Luca is the second book in a full-length, standalone series by New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Castille, set in Las Vegas and featuring deliciously sexy mafia bosses and the women who can’t help but love them.
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.
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Luca Rizzoli and Gabrielle Fawkes’ first encounter should have perhaps tipped them off about the very different lives that they lead. The fact that they’re both in the hospital for a gun shot wound is where their similarities end; in fact, their lives contrast in almost every aspect, especially when it comes to their career choices.
A cop and a Mafia capo stand on opposite sides of the law – one side believing in justice through proper procedures and what the law dictates while the other side carries out their own style of justice and how they handle things has nothing to do with the right side of the law.
Luca and Gabrielle are fantastically flawed and dynamic characters who both have their reasons for journeying down their respective paths and the complications that they bring to each other’s lives aren’t easy to deal with; in fact, they should be deal breakers when it comes to pursuing one another, but both have never felt as alive as they do when they’re together, so despite the shitstorm that could reign down on them from both sides, their desire for each other overpowers their fears and even their better judgment, causing them to walk a fine line between truth/lies, right/wrong, and family/lovers.
The City of Sin is already a corrupt, drug infested environment, so constructing the mafia world in Castille’s Ruin & Revenge series in Las Vegas adds depth to the story line and allows readers to understand that in a place where anything goes, nothing is what it appears to be and everyone seems to have varying motives and agendas in order to conceal just how far they’re willing to go to secure the only outcome they’ll take.
Sarah Castille does a great job creating and maintaining the gritty and dangerous world for her Made Man and the female detective who realizes that justice isn’t always black and white because sometimes the grey area is the only place anything can get accomplished in order for those affected to move on and heal.
The only aspect of the story that I struggled with a bit was the use of a third perspective to tell different parts of the plot line. I’m not quite sure what this character’s view added to the events or what readers were supposed to understand through it. In some ways, I guess I get why Castille uses his point of view because he has eyes on different aspects in the story that readers can’t see strictly from Luca and Gabrielle, but the parts that were told through his perspective dragged a bit for me and didn’t smoothly blend with the main characters’ point of view.
Overall, I really enjoyed Luka; it’s an intriguing sequence of events that Castille perfectly plays out throughout the story line, and as Luca and Gabrielle work individually and then together to bring down their common enemy, the showdown between them and the reveal of the villain works well with the context clues Castille gives readers at certain points in the story.
The relationship that develops between Luca and Gabrielle is passionate and all-consuming and their connection is framed in a way that there’s no denying how much they care for one another and the risks they’re willing to take to be together even when their love affair is forbidden and could end up getting them both killed.
I can’t wait to return to Castille’s Mafia Men and see what she has planned for Rocco and the rest of his crew.
4 Poison Apples
About Sarah Castille
Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin & Revenge 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. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards including the Holt Medallion.
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