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Famiglia #1

Dark Desire

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Everyone always says love will find you when you’re not looking. Well, they’re not wrong. Except, the man my heart stupidly fell for was more interested in playing his own twisted game of catch and release. Claiming me for himself, then pushing me away when I got too close, but there was an aura of darkness clouded around him.
A darkness that beckoned to me.
A darkness I was grateful for when those he thought he could trust ripped me away in the middle of the night to be a pawn in their own sick, twisted game.


She was supposed to be an itch I needed to scratch. That red dress and those pale blue eyes called to me like a siren. In my line of work falling in love is dangerous.
“I believe there’s good in you, Brax,” she had said.
“Baby, I’m the thing monsters are afraid of,” I warned her.
I pushed her away, thinking she would be safe from this fucked up life I lead.
I couldn’t’ve been more wrong.
My enemies smelled fresh blood. They knew if they wanted to take me down, they had to get to her. But it wasn’t my enemies I had to worry about. No, the threat was a lot closer than I thought. It shouldn’t have surprised me. After all, the devil was once an angel.
Klara was my light out of this hell, and now she was in danger of being snuffed out. But not if I could help it.
They should’ve thought twice before taking what belongs to me. Now, I’m out for blood, and I’m not stopping until my concrete floor runs red.

*Only suitable for 18+

288 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 15, 2018

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About the author

A.J. Daniels

24 books107 followers
A.J. lives in BC, Canada with her husband. When she's not writing she's reading or you can find her at her day job. She loves coffee, spending the day at the beach, and wine nights with her friends.

A.J. Daniels will be writing as Andréa Joy as of 2020.

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5 stars
71 (44%)
4 stars
47 (29%)
3 stars
27 (16%)
2 stars
10 (6%)
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6 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 63 reviews
Profile Image for Jac K.
1,969 reviews208 followers
March 31, 2022
2.45 "unpopular opinion" Stars

Dark Desire is a mob, rejected h romance between college student Klara and Canadian mob boss Braxton De Luca. The blurb provides the plot of the book… Braxton and Klara meet/date… he pushes her away, and someone close to him takes her. That’s pretty much it.

There’re some editing/consistency issues, but what didn’t work for me was the tone of the book. There’re some serious concepts covered (rape, torture, sex trade) but it’s handled sort of silly, OTT with virgin kinky smut. It’s like what you’d get if you mixed old James Bond (Pussy Galore, Mata Bond-days) with 50 Shades of Grey, and Stephano DiMera from DOOL. So, you end up with

Bottom Line- Not for me, but I’m sick… and a bit grumpy. I also was expecting dark/gritty, so I wasn’t in the right mood. It’s free in the Kindle store, and the rest are part of KU.

Safety- Rape, not overly graphic but on page. (2x’s I believe). No emotional fallout or really addressed. h wants to have “rough, violent, release the monster” with a butt plug sex the next time she sees him.

The “cheating” is fuzzy. I don’t think he actually followed through, but it also is never brought up again or discussed.

I would see the pain and regret in his eyes as he wraps his fist around her hair, just like he did mine, as he lowers his zipper and gets ready to enter her.

She walked into my office for our scheduled lunch date and saw exactly what I wanted her to see. Me balls deep in my then assistant. I fired that bitch the minute Klara turned tail and ran like she couldn’t get away from me fast enough… I put my dick back in my pants, fired the whore who tried getting into my pants from the second she was hired, shut the steel walls in place…

Profile Image for Jenn.
292 reviews1 follower
March 13, 2018
Sexy, sexy goodness

Well fuck me in the face with a wet flannel! This Mafia romance was more than I thought it would be. I actually didn't know what I thought since the author is new to me, I only knew an author I adore raved about it and I like to jump on band wagons and the cover is gorgeous to my eyes.

Braxton, holy shit, what a bag of sexy bossy alphaness he is! Seriously awesome and the kind of hero that you don't easily forget.

The author not only provided a storyline worthy of each page turn but the characters, both hero, heroine and side cast each had their own voice and entertained and didn't just become page filler.

In a word, it was a terrific read and I'm marking all the follow on books right now!

