Rocco: A Mafia Romance

Rocco: A Mafia Romance

by Sarah Castille

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250104083
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Series: Ruin & Revenge , #3
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 58,419
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Sarah Castille is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. Her books have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists, and include The Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club series (Rough Justice, Beyond the Cut, and Sinner's Steel).
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the dark, gritty biker romance, Rough Justice, Sarah Castille, worked and travelled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"He was a nice boy."

"Yes, Papa." Grace Mantini crossed herself as the pallbearers carried the coffin of Benito Forzani across the grass of the Las Vegas Shady Rest Cemetery. As the daughter of a high-ranking Mafia boss she had attended so many funerals over the years she could go through the motions of the formal burial service in her sleep.

"He would have made a fine husband."

"I'm sure he would have." But not for her. Was she a terrible person for being relieved that the Mafia soldier her father had wanted her to meet had been found dead in an alley the day after her father and brother arrived in Vegas?

"He wore a baseball hat so you couldn't see his missing ear," her father continued, with the faintest hint of a smile. Unlike many other Mafia fathers, Grace's dad had no interest in forcing his daughter to marry into the mob, but that didn't stop him from playing matchmaker any time they were together.

"Yankees?" she asked, hopefully.

"Red Sox."

"It wouldn't have worked out," she said. "I like winners."

Her brother, Tom, stifled a laugh and reached around their father to poke her in the side. Four years younger than her, he had been groomed since birth to take over the family business. One day he would become a "made man" like their father, Nunzio Mantini, now the underboss of the powerful New York Gamboli crime family. Grace hoped it wouldn't be too soon. Men changed when they became made, and once that line was crossed, the serious business of living in a world of crime and death weighed heavy on their souls.

She smoothed her expression when she caught a few people looking in their direction. The graveyard was filled with members of the Toscani crime family who made up the Las Vegas faction of the New York–based Gamboli crime family, all dressed in black despite the blazing sun overhead and the unbearable ninety-degree heat.

"You could have come home if you married him." Her father sighed. "He had a new job in New York. Don Gamboli asked Benito personally to handle all the family accounting."

"I like it here in Vegas," Grace lied. "I can buy a house, party twenty-four hours a day, sunbathe all weekend, and I have my career ..."

In fact, she hated Vegas. A New Yorker, born and raised, she had been happy with her two days of nice weather a year, the postwar on First Avenue she'd lived in with her aunt, a wallet with no driver's license, and a man she'd loved with every ounce of her being. Now she had an old Mitsubishi Mirage with a pathetic 74 hp under the hood that she had to flog to get anywhere, a permanent sunburn, and instead of a postwar, she shared a characterless ranch house with her best friend Olivia, and two jazz musicians, Miguel and Ethan.

But that's what happened when your family was in the mob. You didn't get to choose the kind of life you wanted to live. You didn't get to do the job you had always dreamed about doing. You didn't get to live in the city of your heart. And you didn't get to keep the things you loved.

She scrambled for a new topic of conversation. The last thing she wanted was for her father to find out she wasn't actually making use of her psychology degree. Instead, she was making ends meet by recording radio jingles during the day, the closest she could get to her ruined dream of becoming a jazz singer. Her father had tolerated her decision to move to Vegas six years ago only because she had been so distraught after the attack that she'd told him was a mugging gone wrong that she could barely function. If he'd known the real reason she'd left — no, run — from New York, he would never have let her go.

The priest finished the last rites, and the crowd responded with the proper prayers. She felt the whisper of a breeze against her neck, the softest caress. A shiver trickled down her spine but when she turned slightly hoping to catch the soothing air, the breeze died away.

"You can always come home if things don't work out," her father said. "You can stay in the house and look after Tom and me like you did after your mother died. We haven't had a good meal since you left. Eight years is a long time to go without braciola the way your mother used to make it."

Grace didn't miss his emphasis on the word "left" or the undertone of judgment that went with it. Her decision to move to Vegas had been acceptable; her abandonment of the family two years prior had not. But everything had changed when, at sixteen, she discovered that her life had been a lie. Her kind, doting father was not actually an insurance salesman; the weekly funerals they attended weren't just because her family was unlucky; and her mother hadn't bled to death in the arms of her ten-year-old daughter as the result of an accidental shooting by an overzealous cop.

