroyed.

We might be enemies, but somehow whenever we were this close, it felt like we were the same - the same creatures craving the forbidden.

BUT then the truths come surficing as the revelation sink in and Tatum has to cope with the lies, lies, lies from the man she thought she loved, that she thought he loved her BUT betrayed her instead, her own father played a role of shattering her dreams to tiny little pieces...and yet she could not deny the fact that she gave her bare body, mind and soul to Castello,

BUT one lie doesn't come alone, it brings the army of many more until they intertwine the suffocating web that blinds you into submission thinking one thing but doing it for the wrong reasons...and Castello would find that his own family he wowed to protect and obey its laws stood for nothing but the rotten flesh of lies, rage, selfish and malicious intent and sickening vengenance...and he would have to make a choice in the final downfall for them all...
This was retaliation, vengeance, payback - and all because my actions protected something worth protecting. Her.

This would divide one family while shattering another BUT the outcome would yet to be revealed...

This is my first book by this author and I was amazed by the effortless writing and the easy flow of the storyline, that was thrilling, enticing, passionate, dark and gritty and even though I never once romanticized the main characters, I felt every sense of their turmoilous struggles to fight off the cravings of darkest needs against all reasoning and yet they both succumb to each other out of recognition of the same deepest desire that goes beyond emotional label we call love. It's a bond that surpasses the very same notion we hold dear.

I am so looking forward to finding out the outcome of the upcoming events in the next installment.

***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,287 reviews429 followers
March 7, 2017

I'll be honest I was a little wary starting this book since it came with a warning stressing it was a 'dark contemporary romance' and I don't like my books too dark.

'I’ve waited months for what was about to happen. I’ve dreamt about the moment when she would realize she no longer lived, but only existed. Soon she would discover there are worse things to fear than death, and that eternity in Hell would be a far lesser punishment than what has now become her world. Her world now only consisted of one thing…me.'

Castello finds himself in a position he never thought or wanted, having buried his brother and father he's now Capo and he wants revenge, revenge for the murder of his brother and subsequent death of his father and revenge for the fact that's he's where he didn't want to be, in charge his entire life has changed all because of one woman, Tatum Linscott.
After months of observation he's finally got Tatum exactly where he wants her and all his anger and frustration is aimed directly at her he'll make sure she pays.
Tatum wakes up in windowless room dressed in an old rag, she's hungry and thirsty and sees Carlo for the first time since he disappeared but he looks different, harder and darker this isn't the same soft gentle Carlo she fell in love with.

"My name is Castello. Castello Fattore.” He leaned closer, his gaze never leaving mine. “And Carlo was my twin brother.”

'I studied his face, scrutinizing every contour, every inch…his eyes. And then I noticed it. Apart from the scar, the pupil of his one eye was elongated. It was easy to miss since his irises were already dark, but I saw it…and Carlo didn’t have that.'

So with his brother Vico, mother and family behind him Castello is focused on revenge but deep down this isn't him, something about Tatum calls to him, did she really love Carlo, did she still believe he was alive. Castello isn't the cold hard monster his mother wishes he was but despite his questions and his confused feeling for his prisoner he must do what's right for the family.

Now this this book was nowhere near as dark as I expected and for that I'm truly grateful and it made for an interesting read but as always I had a couple of small issues.

I know she's hungry and thirsty but still at some point especially considering when she was drugged and taken she'd been drinking all night she would surely need to urinate but there's no toilet or bucket mentioned.

'Concrete walls decorated with nothing—not even a trace of paint—surrounded me. It felt cold and damp and empty. Besides the bed and a chair in the corner, there was nothing else in the room. It was grim and completely dismal, which did nothing to ease the panic that rapidly rose inside my chest.'

A small point and maybe I'm being picky but surely it would have added to her humiliation to include this.

This is book 1 of 2 and while things are left open I don't consider it a cliffhanger as such, I'm happy with the way it ended and while I've enjoyed this read I don't feel an overwhelming need to continue on and read the next book, that's not to say I won't but as it stands at the moment that's how I feel.

I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by the author.
Profile Image for Jos.
1,681 reviews107 followers
February 10, 2017
5 HOT, Twisted, HOT, Dark Stars!!!!!

I was graciously gifted an ARC from this author and let me say that I was not only honored by her generosity but also very excited to see what was in store with this book!

Wow, I was and still feel blown away by this story. Now when the author warns you this is a dark story and there may be triggers for some, and that it may be sensitive to some readers, please take that warning into consideration. For me personally, when I see a note that it's going to be either dark, taboo, forbidden, twisted, etc....you get my drift, then automatically, I know that I am in store for just about anything and everything SO for me to complain after the fact is crazy when I have a clue as to what I am getting into. So yes, I read the warning and honestly I love me a good dark and twisted love story at times so I was quite excited to dive in.

