Massimo Domenico Sovrano is arrogant, mean, full of swagger and oh so hot.
As one of the most feared gangsters in Italy, he can have any woman he sets his sight on.
But for some reason he wants me.
The chemistry between us is off the charts.
So I sleep with him on our very first meeting.
Only, he betrays me. He breaks my heart.
Which is why I lie to him. I tell him I am in love with someone else.
I turn my back on him and decide to focus on my fledgling career as an actress.
Now he's back in my life.
He's engaged to my sister...
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"Running away?" His deep rumble chafes my skin.
I ignore him and move away, when I hear him drawl, "Didn’t take you for a coward.”
Excuse me? I pause. He’s baiting me. I know he’s trying to get a rise out of me. I should leave without paying him any attention, but my stupid pride doesn’t let me. I spin around and scowl. "What did you say?"
"You heard me." His grin widens. "You’re leaving because you can’t face the music?"
"Music?" I tilt my head as if listening to the tune playing over the speaker. "The only music I hear is the eighties’ hit by Tina Turner—"
"Remixed by Kygo."
"She came out of retirement to release the single remixed by Norwegian DJ Kygo."
I laugh. "You’re kidding, right?"
"I assure you, I am not. You can look it up if you don’t believe me."
I shake my head. "This entire conversation is insane. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have something urgent I need to take care of." I turn to leave.
I hear his footsteps behind me a few seconds before he plants his body in front of me with such speed that I almost bump into his wide chest. He’s so massive that he blocks out the rest of the bar behind him. And his scent, sweet baby Jesus, his scent. It’s spice and citrus and something smoky like firewood. I sniff again, fill my lungs, and my head spins. My knees turn to jelly and I stumble. Why am I turning into a klutz around him?
He grips my shoulder to steady me, and once more, pinpricks of heat bleed out from the point of contact.
I freeze; so does he. I pull away, and this time, he lets me go without protest. "Look, I didn’t mean to scare you in any way. I simply want to talk to you." He raises his hands, palms facing toward me.
"I don’t want to talk to you." I glance down, only so I can avoid those piercing gray eyes of his, and end up taking in his jeans. Hoo boy, does he fill out those jeans, or what? They might have been blue at one point in time, but the color is almost white now. The fabric is threadbare at his knees and at the edges of the pant legs. And his feet, OMG, his booted feet are huge. A size thirteen at least. Which means, the size of what he’s packing must be quite substantial. I raise my gaze to his crotch and almost groan at the column outlined over the left side of him.
"I believe this is when I say, my face is up here?" he drawls. I flush. Sweat beads my hairline. Is it hot in here or am I having a hot flash decades before going into menopause? I gotta get out of here before I say or do something to embarrass myself further.
"I believe this is when I excuse myself." I duck past him, but he moves with me, so I have no choice but to pause.
"You have to stop doing this," I say through gritted teeth.
"You’ve got to stop trying to escape me." He chuckles.
"I’m not trying to escape you; I’m trying to leave," I snarl.
"From where I am, it looks like you’re trying to run because you are scared of what you’re going to find out if you stay," he retorts.
"Oh yeah?" I tip up my chin, all the way up, and then some more, so I can see his face. Gosh, he’s tall. I mean, I had a sense of his height when he was sitting down, but standing, he’s an absolute behemoth. He’s possibly the biggest brute of a man I’ve ever seen. His beaten-up leather jacket stretches across his shoulders. I can't miss how his biceps stretch the sleeves, hinting at powerful muscles underneath. The overhead light bounces off of his longer-than-fashionable length hair, picking out hints of brown among the coal dark strands. A hint of a tattoo peeks out from under the neckline of his T-shirt. With his day-old stubble, he comes across as someone who’ll always look effortlessly sexy. A look that adds to his appeal. A look which I definitely don’t fancy. Not at all.
"And what is it I’m going to find out?" I scowl.
"That the two of us have something in common."
"We have nothing in common." I toss my hair over my shoulder.
"We sure do." He bends his knees and peers into my eyes. "We want to fuck each other’s brains out.”
Meet L. Steele:
L. Steele loves to write romance novels featuring dangerous men and feisty women. She enjoys trading trivia with her filmmaker husband, watching lots and lots of movies, and walking nature trails. She lives with her family in London.
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