Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
Dante's Story: Brutal Birthright Book 4

She Cut My Heart Open…⁠

I only meant to steal a car. I didn’t know I was stealing a girl, too. Until the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen popped up in the rear-view mirror.⁠

I fell hard, fast, and forever…⁠

But she tore out my heart — left me alone and bleeding.⁠

How can I forget her, when I have to see that damned perfect face on billboards and magazines?⁠

It’s torture.⁠

9 long years. I thought I moved on.⁠

Then I saw her in the flesh…⁠

And my heart started bleeding all over again…⁠

464 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 28, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sophie Lark

32 books12.7k followers
Intelligent Women & Powerful Men

Join the Love Lark Letter:
https://sophielark.com/signup

Sophie Lark is an Amazon Bestselling author who writes intense, intelligent romance, with heroines who are strong and capable, and men who will do anything to capture their hearts. She lives with her husband, two boys, and baby girl in the Rocky Mountain West.

She has a slight obsession with hiking, bodybuilding, and live comedy shows. Her perfect day would be taking the kids to Harry Potter World, going dancing with Mr. Lark, then relaxing with a good book and a monster bag of salt and vinegar chips.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
8,028 (36%)
4 stars
8,285 (37%)
3 stars
4,430 (20%)
2 stars
939 (4%)
1 star
259 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,263 reviews
February 26, 2022
4.5 🌟 AHHHH THE MOMENT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR… DANTE MF GALLO 🥵 I love me a second chance romance so I already knew I would like this one, but damn did I love it! Simone was so eloquent and beautiful & Dante? no fcking WORDS!!! my man was HOT & whipped as hell.. we love to see it. I adore that this series keeps showing us the previous characters as the books go, it makes me feel like I know them all so well. also, I loved the WANTING and LONGING this gave! Bring on Riona’s book ‼️

ps: my heart SKIPPED A FCKING BEAT seeing my baby Aida in this one 😍

“wherever you go, whatever you do, you have my heart in your hands.” 🖤
Profile Image for Riley.
422 reviews20.5k followers
July 6, 2022
you know what, i take back every bad thing I said about the secret baby trope. Sophie Lark proved me wrong. This was immaculate!!! Dante is my MAN!!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
944 reviews1,720 followers
September 15, 2021
3.5 stars

I couldn’t wait for Dante’s book but now I’m kinda disappointed. I liked the first 100/200 pages more, mostly the ones where we are told the before (9 years ago) part.

The present part was meh. The action part of the plot was boring in my opinion and the reunion between those two wasn’t as angsty as I would have wished. If it was that easy for them to reunite why didn’t one of them do it earlier - particularly Simone, since she’s also been hiding a pretty important secret which he had a right to know about. I get that at 18 she was clueless and made bad decisions but time has gone by, she’s become independent and successful but it took outside forces to finally get her to Chicago. Dante was amazing. I mean, not that his personality shined through very much , but he was steady, and true to his feelings.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,014 reviews12.8k followers
March 15, 2022
A new favorite of the series!!! I love a good second chance romance and this one was so angsty and had an all-consuming romance. Dante and Simone fell so hard and fast for each other and I loved how obsessed they were. There was almost a desperation to their romance, especially since Simone's parents didn't approve. Then, we have a time jump and things turn angstier and I was obsessed. This had so much action and gave me the mafia content I was missing from the previous book. Some people said they didn't like the plot of the second half, but I really loved it! I loved how they found their way back to each other while someone was trying to kill them. Seriously, I couldn't put this book down and now I'm even more excited for the next book!
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,795 reviews616 followers
May 15, 2021
I am confuse to be honest. There are so much elements in this book. Forbidden romance, different family background, an assassin. At the beginning of the book, Miss Lark invested heavily on forbidden romance.
Then, when the story progressed, she disolved everything in hurry.

Hence there were a lot of loopholes in the plot. What happened to Simone's parents? How come her parents acted indifferent toward Dante after all this years? And Dante reaction to Henry? Unbelievable.

Like I said, I am confuse. The assassin plot suddenly throwned into the plot. With no appearant reason.

I managed to finish the audiobook. The beginning of the story was interesting.

3 stars
723 reviews
November 2, 2020
This pains me to write, b/c I LOVE this series and I think Lark is a great writer. But I had too many issues with this book to think it was more than "ok". I don't feel like I know either MC well at all. There was no true character development, no relationship buildup, it was pure insta love, physical attraction and then we're just told Simone and Dante are soul mates, but never shown what exactly they loved so much about eachother. Their relationship was super brief and even then they were kept apart so much that how well could they have known eachother? They were constantly sneaking around to get physical and not really talking that much. Then there is a LONG separation and Simone did something pretty unforgivable. (It's a trope I adore if it's done right). It wasn't well done here.

