4 starsDarkMafia/CrimeOops, We're Married/Marriage ArrangementPanty Melter

Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Sparrow Book Cover Sparrow
L. J Shen
Fiction, Dark Romance
March 8th 2016

Troy Brennan

Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes

That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'd ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he'd decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

ARIANNA’s Review

4.5 Stars!!


Well…this one turned out to be so much more than I had expected. L.J. Shen delivered an intriguing tale that held my attention from the very beginning. A great mix of steam, action and suspense with a little bit of drama, ‘Sparrow’ was fast-paced, entertaining until the end and also written pretty well because to be honest, I couldn’t put it down. I other words, I devoured it!

“…he was the kind of guy to show up in the local news for all the wrong reasons. He was trouble—hot trouble, flash-fire-on-the-stove hot trouble…”

Troy Brennan is well known in Boston. Not for his kindness, but for his cruelty. He’s not a nice man, he’s feared and even if he’s called ‘The Fixer’ you don’t want to be ‘fix’ by him. He’s the son of the former Irish mafia boss and even if he took a different path, his hands touched blood, weapons and of course dead bodies. The fact that he has to marry a girl he wants nothing to do with, doesn’t please Troy. This is his new mission and he can’t do anything about it.

“I was completely trapped, a caged bird with clipped wings.”

Sparrow knows very well who Troy is. They grew up in the same Boston area and they have known each other for many years since Sparrow’s father, worked for Troy’s dad. She has to become Troy’s wife and even if she doesn’t understand why Troy wants her since she’s not exactly his type or why her father agreed to it, she will do it. At first sight Sparrow is just a regular woman, but Troy will realize that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to his new wife.

“Troy Brennan was the devil, but sometimes, even good girls wanted a healthy dose of evil in their lives.”


This was my first book by this author, but certainly won’t be my last. The story was not exactly dark, because it’s not a mob book like I’ve expected. However it was gritty and like I mentioned above pretty addictive. The storyline was interesting for the most part, even if some events were predictable. (like the suspense/mystery aspect)

Both Troy and Sparrow were interesting, well developed characters. Sparrow is well portrayed as an innocent, inexperienced girl, but as the story progresses you will find out that she is more than that and you will like her more and more with every chapter because despite everything I mentioned above she is not stupid, doormat kind of girl. Not at all! Even from the beginning she gives as good as she gets. She’s a tough, smart cookie and I simply loved her sassiness and the fact that she was a total firecracker.

“…I was intrigued. So much so, that I tried to test her boundaries, scare her. Play with her a little.”

You can bet you’re a$$ Troy knows how to ‘play’. This insensitive little prick is that kind of hero anti-hero you’ll love to hate and hate to love. I enjoyed the fact his character was so layered and I honestly liked every one of these layers. He’s dangerous in a sexy way and for sure you will be charmed by his good looks and also by his brutal honesty and also by his ‘very nice’ personality.

“…if I can’t eat it, fuck it or kill it I have no interest in it.”

Troy and Sparrow’s relationship progressed in a very natural way. Firstly, because there was no insta-lust or insta-love between them and secondly because the entire story centers around their relationship. And let me tell you, their dynamic was entertaining as f@ck. Everything between them was believable, nothing felt rushed and that’s why I enjoyed every single one of their interaction. Every scene with these two held me captive for one reason or another. Their connection wasn’t instant, but progressed gradually as the story unfolded and I enjoyed this aspect of the story very much.

“I wanted to snap that little spine of hers. Have her begging. Leave her wanting and lusting. Wanted to prove to her that she wanted me no less than I wanted her.”


“I was a liar. I was reckless. I was an idiot. But I was his. “


“We didn’t make love, we made war. When she was pulling, I was biting. When she was scratching, digging her nails into my flesh, I slammed harder, faster. Our sex was furious, it was raw, untamed, wild…”

Needless to say, in the end these two worked together in every possible way and I truly enjoyed that.

I have to say I really enjoyed the writing. A little bit descriptive at times, but flawless and very engaging. That being said, I have to say I have only two complains – personally I would have preferred a little more dialogue. Also at times I felt there was a little more telling than showing.

All in all, ‘Sparrow’ was an entertaining read from start to finish, one I would highly recommend if you are looking for an enjoyable read with a feisty heroine and an charming anti-hero with alpha-male tendencies. I’m looking forward to read more books by this author!

“Even villains have a happy ending every now and again.”