The mafia men of New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille’s Ruin & Revenge series are hard, hot, and ruthless. They show no weakness and take no prisoners. But the right woman can soften their stone cold hearts and make them come alive with dark desire.
Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in Las Vegas, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart...until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wantsand Luca will do whatever he can to possess his mysterious temptress...
Police detective Gabrielle Fawkes lives for revenge. She lost everything at the hands of an unforgiving ruler of the Vegas underworld. Now she wants to see him six feet under. But when a near-fatal attack leads her into Luca’s arms, what was meant to be one night of unbridled passion becomes something forbiddingly more. Luca has his own agenda, but when strong, determined, kick-ass detective Gaby sets her sights on her target, Luca feels compelled to stand by her side and protect her at all costs. However, pursuing danger comes at a high priceand both Gaby and Luca must work together in order to eliminate the dark enterprise that threatens them, in Luca by Sarah Castille.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes sexy contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them, including Nico.
Read an Excerpt
By Sarah Castille
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Sarah Castille
All rights reserved.
It began like every other day in Vegas.
Luca Rizzoli had rolled out of bed just before noon, showered, shaved and groomed. There was nothing more important for a Mafia capo than la bella figura — looking good in the eyes of society. Once his knives were strapped to his body, he dressed in a new Italian wool suit, crisp white shirt, and red silk tie. He holstered two Glocks across his chest, an S&W500 and a Ruger GP100 around his waist, and a Walther P22 beside the knife on his ankle, just above his Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. After meticulously checking his appearance, he walked back into the bedroom, ready to start his day.
That's when things had started to go wrong.
First, the woman in his bed didn't want to leave. When his usual charm and soft smiles failed to encourage her departure, he had to yank the covers off the bed and toss her money on the dresser, shattering the illusion that she was anything other than the high-class escort she pretended not to be. Luca always tipped well so her feigned indignation lasted only as long as it took her to count the cash and wobble her way out of his penthouse suite on her four-inch stilettos.
After that, it had been one broken leg after another as he called in a few business loans from scumbags who didn't want to pay up. As a senior caporegime in the Toscani crime family, he could have delegated the job to his crew of soldiers, but he had welcomed the opportunity for a little stress release.
Unfortunately, his day had continued its downward slide when he visited a new convenience store down the street to offer them his "protection", only to discover that the Albanians had muscled in on his territory.
Whacking Albanians was never a good way to break in a new suit, but the Toscani crime family didn't waste time when there were lessons to be learned.
Luca had called up Frankie De Lucchi, a top-level enforcer. Together, they sent the Albanians back to their home country via the fiery pit of Hell.
And wearing cement shoes.
Shoes were Frankie's specialty. He was a mean SOB who had once dabbled in the concrete-pouring business. He never gave up the opportunity to practice his trade, and the depths of Lake Mead boasted many examples of his handiwork.
After Luca had changed his clothes, washed off the blood, and dropped off his suit at the dry cleaners, his day had gone from bad to worse.
He got cocky.
And cocky had led him here. To this hospital bed. With a bullet in his chest.
It was his own damn fault. Luca knew better. He had let overconfidence blind him once before, and it had almost destroyed his life. His hand clenched on the bed rail as memories flooded through him, adding an emotional bite to his physical pain.
When Gina got pregnant after their one-night stand, he hadn't hesitated to do the right thing. After all, Gina ticked all the boxes for a desirable Mafia wife. She was pure Italian, well versed in the culture, easy on the eye, and a good cook. Love wasn't part of the Mafia marriage equation, so he had felt no guilt about spending Friday nights between the sheets with his sexy goomah, Marta, engaged in the extra-curricular activities expected of a senior Mafia capo. A wife was a symbol of status. A mistress was a symbol of power. Gina understood how things worked and as long as the money rolled in, she had no complaints. Life was good.
And then one afternoon he came home too early.
Too early for Gina's lover to escape.
Too early for Gina to hide the needles and packages of white powder her lover brought her every week.
Too early to clean up their son, Matteo, so Luca didn't find him crying and hungry in a shit-covered crib.
Too early to avoid having his heart ripped out of his chest by the devastating revelation Gina made before he kicked her out of the house, and her death by overdose late that night in a bathtub in the Golden Dreams Hotel.