So first let me talk about the characters. Castello, OMG....this man is seriously twisted as f*@%^ and as sexy as a mofo!!!!!!!! Yeah, this man was the epitome of a "bad" boy and I loved every dirty, dark and delicious part of him. I have to say, there was SO MUCH more to him than we truly see. Yes, he was a bitter and hardened man bent on vengeance and yes, he was blinded with revenge BUT gosh did I love his turn-around from start until finish and truthfully, I am hoping to get 100% of him in the next book. His "true" self unfolds throughout the book BUT I am dying to really "see" him and if the ending is any indication of what's to come, I am all in for that ride:)

Tatum, was pretty straight forward and yet when we got inside of her head, wowza, she was as dirty and perverted and yes, just as sexy as Castello and when they finally get together intimately.......HOT and I mean five alarm fire HOT. Again, that ending has me DYING to see what they face down the road together and I, for one, am so excited and yet VERY nervous to see what happens next....

I read this book in one sitting. I read from start until finish and never once put down my Kindle. I was on the edge of my seat in fear one minute and in complete lust in another minute. It was mimd boggling because one moment I should loathe Castello and yet in the same moment, I was loving every single second of his depravity.

I will be waiting with bated breath until the next book, the sequel, comes out. Again, this may not be for everyone but me....I love to take a walk on the wild side and yes, this was a very wicked, very sexy and very scorching hot wild side at best and then mix that in with some twisted, dark and depraved moments and you have a downright very wild and crazy lust filled ride and I loved it......
Profile Image for Carolyn Reilly.
Author 5 books143 followers
February 21, 2017
Hot, dark, unputdownable!
Wow, I just love it when I find a new-to-me author, have no clue what to expect, and they go ahead and blow my mind!
Castello and Tatum have the most insane, disturbing and emotional journey in this uber-hot mafia romance! Their story is not for the faint of heart, but if you like dark and twisted reads, this is for you.
I loved the writing, the characters were diverse and multi-faceted, and the suspense was edge-of-your-seat. I almost read the book in one sitting and can’t wait to find out how this enemies-to-lovers journey continues.
Blood & Lies is book one of two, but there’s no cliffhanger ending which I greatly appreciated.

* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Expresso.
854 reviews132 followers
February 13, 2017
Five amazing stars!

Who said blood is thicker than water?? Get outta here! In the world of the Fattore family, blood means nada!

This story reminds me of a combination of fabulous Friday night shows from the 80s. Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest. Intrigue. Drama. Jealousy. Greed. Hatred. No trendy "bad boy" vibe in this dark read. Castello is NOT a bad boy! I am proud to confirm he is the perfect combination of dark, broken, and out of the friggin loop. His discoveries bring pain but also relief. Tatum is the ummmm.... Fattore special. Castello's actions toward Tatum are brutal. Although brutal, those actions confirm the language their souls speak. Yeah what their souls should have done was whisper because two important players are coming like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves! I wasn't ready for the level of greed and deceit. Didn't see it coming.....at all.

Soooooo where do we go from here? WAR!!! Wooohoooo did you get chills or what??!!!

This story details dark subjects that may not be suitable for sensitive readers. Although beautifully written, this story is dark and should be read with caution. This is book one in a two book duet. I'm waiting on the second book like it's a "he went to Jareds" diamond!

Five amazing stars!!!!
Profile Image for J. C.  Red.
106 reviews41 followers
March 21, 2018

I don’t get the glowing reviews; well, I can understand liking it (I’ve liked plenty of books with glaring errors), but I can’t understand how there aren’t more negative reviews too.

It has so many inconsistencies and errors, as well as utterly disgusting parts. Like, literally disgusting - not just the notion of kidnapping and abusing a woman (which I was initially hoping would be dealt with differently, based on the other heroes I’ve read from this author and because I was hoping he actually had a good reason for doing this), but more about disgusting smells - but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The hero, to me, is irredeemable. If not for what he does to the heroine, then for how stupid he is and how much of a pussy he is.

Don’t get me wrong, he was the big bad alpha dude when it was just him and the heroine (whom he kidnapped) but apart from that, everyone disrespected him and VERY easily manipulated him. He was like a cliched drunk dad who hates the world for not being a more successful man, so he takes it out on his wife and kids, but turns into a pussy when dealing with someone who can talk back to him.

He was a POS in the way he acted with the heroine, and the fact that he enjoyed it so much made him even more unlikeable, but considering I knew this was a captive/kidnapper story, I can’t really complain about that. What I can complain about though, is how weak the reasoning behind this revenge plot is, and how little I believed in his justification to torture and kill her. He was so pumped up about it, you would’ve thought she personally tried to kill him and his family on several occasions, all while laughing hysterically and taunting him.

But worst of all, he is a pussy. A mama’s boy - and not in the “I always respect my mom” kind of way, so much as the “mommy said so!” kind of way. Blergh.

