Mafia enforcer Rocco De Lucchi is the best in the business.
Cold, hard, and utterly ruthless, Rocco is the most dangerous of men. Feelings are a luxury he cannot afforduntil a chance encounter brings him face to face with the only woman who found her way into his heart and touched his soul.
Grace Mantini has spent her whole life running from the mob. The daughter of the boss's right-hand man, she is both a prize and a target. When Rocco walks back into her life, she wants nothing to do with the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. But only Rocco can protect her from the dangerous forces that seek to destroy her family. Can they escape the hands of fate closing around them? Or will love be the kiss of death for them both?
“Castille [gives] readers the compelling romance they crave.”RT Book Reviews
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"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.
"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."
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.
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?"
Excerpted from "Rocco"
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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!
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!
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.
ROCCO is the third instalment in Sarah Castille’s contemporary adult RUIN AND REVENGE erotic, mafia romance series set in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is mafia enforcer Rocco De Lucchi, of the De Lucchi crew, and psychologist/jazz singer Grace Mantini’s story line. ROCCO can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Grace and Rocco) ROCCO follows the second chance romance between mafia enforcer Rocco De Lucchi, and Grace Mantini, the daughter of the New York underboss, and a woman whose has spent most of her adult life running from the mob. A recent funeral for a mutual acquaintance finds Grace pulled back into the lifestyle she wants desperately to forget, but a lifestyle that has cruelly imbedded itself upon the man that she loves. A crime-family divided will pit blood against blood, and family against friends forcing Rocco to choose between his heart and the mob. What ensues is the rebuilding relationship between Rocco and Grace as Grace and her family are targeted by an unknown source, and the potential fall out when Grace discovers the truth behind Rocco’s re-appearance in her life. Six years earlier Grace’s life was all but destroyed by retribution and retaliation against the man that she loves. Unable to fulfill his duty to the man that destroyed his life Rocco watched as Grace became the victim of his father’s cruelty and pain. Running from New York Grace thought she found the solace and freedom from the lifestyle she had grown to hate but Vegas was now home to the man who stole her heart. All of her life Grace has been sheltered from her father’s lifestyle, a lifestyle that has caused so much pain including the death of her mother, and the physical and emotional scars our heroine hides from the world including the man that she loves. Rocco De Lucchi’s life has been harder than most as the adopted son of one of the most feared and reviled mafia families. Broken and battered, Rocco needs the physical pain to control the beast that formed by years of misery and abuse. An anti-hero at best, Rocco is a man feared for his cold, calculating ability to kill but a man whose softer side has only been seen by the woman he loves. A true alpha with issues of control, Rocco is not the usual romantic hero. An order from his father forces Rocco to disobey- a decision that could affect the New York and Las Vegas crime families and their power to control. The relationship between Grace and Rocco is one of second chances; a rekindling romance originally destroyed by power and greed, and a man who isn’t afraid to take what doesn’t belong. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense but I dislike the use of a certain four letter word that I find unacceptable in a romance storyline. There is a limited S/M scene involving our story line (anti) hero that may be troubling for more sensitive readers. ROCCO is an emotional story line of one woman’s struggle to move on from the past, and one man’s battle between honor and heart. The premise is gritty and raw; the characters are colorful, charismatic and tragic; the romance is passionate, seductive and rebellious.
Rocco is that dark bad boy you just wanna do bad things with. Sizzling hot.
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.
“Grace had flayed his soul until there was nothing left for him but to embrace the darkness he had been fighting for years. He had lived for her. Breathed for her. He would have died for her.” “He had been drifting since he lost Grace. He’d lost faith and accepted his fate. But now that he’s found her again, and she had awakened something in him he had buried long ago. Hope.” “For the first time, he felt a flicker of hope that maybe there was someone in the world that could handle all that he was, that maybe this time she could accept the ugliness inside him.” Rocco was a totally unexpected and consuming read. It is the third book in the Ruin & Revenge series and it follows the story of Grace and Rocco. Rocco is cold, ruthless and 100% dangerous. He prides himself on his ability to not let feelings cloud his mind and decisions. He’s lived a hard life and his life is about to get even more complicated when he has an unexpected reunion with Grace. Grace is the only one he ever let get close and in the end, he only ended up getting burned…. Grace has spent her whole life hating the mob. She wants nothing to do with them or the lifestyle. But, being the daughter of the boss’s right-hand man….it doesn’t leave her with much of a choice. When she is unexpectedly reunited with Rocco, it turns her whole world upside down. He broke her heart and some hurt isn’t easy to forget. Now, fate has other plans and both of their worlds will be forever changed. Can time heal all wounds? There is only one way to find out… Overall, I thought this book was a terrific read. It pulled me in from the very first page and is a book that you can easily finish in just one sitting. I loved the idea of this story, and can’t help but fall in love with characters that deserve a second chance, despite all the odds. I adored Grace and understood her. Her life wasn’t easy and circumstances broke her. She made the best out of the cards she was dealt and was doing all she could to just survive….Rocco…Ugh! I didn’t know if I wanted to love him or slap him. He had me conflicted most of the time, but I won’t lie, as much as he frustrated me, I couldn’t wait for him to redeem himself. I thought Rocco was a fantastic addition to the Ruin & Revenge Series. I loved all the drama and suspense. There was intriguing danger and action. There was romance and just the right amount of sexy good times. A great book to spend the day getting lost in.
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.
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.
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!
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)