Simone is WEAK. She's such a weak, unrelatable heroine. I don't know any 18 year old who is that scared of her parents that she lets them control every single aspect of her life including who she can speak to and ripping her child away from her and forcing her to sign away her rights. And then Simone still allowed them in her son's life. And for NINE years she hid him from a man she allegedly loved. She dated others, she became rich and famous. 9 years is a lifetime, she could have looked him up, hired a PI, etc. She had no excuse to keep Dante from his own child that long.

Then when Dante and Simone finally reunite, they fall into bed, again with NO real conversation. Then Simone decides to tell Dante the truth, this is where things really fell off for me. Dante was mad (as he should have been) for approx. 1 minute. Simone RAN AWAY crying b/c she's WEAK AF and at this point I really hated her. She's a 28 year old woman who is successful, world famous and she has done this man a horrific wrong, she should have stayed and faced him. She OWED him that at least. But no, she runs and becomes a victim AGAIN. And Dante has to rescue her and he's no longer mad at all that she kept his son from him for 9 years. Smh. I can't deal at this point. There is very little actual, meaningful interaction b/t the MCs in this book. There is a lot of action that I skimmed through, it felt like too much filler b/c there wasn't a lot of substance with the romantic storyline. So unfortunately this didn't work for me. At all. I'm giving it 2 stars b/c I do still love the series overall and I will continue to read it and b/c of the Aida mentions in this book. As usual she is a scene stealer.

I know writing is a difficult job and a series must be even more challenging, so I think one weaker book in the bunch is understandable. I hope the next ones will be as good as the first 2 books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ainhoa.
378 reviews17 followers
January 9, 2022
According to Warda (thank you for encouraging me to finish this series!!) I’m just warming up for Broken Vow, but this one was a second chance romance and I’ll give it three stars anyway.

This one was about cute grunting Dante being scary and big and… did I say scary? With a heroine who despite it all, (barely) survived through it all and came up not stronger but alive.

Let me tell you what didn’t annoy me at all:

Some minor SPOILERS your grace.

She comes back and makes peace with what scared her away in like 0,5 secs, we don’t even get to see her thinking process. She just has to.

He doesn’t have to even think about forgiving her because, well, you know: Soulmates don’t have a choice in the matter apparently.

A kid goes without his father for nine years but they just go back to normal in fifteen minutes. Because, of course, fucking soulmates and all that makes for no trauma for the rest of the world.

Now it’s just me with the trauma for that poor child. I’d go back and change the rating, but I got to see Raylan from the next book and love him already, so no, three stars for my poor child and Aida and Cal who were cutie pies ❤️
Profile Image for Carolina Batista.
199 reviews58 followers
February 14, 2022
4.8⭐️

I found my new favorite book boyfriend… DANTE GALLO! THIS MAN…I would let him do anything to me…

This book is close to perfection. THE ONLY WAY i’m not giving it 5 stars is because I WAS LEFT with one question that I think it’s kinda important. It’s clearly bothering me and the fact that I would never get the answer. Also, the ending felt a little bit rushed like two more chapters with my question answered and I would have been perfect.

Nonetheless, the characters, the plot line and the romance is captivating and beautiful. A true second chance romance with all the mafia vibes but giving a great character growth. It gave me all the feels, I even cried once or twice.

I think this one is my favorite for sure. Can’t wait for Raylan and Riona, the little teaser is giving me the butterflies.
Profile Image for kimberly ☆.
184 reviews2,666 followers
November 23, 2021
This book is hands-down the best book in the series, there is absolutely nothing I can pursue it. Dante and Simone? I don’t have words to express my love for them, they are everything to me their connection is so raw and so genuine and everything that I needed to read and more. I can’t believe I haven’t read anything like this because I loved every second of it. This book kept me on my toes, kept me intrigued I don’t think I have ever read this fast in my entire life especially a book this big. The dynamics everybody we saw, seeing Nero, Aida, Callum and Sebastian. I just everything I saw I loved. The relationship with Simone and Henry stunning amazing so well done. The connection that Henry and Dante had almost instantaneously, and their commonalities within themselves I just I loved. Honestly this is the best book that I’ve read in a while and I’m not gonna shut up about it I loved it, and I’m going to keep loving it. I’m gonna keep coming back to this book because it deserves to be re-read over and over again. This was such a phenomenal read, I know I’m rambling but I really can’t get over it like I can’t believe that I just finished this masterpiece like. This is the most emotional book in the series so far, and with the chaos and even the villain storyline everything was done beautifully. I am genuinely in shock this is such a good book 😭
Profile Image for Rose.
290 reviews786 followers
February 24, 2022
4.75⭐️ OH MY DANTE GALLO!!! This book was hands down the best book in the series thus far. The connection that Dante and Simone had was so vulnerable, raw, and genuine. I loved everything about them. Their journey into falling in love, losing each other, and finding each other again was so beautiful. What an emotional journey they went on.