Support your indie authors and read this book.
Profile Image for Carla Bulian.
1,238 reviews209 followers
June 20, 2018
3,7. O livro é dividido em 2 partes. Na primeira parte conhecemos o personagem Tall, dark and handsome e a personagem principal. Até então , tudo bem, desenvolve -se um romance entre os dois e realmente, não vejo problema em: a Virgem e o bad boy! Mas... os diálogos mais manjados possíveis e com situações inusitadas. Aí realmente me incomoda.
Na segunda parte, após ele conseguir resgata-la, depois de poucos dias estão em um affair selvagem? C’mon, para tudo! Depois de tudo que ela passou, dias depois? Affff.
Por isso não me encantou. Os personagens secundários no livro foram incríveis. Destes gostei.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Laura||GandyFangirl♡.
228 reviews16 followers
April 16, 2018
They wanted to see Braxton De Luca break. Well prepare yourself, motherfuckers, because I just fucking broke.


Mafia romance is hit and miss for me. More miss than anything else so I tiptoed my way into this new series butttttttt I'm so glad I picked it up because it would definitely go on my list for best books of the month!

Braxton Deluca is so much more than you expect him to be when you first glimpse him. Oh, he is a powerful man exuding alpha confidence that it made my eyebrows tickle! He's dark and mysterious and I knew I wanted to know everything about this MC. Gah, he was gorgeous. And a perfect Mafia Don!


The heat factor between him and Klara was fire itself. A perfect blend of innocent girl and powerful man who can't help but want something he shouldn't because he's in a world that will destroy her.


His voice. Dear Lord, that voice. It’s like silk and sex and that first bite of Lindor chocolate as it melts against your tongue.

This book wasn't all heat and sexy eyes from the Don (swoon) it takes a pretty dark serious turn at some points and it gives Klara time to shine as a leading heroine. She's neither annoying or irksome ( really hard to do! ) and I couldn't help loving her and hoping she got out of that shitty situation.

When you have an alpha no holds barred hero you know shit is going to go down! He'll do anything for his heroine. And Braxton does! God, I loved that about him.

“Once I have you, Klara, you’re mine. No one else’s. Understand? I don’t share what’s mine.”

Profile Image for Maria11.
1,838 reviews37 followers
June 28, 2018
Nonstop read

Read this one till it was done. Didn’t take a breather. This was pretty much nonstop action till the end.

Braxton had bipolar emotions. I love her, I don’t love her, I need her, I don’t need her...that part got tiring and a tad over done. Braxton was definitely a devious/violent guy when crossed.

Klara was ok, never really got a name for her mental illness. You assume she has anxiety and depression. She seemed all into what she wanted to do with her life and that faded away once she met Braxton.

Will read the next, it was set up nicely at the end of this.

Profile Image for V. Theia.
Author 39 books498 followers
March 19, 2018
I need some heavy chastising from Braxton because I was sure I'd reviewed this beauty of a book! How remiss of me.

Spoiler Alert. It's 5 bloody stars. Omg. I love it so much. I've read it twice already and I keep flipping back to my favorite parts.

Do you know one of the many things I adore about AJ's writing? She hits you square in the feels with the first word, the first paragraph and from that moment on I'm sucked in.

I love her style.
I loved the story
But it's the characters that grabbed my attention.

Klara and Braxton. Talk about a sexy-kinky-delicious power couple!
Braxton is not what you first think he is. HE'S MORE! Oh-my-god! I about swallowed my tongue when all was revealed about my hubby this formidable dark and mysterious man.

“You make me lose my mind, Klara. Make me want to lose control. Losing control is dangerous in my life, but you’re like a drug, Mia Bella. A drug I can’t seem to walk away from.”

It's not all plain sailing for this pair. There's some angst and push and pull I loved. You know when a book makes you crackers for them to just do it already when you talk out loud to your kindle.
The story gets real gritty and raw at times. Told so beautifully, I'm already anticipating getting back to this world with book two ( I'm looking at you, Alessandro! )