Everyone disrespects and manipulates this man - his family, his subordinates, EVERYONE. And he just lets them - even though he is a supposed mafia BOSS.

Another big issue with this book is that there’s no attention to detail. Like many reviewers said, there was no mention of anything the heroine could use to relieve herself - her room is described and it’s clearly stated exactly what you can find in it (a bed and a chair) - toilets, buckets, or hell, even a glass, are not mentioned. Hell, she even mentions there’s no paint on the walls.

Another inconsistency (I hope it is an inconsistency, otherwise it’s a fetish I have no interest in) is that the heroine has no access to water of any kind, or access to anything that might allow her to wash her teeth, even a bit.

So when she has been kept without food or water for DAYS, no washing up (teeth or body) of any kind (except for a short washing up with water from a bucket, later on in her captivity), whenever they said and thought things like:

“Our faces were mere inches apart, our breath crashing together in a whirlwind of air between us”

All I could feel was extreme disgust and start (quite literally) gagging. Her breath probably smelled so bad, you could actually see it in the air, whirling between them.

She could probably go back in time and shock the middle ages with the potency of her breath.

If that’s not enough, she also vomited heavily - so add that to her breath as well.

Heck, their first kiss was after days of captivity and NO teeth washing action whatsoever. After, I repeat, vomiting. And not just any vomit either - but the special brand of vomit than only a night of binge-drinking can bring.

And she clearly didn’t wash, because the author does take the time to mention the fact that she can’t/isn’t taken to any facilities. And the hero also mentions on a couple of occasions how (literally) dirty she is, how her hair is sticking to her head , how she smells, etc. All that is forgotten when sex comes into play - what a shock.

Another inconsistency; she had a relationship with the hero’s brother and has this to say about it in the beginning:

“It’s not like we were on the brink of getting married or anything. We only had sex a few times, for God’s sake.”

Later on, when she finally gets the darker, kinkier sex that (shocker!) she prefers, with the hero, she thinks,

“Carlo was a good lover, but there were nights I craved more, where I wished he would treat me more like a sex toy than a damn porcelain doll” - she wanted some hair pulling, some throat squeezing, spanking, etc.

First of all, if you’ve only had sex a few times, only knew him for a total of 2 months, when do you even have the time to lament your sex life? It makes no sense. First you talk about him like you barely know him (yet somehow love him), next it’s like you’ve been having sex for years. Make up your damn mind.

And unless this book is actually set in this 90s or before, I’m not buying it. 50 shades is out (probably a big reason why this book was even written, in fact). The whole world now knows and accepts BDSM with open arms. Some hair pulling and spanking is basically vanilla at this point, so I don’t buy this “my lover was too loving” bull anymore.

If you want your hair pulled, fucking say it - we live in different times now, and complaining about what your lover did or didn’t do in bed is all on you unless you talk to them about it. And it’s not like it’s some earth-shattering kink she would’ve been asking for either.

And as the book goes on, she acts as though even if she manages to survive this whole ordeal, the kinky BDSM sex was enough to make her realize that she can never get it like that anywhere else. Just him. She actually says something to him in the vein of “why would I even want to survive this/get free/etc. now that I know what sex with you is like?” She’s like, all indignant and shit, shouting at the hero. It was crazy on so many different levels!!! Like life isn’t worth living if she isn’t (literally) fucked by him? Not even loved by him + fucked, no, just the sex. And not to mention, yes you can get it somewhere else, too!!!!! It’s bondage and spanking. In the 21st century. Just use your computer, find a chat or a club. It was ridiculous.

Another very stupid inconsistency; they have sex, he comes in her, and then they’re both thinking of pregnancy risks.

No, really.

Dude, make up your mind.

Both the heroine and the hero are convinced she is going to die within days (him, because he still plans to kill her at this point - there’s just no way around it, no matter how he feels, you see! - and her, because that’s what she was constantly told) and they’re taking the time to think of her protection status - let me tell you, there’s no birth control more effective than killing the potential mother.

Really, you can stop worrying about it.

Rest assured, though, he knows from following her for about 6 months that she did take a birth control shot. That brings me to the fact that he also knows she has been suffering a lot after the death of Carlo, never going out except for school, drinking all the time home alone (if that’s not a cold-blooded killer who also happens to be one of the richest -trust fund- people in the world, then I don’t know who is) - but what does it matter that he can see it with his own eyes - if mommy says she’s a bad girl, then she is a bad girl and must be punished! And even is she isn’t…mommy still said so, so even though he doesn’t like it, he’ll kill a perfectly innocent woman after torturing her for days. Not to mention, his brother would be, like, SO mad if he doesn’t kill her. And he’s the head of the family, what can he possibly do? Poor thing.

