Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Michael Dean
Length: 6 hours, 29 minutes
Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks
Devil has always been the unhinged cousin who’s like a brother to mafia Don, Lucien, and his younger brother, Angelo. They are “Angel and Devil” as their nanny called them. Devil’s made a bit of a mess in his life, recently. He was upset about Lucien being accused in the death of an innocent girl, and blew off steam in his usual sexually destructive manner. It turns out the guy he tapped for some danger-play with a loaded gun happens to be the detective sniffing around the murder case with Lucien as a prime suspect. What a surprise to learn this when he reverse-stalks the detective.
Detective Joe Daniels knew who was taking him apart in that dirty alley, but he couldn’t stop himself. He’s been dogging the cases of a colleague, who’s clearly dirty. All Joe wants is justice, and he’s even willing to make a bad bargain with Devil to clear the decks at the police precinct. It’s clearly dangerous, and both Joe and Devil are addicted to danger–in life and sex. So what seems like it will be a one-off turns into a series of trysts that bind the two together in ways they never anticipated.
Devil is the third book in the Marchesi Family series. It’s likely best enjoyed when experienced in sequence with the other books. I listened to it in audio and Michael Dean provides a strongly delivered audio narration. Both Devil and Joe’s voices sounded different from one another, and so did all the many characters that fill the books. Devil’s struggle to reconcile his love for a law man could be sensed in the wavering moments, in contrast to his otherwise decisive and dominating intonation. Joe’s a solitary character, he’s had to be strong to survive and claw his way to detective. He laments the less-than-savory bargains he’s made, but he’s also sure that the ends will justify the means in terms of justice being served. His uncertainty shined, especially in the second half of the story when he’s collecting more and more evidence that Devil’s brand of vigilante justice has a moral center he can grudgingly admire.
This story follows a predictable pattern that’s still enjoyable. It’s an enemies-to lovers romance that hits all the marks for danger, tension, and lots of sexy times that ride the edge of darkness. I’ve listened to the book several times, and still enjoyed it each time. The emotional situations were engaging, and allowed some playfulness in the plot that really translated in the narration. The connection between Joe and Devil felt strong by the final third, and Devil’s actions to protect Joe from both his family and the other nefarious forces at work really solidified the relationship. There are enormous family ties here, so we get lots of Lucien, Angelo, Aunt Sabrina, and the companions from the previous stories, Cam and Peter. Plus, we have a bit more set-up for the spin-off series, Vigilance, as those shadowy characters re-enter the story. I was reminded a bit of other mobster books, but there were also clear differences. I think fans of dark romance or mafia romance will like this one.