I haven’t posted a review in some time, and I need to get back to that. So…here we go….
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my first ever read by author JJ McAvoy, and I enjoyed it-overall. From what I understand, Declan+Coraline is the prequel to her popular series Irish mafia series Ruthless People. From the way this story reads, it can be considered as a standalone as the other installments in the series focus primarily on Declan’s cousin/brother Liam Callahan.
Declan Callahan and Coraline Wilson are polar opposites in every since of the word. He is a privileged, yet ruthless Irish mobster, while Coraline is a docile black American princess. They do have a few things in common though: They’re both wealthy in their own right (although by very different yet not uncommon means). As young kids, they both lost their parents violently, and they are wildly attracted to one another. The chemistry is off the charts falling off the page crazy good!
Without giving away the entire story, Declan lives by the family code, and it’s simply family first. Bros over hoes. Business before pleasure. Do.not.fall.in.love. Well you know what? Coraline bust all that bull wide open cause she had ol boy SPRUNG from the first time he laid eyes on that ass-literally! Coraline comes off as a little naïve which is understandable given her sheltered upbringing and living with her mooching aunt, uncle, and cousin. She sees the good in everything and everybody, whereas Declan is bow down or lay down. There’s also the cultural factor to contend with. The Callahan’s creed is “we stick to your own”. Will Coraline be accepted not only because she’s not Irish, but also because she’s black? Will the truth of Declan’s lifestyle and family history destroy what he and Coraline are trying to build? Or will she woman up and fight for her man?
This story could have been great if it were fleshed out a little more. The author admittedly wrote this after being pressured by fans to give Declan and Coraline their own story which leads me to believe that they really struck a chord with some in the Liam stories. I just wish it were a little longer and Coraline a little stronger…