There’s plenty more that either made no sense, or I didn’t like personally, but I think I’ve spent enough on this. Definitely no interest in continuing this story.

And clearly, I need to stop reading abductor books.

Profile Image for Natalie Johnson.
284 reviews4 followers
November 13, 2017
Castello is burying his brother and father. His father, the head of the family, and his brother, Carlo, the next in line. This now leaves him as the head of the crime family. Castello promises his Mom revenge at the gravesite.

Tatum awakens a prisoner of Castello Fattore. He plans to break her because he believes she is responsible for Carlo's death. When she awakens he hears she doesn't even know the Fattore name. Blinded by revenge he doesn't know what to think.

This book is filled with twists and turns and draws you in from the beginning. The truth discovered at the very end which leaves us on the verge of a familial war. I highly recommend this dark story!
Profile Image for Elfina Renee.
611 reviews202 followers
November 10, 2017
Wow...just wow! Absolutely, positively loved...loved, Blood and Lies. This had a little bit of it all, BDSM....check....mystery and intrigue....check. Action and violence......check...check and fucking check! To say Blood and Lies is as good or near as good as some of my favorite authors ahhhhh remains to be seen but what I will say Bella J is in a league all her own. Love the darkness she weaves and the depths of suspense was awe inspiring, so I'm really stoked for the sequel! Also gotta give a big shout out to my friend Snow....Mimiorphee Reads.... AND.......AND Sirens BookReviews! Thanks ladies for one hell of a recommendation and an awesome read, you gals are the best!
Profile Image for EpicRomanceReviews.
728 reviews123 followers
December 28, 2017
“Welcome to Hell, donna.”


The moment I read the blurb for BLOOD & LIES (A Twisted Duet Bk 1) by Bella J, tremors of excitement coursed through me and I could not wait to devour this book! And once I finally dove in, it exceeded every expectation. This highly addictive mafia romance was chock full of so many sinfully depraved twists and turns I was on SENSORY OVERLOAD! There is the perfect balance of spine-tingling suspense, wickedly sexy kink, palpable romantic tension and adrenaline-pumping mafia mayhem to whip readers up into a lather!!

The storyline is oh-so-DARK and DELICIOUSLY SINISTER! Castello, the newly appointed boss of the Fattore mob family, is hell-bent on exacting revenge against the rich and powerful Linscotts. The day he watched his father and identical twin brother, Carlo, being lowered into the ground he had vowed to avenge their deaths in an eye for an eye brand of justice. And the woman who would pay was beautiful heiress Tatum Linscott, the spoiled rotten daughter of the man responsible for destroying his life. His family had been broken because of this woman and the choices that had been made when she sunk her claws into his brother, which led to his untimely demise. But before her blood would be shed by his merciless hand, she would suffer his wrath in cruel, merciless ways.

“Tatum Linscott would never know peace again. This all would be her payment, her atonement for what she has done, for what she has taken from me and my family.”

So after three months of meticulous planning, her day of reckoning had finally come. The pampered socialite had been kidnapped and taken to his compound, stripped of her fancy clothes and material possessions, dressed in a rags, and locked in a cold prison cell until her execution day came. When she awoke from her drug-induced slumber, terrified and desperate for answers, she was treated as a lowly prisoner--his personal pet--to do with as he pleased.

He hated her with every fiber of his being but what Castello hadn’t counted on was that his cunning prisoner possessed a strength, an inner fire that inflamed his twisted desires. As it turns out his meek “little mouse” was far from weak. The way she stared at him with her perceptive blue eyes as if she was looking right through him, seeing all his secrets stripped bare, unsettled him, and the more she fought him, pushed him, PROVOKED him, the more she awakened the monster from within.

“Keep fighting me, little mouse. Keep fighting me until your last goddamn breath. It makes me want this so much more.”

Tatum had never been more petrified in her life, but there was something in her beautifully savage jailer that called to an elemental part of her. How was it possible that she could ache for this dangerous criminal, who was a dead ringer for the man who had shattered her heart? Why would her body react so sinfully toward the dark, angry tormentor who had the ability wreck her with his wickedness while he relished her demise?

“He was a predator—a vicious hunter who had the power to entice, ensnare, only to let you meet your doom once he had you in his clutches. Yet he made me curious, wanting to know what exactly would happen if he managed to bait me, to lure me into his trap?

And as they engaged in a deviant game of cat mouse, where Castello vowed to break his captive into submission before destroying her completely, while she planned to fight for her survival by wielding her most powerful weapon—her sexual sorcery--over him, the lines become blurred over who was the hunter and who had become the prey.

HOLY BLAZES! This book consumed me from start to finish and I am utterly bewitched by Bella J’s dark, entrancing, high octane style of writing! She knows how to weave a darkly sinister tale that electrifies your heart, taps into your darkest, most taboo desires, and leaves you all aquiver!