Luca had been totally unprepared for the emotional trauma of Gina's death. Sure he cared for her, enjoyed spending some time with her, and they had a two-year-old son together. But he hadn't loved her — had never pretended to love her — and her accusations that their empty marriage had turned her to drugs and other men had almost destroyed him.
It was her parting shot that had done the real damage. His cocky overconfidence had blinded him to what was going on right under his nose.
Reeling from shock, and unable to share the depths of Gina's betrayal with even his closest friend, Nico Toscani, now self-appointed boss of the Toscani crime family, he'd gone off the rails. He sent Matteo to live with his mother, and dedicated himself to numbing the pain. He lived fierce. He lived large. He lived for the moment. Women. Fights. Booze. Craps. He took on the most dangerous jobs, and set up the most daring rackets. His attitude to risk became almost cavalier as he dedicated himself to his lifelong quest of restoring the family honor — destroyed by his father many years ago — by proving himself the most loyal of Nico's caporegimes.
Hence the mistake, which had led him to his current confinement.
Gritting his teeth, he shifted in the uncomfortable hospital bed. Pain sliced through his chest, and he bit back a groan. When he'd thrown himself in front of the bullet meant for Nico's heart, Luca could have saved himself a whole lot of pain if he'd worn a bulletproof vest. But sometimes, in the pit of despair, down was a hell of a lot more attractive than up.
A pale-yellow glow flickered in the doorway, and his pulse kicked up a notch, pulling him out of the sea of regret.
Nurse Rachel visited him every night to give him pain relief of another kind. Even bruised and broken, his dignity ruffled by the continual poking and prodding of his person, his life at rock bottom, he hadn't had to put much effort into convincing the young nurse to get down on her knees and wrap her plump lips around the only part of his body that didn't ache.
Luca had a gift for seducing women. Sweet words flowed easily off his tongue. His smile could sink one thousand ships. He was a lean, mean, fighting machine, but it was his dick that always brought them back for more.
When the door opened, he smoothed down his blue shirt and adjusted his belt. With a constant stream of family and crew coming to his room, he had made it clear to the medical staff that he would not suffer the indignity of a hospital gown. Every morning, he washed, shaved and dressed with the assistance of his sister, Angela, before greeting visitors from his hospital bed. His mother brought food every day to ensure he didn't "succumb to starvation". As with most Italian mothers he knew, there was her food or there was no food. That was her way.
"Rachel, sweetheart." His smile faded when an orderly followed Rachel into the room pushing a hospital gurney in front of him. Luca's gaze narrowed on the sleeping woman in the bed. Her long, blonde hair tumbled over the pillow, gleaming reddish-gold like the first autumn leaves. Her skin was pale in the harsh light, and her hospital gown gaped open at the collar, revealing the beautiful curve of her neck and the gentle slope of her shoulder.
Rachel gave him an apologetic smile, and he watched as they settled the woman in the cubicle near the window, wondering what the hell had happened to the wad of cash he had slipped the head nurse to ensure he had a private room.
After the orderly left, Rachel leaned down and brushed a soft kiss over Luca's cheek. "I'm sorry, Mr. Rizzoli. I know you like your privacy, but there was a big shootout in the Naked City, and the ER is swamped. We don't have enough staff or rooms to accommodate everyone, so the head nurse ordered us to ensure these double rooms were filled. She put you two together because you've got the same kind of injury."
Despite his irritation at losing his privacy, he graced her with a smile. He liked Rachel. She was a sweet girl, willing and compliant, and very skilled with her mouth. There was no point taking out his frustration on her. The Toscani crime family had friends everywhere. No doubt a few more bills and a word in the right ear in the morning would restore the status quo with a minimum of fuss. In the meantime, he'd have the company of a beautiful woman who had, apparently, like him, been shot in the chest.
After Rachel left, Luca's gaze drifted over his new companion. She had turned to face him in her sleep and the thin blanket dipped into her narrow waist and up over the curve of her hip. Her features were delicate, her cheekbones high, and her nose slightly turned-up at the tip. She was the opposite of everything that attracted him to a woman: blonde instead of brunette, curvy instead of slim, soft instead of hardened by the years of rough living that made it easy for him to limit his encounters with his escort companions to just one night.
