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Luca (Ruin & Revenge #2)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
125010405X (ISBN13: 9781250104052)
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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It began like every other day in Vegas.
Luca Rizzoli had rolled out of bed just before noon, showered, shaved and groomed. There was nothing more important for a Mafia capo than la bella figura—looking good in the eyes of society. Once his knives were strapped to his body, he dressed in a new Italian wool suit, crisp white shirt, and red silk tie. He holstered two Glocks across his chest, an S&W500 and a Ruger GP100 around his waist, and a Walther P22 beside the knife on his ankle, just above his Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. After meticulously checking his appearance, he walked back into the bedroom, ready to start his day.
That’s when things had started to go wrong.
First, the woman in his bed didn’t want to leave. When his usual charm and soft smiles failed to encourage her departure, he had to yank the covers off the bed and toss her money on the dresser, shattering the illusion that she was anything other than the high-class escort she pretended not to be. Luca always tipped well so her feigned indignation lasted only as long as it took her to count the cash and wobble her way out of his penthouse suite on her four-inch stilettos.
After that, it had been one broken leg after another as he called in a few business loans from scumbags who didn’t want to pay up. As a senior caporegime in the Toscani crime family, he could have delegated the job to his crew of soldiers, but he had welcomed the opportunity for a little stress release.
Unfortunately, his day had continued its downward slide when he visited a new convenience store down the street to offer them his “protection”, only to discover that the Albanians had muscled in on his territory.
Whacking Albanians was never a good way to break in a new suit, but the Toscani crime family didn’t waste time when there were lessons to be learned.
Luca had called up Frankie De Lucchi, a top-level enforcer. Together, they sent the Albanians back to their home country via the fiery pit of Hell.
And wearing cement shoes.
Shoes were Frankie’s specialty. He was a mean SOB who had once dabbled in the concrete-pouring business. He never gave up the opportunity to practice his trade, and the depths of Lake Mead boasted many examples of his handiwork.
After Luca had changed his clothes, washed off the blood, and dropped off his suit at the dry cleaners, his day had gone from bad to worse.
He got cocky.
And cocky had led him here. To this hospital bed. With a bullet in his chest.
It was his own damn fault. Luca knew better. He had let overconfidence blind him once before, and it had almost destroyed his life. His hand clenched on the bed rail as memories flooded through him, adding an emotional bite to his physical pain.
When Gina got pregnant after their one-night stand, he hadn’t hesitated to do the right thing. After all, Gina ticked all the boxes for a desirable Mafia wife. She was pure Italian, well versed in the culture, easy on the eye, and a good cook. Love wasn’t part of the Mafia marriage equation, so he had felt no guilt about spending Friday nights between the sheets with his sexy goomah, Marta, engaged in the extra-curricular activities expected of a senior Mafia capo. A wife was a symbol of status. A mistress was a symbol of power. Gina understood how things worked and as long as the money rolled in, she had no complaints. Life was good.
And then one afternoon he came home too early.
Too early for Gina’s lover to escape.
Too early for Gina to hide the needles and packages of white powder her lover brought her every week.
Too early to clean up their son, Matteo, so Luca didn’t find him crying and hungry in a shit-covered crib.
Too early to avoid having his heart ripped out of his chest by the devastating revelation Gina made before he kicked her out of the house, and her death by overdose late that night in a bathtub in the Golden Dreams Hotel.
Luca had been totally unprepared for the emotional trauma of Gina’s death. Sure he cared for her, enjoyed spending some time with her, and they had a two-year-old son together. But he hadn’t loved her—had never pretended to love her—and her accusations that their empty marriage had turned her to drugs and other men had almost destroyed him.
It was her parting shot that had done the real damage. His cocky overconfidence had blinded him to what was going on right under his nose.
Reeling from shock, and unable to share the depths of Gina’s betrayal with even his closest friend, Nico Toscani, now self-appointed boss of the Toscani crime family, he’d gone off the rails. He sent Matteo to live with his mother, and dedicated himself to numbing the pain. He lived fierce. He lived large. He lived for the moment. Women. Fights. Booze. Craps. He took on the most dangerous jobs, and set up the most daring rackets. His attitude to risk became almost cavalier as he dedicated himself to his lifelong quest of restoring the family honor—destroyed by his father many years ago—by proving himself the most loyal of Nico’s caporegimes.