I was swept up from start to finish by the fiery tempest of hate and lust, rage and desire, fury and need. There was such an enticing blend of raw, explosive emotion and chilling suspense that I was biting my nails one minute and SHIVERING in delight the next! There was so much pathos and pain, lust and longing, backstabbing and treachery, I felt as if I was watching a Shakespearean play unfold.

The chemistry and mounting sexual tension between the hero and heroine was so scorching hot they were like a stick of dynamite that could detonate at any moment! In fact, the hyper sexy slave/master power exchanges are among the most scintillating I have ever read and the sex scenes were combustible!

Castello was such a deliciously dominant anti-hero…so passionate and predatory, uber volatile and POWERFULLY MALE. Yet if you peel back the layers you find a tortured man who may possess dark, demonic desires but ultimately is no soulless monster. Blinded by grief and rage, he felt honor-bound to avenge his brother’s death yet was crushed under the weight of bearing the responsibility of running the family empire.

“Unfortunately for me, my brother’s birthright had become my curse, and now I had to carry that curse up until the day I finally take my last breath.”

There was palpable tension throughout as Castello waged an internal war between his fierce loyalty to his family and his traitorous desires for his hauntingly beautiful prisoner. Unfortunately, his plan of breaking his little mouse was working…almost TOO well. Because he was breaking alongside her and was shaken to the core by the thought of love slave who was slowly becoming an addiction he couldn’t live without. Up until the very end it was unclear whether our deeply conflicted hero would carry out Tatum’s death sentence or lay down his life to protect the woman who aroused his dark, primal passions.

I also loved the heroine’s tortuous internal struggle as well. For now matter how much she feared and loathed her cruel captor, she CRAVED his dark dominion because it stirred up her deepest, most sordid desires. And in his own demented way, her harsh master made her feel alive. He OWNED her pleasure and her pain!!!

“He was the man whose sole purpose was to destroy me, yet his touch made me feel like it was the only thing that could save me.”

The plot is thrillingly fast paced, many secrets and shocking revelations are unveiled throughout, all leading up to a shattering climax that was so jawdroppingly intense and gutwrenching it gave me heart palpitations! I found the ending to be immensely satisfying, though fair warning…it does end on a semi-cliffy. So now I am chomping at the bit to find out what spine tingling thrills and dark wicked pleasures will be unleashed in the denouement, BLOOD & VOWS!

Final word? Read. This. Book. It is bloody brilliant!!!!

5++ Dark and Sinfully Twisty Stars!
Profile Image for Arena♡.
402 reviews572 followers
July 17, 2020
I read the first 20%, but dnf'ed it after.

The hero was too much, I hated him, heroine was a dumbass, pathetic combo.

The book could've been better ahead, but I just couldn't bring myself to read further.
Profile Image for Jan .
2,153 reviews45 followers
November 7, 2017
Wow!..... And breath.

Blood and lies is a dark concoction of lies, deceit, enemies within, danger, revealed twisted lies and exposed truths.

Amongst it all is Castello the new mafia boss who now reins following the death of both his father and brother and the pawn in the deceptive game is Tatum, daughter of a powerful businesses man.

Blood & Lies begins with Tatums kidnapping and a promise of revenge from Castello to his mother.
Castello has been lead to believe Tatum's father is responsible for killing his brother when he found out that Tatum and Castello's brother Carlo were in a relationship.
Carlo was next in line as boss after his father and so following Carlos's death then the immediate natural death of his father Castillo was thrust into the lead and became head if the Mafia.

Castello had the responsibility of avenging his brothers death and what greater way than to take the woman responsible for luring his brother.

This is far from any Romeo and Juliet romance though.

There's lies and deceit in this tangled web and as the plot grows Castello begins to discover truths and his reasons for killing Tatum become blurred.

Tatum and Castello have a toxic attraction to each other, neither can contain their animalistic need for each other.

Blood and Lies is part one of this duet and just when things are getting even more intense your left wanting more.

A dark and gripping read. Contains bondage and knife play and triggers of self harm. It's definitely not for the faint hearted and is filled to the brim with danger, angst, mystery and suspense.

A story of a girl taken against her will by a family who wants an eye for an eye but somethings just aren't that cut and dry and Lies exposed throw a bloody spanner in the works.

Told in first persons dual pov.

Looking forward to part 2, Blood & Vows.

Arc received for review purposes
Profile Image for Ella Heart.
91 reviews65 followers
April 13, 2019
4 Dark Stars

This Series was what it promised itself to be. It was dark, it was raw, it wasn't sweet and was filled with betrayal, power plays and psychopaths. A perfect dark read, with some scenes even i couldn't get behind.

It was nicely written, well paced and impactful in the places it needed to be. Not to mention full of triggers, so i suggest you don't read it as your first Dark Romance book. You might want to something much lighter in such genre as jj mcavoy ruthless series.