Profile Image for Krista Richardson.
248 reviews18 followers
January 11, 2018
I finished this book in one night. I loved Braxton, love his name, and his alpha ways. His hot and cold drove me crazy but that’s who he was and, you’ll find out, for good reason. I adore Klara! She’s such a strong, sassy woman. Completely different than the walked over women you usually read about. Her strength is tested at the end and she comes out a warrior! The way she holds her own, takes care of herself and then takes the bull by the horns! The relationship between Klara and Braxton is sexy, passionate and fast. But, it works well for them. There are secrets, lies, deception and it’s a wild journey to go through with them. Definitely a good read!
I’ll also add that I fell right in love with Alessandro!! I seriously hope that man gets his own book and quickly, lol!
Profile Image for Claire Louise¤°.¸¸.•´¯`».
1,005 reviews66 followers
April 21, 2018
This was a lovely surprise. New to me author. It's actually one of my favourite premise of sweet girl and big powerful man.
It's set in the mafia world, not my go-to, I've only read a few other mafia romance authors but I was caught up in Braxton De Luca immediately. Sexy to the zenith!

Just when you think the story is just a kinky sexy tale of man meets woman it becomes something else... darker, raw and all mafia. A really great read, looking forward to book 2.

description There was nothing sweet about our first kiss. It was raw, hungry, bruising, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The kiss was a lot like the man behind it. It was a means to an end. The start of something explosive, only meant to be temporary but the effects lasting long after.
Profile Image for Tamara Harrington.
515 reviews27 followers
January 9, 2018
Absolutely freaking love this book!
This is my first book by A.J. and she has smashed it for me. Braxton is exactly the alpha male that I needed in my life. This man is dark, mysterious and has a kinky side that speaks to mine. Klara is a great female lead, as she has such sass and determination, I think she is definitely one of my favourite women. I could not put this book down, the drama, mystery and intrigue had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Add in the phenomenal sex scenes and I could not have chosen a better way to spend the day than emerged in this story.
I don't want to give anything away but I will say that you will not see this coming, this book will surprise you at every so keep some ice cream on hand.
This is my honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Ceeri Jay.
513 reviews48 followers
October 9, 2018
I am not sure if what I read was an unfinished script.

riddles with errors
one minute she's wearing jeans next she's in a skirt

Shea bound, she's freed

her eyes are staring into green eyes, next they're grey

just ended up with whiplash over this story

am hoping most of the continuity errors are fixed in book 2.
Profile Image for Yeri.
1,228 reviews67 followers
January 12, 2018
Well fuck! This story started with a damn bang and ended with another.

I loved this story so, so much. It was dark but not as dark as I expected and feel it could have went there, but, I'm satisfied with it as is. The characters were very intriguing.
Braxton is hot as sin, loved/hated the hot and cold moments. The man gave me whiplash. Karla she wasn't all she had the potential to be.
She was a strong character but there were times she was more of a doormat and it pissed me off because she had a goddamn backbone (loved her anyway).
I can't decide if I love Alessandro or Antonio or if I want to be sandwich between the two (probably the latter).

There was one predictable moment for me and I hate that I called it but goddamn am I glad I was right. There parts that felt a bit rushed and made me feel like I'd missed something but it didn't stop me from loving the story. I can't wait for the next one...
Profile Image for Krista.
1,026 reviews4 followers
January 23, 2018
Dark Desire follows Klara and Braxton and their on/off relationship. Braxton will give you whiplash with his back and forth with Klara, all in an effort to keep her safe. Braxton's world is dark and dangerous. This was a quick and easy read. I loved the mob aspect and drama that comes with the mob. I could have done without all of the sex scenes, so I did skim through those. However, you love alpha sex then you won't be disappointed. I just like it in small doses. Otherwise it was a good story and I'm curious to see what is in the next book.
Profile Image for Jackie Ashmead.
254 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2018
I absolutely LOVEDDDD this book! I literally couldn't put this book down the second I started to read it. I finished it literally within a few hours of opening the book. I definitely recommend reading this book! All the surprise twists and the chemistry between Klara and Braxton OMG!! PANTY MELTING CHEMISTRY!! I totally fell in love with Braxton and his dominate side! I seriously cannot wait for the next book in this series to come out!!!
Profile Image for Nancy.
363 reviews
January 21, 2018
I loved this book! Klara is a bit naive but a strong women. Braxton, alpha as alpha can get. He tried to not fall for Klara but he can't help himself. This book was a fast read keeping you hooked through the whole thing. It starts out very surprising and continues to keep you guessing. I couldn't believe some of the twists. They kept me reading all night. This is the first book I have read from A.J. Daniels and I am looking forward to reading more.
Profile Image for Beth Frank.
69 reviews1 follower
April 4, 2018
5 "Mia Bella" Stars!!

