Grudge is the final installment in the Malice Mafia series and cannot be read separately.
Although I enjoyed the series, Grudge felt more like an extended epilogue than a final book in a series, with each element glossed over in order to tie up the loose ends, which was disappointing given how intricately woven and detailed the previous books in the series were.
The book picks up months or a year after the end of Book 2. I’m not sure if a specific time was ever mentioned, or if it was, I missed it.
Anthony is now essentially a different person, and given how the last book ended and the fact that this massive transformation in his character occurred in between books, it didn’t feel like I was reading about the Anthony I’ve come to love. He was still eccentric, but I felt as though the darker side of his personality that I had come to love had gone from pitch black and crazy to stark white.
I’ve liked Juliet since the beginning, and I’ve gone back and forth on how I felt about her throughout this. In previous books, she seemed willing to accept whatever piece each of the guys were willing to give her, but in the midst of devastation, she seemed to realize that while she accepted each of the guys for who they were, they each needed to show her the same respect. In my opinion, she forgave too easily; each of the guys hurt her, and not in a small way, but with a little attention and a few orgasms, everything was forgiven. Each of the guys abandoned her in different ways, so with her already having abandonment issues, her easy forgiveness of it didn’t seem to fit, other than to allow everything to be tied up in a neat little bow.
Nick, I’m not certain. To begin with, it had been a long time since he had even spoken to Juliet, and then it was done, his abandonment forgotten, and his once over-the-top, hot AF possessiveness went from boiling to simmering. I understand that each of them would have to accept things in order for the relationship to work, but it all felt like a switch was flipped and each character went from having these overly extreme personality traits to becoming only a fraction of them.
William had spent years cultivating a plot to take his brother’s position as head of the family. He was laser focused, and as a result, everything else in his life seemed to fall by the wayside, especially Juliet. He, too, abandoned Juliet, and when she refused to join his plot to depose Nick, he took her choice away in the name of doing what was best for her. With his selfishness, he seemed to miss the plot time and again.
He decided to depose his brother because he believed he could do better. He decided he knew what Juliet needed, despite the fact that she was clearly stating what she needed over and over.
Then, like his brothers, a few words and events changed who he was.
In comparison to how the previous books unfolded, all of these huge changes in each of the characters felt like they happened in the blink of an eye. There was some action in the book, as well as some torture, but the character development fell flat.
Malice Mafia https://amzn.to/3MOm6kJ
Malice (Malice Mafia Book 1) https://books2read.com/u/3y1e66
Wrath (Malice Mafia Book 2) https://books2read.com/u/49vN6J
Grudge (Malice Mafia Book 3) https://books2read.com/u/mKdRXB