Honestly there are only a few series that i can say are more dark than this one was, and therefore so much better because of it. In the end i would like to thank my beautiful friend ❤️ Paulette for recommending me this amazing series.

Till the next book then,
Happy Reading Everyone😘!
233 reviews
February 15, 2017
First a warning. This story is so dark it makes 50 shades look like light romance. There are triggers here for some people. If you are ok with this, then you will definitely want to add this book to your reading list. Wow. I really couldn't see how a kidnap victim and her kidnapper could fall in love but this author is amazing at writing believable characters and developing their relationships. She pulls this off convincingly and with intense emotion.

These are two of the most messed up characters I have ever read. The hatred Castillo bears for Tatum is palpable in every scene. The actions of Castello's brother that led up to this situation are a complete mystery to everyone. This drove me through the early chapters that were extremely dark. It was well worth it. The mystery just seems to grow with each new question answered. Once they start to see each other as real people and not just victim and mob boss, things heat up to inferno level. I love how she points it little details about each character's behaviour or body language and uses them to further the relationship and reveal personality characteristics.

I can't recommend this enough for those who are ok reading this type of book. Well written.
Profile Image for Lady Bonny Reading.
376 reviews9 followers
December 30, 2022
Dark, but interesting story. This is book 1 of a duet!

This is book one of the Twisted duet...yes duet. How did I not realise this when I started reading? Thankfully, book two is already out so I don't have to wait.

This story is a little darker than other Bella J stories. First it involves a kidnapping with intent to eventually kill. Second the kidnapped victim, the MFC, has struggled with her own nature for some time. Tatum, the h, likes pain. The MMC, Castello, also has a dark side that he struggles to keep under control.

The premise is that Tatum's father had Castello's twin brother murdered which caused their father to suffer a heart attack and die. The story opens with both being buried and the mother making Castello, who now leads the family, promise to get revenge. That revenge involves the kidnapping of Tatum (the h), who had been seeing the deceased twin, and using her to lure her father in, then ultimately killing both.

But all is not as it seems and as discoveries are made, Castello begins to question what he believes, what he's been told. While discoveries are made Castello and Tatum are fighting an attraction and beginning to realize they are made for each other. Ultimately the deceit is revealed leaving Costello's family divided and war in their future.

What I didn't like...Castello was a bit wishy-washy in the beginning and not very leader-like. I like my men smart, confident and in control. Castello was too unsure of himself through most of this story...perhaps because he was never intended to lead, that was supposed to have been his twin; and his mother was a manipulating, deceiving biatch. Thankfully he wakes up and seems more in control, ready to make decisions by the end of this book. Ultimately, I loved both characters and Uncle Gino. I imagine book two will deal with the family war. 4 star.
Profile Image for Bookbytch5 janet Gray.
1,456 reviews9 followers
November 5, 2017
This is book 1 of 2. I was gifted a copy from Bella J, Love this about Castello and Tatum. This action pack with plenty of twists and turns for both of them. Steamy hottest Sexy mafia story. I highly recommend story and author.

Profile Image for Kim Whitehead.
2,211 reviews
November 2, 2017
Wow!! First time to experience this Author’s words!! And I’m literally blown away!! I devoured this book! It was full of angst and suspense! Had my heart pounding! I was sucked in from the very beginning and the characters had so much desire ! Phenomenal!!
Profile Image for Isa.
871 reviews
May 20, 2020
mroczna i pokręcona historia, trzymająca w napięciu do samego końca ;) końcówka zaskakująca, no takiego powodu to ja się nie spodziewałam :P
Profile Image for Zainab M..
187 reviews22 followers
March 29, 2019

Penny For My Thoughts:

Blood & Lies features a powerful, twisted and fucked up couple going by Tatum and Castello. Book #1 in The Twisted Duet comprises of Lies, Betrayal, Gore, Deceit, Desires and above all, Lust. Just when I thought that Bella J. is done pondering over her masterpiece ROYAL MAFIA SERIES , she surprises me with another wonderfully interwoven characterized novel, a dark and bent, slithering yet sexy Blood And Lies. Sparing further crap, I'll head straight to the highlights of this beauty. 

Look Out For:

✎Gah, there's a million things to look out for in this novel but most importantly, the dynamism between Tatum and Castello is breathtaking. Their chemistry has lit my computer screen on fire, literally. During one of the scenes, owing to the sexual frustration, I almost spilled my cup of coffee right over my laptop. How's that to tempt you? The sparks that flow between this couple is undeniable. Almost whimsical. But then, this is Bella J. who can breath life into her characters.

✎The sick and twisted plot. A deceitful mobster, a rightful man and an obsessive enemy turned what? Find out as to what his feelings are, actually.

✎The Darker side of the romance which is quite bent. Oh the kinkiness. On a scale of 1-10 of Kink, I'd need more numbers here. 

