This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on March 13, 2019
He did what he had to do to save his family and now he’s paying with his own soul until a woman comes along to shine light into his darkness. The author excels at alpha bad boys with generous hearts of gold and it is never so visible as in Salvatore, the first in a hot and darker new series.
Salvatore is a love conquers all wrong side of the tracks urban romance between a mafia don’s bodyguard and a high school guidance counselor. Salvatore gave up his own life to the mob to save his brothers from being lost in the system. Now, his boss wants to drag him in deeper so that there is no way out. Aedry is a sweet southern gal come north to give her heart to helping inter-city Jersey kids get a chance at success. The Romero brothers are smart and have great potential so she charges in to make their older brother who is their guardian aware that they are on the brink of bad mistakes. Aedry has never encountered a man like Sal who shocks all her sensibilities with a challenge in his dark eyes and a sizzling suggestion on his tongue. Sal has the same stunner when his brother’s counselor turns out to be too good and pure to believe. Does this impossible pair stand a chance?
Well, that was something else. The author’s usual powerful and emotion-producing writing was definitely out in full force. She is in a setting she writes well. Lower class, inter-city neighborhoods and people with the exception of the southern transplanted heroine. Dialogue fully of gritty wit and sizzling romance with characters up against a tough situation. I was totally down for that.
However, this success in dipping her toe into mafia is a qualified one for me. I’ve read my fair share of dark romance and specifically dark mafia or gang romances so I was prepared for all that can entail. In truth, I found this one on the milder to moderate end of the spectrum. Though, that said, if others are coming to this after experiencing the author’s earlier releases, the warning that its darker is spot on. The mafia world, the violence, and the dirty talking in your face vice and lusty romance was good and on par with what I wanted and expected in such a story.
What had me on the fence somewhat was Aedry. Is there a thing of too opposite in an opposites attract romance? For me, that is where I was at when all was said and done. I loved Sal in all his flawed, cocky glory as he learned how to treat a worthy woman and heal from his own painful past. I adored Aedry as this beautiful soul trying to save the world one underprivileged kid at a time. She grew up sheltered in a religious farming family and brought some of that fresh faced value into the city. She’s basically an untouched virgin who has little inkling of what the life of the kids in her case load are dealing with, but she cares and that can go far with a teen. To her getting wild is dressing up in pants and a blouse to go clubbing with a girl posse not watching a mob conduct business like Sal does on a daily basis. They were both wonderful people and I could see where there might be some attraction in stepping out of their norm and trying the different and the new. I could also see how the pair of them would bond over loving and wanting the best for his younger brothers which was what initially brought them into each other’s orbit.
But, it was after that, when the relationship started to form, that I have to admit that I wasn’t buying the promise of long-term. This is just me. Others might and will see them as perfect for each other. And, I don’t mean that this ruined this story at all. Not by a long shot. There is a reason why I am a fan and the author is auto-buy. Even when I was on the fence about the heroine as the romance interest, I was still all in with loving on this story.
All in all, this was a fabulous gritty and intense beginning to love and life in a mafia world. I look forward to what is coming next in this series and can heartily recommend this one to those who enjoy mild to moderate spicy mafia romance.
My thanks to the author via Caffeinated PR services for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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