Review: Luca by Sarah Castille

LUCA
Series: Ruin & Revenge #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarah Castille
Release Date: June 27, 2017

Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in the city of sin, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart–until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wants, but his mysterious temptress has slipped away.

For two years police detective Gabrielle Fawkes has lived for revenge. But a night of indulgence with a sexy stranger changes everything. Powerful, charming, and deliciously dangerous Luca, has his own private reasons for offering to help her pursue the drug lord who killed her husband. There’s a lot Luca isn’t telling her and the more she finds out the less she wants to know.

When Gabrielle becomes the target of the drug lord she has vowed to hunt down, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in a mobster’s hands. To save her, Luca must break his Mafia ties–or risk losing Gabrielle forever.

 

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There was something wild beneath the surface that his suit couldn’t hide. He had the cocky arrogance of a man who broke the rules with impunity. A man who feared nothing. A very, very dangerous man.

I was instantly sucked into the world of Ruin & Revenge when I read Nico. I was hooked, line and sinker, on these mafia bad boys. The author spares no details with he grittiness of her stories. These are not your fluffy mafia guys that you know are bad but never see their bad sides. Oh no. You see it, feel it, and downright taste it in these books. As the senior capo for the Toscani crime family, Luca may take his fashion seriously with his three piece suits, but he’s certainly not afraid to get his hands dirty. When he takes a bullet for his boss, Nico, a visit to the hospital changes everything for the man that never thought he’d find himself in love.

Revenge was all that sustained her now, and she didn’t know what would happen when revenge was gone.

Ever since her husband’s brutal murder at the hands of a vicious cartel boss, revenge is all Gabrielle knows. For two years, she’s done everything to land on the force that’s hunting down the man until it all goes terribly wrong and she ends up on the wrong side of a bullet. A chance meeting with a smooth talking stranger in a hospital is all it should have been, but Gaby finds herself drawn to him and when she seeks him out sparks fly.

Luca doesn’t know much about the blonde beauty aside from his fierce desire for her that seems to grow with each new encounter. They’re on opposite sides of the law. Their relationship is forbidden and may cost both of them everything and in the end, it just might.

You sure this is what you want, mio angelo? ’Cause I like it dirty. So dirty you’ll never get back to heaven.”

This was an entreating read, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. Luca was sexy as sin, but at times the way that he was with Gabrielle was a bit…erm…fluffy for my tastes.

What does that mean?” He leaned down and kissed her, his lips warm and soft. “Roughly translated, it means you are my angel. Heaven is in your eyes. I am dazzled by you.”

I suppose their connection just felt so quick to me that I struggled to really connect to them throughout the entire book. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy these two together, because they certainly burn up the pages together. I just had a hard time connecting the brutal mafia capo to the sweet talking lover during super dirty sexy times.

I did enjoy Garbrielle and her take charge attitude. She was a great fit for Luca and I loved the way she fought for him even when the odds were stacked against them.

My other minor quibble is I saw the twist at the end coming pretty early on. Granted, it wasn’t exactly how I thought it would play out. But it was pretty darn close to fizzle some of the enjoyment of the ultimate revelation at the end there.

All in all, I did enjoy this story and I love the way we continue getting bits and pieces of future characters, because man oh man am I craving me some Frankie now. The man is ice cold and I can’t wait to meet the woman that will thaw his heart.

If you’re looking for a sexy and gritty mafia romance, definitely look no further. While it wasn’t a 5 star read for me, it was a damn enjoyable 3.5 and I’d definitely recommend it for readers that like anti-heroes with a whole lot of grit to them


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NICO
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LUCA
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ROCCO (Releasing January 2, 2018)
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Review: Nico by Sarah Castille

nico-reviewNICO
Series: Ruin & Revenge #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Author: Sarah Castille
Release Date: December 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

nico

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

 

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I’m not afraid of girls with guns, bella. They either don’t know how to shoot or they don’t have what it takes to pull the trigger.”
“Then you’ve never met a woman like me.” Her hoarse, throaty voice betrayed her desire.
He leaned forward, whispered in her ear, his voice dangerously seductive. “No, but I’m looking forward to our acquaintance.”

So I have a confession…mafia romance happens to be my catnip. Well, I guess it’s not much of a confession when it’s not exactly a secret, huh? If you follow my reviews, you also then happen to know that I’m picky when it comes to them. Like super picky. Good mafia romance are hard to find. Either they lack the research, the development, the engaging characters or the believable romance at the center of it all. But this book? This happened to have all of it. In delicious spades.

Running his considerable empire in Sin City Nico is the Toscani family’s highest ranking capo. A fair but lethal man, he knows how to get things done with a combination of lethal and cunning focus. For the past ten years all he’s been working for are his vendetta for the brutal hit of his father and finally getting his seat at the top of the Toscani family that’s been denied to him so far. He’s as close as he has ever been, but all his plans take a screeching halt when a beautiful hacker turns out to me more than a sexy distraction.

Dio mio, you test a man to the limits.”

As a mafia princess, Mia never wanted the life. Daughter to a cold and ruthless mafia don, she never wanted the life. She’s done everything to get as far away from the mob and build her life. But then a job gone wrong lands her at the feet of a man that shouldn’t tempt her…but does. A man that’s a deadly rival of her family and one she should steer clear of…but just may be the answer to her unknown prayers.

Tonight I’m going to fuck you like the bad girl you are. You’re gonna learn who you belong to. Your voice is going to be hoarse from screaming your pleasure. And when we’re done, you’re gonna beg me for more.”

Admittedly, it took me a bit to wrap my head around all the players. Each character gets a description right away with their own respective backstories, and it’s a lot to keep track of at first. But then the story begins to flow and all of sudden everything begins to click. It didn’t take long before I was fully invested in not only the main characters but all the secondary characters that were introduced. The author manages to add a few additional POVs without taking away from the story and hook the reader even further.

Mia was such a great heroine; a fantastic combination of vulnerability and strength. The woman has survived hell at the hands of her father, but she continues to persevere. I loved her inner core of strength and the way she stands up for herself not only to her father but to Nico or anyone else that underestimates her. Nico was sex on a stick. He’s everything I love about a good anti-hero; dark but with a lighter shade of redeemable. There was no insta love to be found here and I appreciated that immensely. Mia and Nico’s romance was well paced and balanced. It was the perfect slow burn with delicious sexual tension.

Castille delivers a sizzling tale of revenge and romance. A story rooted in the dark and violent underbelly of the Vegas mob with well developed and multilayered characters that you can’t help but root for. It’s a well paced and highly addicting start to a series that I already know I need more of.

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