✎A Powerful Performance by secondary characters. Take Nicollo or Castello's brother Vico; the devil mother or dear Uncle Gio, each character is extremely invested into their roles. They make us loathe them and love them, feelings mutually bent. 

✎The inner turmoil between Castello and his mind is a blow out point for me. He has to fight every second with his mind and heart for the unrequited feelings towards Tatum. He's so lost, poor puppy. At times, you want to give him a whipping whilst on other occasions, you simply wish to embrace his demons and make them yours.

There's perfect amount of angst, drama, romance and sex. Dirty, filthy, hot sex.....

Overall, this novel is  fantastic and breathtaking. There was no single ounce of second that I felt wasted. I was high on it. Carefree, into the world of ruthless and dangerous monsters embracing their darker desires and surrendering to them is something you can't throw off easily. 

I finally give my gratitude and lots of appraisal to Bella J. This woman is beyond fantastic when it comes to Alpha Heroes - especially broken and outrageous. Her specialty to make messed up heroines for them is remarkable. You can do justice to her writing by only reading her novels thoroughly. Trust me, they are like drugs. I do recommend you to check out for her Royal Mafia series which is equally fascinating and where our beloved Castello will make a guest appearance *winks* Okay people, good luck reading and rating!


Profile Image for Renee.
3,356 reviews36 followers
April 1, 2019
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for Stephanie's Book Reports.

Castillo didn't want to go from Capo to Boss. That was his twin brothers place. One bullet changed everything. His twin brothers birthright became Castillo's curse. Now he has to avenge his twin brothers death. Ever member of his family wants revenge and Castillo is going to give it to them with Tatum Linscott's death. She's is the reason his brother was buried. Now he's going to break her, mend her, and break her once again. Tatum started this war....Castillo is going to finish it.

Blood and Lies is the first book in the A Twisted Debt duet from Bella J. This is a Dark Contemporary Romance. Some themes my be disturbing for some readers.

I love this first book. I was so engrossed I didn't want to lay it down. I certainly did not want it to end. Blood and Lies is full of twists and turns with a big ole what is the real truth right in the middle of it. Castillo is in the hardest spot i can ever imagine a Mafia bosses child being. He wasn't suppose to take his fathers place and therefore wasn't being tailored for the position. A great tragedy has Castillo just exactly in his fathers shoes and his family demanding revenge. Tatum Linscott and her family are about to pay for the loss of everything Castillo held dear. She is the reason his brother is dead. However upon kidnapping and holding Tatum doubt begins to creep into Castillo's mind. Does he know the whole truth? He also didn't expect to meet the girl who could possibly be the perfect match to his dark and hidden desires. It is quite the mystery and will have you on your toes trying to figure out exactly what happened to Castillo's twin brother and what the truth is. I loved both these characters. Tatum is one strong willed character and you can't help but find an attraction to the villain in this story.

I read Bells J's Resplendence Series last year. She absolutely blew me out of the water as Resplendent Ruin was her first novel. Her writing was absolutely amazing and continues to be so in Blood And Lies. She's let her dark side out and I loved every second of it. I love when an author can switch up their genre of books. If you've not discovered Bella J yet, your missing out. I also can not wait to get my greedy fingers on Blood and Vows.
Profile Image for Honestly Honest Bookworm.
398 reviews43 followers
February 19, 2017
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

This book reminded me a little of The Dark Duet by CJ Roberts. It’s a dark, captive read, so it’s intended to make you hate the male character, yet part of us is as drawn to him as she is. Castello is a troubled character, torn between what is right and family loyalty. He struggles to see himself as anything but a monster, although it’s a struggle to ever view him as one. Tatum is a tortured individual who doesn’t know how to deal with her intense feelings involving everything and everyone around her. They both see themselves as tainted, but find a twisted solace within each other. There’s no happy ending for these characters because this book is realistic and life doesn’t always fight fair. Overall, I took away a star because I was really sad about Carlo situation, I wish it would’ve been different than it was. I thought the book was over, I could’ve handled that as a conclusion. That sneak peek into the next book though...I am so intrigued on what secrets are still left undiscovered!

Favorite Quotes:
- I planned to break her, then mend her, and then break her again.
- I was fucked. Whether I lived or died, I was screwed. If I had to die, it would be the bullet or the knife that took my life. If I had to live, it would be his touch, his kiss, his unmistakable dominion over my body that would take my life, my soul.
- “Tu mi hai rovinato.” You have ruined me.
- I smiled as the Italian words left my mouth in a whisper, ”Mi hai liberato.”
You set me free.
- “Your blood feeds the beast inside me, bella donna.”
- This was me, this was her, this was us. These moments where we consumed each other, these were the dark moments that defined us both. It’s in these moments we escaped, embracing our inner demons, our depravities, and forgetting about the world that so eagerly judged and destroyed.
November 12, 2017
“I died alongside my brother that fateful night…and now I will suffer in Hell for the rest of my days.”

