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ARC Review: A Kiss of Venom by Beena Khan

Title: A Kiss of Venom

Series: Black Widow Series #1

Author: Beena Khan

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

Page Length: 420 Pages

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mafia

Age Range: NA/A

Rating: 5/5 Stars ⭐️

Goodreads | Amazon |

Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC as part of her team in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A comatose broken with a single, deadly kiss.

Once upon a dream…
Heavy were the eyelids of the woman who reigns alone.

I’ve been in a coma for the past three years after an accident left me unconscious and widowed. I’m in a sleep so deep, it cannot be broken… until one day, I feel a brush of soft lips against mine.

In my groggy state, I wake up to a pair of dark eyes and a sinister smile.

Now I’ve returned to my old life. I’m your neighborhood hot mess single mom who keeps her nose in everyone’s business. My husband was the FBI director, and I was one of his agents. We were part of an operation, and now, caught in the crosshairs, I’ve returned to finish the case of the most dangerous man in New York City.

My case is the Tyrant Alexander Nikolaev, the Pakhan of the Russian Bratva.

They say all great love stories have happy endings, but mine already ended in a tragedy…. but he’s awakening something in me that’s dark. Kill him or kiss him, I can’t decide.

I’m getting ensnared in his trap. If I don’t entangle myself from his wicked power—I just might end up losing my life. Then no one can sever those threads.

Welcome to New York’s Underworld. 

Easily one of my favorite books of 2021. 

Beena Khan’s spin-off to The Beauty and The Beast series tells the story of Ghislaine Khalil and Alexander Nikolaev, an FBI agent and The Pakhan of the Russian Bratva, in it’s first book. 

Beena has an art for writing books that have you hooked in from the very first page and it clearly shows. The plot is so wholly original, the only other place I’ve “heard” of it, is in my head. I’m not even kidding, one of my daydream scenarios has always been a romance between an FBI agent and a mafia boss. I have a whole plot thought out for it too. It’s like Beena looked into my head and heart, saw what I needed and made it into a book. The book is emotional, fascinating, beautiful and so, so intriguing. 

I would like to say I want what Ghislaine and Alexander have but if I say it one more time, it’ll lose its meaning because I say this after every couple of books I read that impact me a lot. But I will say that their story is so utterly beautiful and their story unlike any I’ve ever read before (apart from the obvious reasons, of course)

Alexander is at the hospital to take care of a traitor, when a little girl comes up to him and begs him to kiss her mom because she believes her mother, who has been in a coma for 3 years, will wake up by this supposedly magic kiss (don’t blame the kid, she’s been reading the sleeping beauty. if reading books can impact me in real life, an adult, it most definitely can impact a 4 year old adorable kid) And wouldn’t you know it, she does indeed wake up. 

FBI agent, Ghislaine, had been in a coma for 3 years after when she finally woke up. But everything’s different. Her FBI Director husband is dead, her one year old daughter is now four years old, she barely recognizes the woman in the mirror and she’s struggling with the world. 

I’m so in love with the idea of an FBI agent and mafia boss together and Ghislaine and Alexander made me fall so deeply for them. Despite the obvious reasons for why they shouldn’t be together, they’re perfect for one another. There’s something about Ghislaine that makes Alexander want to help her and he’s been wholly captivated by her since the moment he saw her at the hospital, in her coma. He does everything that he can to help her and just his determination to do so made me love him even more. His character growth was absolutely amazing. 

What makes you love their connection even more is that it feels so real. It’s not just attraction, it’s a soul deep connection. And considering they’re both on the opposite sides of the law, the road to actually being together is an incredibly bumpy ride for them which is what makes you appreciate it even more in the end. You’re at the edge of your seat waiting for every moment and despite it being morallywrong, you want them together above all else. 

I will always love this book something special and I cannot recommend it enough. I’m sure by now everyone can tell which books I love more than everything else because my reviews for those few end up being incredibly long, just like this one. Ghislaine and Alexander’s story will own your heart and leave you wishing for more. 

Beena Khan is a storyteller based in NYC where she brings dark fairytales and myths to life. She writes edgy mafia crime noir, romance thrillers, new adult, women’s fiction, and contemporary fiction that gives you a book hangover. Her books are painful, messy, dangerous, and raw. She has a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology and a minor in Arabic studies. She often explores the human psyche. She published her first book, the Name of Red when she was 26. Come say hi at beenaxkhan@gmail.com or her Twitter/Instagram @beenaxkhan 

Her women’s fiction and contemporary romance books is where you will find flawed gentlemen. Her dark romance books is where you will find morally gray anti-heroes and villains so there is something for all readers.

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