Angelo. For the last four years, he had been lost. Now, he was found.
Her warm, rich voice slid through him like a smooth Canadian whiskey that finished the palate with a whisper of heat.
"I was just wondering, bella." He lifted his gaze to soft blue eyes framed in thick golden lashes. "Who would shoot an angel?"
* * *
Gabrielle couldn't remember the last time a man had looked at her with such open admiration.
Well, except for David. But David was gone.
Her hand drifted to her neck where she usually wore a locket containing the last picture of her and David together. But the nurse had removed it when she went into surgery, and now it was buried somewhere in the plastic bag that held all her clothes.
Her heart squeezed in her chest, and she focused her gaze on the smartlydressed man who sat on a hospital bed across the room. His eyes were the color of sunlight streaming through the pond behind her childhood home in Colorado. He had thick, blond hair, neatly cut, and rugged features that suggested Nordic descent.
But bella was an Italian word.
He'd called her an angel.
It was the kind of line she heard in the bars her bestie and roommate, Nicole, dragged her to on the weekends, hoping to pull her back into the world of dating so she could find another "happily ever after." But coming home at the end of her patrol one night to find her husband of only one year brutally murdered in their new home had ended Gabrielle's belief in fairy tales. And since they were definitely not in a bar or anywhere that remotely resembled a place where two people might hook up, the man across the room couldn't possibly be trying to seduce her. Although he was wearing street clothes, he was hooked up to the monitors just like her, and his bedside table held the kind of personal items one expected to see in a hospital room — shaving bag, magazines, flowers, and, disconcertingly, a holster.
"I've made you uncomfortable." His warm, sensual voice wrapped around her like a thick velvet blanket and she felt a flicker of awareness deep in her chest.
"I'm no angel." Her male colleagues in the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) Narcotics Bureau had other names for the most junior and only female detective in their squad, none of them flattering. She was a poor replacement for David, who had worked his way through the bureau from officer to detective, and from sergeant to lieutenant. Even after two years proving herself in an investigation into the rise of the Fuentes drug cartel in the city, she received little respect.
Not that she cared. She had pulled every string she could to get into the bureau and assigned to the Fuentes case with the sole goal of avenging David and bringing his killer to justice.
The Mexican-based Fuentes cartel had been traced to the supply of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine that came through Death Valley from Arizona and California. The drugs were stored and used in Las Vegas, and transitioned to other cities across the country by a vast network of smugglers extending from Canada to Mexico. Gabrielle's squad had been tasked with dismantling the Las Vegas cell of the cartel and capturing the man in charge, José Gomez Garcia, one of the biggest drug lords on the West Coast. And the man who had killed David.
"You look very angelic to me." His eyes dropped, slid slowly from her face to the embarrassing white-and-blue hospital gown with its gender-neutral graphic pattern. With the gaping neckline, and her semi-reclined position, it exposed just enough to make her flush as he perused her body. She tugged on the gown, but the instant his gaze flicked to hers she knew he'd had a close and personal view.
And for some reason, that made her tremble. Men like him didn't give heated looks to women like her. At least not now. Two years after David's death, she didn't recognize the woman she saw in the mirror every day. Revenge might have pulled her out of a year-long depression and given her a reason to get out of bed in the morning, but it hadn't done anything to put the spark back into her eyes or fill the black hole in her chest that got bigger every day that Garcia walked a free man.
She studied him as he studied her. Seated, his legs almost reached the end of the bed. She guessed he was taller than David who had dwarfed her five-foot five-inch frame by a good seven inches. Her roommate's shoulders were broad beneath his fine shirt, unmistakably powerful. He was the kind of man who would walk into a bar and instantly attract attention. She couldn't imagine a woman who wouldn't be swayed by his rich, soothing voice, soft lips, or the wicked sensuality that oozed from every pore of his taut, toned body. Even the scars along the curve of his chiseled jaw just added to his rugged charm. From the pressed pants he wore, to the wrinkle-free shirt, and the perfectly trimmed hair, he was breathtakingly gorgeous, and utterly magnetic.
"Luca Rizzoli," he said into the silence. "And you are ...?"
