Don’t underestimate Sergei. He may be blonde with a lithe body and can work the crowd at the strip club in tight red leather shorts, but he’s a ruthless contract killer. As a young boy, the Mafia took away his family and Sergei has spent years planning and aligning the hierarchy of the families so he can take them all down. When a man is being beaten outside of his club, Sergei can’t have that at his door and puts a dead stop to it. The man in trouble…one Domenico Maisano.
Dom is the nephew, and the adopted son, of the Mafia boss and was forced into his life. He’s a made man and a hit man, but he’s a killer with a conscience and desperately wants out. Dom is also gay and in his life where image is everything, letting anyone find that out is an automatic death sentence.
Sergei immediately intrigues Dom and the men cannot resist each other. Caught in a dangerous game of secret hook-ups, death, and survival, the men find common ground and their private time is intimate and addictive. But Sergei’s services are in demand and turning down a contract is not an option. The stakes are deadly and explosive as Sergei has to decide to bring the Mafia down once and for all or protect the man he was never supposed to fall for.
For those of you that like L.A. Witt’s work, this is the author showcasing what she does best. This is a Mafia story with assassins, violence, and two men being forced into a life neither one of them chose. These are two men bound by circumstances so far out of their control all due to the Mafia, although for different reasons.
We meet Dom as two men get the jump on him. This never happens and it was all because he was distracted trying to psych himself up for a date with a woman from a family that he is being pressured to marry into. The fact that Dom is not married is raising too many questions that Dom knows he will never be given the chance to answer and his life, his family, is all about image, image, image.
Sergei is not at all what he appears to be at first glance. Hiding in plain sight as a stripper is how his gets his contracts. He works for the three different Mafia families in town, but he has his own agenda and it’s all coming into place one kill at a time.
The men are also both completely alone. Sergei finds men for the night when he needs to and Dom hasn’t been with a man in many years for fear of being caught. There is an initial spark between the men that turns into a slow and sensual attraction. Their chemistry explodes off the page, whether it’s a scorching lap dance, tender kisses, or losing themselves all night in each other to forget. Both men think they know what the other is about, but they both have secrets upon secrets and somewhere between their stolen moments at a string of no-tell motels, the men grow to depend on the only real contact that both have ever known and it becomes impossible to walk away.
What really worked here is that since it’s a Mafia story, Witt doesn’t make it easy for these guys and these are men involved in hard core dirty dealings with no way out. Witt excels at showing how these men can be cold and ruthless, but crave the physical contact they find with each other when it starts to mean just a little more than it was ever supposed to. They both want a different life, but they both have a role to play and that puts them in an impossible situation when Sergei is presented with the end game contract.
Recommended if you are looking for a book filled with darker violence, danger, and two men seeking shelter within each other.