And while the revelation that Papa was in the Mafia explained some of her father's behavior — the respect he received when they went out, the small favors that were bestowed upon him that hinted at his real power and influence — she was unable to process some of the larger concepts. How could her loving father be a criminal and a murderer? How could she wear the clothes he bought her, eat the food he paid for, or live under his roof when he had blood on his hands and everything had been paid for with dirty money? How could she even begin to understand the horrifying things he had done to achieve his position as second-in-command of one of the most powerful organized crime families in the country?

After her father had told her the truth, she'd run away. Just as she'd tried to run away after her mother died. Her mother's sister had offered to take her in, and her father, distressed by her total and utter rejection, had agreed. She'd thought nothing could be as devastating as discovering her father wasn't who she thought he was, but it was nothing compared to the night her heart was ripped out of her chest.

She felt a tickle on her neck, not a breeze this time, but something she knew instinctively as a warning. Someone was watching her. She took a quick glance over her shoulder, but she saw only trees glimmering in the sunshine, beckoning her with the promise of a respite from the heat in their cool shadows.

"You can get braciola in any good Italian restaurant. You don't need me."

"I'm getting old." He sighed again. "I worry about you being all alone. I want to see you settled."

"Setting me up with your friends' sons isn't going to do it. You know how I feel about ... what you're involved in."

Her father bristled and his eyes narrowed, reminding her that although his hair had turned gray and there were new lines on his broad forehead and crinkles in the corners of his dark eyes, he was no weak, kindly old man. His shoulders were still broad, his back straight, and he was trim and fit from years of running and eating in moderation. But more than that, he carried himself with the confidence and authority of a man used to being obeyed. She could pretend to herself that she had made the choice to leave New York and that she was free to live her life the way she wanted in Vegas. But in reality, she was here only because he allowed it. If she pushed him too hard, he would drag her back to New York and force her into a marriage with the mobster of his choosing and there was nothing she could do about it. Such was the power of the Cosa Nostra.

"It's not what I'm involved in." He bristled. "It's who we are. It's our family. It's our blood, our heritage. You may not like it, but it's part of you. You can't run from it forever."

"It doesn't mean I have to marry into it."

He shook his head as the first shovel of dirt thudded onto the coffin. "Poor Benito. An incredible coincidence he was whacked right before he was supposed to meet with us. Do you know anything about it?"

"Are you asking me if I killed him?" Her voice rose in pitch.

Her father shrugged. "Maybe you were afraid I would force you to marry him ..."

Only in a Mafia family would a father ask such a question. Yes, he had given her a gun and trained her how to shoot, but she would never have used it for anything other than self-defense, and her father knew that.

"I'm a pacifist."

Tom barked a laugh and then immediately tried to cover it up by feigning a fit of coughing.

Her father's lips curled in distaste. "I thought you got over that years ago."

"It's not a disease."

"It is in our family," Tom whispered.

"Well, I didn't kill him." Grace had no intention of ever getting married to one of the men her father proposed. After being betrayed and broken, her heart crushed and her body scarred, she had no interest in love and even less interest in finding a man who promised to give her the world only to snatch it away at the first sign of trouble. And even if she did find someone, she would marry on her own terms. She would find a man who loved her and could accept that she couldn't fully return that love because she had lost her heart six years ago and would never get it back.

"What about Father Patrick?" Her father gestured to the priest who was now giving the last rites. "He's a nice boy. Good family. He would make a good husband."

"Papa! He's a priest!" Father Patrick was one of the few mob-friendly priests in Vegas, which meant he heard the kind of confessions that would turn the stomach of a normal man, his coffers were overflowing, and his church was full to standing every Sunday morning.

"He came to the priesthood after his wife died. Since he has already had carnal knowledge of a woman, I believe he can marry again and you won't suffer in any way for his faith." Her father opened both hands as if welcoming the priest into their crime family.

"Papa. Please ..." She looked to Tom to save her, but he was doubled over with laughter and no help at all. She'd forgotten how brutally forthright her father could be, something that had been both a curse and a blessing the night she'd finally returned home seeking the truth.

She glanced around to see if anyone had overheard them and caught movement in the shadows behind Father Patrick.

That's when she saw him.

Tall. Dark hair. Black leather jacket snug over wide shoulders. Broad chest tapering to a narrow waist. Black T-shirt tight over hard ripples of muscle. Bandanna, worn jeans, thick-soled boots.