The faintest hint of a smile spread across his face. "Suits you. Gabriel was one of the archangels. And you remind me of Carlo Dolci's Angelo dell'annunciazione that now hangs in the Louvre. Emotional intensity translated into physical beauty ..." He sighed. "Such a tragedy. Italian paintings should remain in Italy. Don't you agree?"
Gabrielle didn't know anything about art. She'd spent her first nine years in a small town in Colorado, and when her mother died, she and her older brother, Patrick, had been dragged to Nevada to live with her father's new wife in a lower-class suburb of Vegas. She also didn't know how to talk to handsome men who knew about art, dressed in expensive suits in the hospital, and spoke in a language that was so beautiful, musical, and vivid it made her knees weak. No wonder they called it the language of love. And in that deep, liquid voice ... For a moment, she almost forgot the pain.
But movement reminded her. She grimaced as she tried to push herself up on the pillow, tugging the bandages that covered her chest.
His brow furrowed. "You're hurting."
"I'm fine," she lied. The physical pain from the gunshot wound was nothing compared to the utter despair of knowing she'd not only failed to catch Garcia tonight, but she'd compromised a two-year investigation into the cartel. If her stupid mistake got her kicked out of Narcotics, or even the LVPD, she would never have the chance to catch the man who killed her husband.
No. Not just David. Garcia was responsible for taking two lights out of her life. Not just one. Her stomach clenched at the memory, and she fisted the covers. She'd thought nothing could be worse than losing the man she loved. She'd been wrong.
"I'll call Nurse Rachel," Luca said, frowning.
"You don't need to call her. It only hurts when I move."
"Don't move," he commanded, jabbing his finger on the call button. "Rachel will be able to do something for the pain."
"It was a joke," she said lamely. "I mean, it hurts, but it's not unbearable."
"A joke?" His beautiful eyes narrowed, their rich hazel depths hidden beneath a thicket of lashes.
She laughed at his puzzled expression, startling herself with the sound. When was the last time she had laughed out loud? Even the perpetually upbeat Nicole hadn't been able to drag a spontaneous laugh out of her in a long time. "I guess being shot isn't something to joke about. I turned down the painkillers. I don't like drugs, especially if they fuzz up my brain."
He gave a soft grunt of approval. "We have that in common," he said. "As well as the bullet wounds we share. Pain is the body's way of guiding us how to heal."
Excerpted from Luca by Sarah Castille. Copyright © 2017 Sarah Castille. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love the excitement of the story plot. Plus the love story
I wasn't ready to like Luca. I did lust for him but I just couldn't see how he could be love material. Boy was I wrong. The author does an outstanding job of keeping his character as an under the radar edgy mafia and then she throws in a heart to really mess with the reader's head in a very exciting way. So yes I did come to love his character in spite of him being mafia. Yikes, Gabrielle is a larger than life woman that stands out throughout the book. The only thing that I kept getting stuck on was that she was a renegade and was going to get someone hurt. But once again the author develops her character in a manner that makes this whole story work and in doing so created a beautiful love story between two very unlikely people. Because of the author's ability to merge these two people into a believable story I give this 3.75 stars.
WOW Luca is HOT! This series is AWESOME! It's a gritty, suspenseful, gripping Mafia tale, to be sure, but it's so packed full of sexy times and love and kick-butt heroines and I just LOVE it! Gabrielle was AMAZING! I loved how she was strong and independent, but I love even more that I wasn't "beaten over the head" by how strong and independent she was. In other words, I felt she was realistic, and I liked her a lot! And Luca. WOW!!! Loyal to a fault, fluent in Italian, protective...he's my favorite hero in this series by far! (though Nico was a VERY close second!) I'm normally not into this kind of story/genre, but Sarah makes it impossible not to be completely engrossed by this series! I CAN'T WAIT for the next book!!!!!! (I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)
Luca by Sarah Castille Ruin & Revenge #2 What a delight this book proved to be – of course I was EXPECTING it to be having loved Nico’s story told in book one of this series but STILL…what a treat this book was! Luca Rizzoli, a capo for Nico Toscani, is first introduced in the hospital and shortly thereafter into his room arrives the woman he will eventually end up with. Gabrielle Fawkes is absolutely the best and worst person for Nico to fall for because they are forbidden to one another. Yes, he is forbidden by the “commandments” of the mafia to date someone on the police force and she is definitely not supposed to date someone in the mafia. Okay…so that is a bit of background BUT add in sizzling hot interactions between the two, similar background experiences - in more ways than one, mutual bad guys they want to put away, and a cast of characters that I want to hear more about and you have a story that keeps the pages turning lickety-split. On the last page I felt happy for all and ready to read the next book – a book I hoped would be about Frankie BUT I found out it will be about Rocco and now need to find out where Rocco was mentioned in this book to try and find out what meager crumbs might have been left to suss out what his story might be about. I am sure that no matter WHAT his story is it will be a humdinger and a page-turner since both the other books in this series have been. I still want Frankie’s story, though ;) I do hope his will be told eventually! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
Really enjoyed reading this book. Can't wait for the next one.
