Virgin Heat

Overview

For ten years now, Angelina Amaro has kept a secret so deep, so personal, that she couldn't share it with anyone, not even her closest relative. She is in love. In love with the man who betrayed her father, Mafia capo Paul Amaro, and sent him away to prison. All these years she has pined for Sal Martucci, knowing that the intense - though chaste - love they shared would, someday, bring him back to her. But Sal is now Ziggy Maxx, living with a new name and a new face, dodging cameras and cops, tending bar and ...
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Overview

For ten years now, Angelina Amaro has kept a secret so deep, so personal, that she couldn't share it with anyone, not even her closest relative. She is in love. In love with the man who betrayed her father, Mafia capo Paul Amaro, and sent him away to prison. All these years she has pined for Sal Martucci, knowing that the intense - though chaste - love they shared would, someday, bring him back to her. But Sal is now Ziggy Maxx, living with a new name and a new face, dodging cameras and cops, tending bar and running scams in Key West. He hasn't thought about Angelina for years (she never even put out, after all), but he sure has thought about her father: a man who wants nothing more than to see Ziggy dead. And has the power to get it done. But fate always intervenes where true love is involved, and when Angelina sees a pair of hands mixing a drink in a relative's Florida vacation video, she recognizes something that only the obsessed and lovesick ever could. So she packs her bags and heads to Mile Marker One - knowing that somehow, she would find her Sal. While there, she pals up with a young gay man who has his own romantic dreams of what he might find in the sun. But what Angelina doesn't realize is that her father is on to her whereabouts; and Sal's sleazy cronies are on to the value having a capo's daughter in their midst.

Fed up with the life set up for him by the Federal Witness Protection Program, Sal Martucci is tending bar in Key West when he is spotted in a home video by his ex-sweetheart Angie Amaro--daughter of the man who wants Sal dead. Laurence Shames's new thriller is his wildest to date, rich in excitement, tension, laughs, and loopy characters. 320 pp. 20-city author tour. 30,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Goofball goombahs careen through Shames's latest Florida-based comic thriller, a Mafia slapstick that has its funny moments but lacks the depth or vigor to carry a reader's interest along for the entire ride. Ziggy Maxx, working as a bartender in Key West, was Sal Martucci before he ran away from the Witness Protection Program. Now he augments his tips with small-time crime for a local mobster and turns his face away from tourist cameras for fear that Paul Amaro, the New York capo he ratted out, will recognize him under all his plastic surgery. Ziggy's plight is meant to arouse sympathy, but his personality is so roughly sketched that it's hard to understand why Amaro's daughter, the winsome virgin Angelina, would have pined for such a putz for eight years. But pine she has. And, after her uncle Louie shows some home movies of his Key West vacation, including a shot of a bartender making a Virgin Heat cocktail, Angelina, having recognized the bartender's dexterous hands, leaves New York for the sultry Key in search of her lost love. There's also a gay tourist named Michael with convenient access to a homosexual resort hotel, Louie's nagging wife, some fumbling feds and a selection of New York and Florida felons. Shames (Tropical Depression) executes his strokes smoothly, but those strokes are all painted strictly in primary colors, by the numbers. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Mar.) FYI: Hyperion will simultaneously publish Tropical Depression in paperback.
Kirkus Reviews
Love turns up in the most unexpected places in Shames's fifth idyll (Tropical Depression, 1996, etc.) concerning the mafia's Florida branch.

Ten years ago, the cops back in New York squeezed Sal Martucci, and Sal, desperate to save his skin, ratted out his capo, Paulie Amaro. Relocated and resculpted by the Witness Protection Program, Sal, now self-christened Ziggy Maxx, eventually drifted down to Key West, where he forgot all about his passionate, and unconsummated, affair with Paulie's daughter Angelina. But Angelina hasn't forgotten him, and when she recognizes the image captured on her uncle Louie's vacation videotape, she goes AWOL from her father's house and, under the wing of her hopelessly romantic new friend Michael, checks into the Coral Shores, a gay-trade motel. Naturally, Uncle Louie, the white sheep of the family, who's never shown the slightest gumptionhis plumbing-supply business is strictly legitgets a funny feeling about where she's gone and takes off after her. So does her father, who's finished serving his sentence just in time to become convinced that somebody's kidnapped his daughter. In fact, anxious and confused Amaros keep heading south. What's going to happen on an island as little as Key West? An Amaro family reunion, that's what, complicated by (1) Michael's fling with the undercover cop assigned to keep an eye on Ziggy, (2) Paulie's involvement in a local mobster's plan to smuggle guns into Cuba, and (3) the sudden need of most of the cast to hide themselves in the friendly bosom of the Coral Shores. So Angelina's looking for Ziggy, Paulie's looking for Angelina, the feds are looking for Paulie, Michael's looking for love, and Uncle Louie's basically looking for a little peace and quiet, though that's not exactly what he's finding. Any questions so far?

The most firmly plotted yet of Shames's ebullient Key West comedies, with a denouement guaranteed to satisfy everybody but the characters.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595469130
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/7/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 868,014
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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