I was gifted an ARC copy in return for a fair and honest review.
This was a lush and lurid mafia romance, detailing the forbidden love affair between Gavino and Sofia, from opposing New York crime families. (Forbidden because the families hate each other. No other reason.)
This story grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go, with both families hell-bent on destroying each other whilst Gavino and Sofia just want to be together. Of course, life isn't that simple when you have mob blood running through your veins.
There are healthy doses of schlocky violence, double-dealing and some hot scenes between the two leads; it's a potent, sexy brew with an involved storyline and characters who may or may not be the bad guys. No wait. It's a gangster romance so EVERYONE is a bad guy, but irresistible none the less.
There were technical aspects I wasn't so keen on, including a somewhat clunky use of adverbs in places, and over-reliance on the word 'smirk,' and it's derivatives. There were times I wanted to punch the hero in the face for smirking quite as much. It didn't spoil the story but was just enough to take me out of it at times.
In other areas, there were great scenes evoking a real New York mafia feel. I loved the almost pornographic detailing of the cars used in the book. The author seems to have an innate understanding of what makes gang guys tick, from their toys to their women.
And I also liked that the women were strong enough to stand on their own two feet, not used merely as arm candy to big up the status of the men. It was a great story with overtures of Romeo & Juliet, via Jackie Collins, and overall, I enjoyed this very much.
Gavino D'Angelo is a bad boy with a bad attitude who is forced into a life he did not ask for when his father demands he join the family business. He does not do well with rules, traditions, or protocol and is determined to challenge his father's every move. One night in paradise can change it all. Gavino sets out on a mission to disturb the peace within the family when he finds himself in the presence of Sofia Barone, the stunning daughter of his father's biggest rival. Gavino makes a decision to use her to play a dangerous game but ends up finding himself in a situation he never imagined. Forbidden love always comes with a price. How far is anyone willing to go for the one person they cannot get out of their mind.