Sinful Mafia Prince is the second book in the Malvagio Duet, and forms one long story with Forbidden Mafia Prince. The books are meant to be read in order and this picks up almost immediately after the climatic cliffhanger ending in book one. As a result, this book and review will have spoilers for the first in the series.
Dom cannot believe he let the Fiores get their hands on Luca. And now Dom is determined to get him back. He knows that Luca is just a pawn to them, despite being family, and that his chances of survival with the Fiores are pretty bleak. Unfortunately, now that the Rossetti’s have played their hand and shown the Fiores they could get to Luca the first time, Dom’s father doesn’t think it is worth trying to get Luca back. However, that doesn’t sit well with Dom, who tells himself that he just wants to pull one over on the Fiores yet again. But deep down, Dom knows he cannot let them hurt Luca and will do whatever it takes to get him back, even if it means defying his father.
Unfortunately, even if Dom can manage to save Luca, nowhere is safe with the Fiores on their tail. The two men must find a place to hide away, ending up somewhere that is safe, but holds painful memories for Dom. As Dom and Luca spend more time together, it becomes clear that they are building real feelings for each other despite themselves. Dom knows the idea of falling for a Fiore is dangerous; his family will never understand, not to mention he is expected to marry a woman and produce heirs. For Luca, he is falling hard for his captor, and while he knows at this point that Dom won’t hurt him, he also knows he is getting involved with a deadly man. There seems to be no future where the men could end up together, yet as the days pass, Luca and Dom are realizing that what they most want is each other.
Sinful Mafia Prince continues Dom and Luca’s story from the first book and further develops the bond between the men. Whereas the first book had the pair wary and sort of dancing around their attraction to one another (while acting upon it), this book has much more of a sweet romantic side. We start off with some action in the aftermath of Luca’s kidnapping. Dom is furious and determined to do whatever it takes to get him back, setting up a conflict between him and his father. I’ll admit, the action here was a little more quick and easy than I would have expected, but these scenes are fun and exciting, particularly with Chef offering a bit of comic relief. The story then moves on to Luca and Dom in hiding, and once again, the forced proximity gives them a chance to really grow their relationship.
I don’t want to spoil anything by sharing where the guys go, but just expect some lovely travel porn. The location is the perfect setting for the men to fall further in love, as they are able to put their troubles behind them and enjoy the location and one another. But it is also a place where Dom has some demons from his past, and it offers us a chance to learn more about what started the feud with the Fiores, as well as for Dom to finally really open up to Luca. It gives a nice emotional resonance where the men are sharing more than the intense attraction between them, but real feelings and a growing bond. The conflict, of course, is how there is any possibility for a future for the men given their very different lives. Things do come together nicely, though for all the build up on how impossible it all is for them to be together, most of it resolves off page during the epilogue. We see where the guys end up, but not really how they made it all work. So I think that would have been nice to see in a little more detail.
One thing I particularly liked here is the idea of these two very different heirs. Of course, Luca had no idea he was born to the Fiore family, but both men have these expectations and baggage that come from who they are. Luca wants nothing to do with the Fiores, but we can still see how their long reach changed the course of his life. And, of course, Dom’s entire life is his family, and he is now in a position of making choices that go against the future they have planned for him. So I think there are some interesting things explored here with regard to these parallels.
I found this one a really enjoyable story and I liked how the authors built it out across the two books. This story is a little quieter and less intense than the first book, at least on the danger front, but it really nicely explores the relationship, as well as themes of family. If you enjoy a darker hero, this duet is exciting, romantic, sexy, and with a great location in this second book.