What I love about this series is that all the siblings and their significant others are in each other’s books so you don’t have to miss them too much. I love the whole dynamic and getting to see everyone interact with one another. I am very excited for Rioana and Raylan’s book next. I have heard nothing but great things about that book.

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, you have my heart in your hands.”
October 22, 2020
Bloody Heart is an angst filled second chance romance that will break your heart into a million pieces before putting it back together again. Sophie Lark gives readers a highly-charged, emotionally captivating story that will grab them tightly and won't let go until the very end.

I have been looking forward to Dante's story from when we first met him in Brutal Prince. The oldest Gallo brother is dark and intense, with a brooding nature that conceals a deep hurt caused by the one person who meant the world to him years ago. We meet him and Simone as young adults and they are reunited 9 years later with so much pain, sadness, and misunderstanding between them. The journey that these two take together is sweet and then utterly heartbreaking, and the author did such an amazing job conveying the depths of their emotions. I loved both of these characters; they were flawed but held a deep love for each other that never wavered.

The angst in this story was so intense and made it really hard to put the book down. The intimate scenes were really well done as well. The scene where they come together after they reunite was seriously one of the hottest and most intense sex scenes I've ever read. There were some fantastic twists as well, and I loved seeing the other characters from this series again. I cannot wait for Raylan and Riona's book next. Sophie Lark is such a masterful storyteller and this series just keeps getting better and better.
Profile Image for ☽ mira.
738 reviews719 followers
November 1, 2021
3⭐️

“She’s the other part of me. I’ve been wandering around for nine years with only half my soul. I never thought I’d be whole again.”


i thought i was going to LOVE this book and i didn't lmao. i actually love dante and he's such a softie even though he's always grumpy. i hated simone. dante deserved so much better than her.

there were like zero excuses for her to keep dante in the dark for so long. like i get that everything happened so fast and she was lost and bla bla bla, but bro 9 fucking years? and no she only told him because he forgave her for leaving bruh. idk poor dante had to go through so much shit for this spoiled and naive girl who was embarrassed of him.

shit got GOOOODDD the second raylan was introduced. i flew through those chapters like no tomorrow. god i'm not having any high expectations for his book with riona because i dont wanna be disappointed but i just know they'll be my favs.

changed rating from 3.25 to 3
Profile Image for Dani.
549 reviews155 followers
August 20, 2021
3.55 stars ⭐️

Wow, I went into this with lower expectations because second-chance romances aren't really my thing. But this turned out so well.

The first 40% was their relationship before and let me tell you, the development of their budding romance was quite spectacular and the chemistry they had *chef's kiss*. After them falling out and meeting each other again, I did like the angst throughout and (tag yourself I'm Aida) I would've absolutely shoved Dante and Simone in each other's faces just to get them to talk it out already. I believed in their love and they truly were soulmates.

What could have been better for me was the I wished the ending could've been grander too with because I would definitely eat that shit up.

The next book is about Raylan and Riona and you have no idea how excited I am. I have high expectations but I wanna keep it low too just in case, y'know???
My most anticipated one and I am expecting RESULTS. 😤

I'm so glad that I'm flying through this series and it's so satisfying.
~Buddy read(ing the entire series lol) with Warda!~
Profile Image for Corinne [semi-hiatus].
407 reviews85 followers
July 24, 2021
4.5 "soul mates" stars

As I am making my way through this series, I am liking each new book more and more and this is my favorite as of yet although it has some tropes that I don't usually like but they worked for me in this book.