Beautiful. Her body heated in places it shouldn't. Who was he? She didn't know any man who would dare show up at a Mafia funeral wearing anything other than a suit and tie.

She squinted, trying to make out his face, but the sun was in her eyes and he was nothing but a dark shadow on the other side of the grave.

After the service ended, a heavyset, dark-haired man broke away from the departing crowd and approached them with a few companions and two heavily muscled bodyguards in tow. He looked to be in his early to mid-thirties and clearly had a fondness for bling. A diamond ring sparkled on each of his thick middle fingers, a heavy gold chain encircled his neck, and on his wrist he sported Louis Vuitton's Escale Time Zone, which gave the hour in twenty-four time zones simultaneously and had a kaleidoscope-like dial. Grace disliked him immediately and even more when he made a blatant perusal of her body as he shook her father's hand.

"Nunzio." His smile didn't reach his breast-focused eyes.

"Tony." Papa introduced her and excused himself to greet some friends.

Grace recognized his name at once. Tony Toscani was one of two self-appointed bosses of the now-divided Toscani crime family. After his father, Santo, was murdered, Tony had claimed the right of succession. However, his cousin, Nico Toscani, refused to accept his claim. In an unprecedented show of defiance, Nico had taken half the family capos, crew, and assets and proclaimed himself boss of a new splinter faction. Don Gamboli had sent Grace's father to help resolve the situation, either by confirming one or other of the cousins as boss, or brokering some kind of truce to bring the family back together.

Tom obviously knew Tony and they shook hands, but when Grace held out her hand, Tony pressed his slimy, cold lips to the back of her wrist and drew her away from Tom's side. "Why didn't I know Nunzio had a daughter?" he murmured so quietly only she could hear. "Shame about your face. You could have been almost pretty."

Grace's hand flew to her cheek, pulling her dark hair down to hide the long, silvery scar that marred the left side of her face from ear to chin. Although people often stared, few were cruel enough to mention the ugly scar that had destroyed her dream of being a singer.

She glanced over at her father to see if he'd heard what Tony had said. Not many people would have the gall to insult the daughter of the New York underboss, whose vicious and ruthless nature translated into a fierce protectiveness when it came to his family. When Grace was six, her first-grade teacher had informed her parents that she needed remedial-reading lessons. The next day her teacher was killed in a hit-and-run accident. At the time, she hadn't thought much about it. But later she realized it was only one of many incidences in her life where people had to suffer because of her connection to the mob.

Grace tried to yank her hand away, but Tony tightened his grip and pulled her deep into the shade of the trees that had seemed so welcoming only a short while ago.

"Looks like a knife," he said. "Am I right? Who did you piss off? Or was this a message?"

"Let me go." Years of Krav Maga classes meant she knew how to disengage, but the result would be a scene that would, no doubt, embarrass her father and cause a major political incident.

"You got a man?" He tightened his grip, studying her intently. "You'd be lucky to find someone who didn't mind damaged goods, although the alliance you would bring would make it worthwhile."

Grace fought for calm. Anger achieved nothing. Despite the consequences, she needed to deal with the bastard the way she'd learned how to do. After fleeing New York, she'd vowed never to let another man touch her without her consent and her Krav Maga training had been the way she kept that promise to herself.

Gritting her teeth, she raised her hand and grabbed his wrist with the other, turning her hips until he was forced to let go. Unfortunately, her attempt to be discrete meant she left her back exposed. Taking advantage, Tony circled a hand around her throat and pressed his big, sweaty body against her, the sharp edges of his ring digging into her skin. "Sheath those claws, kitten. I like my women to be seen and not heard."

"Release her."

Deep and dark, the power of that voice froze her in place, even as it slid over her skin like the brush of thick velvet. She knew that voice, heard it in her dreams, and imagined night after night that fierce rumble vibrating against her chest.

Even though it was coarser, deeper with maturity, she would never forget that voice.

A name worked its way through the barriers in her mind. A name she thought she had wiped from her thoughts as well as her heart.

Rocco.

No. It wasn't him. It couldn't be. Last she'd heard he was still in New York working with his psychopathic father, Cesare, boss of the brutally violent De Lucchi crew. The beautiful, dark-haired boy she had fallen in love with had become the Gamboli crime family's most feared enforcer, causing the kind of trauma she had dedicated her life to heal.

