Devil Marchesi will do whatever it takes to get his cousin cleared for a murder he didn’t commit. When Devil finds out a cop has been sniffing around, one who isn’t assigned to the case, he tracks the cop down. It turns out that Joseph Daniels is the man who followed Devil and with whom he had a very kinky hook up. Joe is just as turned on as Devil, and the men decide to strike up a deal that will take care of both their problems.
With both ends of the deal fulfilled, it’s supposed to be the end of their association. But neither man can stop thinking about the other, despite the fact that they also claim to hate each other. Their chemistry is insane, and they give each other what they need. But Joe is an upstanding detective and Devil is part of a mafia family. Their lives are thrown together again when Joe is in charge of an investigation where Devil is the prime suspect.
The connection between Devil and Joe grows as they explore their mutual kinks, but Joe can’t compromise his morals just because Devil is everything he needs and wants. Devil shows Joe a different side of him and his family, and Joe realizes there’s more to Devil than what it seems. But neither man can see a way to a forever, considering who they are and what they do. However, when a tip from Devil puts Joe in mortal danger, Devil will stop at nothing to get him back and have the man he loves at his side.
Going into this book, I expected the plot to follow a certain path and, as the story progressed, I found out I was completely right. The plot is pretty predictable here, especially given the way Violet set things up. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for me, it felt a little formulaic.
As always with this author, I loved the characterization. I thought both Devil and Joe were well drawn and developed. I liked that we got to see inside Devil’s head, as he could come off a little like he didn’t care and reckless in previous books in the series. And he definitely is reckless, but there’s often a method to his madness that makes a lot more sense when we can see his side of things. I also liked that Joe wasn’t willing to compromise his morals, despite his feelings for Devil. Violet did a good job showing Joe’s changing thought process as he learned more about the other side of things, and saw how the Marchesi family works. In the end, he made his choices based on his changing perception and I appreciated that.
The chemistry between the two MCs was sizzling from the first moment they met, and it only built and grew as the story progressed. These guys were right for each other in a lot of ways, and they were able to give each other what they needed in the kink department as well. Sometimes, it skirted the edge of extreme, but even though there were never safe words discussed, it was clear they really looked after one another and checked in, even if it wasn’t explicitly said.
As for the plot as a whole, I wasn’t overly impressed, if I’m completely honest. As I said before, it felt formulaic to me. By that I mean there was a certain expectation as to how this story would go considering the MCs, and that’s exactly what happened. I would have liked to see a twist or something surprising to elevate this storyline, but it didn’t happen. Because of that, I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as I wanted to. There were also moments where I felt tihngs dragged on a beat too long, and wished the pacing was a bit tighter. The men also get over the “enemies” part of thing pretty fast, though I think it definitely qualifies as enemies to lovers.
This series is listed as a dark mafia romance, but I found it more gray than actually dark, though there are some heavy themes that wouldn’t work for some readers, so be sure to check the tags. If you’re a fan of this author, like your kink a bit dark, and/or have read the other books in the series, then I’d recommend it.