Tropes:
- soul-mates
- guy from the wrong side of the tracks
- surprise pregnancy / secret pregnancy
- second chance
- military suspense

Dante and Simone are soul-mates. They meet when she is 18 and he is 21 and they have this world shattering romance than only young people get to experience. The first 35% of the book is about their young love and it has great West Side Story vibes. They get separated by her parents and circumstances, she gets pregnant and doesn't say anything to Dante. She just flees.

They reunite 9 years later when Dante is working security at an event where Simone and her dad are in attendance. And the feelings are still there but so are the secrets.

There is also a really interesting secondary plot about a snipper that threatens the safety of the Gallos and Griffins. I really liked the suspense scenes. They are really well written.

And I loved the angst in this book. It turns out I am quite the fan of the "impossible" romance storyline. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Crystal Cook.
739 reviews1,203 followers
July 6, 2021
The first half of this book was great, I loved the unique "accidental" kidnapping, I loved the chemistry between Dante and Simone, and I thought it was set up to have sone interesting family dynamics with a hot forbidden romance.

But the second half of the book was a huge let down. The plot took center stage and was all over the place. Nearly nonsensical at times. The assassin plot in the end was overly dramatic and unnecessary, also what happened to her parents, did they just...stop interfering?

And there was no build up in the romance, all of it happened in their youth (which was the best part)

Dante was a GREAT possessive, alpha hero, but Simone is by far the weakest of Sophie's heroines I've read.

I'm bummed because the first half had such great potential but the rest just did not deliver at all.
92 reviews
September 25, 2021
Simone is a generic poor little beautiful rich girl who is disgustingly spineless and pathetic. She actively keeps an unforgivable secret from Dante, knowing how terrible it is to do so. She was so judgemental of Dante but then uses him for protection and sex, without disclosing the secret. This book nearly ruined the entire series for me. I don't remember the last time a hated a character so much. She had zero personality or redeeming qualities and spends the story feeling sorry for herself. If I could give it zero stars I would. I genuinely don't understand why Dante is supposed to love her or why he forgives her so easily.

Is it me or does the romance genre have a lot of douchecanoe female leads?
Profile Image for Sophie Lark.
Author 32 books12.7k followers
Read
December 6, 2020
At long last, Dante's story! I know you guys were the most excited for this one. It's my longest book yet -- epic in story, timescale, heartbreak, and angst. And epically spicy too -- be warned!!! There's a scene with a belt that had me dragging Mr. Lark into my writing room. As an added bonus, you'll meet Raylan, who will return as the hero of Broken Vow.


Join the Love Lark Letter:
https://sophielark.com/signup/

Brutal Birthright Series
geni.us/brutalbirthright
Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,473 reviews434 followers
December 1, 2021
Audiobook review. I really liked Dante and Simone’s connection. Their meeting and subsequent courtship was whirlwind and intense and all of the hot goodness I enjoy in my stories.

The plot transitions a bit roughly from past to present but it has an added layer of conflict I feel engendered value. Though I must admit, it wasn’t explored to as much depth as I would’ve liked.

Some of the secondary characters and how they behaved in the past and present changed drastically without explanation and we were left with unanswered questions. However, we got to see some of the other couples of the series and future characters develop a bit more.

Alan Carlson and Josie Kurz’s performance was great. Their tone, pitch, and pace perfectly matched their scenes. No quality lost when listening at higher speeds.

I can’t wait to read more.

Complementary copy received and voluntarily reviewed.
Profile Image for Kate V.
1,048 reviews79 followers
Read
December 2, 2020
DNF at 34%.

I'm not going to rate this because I didn't get halfway through it. Sophie Lark is a good writer and she writes a lot of different stories and I will pick up the next book in this series.

Unfortunately, this book just has every single plot device I don't really enjoy reading. Second chance romance, secret baby, young MCs in the beginning and then flash forward to the future. If it had had one or two, I definitely would have continued. Simone is not a likeable character and I found her weak. Dante was meh. Just not a win for me.
Profile Image for veronica ✰ ☽.
303 reviews43 followers
December 13, 2021
OH MY GOD. 5 STARS! Dante and Simone are my favorite couple from the Brutal Birthright series. Soulmates who kept their love hidden and were never supposed to cross paths, until that fated night. ⭐️

review and aesthetics to come soon! 🖤

tropes: interracial romance, second chances, grumpy x sunshine, opposites attract, and mafia.
Profile Image for drew :).
247 reviews129 followers
November 5, 2022
i don’t know what Sophie put in these books but it’s like crack, literally reading these books in a day
Profile Image for Souhaila.
201 reviews66 followers
May 5, 2022
2.5⭐

Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of Dante, maybe because Simone was so annoying I wanted to slap her more than once and I couldn't forgive or forget what she did, maybe because their relationship was so superficial and empty that I didn't like them as couple and couldn't see them as such, maybe because evey spicy scene was "cringier" than the last (my god the last one, pleaseee, wtf was that?!), maybe because the story felt sooo flat and boring even the last chapters which should've been exciting were meh, maybe maybe maybe... but I'm sorry Miss Lark, this is not my favorite book of the series.

