Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Michael Dean
Length: 6 hours, 35 minutes
Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks
Angelo is the second book in the Marchesi Family series and a dark mafia romance. This story centers on Angelo Marchesi, second son of the family, and his reconnection with a high school crush, Cameron Bellini.
In high school Angelo struggled, even though the teachers at his prestigious Boston prep school feared his mafioso father’s money and power. The big problem came when Angelo’s mom died and he essentially shut down with grief. Panicked about his falling grades, Angelo tried to hire Cameron, the smartest boy in the class and a scholarship student, to tutor him. However, Cameron refused, unwilling to help the son of a criminal, one believed to have murdered a favorite customer of his grandparents’ bakery. Angelo was mad, but didn’t have a lot of time to take out his frustration–or fascination–with Cameron, because Cam’s mother took him to live with family in Indiana after finding out Cameron’s deadbeat dad had committed a terrible crime.
Fast-forward 15 years, and Angelo’s assisting in running the family business with Lucien, his older brother, and Devil, his cousin. They have long had Art’s Bakery in their stable of businesses that pay for protection. Cam’s father was recently killed in a mugging, so the cops say, and Cam has returned to Boston from California, where he’s been a lawyer. He doesn’t have a huge nest egg, but his nostalgia over the bakery has him considering refurbishing the dump and opening it. Only, Angelo turns up telling Cam he owes the Marchesis his father’s huge gambling debt, and Cam’s not willing to let Angelo take this final piece of his heritage away. So, he agrees to serve as Angelo’s nightly submissive for three months in exchange for the debt. Cam had no idea Angelo was bisexual, and Angelo is not above exploiting the man who’d made him feel so worthless as a kid.
Cam is not happy about being Angelo’s sex toy, but he doesn’t mind how great it feels being thoroughly sexed-up, down, and all around. And, when bad guys come banging at the door looking for money Cam’s dad supposedly stole, he’s more than grateful for Angelo to liberally apply his mob skills and ruthlessness.
The story had some issues, for me. Like, why would a lawyer give up his practice entirely to run a bakery? And how does a man who had such deep convictions about criminals suddenly change his mind so completely regarding a known mafioso? I would have liked to see more deep introspection–and maybe some of Cameron’s legal knowledge–represented in his character. As such, he felt one dimensional. However, I listened to the audiobook, which was definitely well performed by narrator Michael Dean. I think Dean’s strength in emoting Cameron’s parts helped him feel more human. I’ve heard Dean narrate before, and appreciated his range to give Angelo a rougher, south Boston/Italian accent. Cameron’s voice was less notable, but the emotive moments were strongly delivered.
The first two books in this series established a pattern of alpha/Dom mobster finding a helpless submissive to rescue from all the bad guys. I’m curious to see how Devil’s love story will be different, as the target of his desire is probably even more anti-mobster than Cameron. If you like mobster stories, and light D/s activity, including spanking and public play, you’ll probably enjoy this one. I’ve listened to it several times, and still enjoy it.