Tony released her and she turned and saw him — the man from the shadows.

"Rocco," she whispered.

God, he looked even better than she remembered. Beautiful and breathtaking. His angled cheeks and firm square jaw were lined and scarred, and his thick dark hair was cut military short. Gone were the softness from his face, the roundness of his cheeks, and the dimple at the corner of his mouth. But his sculpted lips were full and sensual, and gold still glittered in the whiskey-brown eyes so dark now, they were almost black.

Once upon a time those eyes had looked into her soul, and those lips had touched every part of her body. Once upon a time all that beauty had belonged to her, and then the mob had stolen it away.

"Frankie." Tony released her and spun to face Rocco. "What the fuck? This isn't your business."

Frankie? Why did Tony call him Frankie?

Rocco gave Tony the briefest of glances, as if he were unworthy even of that gesture. "She's not yours."

"Maybe she will be. Look at her. She's disfigured. No one will want her. Nunzio would be grateful if someone took her off his hands. I'd be doing them both a fucking favor."

Wham. Rocco's fist slammed into Tony's face, sending Tony staggering back into a tree. He tried to rise and suddenly Tom was there, his fists flying, shouting something about the family honor. As the assembled mobsters rushed toward the fight, Grace turned and walked away.

"Tesoro." Her father hurried to catch up. "What happened?"

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Rocco"
by .
Copyright © 2018 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.

