It’s not easy being the head of a mafia family and Eric West is feeling the stress. Married to a woman he never loved, Eric spends his nights at the local establishment where the madam knows his specific tastes in men. The first time Eric sees the young and gorgeous Will, he wants him immediately and doesn’t want to stay away. Eric doesn’t care that Will is close to half his age and he almost doesn’t care that he’s being careless. But being outted in the world of the mafia is a sure way to get himself killed.
Will knows what it’s like to be alone and he knows what it’s like to be hungry and he knows what it’s like to be hurt. Will has a plan, one that involves bringing down Eric West. But Eric isn’t what Will thought he was and, despite himself, he starts to have feelings for the man. But Will isn’t exactly who Eric thinks he is and when all is revealed, it could certainly get them both killed.
When you open a book about a mafia king and his self-described whore, you know you are in for something that runs a little darker, maybe a little edgier. The book is a bit more self-contained as we see Eric and Will mostly during their interactions in their private room and then at their respective homes. There is a lot of talk about Eric’s business, but this story covers more of the personal side of his life. Eric is mostly miserable. Sure he is the head of a mafia family and has plenty of wealth, but his marriage is a lie, his wife is unstable, and he has no choice but to indulge in secretive trysts and Will is the first man that keeps him coming back for more.
There is a reveal early on in this book that flips this story from how it seems in the opening. Even though it is revealed early, it is still best to enjoy that reveal on your own. With that, I then can’t get into the specifics of the plot, but several things are not what they seem at first glance.
I was hooked into this book from the opening, but then as the story progressed, the excitement began to fade for me. There are several things at play in the plot with Eric’s home life and what Will is looking to accomplish. Will’s plan didn’t come across as all that well thought out for taking on the head of a mafia family. Will also insists throughout most of the book that he is not interested romantically in Eric and, because of that, I wasn’t feeling the pull we were told that Will inevitably has to Eric. On the other side, we do see Eric become completely enamored with Will.
The book then moves through how Eric and Will can possibly be together under their circumstances and the violence and double crossing that comes along with being involved with the mafia. Eric’s wife is also a factor in the storyline. She is shown one way throughout a good portion of the book and then seems to completely take on a new persona as the story progresses, and that didn’t fit as well as for me as it was portrayed. The story did move quickly, but there was that something missing for me to pull it all together and this book will remain in the middle of the reading pack.
This book does fit this week’s Older/Younger Hero challenge as Eric is in his 40s and Will is 23. Their age is not an integral part of the story and, while it is referenced, it does not play into any of the factors that either bring the men together or push them apart. While this book falls into the average range for me, if you are looking for an older/younger hero with a faster moving plot and a couple of reveals, you could take a look at this one.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Older/Younger Hero Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of FIVE $20 JMS store gift cards from JMS Books! Commenters will also be entered to win one of our three amazing Grand Prize book bundles. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Older/Younger Hero Week here.