TITLE: Sofia (Bittersweet Familia #4)
AUTHOR: Melissa Jane
Everyone has a story.
For Marcela Ortiz, hers is not one she wants to remember.
Deceived by those closest to her, Marcela is thrown deep into a world of violence, corruption and trafficking. The dark, sinister world belonging to one Hector Florez, Mexico’s leading cartel boss.
What he wants is control.
What she craves is her freedom.
To survive, Marcela must overcome the demons who promise to destroy her and challenge fate to a story she has only dreamed of.
SOFIA, the final instalment of the Bittersweet series is built on heartache, revenge and redemption.
One unlikely group of people.
One common enemy.
Little Doll & Crimson Desert were the first 2 books in the series, and followed the story of Laila and Aiden, which was a powerful and addictive story. Then Laughing Eyes was different characters, it was a character who had shown up in the previous books, but now got his own story, Danny.
That was also an incredibly intense story, which had me holding my breath pretty much throughout. It was dark, gritty and shocking, but most of all it was incredibly sad. So as much as I was excited for Sofia, I was really nervous and hoping there would be a fantastic ending in store for all the characters.
Sofia follows the journey of another character who had shown up in the first 2 books. We didn't get to see a lot of her, but enough to wonder what had happened to her, and what her story was. Which is why it's incredibly important, for you to read the other books before this one. Each story links up in some way or another, and if you skip one, you will miss a chunk of an overall big picture. Plus, you seriously wouldn't want to skip any, they are all incredible.
So anyway, the story starts with 2 gorgeous sisters. So different from each other, yet very close. The youngest invites her older sister to come on a yacht trip, with her and her boyfriend, Alex. Although dubious, quiet and smart Marcela decides to go along.
So stepping on to this huge, gorgeous yacht for the w/end, is where they meet a friend of her sister's boyfriend, Xavier. He is stunning, and mysterious. Obviously keeping a lot of secrets, but he likes Marcela and they seem to be quite attracted to each other.
So the next couple of days are relaxing, chilled out, and full of chemistry and tension. What they don't know, is that everything they thought they knew, is about to change. Their lives will never be the same. And not everybody will get off that yacht.
The story takes a serious change from then, and we are following just Marcela's story now. She is taken captive, and held as a sex slave to Mexico's leading Cartel Boss Hector Florez. We soon learn he is evil, twisted, and has literally no heart. Which is how he has made it so far up the Cartel food chain.
We follow Marcela through 4 years of captivity, and how she is treated and what she has to deal with, some of the people she meets, and how she survives in this Mexican mansion/prison.
What I found that I loved about all this series, what they had in common, was the sheer strength of the women in each story. Marcela was no different. They survive on sheer determination, even though they have no reason to want to survive, they do it because they have to. They have had things done to them, you couldn't possibly imagine, and it's enough to turn them in to an empty shell. Yet, they keep going.
I thought Marcela was incredible, and read each page shocked, and glued to the pages, yet hoping that she would get her HEA, and her retribution in some way.
The last 30% ish of this story, is where it coincides with Little Doll, and Crimson Desert. And no, you don't have to have read those books first, but believe me, you want to!! We learn what happened from a different perspective, and because it had been some time since I read them, I had forgotten the outcome of Marcela, and was desperately hoping everything would turn out good for her.
I was not disappointed with the ending. It was perfect, and I was so happy with how it all turned out. Just when you think things are going to go south pretty quick, it picks back up and is finished epically!!
Of course this whole series is incredible, because of the captivating writing style of Melissa Jane. She tells a dark and heartbreaking story, and doesn't leave any nasty bits out. We get the full picture, and are left to live it along with the characters. I always end up crying with these books, because I end up so attached to the characters, and want them to get their HEA, or justice. But another thing she does so well, is world build to perfection. I mean the detail that goes into this world of dangerous, twisted, Cartel criminals is scary real. Cartel storylines have become a bit of an addiction for me over the last year, and I would say The Bittersweet series, is one of the best that I have read. It's brutal, raw and dark, but it's completely addictive!!
If you like dark, gritty stories, that don't blow glitter over the ugly realities. Then Sofia (and the rest of the Bittersweet series) is an absolute must read!!
5 Huge Stars!
Plot = 5/5
Characters = 5/5
Heat = 5/5
Writing Style = 5/5
Overall Rating = 5/5