Nico, the first book in the Ruin & Revenge series by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille
Rating: 4 Stars
Rating: 4 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from TRSOR Promotions and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Las Vegas Mafia boss Nico Toscani is used to getting what he wants, whether it is having the City of Sin under his rule or a beautiful woman in his bed. But when he meets his match in the gorgeous, headstrong Mia Cordano, the daughter of a rival crime lord, all bets are off . . . Sexy computer hacker Mia struggles to break free of her ruthless father's Mafia ties . . . but she can't resist the powerful and seductive Nico, who will stop at nothing to possess her. With their families locked in a brutal war for control of the city, Mia and Nico enter into a forbidden game. Will they surrender to the passion that burns between them and risk tearing apart their families? Or will Nico be forced to betray the only woman who sets his blood on fire?
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Mia Cordano has gotten herself into a wee bit of trouble. She’s a tough young woman and is a great example of “you can’t pick your family”. Nico Toscani walks the fine line of what’s legal and what’s not. He’s tough when he has to be tough and finds it hard to be anything else because of who his family is. There’s a secondary character, Benito “Benny” Romano that you’ll find yourself feeling sorry for. He stood out to me because of the tough choices he’s made and how it affects others around him.
What I liked about this story is that the author gives you what might be considered a true representation of what the Mafia is really like. Ms. Castille doesn’t go out of her way to glamorize the lifestyle. She shows how tough it is to be a woman in that part of society. They seem to lose themselves – it’s all about the men in this group. But in showing Mia’s tenacity there are moments where you’ll laugh. It’s a great way of not making a scene too serious. This story may remind you of old Vegas when the Rat Pack were around but told in a modern setting.
There’s plenty of action and suspense with this one but violence also comes into play which shouldn’t surprise you. We also have the mystery of Benny and who he is. The woman character is smart, witty, and very resourceful. Would we be the same if we were in her position? This is one of those stories where the children pay for the sins of the parents and how they had no say in the life they are supposed to lead. Mia shows that you can make a choice but you have to be strong enough to stand by your convictions. It’s not always a happy life and it’s not for everyone. Mia’s sister seems timid but it will be interesting to see if she develops over time. Is the ending a happy one or is it one where we have to wait and see what the future holds? We’ll have to wait and see if Luca, coming out next year, holds any answers.
“Welcome back, my friend.”
Wham. Nico had King by the throat and halfway over the bar before Mia had a chance to introduce him.
“Let him go.” Mia tugged on Nico’s wrist, dislodging his hand from the bartender’s throat.
“Sorry.” She reached across the bar to straighten King’s collar. “He doesn’t get out much.”
“Hey, no problem.” King held up his hands, palms forward in the universal sign of surrender. “Just being friendly, man. We got a hands off policy until five a.m. That’s when the clubs shut down and the strippers come in looking for some fun.”
“You.” Mia turned and poked Nico in the chest. “Take it down about one thousand notches. I know these people, and they know me. Nothing’s going to happen to me here.”
Nico grunted but didn’t look convinced. Mia ordered a couple of two-dollar drinks and found a small table near the back that wasn’t covered in empties.
“Don’t use the washroom unless you’re desperate,” Mia said, amused by how uptight her Mafia boss was in the pit of sin. Or maybe it was because he had left his bodyguards outside and he was alone for the first time in forever.
“I’ve got my piece.” He patted his jacket, and Mia laughed.
“Oh. It’s a gun. I wondered what that was when you were pressed up against me at the bar. I thought you wanted me.”
His eyes darkened and he reached over, dragged her chair toward him. “I wanted you back at the hotel. Now it’s a fucking need.”
Mia leaned over, kissed his neck. “Do you know what I need?”
He threaded his hand through her hair, pulled her closer. “What do you need, bella?”
“I need to dance.” She pushed away and wound her way through the tables to the tiny dance floor in front of the stage. How the hell could she make this work if she wanted to jump him every time they were together? She didn’t want to get emotionally involved in a fake marriage that tied her to the mob, especially when it was never meant to last. And yet, she was already emotionally involved. She could never have said ‘I do’ to a man she didn’t trust, a man she liked and cared deeply about. There was so much more to Nico than the cold, ruthless mob boss he let the world see. He was passionate, protective, deeply committed to his family, and so damn sexy she couldn’t keep her hands away.
Someone put the Clash on the jukebox and she danced with two biker chicks as punk rock videos played on the projection screen behind the stage. She glanced over at the table, but Nico was already behind her.
“You trying to fucking kill me?” He wrapped one arm around her waist, and pulled her against him, as if they were alone and not in the middle of a dance floor in a grungy dive bar.
“I was trying to dance.” Her nipples tightened as he ground his hips into her ass. “I see you want the X-rated version.”
He kissed his way down her neck, and nipped the sensitive skin on her shoulder, sending a shiver down her spine. “I could fuck you right here and no one would bat an eye.”
Mia turned to face him, wound her arms around his neck. “I knew you’d like it.”
“I like watching you.” He pulled her close and danced like his hips were unhinged, grinding against her until her clit throbbed and she was so wet for him, the thought of fucking him in the filthy bathroom held considerable appeal.
“Nico.” She moaned softly, and he thrust his thick thigh between her legs, rocking her against the rough fabric of his jeans.
“Can you come like this?” His voice was a low, sensual rasp in her ear, his hands firm on her hips, his body hot and hard in her arms.
“I don’t know, but I want to.”
He twisted her hair in his hand, yanked her head back, and kissed her fiercely. “How bad is the restroom?”
She slid her hand down, smoothed it over his T-shirt, tracing over his rock hard pecs, the ripples of his abs. Nico’s grip tightened and his voice dropped to a husky growl. “How much do you want me?”
“Worse.” She rubbed the palm of her hand along his rock hard erection. People danced around them, laughed, and joked. Their R-rated behavior was nothing in a bar where she’d witnessed X-rated shenanigans.
“Come.” He grabbed her hand, pulled her across the dance floor and through the maze of tables to the tiny, dark hall leading to the restrooms.
“Where are we going?”
His lips curved in a sensual smile. “To give you what you want.”
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author 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. Her books include the bestselling “Redemption” fighter romance series, and the dark, gritty Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club romance series.