Peter Kelly’s life is a mess. He’s barely making ends meet and he’s unhappy. When his cousin says he’s got a line on a job for Peter, Peter doesn’t trust him. But against his better judgement, Peter shows up and meets Lucien Marchesi. Right from the start, Lucien shows Peter he wants complete control, and Peter wants to submit, even though he knows its not a good idea.
Lucien wants Peter, and he’ll do anything to have him. As the head of a crime family, Lucien is used to getting whatever he wants. He takes what he wants from Peter, not only installing him as his receptionist, but moving Peter into his home. He wants Peter safe and cared for, and he wants to dominate him. No one in his life has submitted like Peter, and Lucien wants to keep him permanently.
But there are machinations in place that threaten Lucien’s family, and he has to be ruthless in order to keep his power and his territory. Peter doesn’t know how to react, especially considering he now has seen with his own eyes what Lucien is capable of. The connection between them is strong, but is their growing love enough to keep them safe?
The thing I enjoy most about Silvia Violet’s stories, what keeps bringing me back to this author’s books, are the characters. Violet has a way of making characters come to life on the page, and Lucien and Peter, as well as Lucien’s family, really drew me in. While I had some issues with the narrative itself, the characters definitely won me over.
Lucien is powerful, controlling, and not someone to be messed with. His life is such that he can’t show emotion, because any show of weakness will threaten him and everything he’s worked to build. But he’s also got a tender side, and a good heart some of the time, and he shows both to Peter.
Peter is longing for someone to take control, though he doesn’t even know he needs it until Lucien shows him. He’s a sweet guy, but so strong underneath, and Lucien brings out the best in Peter. Together, they find ways to give each other pleasure and comfort, and really, Peter brings out the best in Lucien as well. The BDSM aspect here is mostly control and spanking, but it worked for these two guys. I liked seeing Peter surrender, and I liked the way Lucien opened up to his boy.
But the story as a whole is, well, I’m just going to say it. This book is sort of a romanticized version of what a crime family/mafia/mobster life is like. Yes, there’s backstabbing and outright murder on page, but the story moves quickly and everyone accepts and moves on just as fast. For me, the plot as whole didn’t work perfectly, and I would have liked to see some more here. More questioning, especially on Peter’s part, and definitely more darkness. It’s not as angst-filled as I would have expected, given the storyline. And while, as I said, there’s murder on page, it didn’t seem as impactful as it should have. Now, this might be saying something about me, but even though it’s fiction, I expected to feel more in this regard.
As I said, the MCs, along with the secondary characters, made this story work for me. There’s definitely a tiny bit of set up for the second book in the series, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. But considering it’s a book about a crime family, I expected more from the story as whole. If you’re looking for something truly dark, then maybe pass this one by. But if you want a love story between a Dom and a sub, and gray-colored angst, then give this one a read.