I loved this book! Not your everyday run of the mill mafia story.

Braxton is the Don of a very powerful mafia family and Klara is the sweet, sassy girl he tries not to fall in love with.

There is drama, mystery and intrigue that will have you on the edge of your seat. Oh, let’s not forget about the chemistry between Braxton and Klara. Off the charts hot!!

I really enjoyed this book! It's wonderfully written! You won't be sorry you picked up this book!
Profile Image for Liza.
97 reviews
January 20, 2018
I had never read a book by this author before but I really enjoyed it.

I love dark books so once I seen the blurb I knew I was in for a treat.

From Braxtons dark mysterious ways to the kick ass sassyness of Klara to the twists and turns of every chapter. This book kept me turning pages.

There were some predictable parts for me but all in all I really enjoyed this book and hope to see more from this author.
Profile Image for Anastasia Jenkins.
Author 17 books27 followers
January 21, 2018
This is the first book I’ve read by AJ and I really enjoyed it!
The story line is gripping from beginning to end, and you really can’t help but fall in love with Klara and Braxton!
Brad is the ultimate, dominant, book boyfriend and those sex scenes are damn steamy!
I can’t wait to read more of the series!
Profile Image for Sandra Fontaine.
12 reviews4 followers
January 15, 2018
Holy sexy alpha male!!! Absolutely loved Braxton.... I could not put this book down. AJ Daniels writes an amazing story that sucks you and and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I read this book in one night and I cannot wait for her next book!
Profile Image for Crystal.
1,652 reviews49 followers
June 30, 2019
2.5 stars.
This book and I just did not get along. I'm not sure if I wasn't in the right mood to be reading it or what as normally the blurb would be right up my alley, as are dark and mafia books. For me, there seemed to be some continuity errors, and that had me stopping multiple times throughout the book. There were also some scenes that I just didn't like, as well as some character reactions that just didn't read true to me. Another big thing was the four chapters that were told from the point-of-view of side characters, I didn't think they were necessary, even if there will be future books about them, it just didn't fit for the story to me. One thing I will say is the writing itself was good and I would easily pick up more by this author, this book just wasn't a favorite of mine and isn't one that I would be recommending.
Profile Image for cecereads23.
134 reviews31 followers
April 7, 2018
This book is amazing. I feel in love with Braxton- who wouldn’t and Mia Bella is the one he needs to make him the strength even though I knew what was going to happen it still hit me when the thing happened. I will also hit one of the men because he was a douche- canoe. The Mafia is seriously Hot with these men cannot wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Sarah DeLong .
1,422 reviews1 follower
December 1, 2018
A dark and gritty, sinfully arousing mafia romance that is a must read! Braxton is the ultimate dominant, possessive alpha male. Sex on a stick, dark and brooding. Kayla is young, smart and focused on her studies. She may seem naive and innocent but finds an inner strength of steel that I loved. The dual point of views and impressively written storyline captured me and pulled me down into their world. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see how things are going with a few of the secondary characters.
Profile Image for H.J. Bellus.
Author 99 books2,691 followers
July 10, 2019
DARK DESIRE started out with a bang! I was intrigued from the beginning and then found myself trying to piece the book together, but then I got lost in the love story. It's unique, dark, and raw. It was perfection.

I really wish this book was narrated with a female and male. The story is too darn good to have just male narration.
Profile Image for Victoria Jayne.
Author 9 books290 followers
February 9, 2021
Hot damn!! Saucy story parts. A wonderful love story that kept me on the edge of my seat. there were parts where I hated Braxton and wanted to punch him but I mean I get it.

Do yourself a favor. read this.
Profile Image for Traci White.
77 reviews
February 11, 2018
Brax is HOT

I need a Brax in my life! Alpha man all the way. Loved how Klara held her own with Gio. I'm glad she wasn't just a weak girl
Profile Image for Shannon.
1,002 reviews
June 23, 2020
A.J. Daniels is a new author for me and I love a good mafia romance so I was very excited to dive into this one. It started off on a very exciting note with what appears to be Klara being held captive and then being rescued, but it is unclear who is holding her captive and also who is doing the rescuing, and then the story is told kind of working its way backwards to how Klara ends up in that situation, which I found to be a really interesting and neat way for the story to unfold.