Bonus points tho! Now I'm excited for Rylan and Riona and I have a feeling that the next book will be... interesting.
Profile Image for Sanyah(Taylor’s Version).
203 reviews104 followers
June 18, 2021
The third book of this series disappointed me but clearly I was curious about Dante. I did feel little bit of sadness for Dante and Simone but the words: again felt forced. I understand why Dante is so serious and such a grump. Glad he reconnected with his first love.
Profile Image for Salma.
325 reviews2,452 followers
Read
January 3, 2023
I don’t know how i feel about this just yet so I need to sit on it.

Just know I loooove Dante. I will fight anything for him. Simone on the other hand…
Profile Image for Sammy.
34 reviews18 followers
November 8, 2022
𖤐3.4 stars 𖤐

Where do I even start with this review?

The name of the book did it justice. It indeed left me (and Dante) with a bloody heart on multiple occasions. The improvement in this series is astronomical. From the first book being unreadable to this one being 3.5 stars...

Damn.

This was one wild ride. The problems and struggles the characters went through were realistic and the way they dealt with them was mature. 'Bloody Heart' had real struggles, problems, hardships and bitter relations. I'm so glad I read this.

Coming to Dante.
A moment of silence for all that this guy had to go through. It's devastating. I wanted to cry for him. The book started on a very light and optimistic note but nobody could have predicted in their wildest dreams that it would end like this.

----spoilers ahead----


The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because of Simone. I cannot understand her actions. Why would anybody hide their child for 9 years from their father? I understand that she was scared about his involvement in the mafia. That's valid. But then don't have a child with him in the first place??

Why would you get involved with him like that when you know he is a mafioso, leads a dangerous life and is constantly involved in life-threatening situations?

But then you guys had unprotected sex and you got pregnant. After that, you go to London to raise your child, depriving him of his father and depriving the father of his son.
Neither the kid nor his father will ever get that precious time back.

This was so problematic to me. Doesn't the father have the same rights over his child as the mother?

She stole our baby. She raised him on the other side of the world. I never saw him grow in her belly. I never saw him learn to crawl or walk. I never heard his first words. And most of all, I never got to raise him. Never got to teach him, help him, or care for him. Instil in him a sense of his culture, his family and his heritage, from my side.


Other than this whole part, the book was pretty great. I wish I had gotten to see more of Nero and Miko though. I miss Miko so much.
There wasn't any mention of Camille either. I thought Miles being born would be a big deal and we would see a wholesome celebration or something. We sadly didn't.

On another note, I can't wait to read Riona's book. She reminds me so much of Nesta and I love Nesta with my whole heart.

RIONA'S BOOK BETTER BE PRETTY FUCKING AMAZING.
Profile Image for Mahima.
463 reviews104 followers
November 16, 2021
*** 2.75 stars ***
I actually expected Dante's book to be the best one. But honestly, it didn't meet even the slightest of my expectations.

The one and only best part of the book was the meeting of H&h, and 2-3 other meetings.

Other than this, for me the story lost it's spark really soon. The chemistry felt like fading away slowly.

I literally skimmed the last 150 pages.

Though Sophie Lark's writing is good. I wish the plot was stronger. The repeatative plot of guns and near murders made the book little less appealing.
Profile Image for seher ❥.
316 reviews33 followers
October 7, 2022
4.75 ★
i loved this book so much. it’s by far the best one of the series, but i knew dante’s story would be the best.
i loved this man before i even started reading this book. because it’s him, dante. how could you not love him?

i’m a sucker for second chance and mafia romances, so this book had all i wanted. the tragedy, the anger, all the feels, the tension - it was so so good.
simone and dante deserve the world. my poor babies.

however, i really wanted MORE. it wasn’t enough. the story was so rushed and everything happened all at once.
the plot was so perfect, don’t get me wrong. so thrilling, but also heartbreaking and beautiful. but it wasn’t enough. not nearly enough.

this is the reason why i couldn’t give this book 5 stars. everything else was perfection.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,263 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.