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Kat's Review of Tainted Love by Kimberley Chambers (The Butlers #4)

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Synopsis: Three Butlers.

Two weddings.

One funeral.

Times are changing in the East End, from bad to worse . . .Despite the love they share, Bella’s and Michael’s lives seem to be continually throwing grenades in their path to true happiness. Bella’s dark secret is threatening to spiral out of control – and has the power to destroy the Butler brothers’ bond once and for all . . .Meanwhile, Little Vinny has truly turned over a new leaf and is doing everything he can to be a good husband and father. He doesn't want to follow in his old man’s footsteps, but the apple never falls far from the tree, and despite everything he’s done to wipe the slate clean, his past is about to catch up with him.Everyone knows the Butler family’s reputation – you don’t mess with them unless you’ve got a death wish. But there’s someone out there doing the unthinkable – and they are aiming for the heart of the family.It feels like the end of a golden era – could it finally be the end of the Butlers?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

KAT’S REVIEW: Right now first things first, some people may look at my rating and roll their eyes. It seems all I ever do is rate this author’s work as 5/5. Yes, I have certainly been doing that lately, however that full star rating is fully deserved. One thing I must confess though is that the first few chapters that feeling was the complete opposite. Yeah, I know that sounds shocking but it’s also true. I do NOT rate authors for any reason other than that of my own opinion. For those that maybe haven’t heard of Kimberley Chambers you may want to go to my author list and look her up, this book is certainly not the place to start. Tainted Love is part of the books featuring The Butler family (The Trap is Book 1, Payback is Book 2 and The Wronged is Book 3). I certainly don’t believe you can read this as a standalone as you really do need the history behind this family.

When picking up this latest I was so excited as book 2 had left me with so many questions. However, when I started reading I quickly realised it had been 10 months and probably the best part of 100 books since I had last read about the Butler family. Things were not settling well with me, and that caused me some serious heartache. However, thankfully after the first quarter of the book was over I felt like I had never been away. The reason I say this is that there is SO much that has happened and so many characters that it takes a while to re-familiarise yourself. I think maybe this is a problem that could be down to the sheer number of books I read as opposed to your normal reader that has maybe only read a few books a year. So back to the story itself and what I thought!

So we join the Butler family in the 1980s and when I say there is a lot going on, I really mean it. All of the loved and loathed characters make their reappearances and they all seem to be at different stages of their life. Out of all the characters that surprised me in this series the major one has been Little Vinny. It seems Little Vinny has done his utmost to turn his life around following the arrival of his little boy. He is determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps, and even knowing what had gone on in the past I couldn't help rooting for him. Vinny is his usual bolshie and arrogant self and frankly I’m surprised he is still breathing after everything that has happened.

One of the main threads that was a follow on from the last book involves Bella who is madly in love with Michael. When Kimberley Chambers decides to go for it in terms of shock value, she certainly doesn’t hold back and this storyline featuring Michael and Bella is no exception. Unfortunately as many readers will be aware there are many secrets that various family members’ hold and it seems that this time around nobody is left untouched.

Queenie and Viv seem to have taken more of a back seat in this latest outing but it felt fitting, and when they do make their appearances it’s done in true Butler style! Albie is also back (Queenie’s ex-husband and the Butler boys and Brenda’s father). I really like Albie and think the poor bloke could do with a break. The real kicker for me was the last quarter of the book. I spent the first quarter getting myself re-acquainted, the 2nd and 3rd quarter totally absorbed and the last quarter was spent with my chin on the floor. When I got to the very end, I didn’t think there was anything left to give……I was wrong! I've purposely not mention specifics of the story as that ruins the whole point of reading the book yourself. What I will say is that KC has written quite possibly her best book to date! If violence, treachery and a no-holds barred story is what you’re after…Kimberley Chambers is the woman to give it to you! 

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