'Luca' by Sarah Castille is Book Two in the "Ruin & Revenge" series. This is the story of Gabrielle Fawkes and Luca Rizzoli. I have read the previous book but I feel this can be a standalone book if you wish to do so. Gabrielle is a detective that is looking into activities in a drug cartel along with avenging her husbands death. Luca is in a crime family and a ladies man. But these two finding their attraction to hard to ignore. But can these two from the opposite side of the road have allot to overcome to get to their happy ending. I enjoyed Luca being the strong man that he was and trying to protect Gabrielle. But Gabrielle was an even stronger person and she tried to protect him too. This has been such a great and exciting series! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
This is book two in Ruin and Revenge series, but you don't need to have read book one, Nico, before this. While this book follows that one, and reading this before that would be spoilers, it doesn't really matter. I gave book one 4 stars. I enjoyed this one a little more. It's still quite dark, with the Mafia being Luca's family and I think it's a little more violent, because Luca does like to get his hands dirty, but it gripped me a little more, I think. It kinda grabbed by the throat and didn't wanna let go, not til all had been revealed! And let me tell ya, I did not see that one coming!! Nope, not even after that bombshell exploded, did I put the pieces together fast enough and I was like, say WHAT!!! I was somewhat shocked there. I loved that Luca battles with himself over Gabrielle. Knowing she is a Detective and him not being able to walk away could cost him his life, but still, he cannot hold back the dam of protectiveness she unleashed in him. Loved that Gabrielle didn't put her clues together fast enough about Luca. Loved that even though Luca is who he is, and who he belongs to, she can't walk away from the man she loves. Can't watch him lose his life! Oh I LOVED that, when Gabrielle does what she does!! Glad that the bad guy gets his comeuppance, but not saying who or how. There is, as in book one, a third person who has a say. I was worried for this person for a while, but loved how Castille worked him into the plot, and how, small and insignificant he is for most of the book, it's he who gives Luca and Gabrielle the in they need to get the job done. Like I said, a darker, bloodier, read, mainly because Luca does like to lead by example but also because of what Luca suffers at the hands of the previously mentioned bad guy. Not nice reading that. But!! Because it grabbed and didn't let go . . . . 5 full stars. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**
Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in the city of sin, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart--until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn't enough for a man who takes what he wants, but his mysterious temptress has slipped away. For two years police detective Gabrielle Fawkes has lived for revenge. But a night of indulgence with a sexy stranger changes everything. Powerful, charming, and deliciously dangerous Luca, has his own private reasons for offering to help her pursue the drug lord who killed her husband. There's a lot Luca isn't telling her and the more she finds out the less she wants to know. When Gabrielle becomes the target of the drug lord she has vowed to hunt down, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in a mobster's hands. To save her, Luca must break his Mafia ties--or risk losing Gabrielle forever Review: Almost like a modern day Romeo and Juliet, where Romeo is a mobster and Juliet is a cop. I enjoyed the reverse positions of this story, where the mob is more like the good guys and some of the police are the bad guys. Hopefully that did not give away too much of the story. I felt so sorry for Gaby losing her husband, baby and being taken off the case to get the guy who lead to all of these things happening. Not that she is wimpy, that is definitely not her, she stands up to the drug dealers and the mob, that takes guts. Loved sexy, dominating Luca! He knows that he should not be involved with Gabrielle when he finds out she is a cop but he cannot help himself. The story is super sexy, but it also has violence in it. The only thing that bothered me and maybe because this is not the final formatted version, but I really had to pay attention because it switched quite often between multiple people with no real clear break. Again, hopefully that will be fixed with the end product. Great story, full of action, suspense and sexy times. 3.5Stars *I voluntarily read and advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
This was a good read for me, I liked the story as well as the characters. I admit Luca was my favorite. Luca and Gabrielle have great chemistry and the story has plenty of drama and suspense. I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next read.