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Rocco 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish I could find more book series like this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will fall in love with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aurora-Bs-Book-Blog More than 1 year ago
Told from multiple POV’s, Rocco is book 3 in the Ruin & Revenge Series by Sarah Castille and can be read as standalone. First Nico, then Lucas and now Rocco, Sarah Castille doesn’t sugar coat the violent world of the mafia in this enjoyable series. She balances the dark with that hint of sweet that are our MC’s, who in Book 3 are Rocco and Grace. Unlike the other two books in the series the relationship between Grace and Rocco was relatively low angst. Rocco and Grace met when she was 10 years old after her father hired Rocco as her driver. When she becomes older they end up falling in love and were together for 6 happy years. But in one heartbreaking twist their paths part. Fast forward… Rocco sees Grace again when her father needs Rocco’s “services”. It’s clear these two haven’t fully gotten over each other. But they work through their issues relatively quickly and become a solid pair in a sea of crazy mafia action that characterizes the rest of this book. Rocco was amazing and my heart ached for him. His life as an enforcer molded him into the lethal person he becomes and it’s been harrowing. Even so he struggles with who he is and never forgets about Grace and the dream he once had for them. But this time around he refuses to let anything get in the way of their HEA. Grace serves as his beacon in the dark. Grace is equally committed to hers and Rocco’s happiness no matter the cost. I thought she showed the most growth throughout the story. Grace is tough and she becomes more confident and mature. I really enjoyed her ability to face her fears and build on that as the story progresses. Ultimately, I was treated to not only a lovely second chance romance but a solid mafia story that kept me on the edge between violence and deep abiding love. Well done and highly recommended!
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
I love the gritty, raw, passionate world Sarah Castille has created with the Ruin & Revenge series. Rocco was a gripping story that’s not for the faint of heart. It had me hanging on for dear life! Rocco and Grace were excellent characters with an intense story. They had a complicated relationship and really enjoyed learning about their history together and how those details were laid out and the time frame in which everything took place. I liked the challenges they faced and how they challenged each other as well. There was this serious push and pull happening because of things from their past and views of the future but it's what made it such an incredible story. Rocco was so dominant and in control but was facing a serious internal struggle and I could feel that pain he was going through while he figured it all out. Learning about his past was hard, it was harsh and brutal but it was eye opening in seeing why he was the way he was. Grace was awesome. She was a strong woman but as the story plays out, she really owns who she is and becomes force to be reckoned with. I thought she was a fantastic heroine. Together they had so much passion and I loved their chemistry. when it comes to the heat this story was not lacking. There was definitely a good amount of hotness mixed in. The writing was excellent. It's violent, brutal and intense. In the midst of it all though, it's filled with love and caring and people who are dedicated to one another and their families. I absolutely loved it. It was filled with so many incredible details and it was easy to get lost in it all. There's a lot going on, lots of connections and characters in play, drama and action, it's just an incredibly full, detailed world. Like the previous two books, this has three POVs, it’s an excellent added element and perspective. I cannot get enough of this world. Yes, it’s intense and violent but it’s also full of so much love and passion and made for an excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great surprise of the story
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
If you like mafia romance, then this is the book for you. Even though this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I have read all three and this is my favorite in the series so far. The secondary characters have a large role in this book, but you don’t need their history or previous story to understand this book. It just makes the story that much better if you do. Grace Mantini fell in love with Rocco when she was ten years old and he was her and her brother Tommy’s driver and body guard. Grace lost her beloved mother when she was killed in a shooting. She had no idea her father was in the mafia, she thought her father was a businessman. She was devastated and left home and moved in with her aunt when she realized what her father was. She and Rocco had an affair and his underboss and adopted father was ruthless and found out that Rocco was in love with Grace. He was not supposed to have feelings. He was raised to be a killing machine with no feelings, no conscience and his adopted father threatened Grace and made Rocco kill a man in front of her. His father also disfigured Grace’s face by running a knife down the side of her face. Grace was traumatized and heartbroken. She left New York and moved to Las Vegas to get away from her family, Rocco and the love she left behind. Fast forward and Grace has made amends with her father and brother when they came into town for a funeral of a Las Vegas underboss. Her father was trying to get Grace to marry into another crime family, but Grace was not wanting to be a part of the family business. She feels him before she sees him. The man that she fell in love with so long ago and never really got over. Rocco was in the shadows and then she realized that Rocco was working for Nico Toscani. There was a turf dispute between two factions of the Toscani Crime family and Grace’s dad was there to help settle the dispute and choose the successor. That is where I am going to leave it! There is a lot that goes on in this story. There is intrigue, deception, a forbidden love between an enforcer and a mafia princess. There is family drama and power struggles between New York crime boss and Las Vegas underbosses. There is someone that wants to take over and take out the people in power. The love and passion between Grace and Rocco is sizzling. Their chemistry was hot, and Rocco was so wonderful with her! This book was long, it didn’t drag, and I didn’t want it to end. It flowed well and held my attention from start to finish. If you love a gritty, sexy mafia romance, give this one a try.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
