The Mafia and the life that those who are apart of that world lead has always fascinated me. The power plays, the need to always keep up appearances, the way they have one foot in the illegal and the other in the respectable, and how they will do anything to gain and maintain power is something that blows my mind. So, it wasn’t really a question if I’d be interested in a star crossed lovers style romance set in the world of the Italian Mafia families who run Las Vegas and I gotta say I loved it! Nico is a dark, gritty, sexy and intense read that hooked me from the first page and left me needing more when it came to an end.
Nico is a born and bread Mafia boss. He walks the walk and talks the talk. This is the only life he’s ever known and has no desire to ever leave it. He has aspirations and plans to be the Don of his family, but there are factions who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. I loved Nico. He is everything I’d imagine a mob boss to be. Arrogant, dominant, always thinking about how to turn a situation to his advantage and <i>slightly</i> mysogynistic, and yet he is more. He has a strong sense of honor and while he may straddle the line on his business dealings, there are certain things he won’t do unless absolutely necessary. He’s seen the mistakes others have made and strives to never make the same ones. His protective, and borderline possessive, nature extends to anyone he calls his own and will blur lines when it comes to how he deals with them.
Mia is the black sheep in her Mafia family and has paid the price for not being the princess she is expected to be. She speaks her mind often regardless of what the consequences will be. But while she wants to break free of the family and live the life she dreams of she can’t just walk away. I loved Mia, I did. I loved her moxie and that she was a hacker, a white hat mind you, but still a hacker and didn’t tow the Mafia princess line, but she drove me batshit crazy as well. She tended to go off half cocked in her pursuit to prove that she was an independent woman, whether it was running her mouth or forgetting that ‘someone was always watching’, and these things would end up getting her into trouble. But what I found the most interesting about her is that while she fought against the life she’d been brought up in, there were times when she slipped easily into the role of princess and had a healthy respect for it when it didn’t crush her soul.
From the very beginning Nico and Mia were electric. The sexual tension between them was intense and when they finally gave in, it was HAWT! I liked how one incident in their pasts created a strange sort of bond between them and was one of those moments that shaped their lives. But what I loved the most about their relationship was how they challenged each other’s beliefs and ideals of the world they grew up in. In a lot of ways they helped each other gain clarity to what they wanted for their futures and funny how they ended up being just what the other needed to make it happen. There were quite a few bumps in their journey, which isn’t a surprise in this Romeo and Juliette-esque romance, and while there were some moments that had me rolling my eyes, I really liked how they fought for each other regardless of the odds.
Nico is my first read by Ms. Castille and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story, both the overall arc and the romance were well thought out as were the secondary story lines, though there are a couple that were left open so I’m hoping that means we’ll get more from them in the next book. The pacing was good and I liked the multiple 3rd person POV’s. The world is rich and vibrant, even when things go dark, and believe me they get dark and brutal so if abuse is a trigger, tread carefully, and loved being immersed in a world where everyone has a role to play and you always have to look over your shoulder. I loved hanging out with the characters in Nico and Mia’s inner circles, my favorite was Big Joe, but Luca is up there and I’m totally looking forward to getting my hands on his book!
~ Copy received from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed ~
A dangerous proposal
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?
Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, Legal Heat series and the Club Excelsior series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island.