OMG, I love Luca, he is so totally Alpha, when you think of Mafioso, you picture him. And, Gabrielle, does not hold back, my girl stood by her man, and kicked some but. Those two were perfect for each other, and let me tell you, that I did break my rule, I normally do not begin a series, by the second book, however I could not help myself, I had to start reading Luca, and now I am going back and start reading Nico, how can I not, these men are too hot. Ms. Castille, you definitely have a new fan in me. I can't for the next one. So friends, do yourself a favor, and read, however I am going to recommend, as I always do, start from the beginning.
It's a must buy!
Having not read the previous book in the series, I wasn’t sure how this one would go and whether it would affect my reading. Thankfully, I didn’t have too much trouble with the world and characters. Which was great. Not so great? The writing. Luca is one of those romances where the author takes an eternity to make anything happen. I’ve never read a mafia romance before, so I’m not sure how this compares, but I was expecting more action? Maybe some serious mystery, politics, something going on? Now I’m not a mafia expert or anything but I felt like the author relied on tropes more often than not to create the image of the mafia without giving it true depth. Add to that the fact that a lot of the plot points didn’t quite line up for me based on the characters’ personalities and actions, and my interest is all but nonexistent. Also, the Paola chapters? Why do we need them exactly? They were just wasted page space for me. The romance was alright, I suppose. Some hot and heavy scenes, and I liked Gabrielle and Luca as a couple. But I didn’t believe the lead-up to that. The “courtship,” if you will, was awkward at times but I kind of got into it. Will I read another by this author? Maybe. Not sure how I feel about mafia romances but hoping this isn’t an indicator of what the sub-genre is like. An okay romance, story not quite what I expected, but not bad.
Everything I could want in a Mafia Romance, Sarah Castille just gives you more!!! I loved Luca and Gabrielle's story. It is not only a mafia story, but a forbidden romance. We have Luca who is cold, calculated and the mafia boss. Gabrielle tries to harden her heart and soul. She is out for revenge. She is a detective that is working on taking down the mafia. This is where the forbidden part comes to play. There is a whole lot of drama and intensity with this story. You go on a roller coaster ride and can feel the craving that Gabrielle feels when it comes to her connection with Luca. Luca starts to feel for what seems like the first time. The hot sexy scenes had me turning up the A/C. The power that these two have together was just electrifying. Towards the end my heart was pumping hard. Will Luca give it all up if it means to save Gabrielle? I loved Nico, and now love Luca. I am addicted to these series
Luca by Sarah Castille is a mafia book. Let me start this review by saying, my moral compass points so far toward law and order I avoid reading mafia, mc or any other type book that glorifies criminals. I probably had no business agreeing to read and review this book. That being said, Ms Castille has delivered a book that is well-written and even if you don't care for this type book, it will suck you in like dust through your vacuum cleaner. The characters in this book are phenomenal. Luca and Gabrielle's story is loaded with drama, action, suspense and sizzle. There are hints of humor that make this a lighter story than it could have been. I enjoyed reading Luca and look forward to reading more from Sarah Castille, hopefully, something not mob/gang related. Luca is book 2 of the Ruin & Revenge Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
This is the second book in the Ruin & Revenge series and I was worried I wouldn’t be as captivated as I was with the first book. I don’t know why I was worried, I wasn’t disappointed in this book at all! I really was so engrossed in this book that I lost all track of time! I loved it! Holy Moly was Luca HOT! When he spoke to Gabby in Italian, I literally swooned! This is a forbidden love story between a mafia capo and a police detective. There are twists and turns, some very steamy scenes as Gabrielle and Luca have crazy chemistry. The scenes with Matteo, Luca’s son, are touching and sometimes sad. There is humor, I even laughed out loud a few times. There is a lot going on in this story with Luca and his “business” and Gabrielle and her job as a narcotics detective and how their paths intersect. There is some mystery and intrigue that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I loved the main characters and the secondary characters are fantastic and I can’t wait for the next book as I didn’t want this one to end. The only negative I had was the character Paolo, I felt his POV was not really as engaging as the rest, I felt it bogged the book down and didn’t really connect with the story as well. But overall, this was a great book! I highly recommend this forbidden love mafia romance!