For years, Grace Mantini was chauffeured to and from school with her brother by Rocco. He’s almost a decade older than her but the attraction between them is hot and they succumb to temptation once she is sixteen years old. That was before she discovered her father is a mob boss . . . . and that Rocco was a made man. Determined to leave the mob world behind her, Grace has made a new life for herself without her father or Rocco in it. Years later, Grace’s new life and her family’s mob life collide as they attend a funeral. Shortly after her father is taken down in a mafia hit. Rocco goes into protective mode. The two have never forgotten each other or got over their attraction. Now Rocco is an enforcer, a killer for hire, the Ice Man and one of the most deadly in the business with no way to get out, even if that’s what Grace makes him dream of doing. Can she learn to trust him again? Can he protect her and stop those who seek to destroy her and her family? The relationship between the two main characters is superbly portrayed - angst and all! The plot is action packed, enthralling and full of intrigue. The flashbacks help fill in their background relationship, helping the reader understand their prior romantic connections and how they impinge on their present and potential future together. The heat is definitely on in this steamy, suspense filled, second-chance, mafia romance! I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended.. Great read....!!!!!!!!
kimjda More than 1 year ago
I love a series that connects with the characters easily and this, the third in Sarah Castille's, Ruin & Revenge is just such a book. Rocco is full of heart stopping, grip tightening action. Together Rocco and Grace create such steamy chemistry you'll keep turning the pages just to see what happens next. I fell in love with Grace. She's everything a strong heroine should be. Even though she was scared sometimes. The way Grace drew courage from the fear made me want to be her when I grow up. And her complete, unconditional faith in Rocco...that's what really loving someone should be. At first, Rocco was a little scary to me. Who wouldn't be frightened of someone so hard, cold and ruthless. But as I read, Rocco's heart began to show. He's truly a bad boy Mafia enforcer, but the way he let Grace see his soul? Completely sigh worthy. Of course there's trouble, a little blood shed and mayhem inside the pages of this book. I was a little disappointed to not find out what Rocco wanted so desperately to know. Hopefully the answers he and I both want to know will come in a future installment. Sarah Castille is a master story teller and I hope this series never ends.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
Rocco by Sarah Castille is book Three in the "Ruin & Revenge" series. This is the story of Rocco and Grace. I have read the other books in this series but feel this can easily be a standalone book. Rocco works for Grace's father and when she was a kid he would be the one her father assigned to drive them and look after them. Grace didn't know exactly who her father was other than a successful business man. When Grace is around 16 years old her feelings for Rocco take on a more adult theme for her and him. But it also opened her eyes to who her father was and what Rocco did for him. Grace would later run away and take on a new life. But then their worlds collided again, when he goes into protective mode after her father was taken down. Rocco could be a killing machine but he was taught that way and not to love from an early age. But with Grace he can only be loving and protective. This was an exciting second chance at love type story!
SexyVixenReader More than 1 year ago
Rocco is that dark bad boy you just wanna do bad things with. Sizzling hot.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Rocco by Sarah Castille Ruin & Revenge #3 Grace is a mafia princess and ten years old when she meets Rocco. Rocco is an enforcer who was adopted and ruthlessly trained to be the “best” at doing the worst. The two have a past that was ripped asunder in New York but are given a second chance at love in Las Vegas This is a dark story that is difficult to boil down into one succinct pithy review. So… What I liked: * Rocco: he was strong and ruthless and got the job done but he had not given up his humanity…not completely…though someone wanted him to. And…what an alpha male both at work and in the bedroom! * Grace: that she worked to wrap her mind around her mafia roots, loved her family, tried avoid violence and yet learned to defend herself should she need to. * Their love story – that it stood the test of time and brought them a HEA in the end * That the book ended with hope – 1. That Rocco may find a place that will be more in keeping with his talents and heart, 2. That Rocco might find out who his family really is and 3. That Rocco and Grace will have a happy life together in the future…at least as happy as Mafia families can have. * The supporting characters. I can see a spin-off for Ethan and his band. I can see Mike and Tom both finding a HEA with someone in the future. What I did not like: * Cesare: I know I was not supposed to like him but I really REALLY was happy when he got his due. * Tony and some of the other creepy mafia types that so deserve to get planted six feet under. * Teresa – though I could see why she was as she was…wonder if she will find happiness or rot in jail? The book was action packed and a page turner that left me wanting more in whatever book may follow. I enjoyed the story and yet wondered just how Grace managed to evolve from a bit of a wimp to a kick-*ss much stronger person that could condone what she did. