Mad Man by Onley James _ Book Review

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Avi Mulvaney is many things. Son. Twin. Owner of the fashion label, Gemini. Murderous psychopath. Together, he and his brother, Asa, make one brutally efficient monster, ridding the world of predators who victimize the innocent. History proves Avi and Asa don’t do well apart, but their father has decided to test that theory.

Felix Navarro knows exactly who he is. Baby brother. Fashionista. Vigilante. While he’s not happy that his big brother married a Mulvaney, the union has its perks. Like a paid internship with Gemini. But all good things come with a cost and, for Felix, that’s enduring Avi Mulvaney each day, which inevitably leads to thinking about him every night.

Felix doesn’t like Avi. He’s cocky, condescending, overbearing, and inappropriate. He’s also sexy, brilliant, and twice as lethal as Felix. Still, Felix loathes him. Even if he keeps letting him kiss him. And touch him. Even if he slipped just once. It was still hate sex, and it would never happen again. Ever.

Except, Avi’s being sent to help take down a dangerous crime ring and he’s ordered Felix to come along. Felix has vowed to stay strong. To remember he hates Avi. But they’re trapped together and there’s only one bed, and it’s so hard to hate Avi in the dark when he’s whispering how Felix belongs to him. Felix belongs to no man, but Avi is determined. He has one week to prove to Felix that he’s the exception to his rule. After all, who says no to a Mulvaney?

Mad Man is a scorchingly hot, intense, enemies to lovers, psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a dirty talking, brutally vicious killer and a sharp tongued murderous fashionista who are both too stubborn for their own good. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, enough blood to film the final scene in the movie Carrie, and enough heat to melt your panties. This is book 5 in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

TAGS: psychopath, enemies-to-loves, dark humor, much violence, jealousy, bad boys doing bad things, long distance snark, only one bed, hate sex, more hate sex, hate sex that becomes apathetic sex then maybe something like love, if two killers are better than one what’s three killers, Avi is jealous, Asa is preoccupied, August is still August, Lucas is frazzed, Archer is still drunk, Thomas is at his wits end, Aiden is still in denial, Noah is still the psychopath whisperer and Adam is still a dick.

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Trigger warnings: Sexual assault of minor by multiple parties, Drug usage/overdose, Use of drugs leading to sexual assault, gratuitous violence.

Mad Man by Onley James is the fifth book in the Necessary Evils series. Felix Navarro has been working under Avi Mulvaney at Gemini while continuing the ruse of hating him through barbs and snark. One night’s events cause a monumental shift for Avi and Felix. While Avi is ready to jump into something deeper immediately, Felix hesitates to trust that there could be more between them. Thomas sends them on an assignment that tests Avi’s ability to be away from his twin and assist Aiden with a series of crimes that uncover a much more sinister evil. As the past is unveiled Avi and Felix need to decide where they stand together as well as who the bad guys truly are.

Felix Navarro exists with a tough exterior shell of extreme high fashion and snark but beneath he is an emotional trainwreck. He doesn’t trust himself with Avi because he doesn’t believe that a man like Avi could ever be happy with him out in the open. Felix tries to brush off their physical encounters as just a hookup but Avi continues to shower him with small acts that show how committed he is to seeing them work. Felix doesn’t want to rely on his connection to Avi or the Mulvaneys to be successful and pushes forward as a fashion designer on his own merits. Felix’s past traumas keep him from allowing himself to fully embrace the idea of being Avi’s as well as a member of the Mulvaney clan.

“You and I…we’re inevitable. Whether you like it or not.”

Avi Mulvaney is the more mild murder twin. He allows Asa to be the dominant one of their duo and is happy to take instruction rather than lead. This urge to please and follow directions allows Felix to control their bedroom encounters and Avi to sit back and enjoy as their mutual kinks are satisfied. Avi knows that Felix is unsure about their future together so he makes sure to remind him often that they are so elevated above everyone else that the outside world’s opinion doesn’t matter. He hopes that his persistence pays off because Felix is his whether he’s ready to be or not.

Avi gave a delighted laugh “You can’t move. You’re my hostage. My snuggle hostage.”
“How are you a cold-blooded killer?” Felix asked, exasperated.
“My love of murder doesn’t have anything to do with my capacity for cuddles. They’re not mutually exclusive.”

This is the fifth book in a series but technically I guess it could be read as a standalone but it would not be nearly as enjoyable. This book focuses a lot on the ever growing Mulvaney family because they are becoming more and more interconnected as more non-psychopaths join the clan. I loved seeing Noah, Felix, and Zane get together and gossip about the Mulvaneys right in front of them and seeing their respective partners snarl and get jealous. There was an appreciated layer of humor with Aiden’s dry comments while Avi and Felix stayed with him as well as the partners chirping about Thomas that balanced another dark crime. I won’t comment too much about the crime because how it is uncovered is important and it’s fun to experience it yourself as a reader.

5 stars for the inevitable collision of Avi and Felix. 

—Written by Katie—

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