Luca is a great possessive alpha hero and Gabrielle is a strong, independent heroine. Secondary characters really added to this story, especially Paulo’s and Luca’s mom – couldn’t get enough of her and my heart just broke for him. Tons of steamy sex. Plenty of internal dialogue if that’s your thing – it’s not for me. Slow, steady pace. An unsurprising twist. Told in dual POV along with Paulo’s Safe in that Luca doesn’t sleep with anyone else after meeting Gabby. Other than violence, no apparent triggers in my opinion. ARC provided for an honest review
Ugh! This was such a great read! Luca is dark, thrilling, gritty and sexy as hell. It was everything that I could possibly want in a mafia style book. Told from multiple points of view, Luca follows the story of Luca and Gabrielle. Ever since her husband was murdered, Gabrielle has had a thirst for revenge. It’s all she’s lived and breathed. What she never planned on was Luca. You see Gabrielle doesn’t date, but meeting the charming and sexy Luca has her questioning everything. He turns her inside out in the most delicious way. But Luca harbors some very dangerous secrets. You see, there is more to Luca than meets the eye. He is ruthless and takes what he wants. These two couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. Will Gabrielle get the revenge she’s always wanted? Will she be able to handle Luca’s secrets? How much will Luca be willing to sacrifice in the name of love? You’ll just have to check this book out for yourself to find those answers and more…. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was pulled in from page one and couldn’t help but be intrigued by Luca and Gabrielle. They made the most unlikely pair and I think that was part of what drew me to them. I mean Gabrielle is a cop and Luca is a Crime Boss. Any type of relationship between the two of them should be forbidden and doomed from the start. But, just being around these two, you could just feel the sparks between them. You knew that what they had needed to be desperately explored. A fire like theirs would not just fizzle out. So, if they wanted to be together, they would have to defy all the odds. Luca fought to be with Gabrielle. His loyalty and family values tested. And Gabrielle, her thirst for justice put her in more danger than she could ever imagine. With danger lurking around all the corners, lines will be blurred and crossed, and the most surprising twists will stop you in your tracks. Luca was a thrilling and exciting addition to Ruin & Revenge Series. It has just the right mix of action, danger, mystery, suspense, sexy good times, romance and of course some crazy twists and turns. I really enjoyed spending my afternoon getting lost in this mafia romance and look forward to seeing what lies ahead next in the Ruin & Revenge Series.
Absolutely awesome read! A mafia romance with a Capo and a Detective getting together - yes please! Luca Rizzoli is all sorts of yummy sexiness and Gabrielle Fawkes is the kind of strong willed and determined woman it will take to bring him to his knees. Luca has been betrayed by a woman before and never plans on letting one get close again. Until Gabrielle. They both have their secrets and they accept that but when Gabrielle is threatened Luca knows he's all in regardless of what the cost may be. This book is very well done and I can't wait for Frankie's story. No one does Mafia romance like Sarah Castille! I highly recommend this one!
