Release Date: November 18th, 2022
CW: toxic familial relationships, murder, kidnapping, sexual abuse, threats and other kinds of violence
Gemma Fiore can’t decide what’s worse: sharing a forbidden kiss with a stranger on her wedding day, or her husband being murdered before the marriage has even been consummated.
Matteo Santarossa never planned to steal a kiss from a married woman . . . it just happened. He hadn’t planned to kidnap her either, but when gunshots are fired, decisions get made fast. And Gemma Fiore? She’s the kind of woman he’s ready to make risky decisions for.
The heat between Gemma and Matteo is nothing either of them can seem to control. It doesn’t help matters that they’re hiding away at his cabin, which only has one bed, while he nurses her back to health.
However, when Gemma learns her kidnapper, the same man starring in her darkest forbidden fantasies, is planning to marry her cousin, she knows it can’t last.
The question is, does she go back to her father, knowing he’ll promise her to yet another business associate? Or can she stay with Matteo against her family’s wishes and break the sacred promise she made to her dead mother?
Well, damn. I discovered Jasmin Miller through her Kings of the Water series and fell in love with her stories. So to have Jasmin release a mafia romance and rock my socks off with should have been expected. I don’t read a lot of mafia romances, but I can tell you that I absolutely devoured and loved this one. There were times when I had to force myself to slow down so I didn’t finish it all in one go and then want to read it all over again! Gemma and Matteo, all of the supporting characters—blew me away.
In Forbidden Freedom, you’ll find:
✨ a mafia princess with zero freedom
✨ a man on a revenge path
✨ forbidden romance, obviously
✨ forced proximity
✨ a very hot and very protective hero
✨ a fun group of friends
✨ banter and steam
Gemma is the only daughter of a mafia boss and he has spent her whole life grooming her to be the perfect mafia wife. But Gemma wants more. However, every time she fights against her father, he makes her life hell. The book starts with her wedding day, where she meets a handsome stranger who completely knocks her off her feet with one of the hottest kisses of her life. But her father’s plans don’t go as he hoped when Gemma’s brand new husband winds up dead. Weeks later, Gemma is at a family event when she runs into the handsome stranger again and he steals a moment with her in the restroom moments before news about who he is drops in her lap and a firefight breaks out, knocking Gemma down. When she comes to, she’s being taken care of by Matteo, a man promised to her cousin and a man she can’t bring herself to resist.
Seriously, the first few chapters of the book were a great combination of so hot and so stressful. But I loved every minute of it. When Matteo and Gemma are forced into hiding to keep her safe while the mafia figures out how to get back one of their own while also getting revenge, everything starts to change. I loved the push and pull between these characters. I enjoyed watching Matteo fight every bit of attraction he has towards Gemma and how she struggled to make sense of the life she’s been thrust into. They come from different worlds and are complete opposites, but together, they find that sense of comfort and love that neither of them were looking for.
“Grumpy and growly Matteo is a sight to behold and absolute fire, but laughing and happy Matteo is blindingly gorgeous. Whereas the first version of him can get my panties wet with a glance, this new version of him dissolves them into thin air.”
I loved how Matteo encouraged Gemma to be more than she’s always been and I enjoyed watching her unravel him bit by bit. The nicknames and the pining and the mutual appreciation of each other was definitely winning all of the points. I liked that while their relationship is complicated, neither of them care what anyone else will say because their feelings for each other is bigger than everything else. The chemistry, oof. The steam, double oof. All of that was good, but it was the emotional bond and the connection they built together that really did it for me. I loved watching them fall in love, without ever once saying the words. The way they communicated, the conversations they shared and the relationship they built…*chef’s kiss*
I don’t know if this is going to be a series, but Jasmin, I really hope we get a Luna/Zeno story because I am shipping the hell out of those two!
Thanks to Jasmin Miller for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.