Braxton and Klara have a lot of chemistry from the start, though he is not openly upfront with her about his job and he is kind of hot and cold at times. Their relatiionship ends kind of abruptly when he pushes her away, and despite her being hurt over the circumstances of the relationship ending, Klara can't seem to move on and forget about Braxton.

There was a lot of suspense and drama and definitely some betrayal. At times there were some parts that raised a few questions for me, and parts that maybe could have been developed further, but I am guessing maybe they relate to the next book in the series. I am looking forward to reading more of the series. Overall I found the story to be an interesting read.
Profile Image for Patty.
3,812 reviews25 followers
July 17, 2019
Dark Desire
Famiglia, Book 1
By: A.J. Daniels
Narrated by: JT Farrell

Give me a good mafia story and I am happy. Dark Desire is the first in the series, and I fell in love with the story. A.J. Daniels gives us a look into Braxton's life. He is a tough character, but when he meets Klara, life for him changes. Not only is she not his normal woman, she is THE woman. And to keep the status quo, and Klara safe, he must give her up. But can he? When this book first started, the chemistry and steam was off the charts. I thought, this is going to be nothing but heat and passion. Boy was I wrong. This story is complex, with family betrayals, some violent scenes and a love story to win your heart. It's everything I love in a good mafia, romantic suspense, and I can't wait to see where A.J. Daniels takes us next.

JT Farrell gives a good performance. I like his cadence and he has a great voice for Braxton and the other male characters, a little raspy and very sexy. I did find at times that his female voice was a little hard to differentiate from the other male voices, but he gives the story all the feels, the fear and the passion, enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.
Profile Image for Laenie K.
91 reviews9 followers
February 19, 2021

Conflicted. Thats me, not the book. It was an overall entertaining story and i really wanted to give that extra one * but i do not think the book warranted it.

As early as 8%, there were already grammar mistakes. There weren't that many to be honest but enough for me to heave a huge sigh and shook my head every time I came across one. And I do not know how the mafia works but I guessed the plots were believeable enough.

There were some scenes that left me rereading few pages back just to be sure I did not missed anything. Like the fact that Karla was blindfolded in one scene and then "her pale eyes find my dark ones". So when was her blinfold removed? Or the fact that at the beginning of the book, she experienced anxiety attack but she seemed to be coping well during and after her ordeal.

Still an interesting book to read....just not one I will go back to.
Profile Image for Kristen.
222 reviews
July 13, 2021
Klara is innocent, in pretty much all of the ways a person can be, until she meets Braxton. Braxton changes everything for her, but as the Don of the famiglia, his life is filled with evil and is dangerous. So to protect Klara, he lets her go; the beast doesn’t know what’s lurking around his beauty, and what lengths people will go to to take out the Don.


As far as dark mafia romances go, this one is up there in my top 10, definitely. I absolutely loved it, I devoured this book. Klara with her innocence and her fierce attitude, having Braxton’s back gave me all of the feels. I just loved this book.

The writing was exquisite for the most part, and the character development was perfect. You feel what the characters feel the backstabbing, jealousy, bloodlust, pure rage, all of it. I definitely recommend to all fans of dark mafia romance. This book had me laughing, pouting, and pacing trying to overcome the anxiety of the unknown.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!
Profile Image for Devon Lee.
39 reviews
August 3, 2021
Hi, I'm at work right now on my 3rd coffee and blaming this book for all my life's problems.

Don't start this as your "30 min before bed" book. It is not one of those books.

I stayed up and read the whole thing. I tried about 3 times to put it down and go to sleep, nope picked it right back up, and finished it.

Klara and Braxton are insta-attraction and it was HOT.

Brax turns into a martyr, pushing Klara away for her own safety. Yeah, that never works guys, but keep doing it I live for the steamy angsty push-and-pull.

Klara seemed very damsel in distress to me at the beginning of the book then after severe trauma turns badass? It's the only thing I held a star back for. I was very confused that she focuses so much on her panic attacks that she focused her DOCTORATE on them and then after severe trauma walks away stronger? Ehh....

And Brax being a momma's boy was super cute.
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