"Luca" is a mafia romance featuring the titled character and a police detective, Gabrielle. They meet after both being shot and ending up sharing a hospital room (which probably wouldn't happen because hospitals generally assign room sharing based on gender). They are both instantly attracted to the other but both are reluctant, for their own reasons, to enter into a relationship (and that is without knowing what the other does for a living). Luca has been working his way up in the mafia to restore the ruining of his family name by his father and dealing with the death of his drug-addicted wife (who he did not love) and who left him with the knowledge that his son was actually someone else's, while Gabrielle is hot on the heels of a drug-lord, Garcia, who brutally murdered her fiancé- the event which induced a miscarriage. Their attraction makes them unable to stay away. The romantic scenes in this book are really intense and hot/heavy. The rest of the plot is not as strong, and the investigation to find Garcia is frustrating (especially since Gabrielle has been such a great detective and now is OK with working with the mafia?). Gabrielle has always been fiercely independent, but Luca needs to be in control of everything- but especially his woman. Apparently, this is played out as a mafia rule where the man must be in charge and is allowed to have affairs but women are not. I'll admit this was my first mafia romance, so I wasn't expecting the extreme sexism. Anyway, the tone of the book suggests that he'll probably never have affairs with Gabrielle because he's so obsessed with her, so you can take that as you will. As a warning, there are several instances of domestic violence, and we hear about the way to handle it (e.g. with the police, I mean- we also get the mafia take, but this is not the way most people would go). It's difficult to read however, and is an important warning for people for whom this might be worth knowing. Overall, I did read the whole book, mainly to find out more about Garcia and the case, but I was not totally on-board with the mafia (a lot of violence) or their contradicting romance (chauvinistic) throughout. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
This was such an intense and passionate world with these gritty characters that completely pull me in. I didn't want it to end and I couldn’t read it fast enough all at the same time. I held my breath and loved every second. Fantastic story! Luca and Gabrielle were wonderful characters. They were extremely well developed with real depth and I loved that they came from completely opposite worlds. I loved their connection and chemistry. Luca was so completely alpha and I loved his protectiveness and commanding presence. He exuded strength and confidence and he was filled with so much passion. Gabrielle was fantastic as well. She was tough as nails and working through some things and healing from a past trauma. Their worlds colliding was the best kind of roller coaster ride. I loved the drama and action, but I loved their sweet moments as well. It was the perfect combination. The heat factor was high up there too and oh my did Luca have a mouth on him with the dirty talk. There are a couple of different things in play that all intersect and I loved when all those different elements combined, it made for a very elaborate and detailed story that pretty much had me on the edge of my seat. There are a lot of players and elements, and different POVs and I couldn’t turn the page fast enough. Just like in Nico (book 1), there is an extra person besides the hero and heroine and I find this so appealing, adding so much more to the story and I thing that extra perspective is extremely clever. I am so excited for Frankie's story and liked getting more insight on him. He seems so intense! There were bits of foreshadowing that has me wanting more of him (book three, NAME, won’t get here fast enough!). I love stories like this, that slowly unfold in this perfect way with all these little details building and building. It was all fantastic. There was just so much drama that had me hooked. Everything around me faded away. And that ending! Action packed! Totally blew me away. It was all so exciting! From beginning to end I was mesmerized by this crazy intense world. Complimentary copy received for honest review.
4.5 Exciting Stars! I absolutely loved this forbidden romance. Two people from opposite sides of the law have found each other and can't let go. Gabrielle is nothing like the women Luca is usually drawn to. She is smart, fiercely independent, and the sexiest woman he had ever seen. Gabrielle has never been with such a dominant man, he emanates power and confidence and his barely contained wildness and danger call to her. Luca is such a complex character. He is a ruthless crime boss, but also a loving family man, and softhearted protector. There is only one rule in the mob that can't be broken, and that is taking up with a cop. Gabrielle has her own reasons to be on the force but when black and white turn to grey, Luca & Gabrielle are willing to risk everything to be together. Will they be able to survive when both sides of the law are against them? Luca & Gabrielle are so great together. They challenged and supported one another and their chemistry is explosive. This romance was fun and sexy and the thrilling story surrounding them was a nail biter! I loved this second installment to this series and can't wait for more in the Ruin & Revenge series. This is a definite must read!
It's been awhile since I read the first book but it started to come back to me who Luca was. He's quite the playboy charmer and I'll admit, I wasn't sure I was going to like him. He goes through woman like candy, but when Gabrielle snagged his attention I liked what I saw. Luca was still too much of the charmer at first but the more he was around Gabrielle the more possessive he became and there was no other woman. As independent as I am, I couldn't help but love his view on how to care for "his girl". Gabrielle is a tough as nails detective. I like a strong heroine but sometimes those strong ones won't allow a man to care for them. She had a few stubborn moments but the more into the story as they got to know each other better, the more fun I had with their banter. The first book seemed a bit darker and more grittier, this one felt more safe and I liked them both for what they were. I'm curious who will be the next couple and if the author changes it up once more. I'm hoping for Frankie's story. I'm a sucker for the cold hearted. ARC provided by NetGalley.