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4.5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's almost sinful how much I enjoy returning to the Italian mafia world Sarah Castille has created. It amazes me how desirable she can make men who are criminals at best, murderers and more at worst. In the previous books Rocco had mostly been a background character, so I didn't have any real expectations about him or his story. While it took a while for him to grow on me, by the end I was sucked in like I've been with every other book by this author. Rocco De Lucchi is a mafia enforcer. He's been trained from a very early age to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do. Enforcers have no real political power in the mafia world, but they are necessary to the men who wield that power. Men like Rocco are stone cold killers; men with no emotion, no regrets and no weaknesses. Unfortunately Rocco has a weakness and her name is Grace Mantini. As the daughter of a mafioso, Grace has spent almost her whole life in the shadows of a violent criminal world. A pacifist by nature, Grace turned her back on her father and ran away when she learned what he really did for a living. Losing her mother as a child and enduring an attack by the evil man who heads up the enforcers convinced Grace to run again, far and fast. Starting a new life in Las Vegas, far away from New York, seems to work for a while. Until a chance encounter with Rocco forces her right back into the mafia world she despises. Grace and Rocco have a past, beginning with a friendship between a ten year old girl and a man a decade older. As the years passed and they grew closer, their relationship turned more romantic. Despite the danger surrounding them, ,Grace and Rocco spent as much time together as they could, their illicit encounters the one bright spot in both of their lives. When Grace is exploited as Rocco's weakness and she suffers for his choices, Grace leaves and doesn't look back. Their romantic past is resurrected the minute they lay eyes on each other. For Grace, Rocco is everything she despises and she has no desire to immerse herself in the life of a mobster. What she does desire is the man himself. The years have not been kind to Rocco and he is harsh, mean, ruthless.... and so utterly sexy she is helpless to resist him. Rocco knows that there is no room in his life for Grace. She was hurt once because of him and he is loathe to put her at risk again. Their bond is unbreakable, though, and neither can resist the pull of the other. Their chemistry was electric. Rocco was so sexy and alpha and dominant, and he was just what Grace needed. I loved that he longed for a better life, a life that could somehow include Grace. Grace was alternately tough as nails and extremely vulnerable. She loved Rocco, though, and was willing to find a middle ground where they could share a future.
Bouscher99 More than 1 year ago
Throughout this series, Rocco has been the character that I was always unsure of. He's a mafia enforcer so he's a pretty ruthless guy so I was surprised when in Luca's book, I actually started to like Rocco! I enjoyed the other books in this series but Rocco is by far my favorite! Castille truly has a way with words! Rocco & Grace grew up together in a sense...he was her protector until his adoptive father turned him into a cold, ruthless, heartless killing machine. Grace just wants a life that is free of the mob and the drama that goes with it. In her eyes, the mob has destroyed everything she's ever loved, including Rocco, so she's not ready to handle it when they cross paths again. I liked Grace a lot...it feels a little odd to say that she's strong with the way things went down with Rocco when they were young but she really comes into her own by the end of the story. Mafia wars, sanctioned hits, revenge and family bonding, this book has it all and wow are Rocco & Grace HOT together. Between the sheets and out of them, "their connection was a living, breathing bond that tied them together." Fantastic book and I definitely recommend it!
Timitra More than 1 year ago
Rated 3.5 Stars I struggled with Rocco, it took me a while to get into it because I found the beginning very repetitious and couldn't connect with the main characters. I loved the premise and taboo element but as a whole it didn't work for me like the previous book did. However I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book! Exceptionally well written and these characters are just perfectly imperfect. but their flaws make them the amazing characters they are. Rocco has always known exactly how his life would turn out. After all he'd been groomed to be a mob enforcer most of his life. No other option had ever been available to him. So when the young girl he had fallen for when he was younger had said she wanted no part of the life her father lived, he made it easy and walked away. Now she's back in his life again and walking away from Grace Mantini a second time might be impossible. Put this one on the must read list. I highly recommend it.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
Wow! Another winner in the Ruin and Revenge series! I love the characters in this story and how they struggle to find a way to survive in the crazy world of mafia life. Rocco was adopted by his father for the sole purpose of being trained as an enforcer, while Grace in the mafia princess that fell in love with him when she was a teenager. Then Rocco's father forced him to commit an unspeakable act in front of her, so she ran away from Rocco and the mob. Years later, when they cross paths again, their forced to face their feelings and to sort through an elaborate series of sins and lies, never being sure what the truth is. Fans of the genre will love this book. This one had me turning pages just as quickly as possible. If you like your romance with a side of dirty, and sin, you will love this novel.. The author is on my must read authors' list.
TerryL56 More than 1 year ago