One bullet has changed his life forever, setting him on a path he would never have chosen. Releasing the darkest parts of himself Castello is now the head of the family, the Boss of the mafia. With the unexpected and unfortunate death of his father due to the murder of his twin brother he is the heir to all that is blood soaked. With a need for revenge and a vow to give his mother her pound of flesh, Castello orchestrates a devilish plan to silence the demons screaming for vengeance in his soul. Taking her, punishing her, Tatum becomes the epicentre of blame for all that has befallen him and his family. The reason for their loss is her, with his twin brother dallying with a beautiful American woman he received a bullet for his devotion to her...so she rightfully has to pay. Castello plans her destruction with intimate care and dedication to breaking her down and reducing her to nothing. The treatment she receives at his hands is dastardly yet she shamefully finds herself attracted to the darkness of his soul. Her monsters recognise their playmate within him and she can’t help the way she feels about her tormentor. Can she survive his game or will she be collateral damage in the gene of revenge?

Blood and lies is dark and lives up to its trigger warning and yet it’s not sensationalist or over the top. He does force her into acts that are humiliating, degrading and down right wrong and yet somehow these acts also hurt him and make him more self aware of what he is becoming. Internal battles are fought for supremacy within a family that only values strength, loyalty and greed. Not everything is as it seems and Castello is fighting his war on more than one front. Who should he trust? Can he find out the truth before it’s too late? This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed her characters and plot lines, her writing style was easy to lose yourself in.

A four and a half star read.

~*~ Reviewed on behalf of Obsessed by Books ~*~

Profile Image for Carolyn.
914 reviews
February 14, 2017
I have read all of Bella J.'s books so when her warning of this book saying this is dark, might elicit triggers in some well- I am all in and ready to read.

I am not sure who has the more depraved mind? Bella J for writing such dark, mysterious and taboo books, or me, for reading and loving and playing right into her hands wanting, NO NEEDING, Tatum and Castello to be together.

Bella J has a niche for writing situations that are dark, scary and intriguing yet so consumed with passion and desire that she blurs lines of deranged. Readers crave for the characters the same euphoric release they are after or just plain need.

The twists in this book are artfully written and fall at the exact moment you don't expect- so perfect. I often compare books to an emotional roller coaster but Blood & Lies feels like you are on a perpetual incline just anticipating the drop which just so happens to be the hall of horrors. Reading this book evokes such strong emotions of hate, disgust, love, hate, fear, derision, hate, anger, heartbreak, tenderness, and compassion that you can't help but get caught up in the soul sucking power of the loss on both sides of the coin. The vulnerability of both characters allow you to sympathize with both while still rooting for them to be together and for one to kill the other. See why I say Bella J is a master manipulator of our emotions. LOL! But in all honesty- that's what love can be- a intense draw and passion that's all consuming for one another while you want to kill them and see them suffer! LOL!

I always wonder where authors find their inspiration for their books and quite frankly- I don't want to know where Bella J got hers for this book because I would probably be scared of her or for her? Not sure which! LOL!

Like a mouse after cheese so am I after the next book in this series!! Awesome teaser!
Profile Image for Ana Rita.
1,522 reviews30 followers
April 5, 2019
Oh my lord... How can I keep my sanity? How?
This author is the creator of the best mafia series I have ever read so you can guess the way I felt when this book appeared on my kindle...
I was nervous but super excited as well. So many questions appeard on my mind...
Bella J is the author that I'm talking about. Her books are perfect and you need to read them.
Blood & Lies is her latest release and it's the first book from the A Twisted Duet.
This new book explores the lifes of Castello and Tatum.
Castello lost his brother in a tragic way and after that he has only one goal. To avenge his death and revenge to the person responsible for it. But what would you expect of a mafia boss?
Tatum had the life she wanted. Parties and a boyfriend. Until one day she wakes up a prisoner...
I'm stunned, speechless to say the least.
I knew what I was about to get but let me tell you... It was so much more... So much more.
Sublime plot, very well written, super dark, intense and dangerous. Each chapter was even more intense than the other.
Dayum... I'm still shaking.
I knew that this story would be chaotic, dark and dangerous. It was like I can't look but I can't take my eyes out of it, insane right?
This book presented us with danger, madness, crime, deceive as well as desire, family bonds, loyalty and so much more.
I'm still trying to find the perfect word... But I can't. I can't say anything more because I refuse to spoil.
But one thing is for certain... I'm mad... But also happy...
Happy because this was the perfect start to an amazing dark series but I'm mad because it's over...
Bella J... Why? Why? Where's the rest of this? Can you give it to me now?
Please? It would be our little secret... Lol. Please don't take long.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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