Review: Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy

Title: Ruthless People (Ruthless People #1)
Author: J.J. McAvoy
Release Date and Publisher: July 2014, The Writers Coffee Shop (ebook)

Date Finished: June 26, 2017

Star Rating: ★★★★★


To the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts.

Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, following the life and marriage of Melody Nicci Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage was arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians.

Liam, next in line to lead the Irish, believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. Bred to be a Boss, a world-class marksman, master of disguise, with no mercy and no fear. Twenty-four years later, she has achieved more than any man could even dream of, killing anyone who steps in her way. She knows exactly what type of man Liam is, and she would rather die than give up the power she has spent her whole life building. But with no other family left, she must not only learn to work with Liam, but the whole Callahan clan.

The Mafia of the past is evolving, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to figure out how to work as one to take down those who stand in their way, all while keeping up appearances.

Power, Family, and Respect are everything.

My Review:

“Liam, get your horny fucking ass out of bed and help me kill a bitch!” she yelled.

Warning: If you’re not into gory and violent scenes, very vulgar language, and vivid and descriptive sex scenes, then I highly suggest that you don’t pick this book up until you’re ready.  This book also has some trigger points that you might find disturbing. Consider yourself warned.

Now for my real review!


This book is the BOMB! I haven’t really been a fan of crime novels, so my only exposure to the Mafia world is from Catherine Doyle’s Blood for Blood series and a few TV shows that mentioned Mafia clans. I haven’t even watched The Godfather yet! But this book is now making me reconsider all my thoughts about crime fiction, and I’m currently looking for other Mafia-themed novels and movies. The Godfather is definitely now on my list, all because of this book.

I had really high expectations from this book because I love Black Rainbow, which is the first book I read from J.J. McAvoy. I wasn’t expecting something really action-packed and kick-ass from Ruthless People because I remember loving the whole How To Get Away with Murder vibe of Black Rainbow. Now this book had that Mr. and Mrs. Smith vibe with added drama, action, sex, guns, blood, and world domination!

I was immediately hooked just at the first couple of chapters. I haven’t read any books apart from fantasy books for a long time, so it was really refreshing to finally have read something different and totally unsuspecting. I just couldn’t put it down!

5 things I love about this book:

  1. Liam and Melody. Hands down to the most badass couple in book history! I just love how their relationship works only just for them, and how dynamic it is. I enjoy how both of them are so hardcore, fierce, and even scary sometimes, but only the two of them know each others’ weaknesses. This is actually the first time I read about a female Mafia boss, and I’ve been pumping my fists every time Melody tortures and kills someone while still looking good and put together. And Liam! Liam is someone I didn’t expect to be the one to have a soft side between the two. All those moments that he planned on having Melody admit her feelings and how he was so protective of her made me swoon. I actually swooned during a lot of times when both of them are scheming and planning their revenge on their enemies together and the parts where both of them are working together to bring people down. *heart eyes* And my heart cried for both of them when they lost their baby! It was the first time I’ve seen Melody feel so low, but was really glad that Liam stayed with her until the end and Melody was the one who pushed herself back up to her feet.
  2. Fast-paced storyline. There was never a dull moment from beginning to end, that’s why I was able to finish this book quickly. If the main characters weren’t killing people, they were either plotting their next moves, training, having sex, or bashing their heads together in fights. Everything just happened so quickly that I didn’t notice that I already finished at least half of the book in a day. I also admired how the author involved other sectors like the government and private sectors that were linked with the Irish and Italian mobs. That was a really nice twist to it.
  3. The multiple POVs. We only not got Liam and Melody’s alternating POVs, but we also got Declan and Coraline’s, their parents’, and even Adriana! Those characters were really important in Melody and Liam’s lives that they need to have their own voices be heard. It may be just a few short chapters, but it gave us a better understanding to their internal conflicts.
  4. BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD! I have only encountered very vivid descriptions of torture, dismemberment, and other forms of killing in fantasy novels *coughs Game of Thrones*, so it was a breath of fresh air to see it in a crime novel. Sure, crime novels would likely have blood in them, but it just kept spilling left and right in a lot of chapters that it was so fun to read! I even learned a lot about the Mafia world in the book.
  5. And lastly, Diversity. J.J. McAvoy is well-known to have diverse main characters, especially African-American characters. The Irish mob had a really diverse line in the characters of because of Neal and Liam’s mom Evelyn, and Declan’s wife Coraline, and they were a family that didn’t judge its members based on their skin color. They were accepted as equals, and both Evelyn and Coraline had a strong hold on the Callahan men. Also, I love how pure Italian Melody is. *heart eyes again* I really hope I get to see other diverse characters in the next books.

I’m definitely starting the next book, The Untouchables, right about now!

Until my next review!


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