ARC Review: ☆Ricardo☆ by Marita A. Hansen

On a Mediterranean Island run by mafia, the Santini brothers are fighting a war against the Landi family, who are targeting their loved ones. After his fiancée is murdered, Ricardo, the eldest of the brothers, starts spiraling out of control, his violent nature leading him down a path that could rip his family apart. But, when two women walk into his life…

His first love—Bianca D’Angelo

And an assassin from the Viper Sisterhood

…he finds himself pulled into a world of espionage, intrigue, and seduction, where he’ll win his family’s safety and the woman of his dreams—or lose everything.

3.5 Stars

Maybe she liked cruel bastards who treated her badly, or maybe she chose them because she was looking for someone to replace Ricardo.

This was my first book by Marita, and it’s definitely not going to be my last. Being a huge fan of the dark romance genre and particularly when that dark romance involves some mafia, I jumped at the chance to read this one. Now while there were a few things that kept it from being a 4 or 5 star read for me, I did still enjoy it quite a bit.

This book focuses on the eldest of the Santini clan, Ricardo, who was a very interesting character to say the least. Having extreme anger issues due to his Intermittent Explosive Disorder and having lost feeling in ninety percent of his body due to taking an experimental drug for it 8 years ago, one thing is for sure: he is one ruthless and cold motherfucker. And I am talking RUTHLESS.

Years ago, his one love, Bianca, had left him not being able to handle his rage. Now life or death circumstances throw them together once more in a story filled with suspense, action, steam, violence, and so many twists and turns you’ll be biting your nails sitting on the edge of suspense from cover to cover.

The story itself while being highly convoluted was a very entertaining read, and I can certainly say I will be jumping at the chance to read the next book. But unfortunately there were just a few things that kept me from enjoying it fully. Let me try to break it down the best I can.

The Story
I had a very difficult time getting into the story from the beginning as there was quite a lot going on. In addition there were quite a number of different characters introduced; all members of the Santini clan as well as 4 other mob families. A large majority of these characters also had a back story (some of which seems to come from the My Masters’ Nightmare story line). This made it very difficult to keep all of them straight; their names, their story. The author did include character break down and glossary at the end, which I found myself having to constantly refer to. This made it very distracting, at least for me.

Numerous POVs
I have to say I thought that the author did an amazing job weaving all the POVs together throughout the story. These did not feel unnecessary in the least and truly helped build the intricate world that Marita created. However, I did feel that the numerous POVs often muted the central characters for me, particularly Bianca. This is someone that is the heroine of the story, yet a side character (The Viper) had more focus than she did.

The Romance
Unfortunately with so many things that were happening throughout the book, the romance really took a second seat to everything else as opposed to everything else being built around it. There was A LOT going on and ALL OF IT highly entertaining, but I just wish I got a little more of the romance to go along with it. I really loved Ricardo and Bianca together, but I suppose I needed something more.

Those three things aside, I can tell you that I still enjoyed this book. IMMENSELY so. I’m thinking those readers that have read My Masters’ Nightmare series will enjoy this book even more. However, as the synopsis stated, this can also be read as a standalone. But just be advised that it may take a while to truly grasp all the details and everything that’s going on. The set up for the next book, which I’m hoping will be Brando, sounds right up my alley. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on that book. Truly. It sounds utterly delicious.

May I present exhibit A?

Get out of my room, you misogynistic pig.”
“Contrary to what they say about me, I’m all about women’s rights: their right to take my cock up their culo.

Exactly. I rest my case.

One thing is for sure, I am definitely hooked on this series and can’t wait for more.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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