Vincent, by Sarah Brianne


Grade: D

Doing it at: 64%

Catnip: Mafia; Best Friend’s Brother; Dual Narrative; Girl with a hard knock life; Alpha Hero; Sociopath; Everything’s up-to-date in Kansas City; Red Hot Burning Shame

Shame Scale: This is the definitive shame book. The protagonists are 18. The mafia in question is the Kansas City mafia. The writing is…not good. The cover model looks like a sociopath-spoiler alert he is. Being unable to put this one down gave me a lot of red-hot shame.

Fantasy Casting: Colton Haynes and AnnaSophia Robb

Book Description: Vincent knows the glamorous side of the Mafia, being born a soldier.

Lake lives on the opposite side of the tracks, born the daughter of a soldier.
The light and dark side of him are at constant war, but he is letting his darkness reign.
She is trying to find peace, and she will soon be far enough away to find it.
Discovering that his boss owns her, showed him how little he knew her.

Knowing all about him only makes her want to hate him.I’m a fu**ing made man. 

I’m just fu**ing trailer trash.

Vincent is banana pants guys. Both the character and the book itself. It’s part of the Made Men series, and mafia MEN made me think the main characters in this would be grown ups, instead our story opens with Vincent and Lake in high school, and we only get a few months past their 18th birthdays. But don’t worry! Just because our hero is only 18 doesn’t mean he hasn’t had a lot of sex. Oh no, he’s had sex with every girl in his school AND their moms. At Vincent and Lake’s high school graduation the girls and their moms cheer loudly and unashamedly for their teen sex god. Lake at least has the good sense to be embarrassed by this and flees. She doesn’t have much in the way of good sense besides that move though. Lets get into the plot.

Lake’s father is a low-level soldier in the mafia. In Kansas City, A soldier in the Kansas City Mafia. I couldn’t stop marveling at this fact, I made Mary listen to Everything’s Up-to-Date in Kansas City from the Oklahoma soundtrack, I Googled the median population of Kansas City, I literally laughed out loud. I digress, her dad is a not quite made man, her mom has married a rich man with a mean daughter and Lake hates spending weekends there because they mentally torture her and give her the modern-day Cinderella treatment. She has to sleep in the attic, clean the house from top to bottom, and can only eat the food that is leftover on her stepfather and stepsister’s plates. It’s the taunting of her stepsister that leads Lake and her best friend Adalynn to go dancing at a teen nightclub that appears to be a hook up spot. The girls are there, grinding and avoiding the attention of grabby handed teen boys, when Vincent spots them across the floor. At first he’s all “who is that hot piece of ass”, and then he’s all “that’s my stepsister and her best friend who I’ve never found sexually attractive before but now my dick will only be satisfied by her!”. Vincent and his fellow teen mobsters, Amo and Nero, drag the girls out of the club and beat the crap out of the guys that the girls came to the club with as well as the guys who were trying to grope them. These boys really like viciously attacking people, they’re all about blood splattering and bones crunching. Once Vincent gets Lake and Adalynn home, he finds birth control pills in Lake’s purse and freaks out again. See, girls in the mafia family aren’t allowed to date or have sex until they’re 18, and Vincent is now magically obsessed with Lake, none of this will stand for him so he kisses her. This plays out as these things usually do, he pushes her away, she can’t believe how amazing he is at kissing, no one does anything else for a few weeks, etc…

We pick back up just past the high school graduation, Lake’s dad has a gambling problem and he has gotten in over his head. Far enough over his head that he calls Lake and tells her to get her college fund out of the bank and flee town. Ms. Very Little Good Sense doesn’t flee town though, she takes her 20 grand and goes straight to the mob boss (OF KANSAS CITY) and tries to square up daddy’s debt. Unfortunately he owes more than 20 grand, fortunately (?) the bosses Consigliere is on hand to propose a solution Lake can pay off the debt by working as a cocktail waitress in the mafia’s high roller, super private casino. This is where I chime in and tell you that once upon a time I was a cocktail waitress and that hanging out serving drinks in skimpy outfits is not the same as being a stripper and is super lucrative, no shame in that game. But Lake doesn’t feel that way, she’s mortified and shy and not too happy when the pit boss forces her to see the on site waxer who takes every bit of hair off her body. Admittedly that part doesn’t sound that fun.

The other person who isn’t too happy about Lake’s new assignment? Vincent (duh), he’s been assigned to watch the floor of the casino and make sure no one touches the girls who are on the “no touch” list. At first he’s all “looking at 1/2 naked girls all day and getting paid? This one will give me a blow job in the woman’s room? Best Job Ever!” but then he’s all “Hey! Lake is one of these 1/2 naked girls and she just caught me with a trashy whore in the bathroom and other people are looking at her ass VINCENT SMASH”. Vincent takes it upon himself to pay off Lake’s daddy’s debt and demand she be let free from her obligations to walk around 1/2 naked in front of men that aren’t him. The catch is that Lake’s virginal innocence has caught the eye of a high roller who is in town for a month and the boss insists that Lake keep working at the casino until Mr. Rich and Smarmy leaves town. For the month that this is happening Vincent stays at Lake’s house, he pampers her, he cooks for her (all 18-year-old junior mobster sociopath sex god’s love to cook), and he doesn’t tell her that he has paid off her debt. You can imagine how that plays when it all comes out, and so much drama happens that I can’t really recap without this turning into 4000 words.

The writing in Vincent is not good, the author does that thing where she doesn’t use contractions in what Mary and I figure is a desperate bid to seem like a Serious Writer. The male characters and some of the females seem like actual sociopaths

“Maria giggled over her screams. “I really like it when they scream.”

The next loud scream that erupted from Ashley’s throat had Vincent almost in bliss. Me, too”

Descriptive writing isn’t her forte either, this is Lake describing Vincent’s apartment:

“It was warm yet cool, inviting yet structured, and contemporary yet Victorian, all while being dark with no light”

What does ANY of that mean???

I started laughing before this book even started, Vincent is the proud owner of the best chapter titles I have ever encountered And yet, I couldn’t put this down, it was so bad and funny and I just read it top speed. This book is like that pint of ice cream you eat until your stomach hurts even though you’re barely even hungry; your stomach hurts but you’re #sorrynotsorry. Vincent gets a D for not being a good book, it just isn’t. I’m still probably going to read the sequel, because it looks like there might be a mob war coming, in Kansas City. That’s can’t miss shame reading.