by Sarah Castille
Ruin and Revenge #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
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This was not my first Sarah Castille book, but it was my first time reading a mafia romance. As I was familiar with the author’s work I was expecting this to be a great read and I was not disappointed. Nico is the first book in the Ruin and Revenge series and it can be read as a stand-alone.
Usually, when I hear the term mafia the words that come to mind are extortion, racketeering, violence, and death, but never romance. Nico plunged me into the world where all this was possible. In the process, I met men who saw women as property to be traded to the highest bidder. It didn’t matter if they were a part of their family. In the midst of all this, I was introduced to Mia Cordano, daughter to the head of the Cardano family.
Mia is not your typical mafia princess. She fought against the very system she grew up in, which led to her being at odds with her father. Her childhood was riddled with abuse. The abuse was a weapon used by her father to break her, but it only made her stronger, which did not win any points with him. She was stubborn, feisty and independent which she proved when she left home to forge her own path. However, she would soon come to
realise, that no matter how far she ran she could not escape her destiny.
Nico Toscani is the highest ranking capo of the Toscani family. All his life he has lived with the stigma of being the illegitimate son of the former head of the Toscani family. As a result, he had no claim to the legacy left by his father. Nico’s main focus was to avenge his father’s death and as such had no room for distractions. That was until he laid eyes on Mia which posed an even bigger problem as she was the daughter of the man he held responsible for his father’s death.
I enjoyed reading about all the characters, but I have to say that Mia was my
favourite. She was a strong and selfless woman who was not afraid to fight for what she believed in. When her back was up against the wall, she was willing to sacrifice herself if it meant saving those she loved. It was these characteristics that Nico found intriguing and he was not above pulling out all the stops to win her over.
I loved how the story began. I knew from that moment that this was going to be an interesting read. Watching the interaction between Nico and Mia was entertaining. It was evident that they had a strong connection which was difficult for them to deny. I enjoyed the romance. Their love for each other was not an instantaneous affair. It grew over time and it had its share of obstacles which made it authentic and easy to relate to.
This is not the kind of story that will make you cry. It’s the kind that may make you cringe at times from the violent scenes depicted. In spite of the violent images, I held on as I was curious to know how the story would unfold and I was glad I did.
This was a great read. The portrayal of the mafia world was intriguing and at times dark and gritty. The characters were engaging and
relatable. If you love stories with these elements, then you will enjoy Nico.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This has no bearing on my review, which is
honest reflection of my opinions of this book. a