Corrupt Me, by Jillian Quinn

Every now and then, you have to step a little bit outside your comfort zone. That sentiment applies to readers as well. It’s sometimes educational and sometimes eye-opening to read a book outside the typical genre(s) you enjoy. As a YA writer, I read a lot of YA fiction to keep up with what’s out there. In fact, I had just finished a fantastic YA book—one that has been read and praised by many adults as well. After that experience, I didn’t want the next YA book that I read to pale in comparison to something so awesome. I needed something drastically different.

Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn is DRASTICALLY different than what I usually read.

SPOILER ALERT: Hello blog followers, the book I’m about to review is not appropriate for younger readers. There’s sex and foul language and more sex. Corrupt Me is a New Adult (NA) romance mafia story—genres I don’t read.

So why did I read it?

I came across the author via her popular book blogging site. She writes wonderful “rant” or “rave” reviews of the books she reads—a mixture of YA books, NA books, and romance books. I’ve followed her reviews for several months now, and when I learned she was self-publishing a book, I decided to take a look. As a self-published author myself, I know how hard it is to get readers and reviews. I respect her as a reviewer, so let’s see what she’s like as an author!

The book is narrated in alternating first-person points of view of Isabella “Izzie” Rinaldi and Luca Marchese. They both come from families of wealth and power; she’s poised to take over the family’s empire, and he’s the son of the Philadelphia mafia don. Their families were close many years prior to the start of the story, and though they may still be in business together, there is a rift between them. When a chance encounter puts them in the same place on their college campus, they start shouting at each other and lusting for each other.

I won’t lie. At the start of the book, I found these two characters to be extremely self-centered. It comes with the territory, I guess, since both of them come from a lifestyle of privilege. Also, the sheer—how shall I say this?—steaminess of the romance scenes between then, especially in the first third of the book, made me feel a little prudish. Now, I don’t know if that’s specifically Quinn’s choice or the genre in particular since I don’t read it.

But…but…BUT! Something happened as I continued with the story. These two characters showed tremendous growth as the book progressed. They change their priorities, just like real people do as their circumstances change. I actually came to be interested in these characters enough that I wanted them to get together and have an HEA (Happily Ever After). I won’t spoil the ending and say whether that HEA happens, especially since there are to be more books in this series. But the fact that these characters grew on me as they grew is a testament to Quinn’s skills as an author.

As I said, I don’t read these genres. I rarely read New Adult books. I don’t read steamy romance books. I don’t read books about the mafia. The romance was steamy, and the mafia part of the plot—including an FBI investigation into dealings of Izzie’s grandfather’s company and its connection to Luca’s family—were plausible and well-constructed. Combined, this was a nice detour out of my comfort zone.

So how to rate the book? With no basis of comparison, I don’t know where this fits among books of its kind. Is it something I would have normally picked up? Probably not. But is it well-written and well-conceived? Absolutely, and I have to take that into consideration or my rating would be corrupt. Therefore, Corrupt Me earns its FOUR STARS.

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Corrupt Me is available at Amazon.

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