Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

A year ago, Jimmy sold himself to Boss Cold, one of the most powerful men in the city, and he couldn’t be happier. Cold is a monster — a ruthless, sadistic, and cruel mafia don with a small army of assassins, guards, and men who can ‘do things’ that need being doing — but he’s Jimmy’s monster. Cold loves him, spoils him, and does his best to protect Jimmy from the ugliness of the world. And now with his father being released from prison, Jimmy’s on cloud nine. Until Cold tells him: oh yes, we’re married by the way, so don’t worry about having to testify against me. He’s now expecting Jimmy to plan for their wedding — to which invitations have already been sent to a guest list of people Jimmy neither knows nor cares to know — and to be a good boy while Cold is getting himself arrested.

Not a single one of Cold’s “Gentlemen” are going to be able to keep their boss safe from Jimmy’s temper. Cold is arrogant, demanding, and pissing Jimmy the hell off. Jimmy demands a proposal, a real one and a good one, or he’ll force Cold to drag him down the aisle. And while Cold is expecting Jimmy to just sit there and behave while he risks going to prison, he has another think coming. “I would do anything for you, but I can’t do nothing,” Jimmy tells Cold, and he means it. One way or another, Jimmy is going to keep Cold safe, even if it means protecting Cold from himself.

Hard Earned Cash is the sequel to Cold Hard Cash and, like the first book, it has a heavy emphasis on sex. It’s graphic, involving rough — but never violent — sessions, toys, spankings, temperature pain, bondage, and edging. These scenes almost always involve Cold asking Jimmy for his safe word and, when all is said and done, giving aftercare and affection. This is very much a consensual relationship, but it’s an intense one.

Jimmy is cheerful, optimistic, and a brat. But Cold loves him for it. Having witnessed his mother’s murder at a young age, Jimmy’s sensitive to violence, often turning to Cold for emotional comfort. He knows Cold’s life is violent, and that his lover is a crime boss, he knows that Cold lies, and that Cold has killed, and will do again, and as long as it’s not something he has to face, he’s … well, he’s not okay with it. But he loves Cold no matter what the other man has to do to protect himself and those he — and they — love. It’s that strength and that confidence that Jimmy needs, the stability and the care and the knowledge that Cold will make the world go away when it all gets to be too much. Cold is his world.

Cold is powerful, rich, and respected. His word is law — and if it isn’t, they’d better still find a way to do what he wants done. The only people in his life who talk back to him are his sister, his Gentlemen, and Jimmy. His sister is flighty and off living her own life; his Gentlemen are there to respect and obey him. Jimmy … Jimmy leaps into his arms, cuddles in his lap, makes him watch movies and gets him to laugh. Jimmy isn’t an equal partner in their relationship, either in age, power, or interests, but his love, his openness, and his devotion are something Cold didn’t know he needed. Jimmy is an outlet for all the emotions Cold’s had to hide away in order to be the monster the city expects him to be.

The first book was more sex than plot. This book has a better balance, roughly 50-50, I’d say, with lengthy, detailed sex scenes and a whole lot of plot. Which should make you aware of just how much sex there is in this book because there’s a whole lot of plot. I won’t get into details, because that would spoil the fun, but we get to see — through Jimmy’s eyes — just how good Cold is at what he does, all while Jimmy does everything he can to ruin everything with his good intentions. Cold is far from stupid, and he in no way turns into a good and noble hero. He’s a ruthless killer from page one to page 422 and feels no need to redeem himself.

The writing is decent, but the pacing is all over the place, with the constant pauses for Cold and Jimmy to fuck in just about every location and the prologue, which felt more like a long first chapter. For what it is, a very kinky mafia story, this is a fun read, but the court scenes and some of the — for lack of a better word — “mob scenes” feel overly dramatized and sensationalized, but given the setting and the characters, it more or less works. I had fun with this one, and hope you do, too.