Sarah Castille     

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ruin & Revenge
Book: 2

The mafia men of New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille’s Ruin & Revenge series are hard, hot, and ruthless. They show no weakness and take no prisoners. But the right woman can soften their stone cold hearts and make them come alive with dark desire.

Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in Las Vegas, 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—and Luca will do whatever he can to possess his mysterious temptress...

Police detective Gabrielle Fawkes lives for revenge. She lost everything at the hands of an unforgiving ruler of the Vegas underworld. Now she wants to see him six feet under. But when a near-fatal attack leads her into Luca’s arms, what was meant to be one night of unbridled passion becomes something forbiddingly more. Luca has his own agenda, but when strong, determined, kick-ass detective Gaby sets her sights on her target, Luca feels compelled to stand by her side and protect her at all costs. However, pursuing danger comes at a high price—and both Gaby and Luca must work together in order to eliminate the dark enterprise that threatens them, in Luca by Sarah Castille.

I really don’t know how to rate this one. There is just so much going on in this story. I have to break this down into parts. Luca and Gaby’s relationship is the best part of the book. They have an immediate and intense connection to one another. I think the intimacy is rushed a bit but I loved it anyway. There is no denying the steamy scenes are a bonus.

The complication with this story is my love for mafia romances. I like the action, the bad-guy persona and the representation of the life. This book had every bad cliché from an old mafia movie or book. The guys are constantly roughing someone up for payments, there are mistresses, and a guy in a track suit with a gold chain. No real modern take on the mafia romance here.

How as readers are we suppose to be okay with all the mafia clichés when Luca is just okay with Gaby being a cop. There is no hidden secrecy about it. He learns pretty early on and everything is okay. Hmmm not in any mafia world that I read about! Granted, it is a fictional world but we got to make it a bit believable. I expected more conflict from that issue alone. Gaby is just okay with working with Luca to help her find Garcia. How is that even possible?

There is tons of action and Luca finds himself in a new situation once Gaby’s life is endangered. I liked how alpha and bad-ass Luca is. He is willing to go the distance for Gaby which is surprising after what happened with his deceased wife. I am slightly torn with Gaby because she is slightly annoying but I liked her strong independence.

The author spends a little too much time on Paolo without any added benefits. There are parts of the story that dragged and I wished were cut but overall it is still an entertaining story.

I’m curious to see where the author goes next.

~ Samantha