Rocco has been trained since he was 10 years old to be an enforcer for the mob. When he was 20, he was sent to protect and escort Grace and Tom,the kids of a mob boss, to school. And by the time he was 26 and Grace was 16, he was totally in love with her. Of course he could never show it to his adoptive father because enforcer's didn't have a life, never mind fall in love and get married. Two years later his father found out about his love for Grace and made him pay ... he commanded him to kill someone in front of Grace so she could see exactly what he was and his father made him do it by cutting Grace from ear to mouth and the promise of more if he didn't do what he was told. That was the day Grace fled from him ... that was the day he became a killer ... that was the day his heart became a block of ice. Six years later he is at a funeral in Vegas and who is there ... his Grace. All those feelings come rushing back and he knows he has to make her forgive him and get her to open her heart to him again. There are lots of twist and turns that will keep you guessing throughout the book. There are times when your heart will break for the characters ... yes even Rocco, because he is just a lost little boy at heart. And there are times you will laugh out loud at the situations they get into. A great read that will keep you eagerly turning the pages. I received an ARC copy courtesy of St. Martin's Press through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! Bring me the biggest, baddest, scariest Hero and I’ve gotta read it! I just love to read about the emotionally challenged men and watch them fall for that one person who reaches past the barriers no one else can touch. This is what you get with Rocco aka Frankie and Grace. Rocco was orphaned at age 6 and then adopted by Cesare De Lucchi. Cesare didn’t want a son, he wanted a killing machine for the mafia. He provided Rocco with everything a little boy could love and then cruelly stripped it all away, teaching him that love is a weakness. Grace is a mafia princess who thought her father was an insurance salesman growing up. When she’s forced to watch the love of her life perform his duty for the mafia, the brutal truth about her life can no longer be denied. She leaves New York to live a life away from the violence. Years later Rocco and Graces lives collide again. This time Rocco can’t let her walk away because nobody can protect her like he can. Sarah Castille did a fantastic job with Rocco and Grace’s story. You see the killer in Rocco but also that little boy he was before he was broken and rebuilt, only the adoptive father didn’t completely succeed in breaking him. The struggle he feels for being what he’s made to be and for wanting the light that Grace brings him is felt. You also understand the struggle Grace felt learning the truth about her family and wanting nothing to do with it while she battles her love for Rocco. She feels betrayed by him but also knows he’s more than a killer. The couples in the previous book make appearances in each book, but you could easily read each one as standalones. I’m curious if Mike’s story is next and if so, how he’ll handle the aftermath of what happened to him in this book. ARC provided by NetGalley.
kgagnon More than 1 year ago
I am just loving this series! Rocco is a ruthless mob enforcer. But behind his protective, possessive, alpha walls is a gentle heart. A heart he thought was gone forever when the love of his life fled after witnessing the chaos of what his life had become. Grace was so compassionate and caring, that she found it unbearable growing up in the mob life. She loved Rocco and her family but hated what they did. She ran away and was determined to support herself thru college and life, so she wouldn't feel guilty using dirty money to live. Now the mob has decided it's time for Grace to come back. When Rocco and Grace meet again, their feelings come rushing back. Neither had recovered from their broken hearts, even after six long years apart. When Graces life is in peril, Rocco is determined to keep her safe even if it costs him his life. But Grace has more strength, courage and attitude, and is able to handle the ugliness in Rocco and the mob. Rocco and Grace have explosive chemistry but when Grace's attitude comes out they are hilarious together. There are twists and turns in this story that are so thrilling and suspenseful. It had me totally engaged right from the start. I loved catching up with Nico & Mia, and Luca & Gabrielle, who were all fun and played a huge roll in this story as well. This romance is fun and sexy and the thrilling story surrounding them is raw and gritty and a real nail biter! This series just gets better and better and I can't wait for more in this series. This is a definite must read!
RomanceNovelGiveaways More than 1 year ago
Yep. This series is still AMAZING. Rocco was HOT. I mean, talk about "protector to the nth degree." He was one guy you didn't want to mess with, and yet, Grace stood up to him like no one had, and he was powerless to ever be mean to her. LOVED that. I really felt for Grace; she had physical and mental scars that she had to deal with, but she sure didn't take any guff from anyone, and for that, I admired her. Sarah truly did an excellent job of describing emotions. I'm pretty sure I felt everything she intended, from the intense love between Grace and Rocco to his fear when she might have been hurt to her fierce need for him. Very. Well. Done. I enjoyed the dynamic of the Mafia, especially the characters I had met in previous books (this is a standalone, but you'll totally want to read the other books too!) Sarah takes a seemingly dark world and makes it into a "meh, these guys aren't so bad" kind of feel. I am SO excited to see what ends up happening with a certain villain and a certain victim, so I am on pins and needles waiting for the next book! (I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)
RomanceNovelGiveaways More than 1 year ago
Yep. This series is still AMAZING. Rocco was HOT. I mean, talk about "protector to the nth degree." He was one guy you didn't want to mess with, and yet, Grace stood up to him like no one had, and he was powerless to ever be mean to her. LOVED that. I really felt for Grace; she had physical and mental scars that she had to deal with, but she sure didn't take any guff from anyone, and for that, I admired her. Sarah truly did an excellent job of describing emotions. I'm pretty sure I felt everything she intended, from the intense love between Grace and Rocco to his fear when she might have been hurt to her fierce need for him. Very. Well. Done. I enjoyed the dynamic of the Mafia, especially the characters I had met in previous books (this is a standalone, but you'll totally want to read the other books too!) Sarah takes a seemingly dark world and makes it into a "meh, these guys aren't so bad" kind of feel. I am SO excited to see what ends up happening with a certain villain and a certain victim, so I am on pins and needles waiting for the next book! (I received a copy of this book in consideration of an honest review)