Ruthless: Mob Boss Book One by Michelle St. James – A Book Review

front_6ix9i_RGB_300dpi-682x1024Angelica Bondesan yearns for a different life.

Two years out of college, she wonders if the rest of her life will be filled with hours at the Muddy Cup as a barista. She knows that she needs direction in her life-she just has no idea which direction she wants to go in.

The only spot of brightness in her life was her brother David. With her mother gone and her father often absent in her life, he was all she had. She is constantly trying to bridge the gap between her brother and her father, but to no avail. Angelica hopes that something, anything, will change.

Then things do change when she is kidnapped. She’s thrown into a room and held captive for reasons unknown to her. However, the reasons almost cease to matter when she meets her captor: the dangerous and handsome Nico Vitale.

He’s the boss of New York City’s crime family.  After his parents were murdered in an execution style killing, he took control. Nico wants answers and Angelica is the key to them. Angelica is prepared to resist Nico. What she doesn’t count on is his kindness, his strength or her growing attraction to him.

Then she learns a family secret that shatters her entire world. Her whole life is not what she thought it was. Angelica has only one option: help Nico learn the truth so that she can finally figure out if loving him is a valid option…

My meagre plot summary doesn’t do this book justice. It comes nowhere to capturing the rapid fire plot that seems to flip the pages almost turn themselves, nor does it capture characters so real, so vibrant, that they live beyond the page.

It also fails to capture the incredible passion and the amazing love scenes that set the pages on fire. I have read hundreds of romance novels, but none of them have come close to Ruthless by Michelle St. James.

Of course, Michelle St. James is the pseudonym of Michelle Zink. So I already know that she can tell a flat out fantastic amazing story. I also knew that Michelle could write passionate love scenes with aplomb-she showed that she could do so with her Shadowguard Trilogy of novellas. I was left breathless after those three short books and wondered what Zink could do with the space of a full length romance novel.

After reading Ruthless, I don’t have to wonder any longer. Ruthless is the work of a master of the romance genre.

Yes, the love scenes are incredibly hot, but it’s more than that. What I loved most about Ruthless was that it wasn’t just about the love scenes. Michelle has given us a novel that goes beyond the typical mob boss novel. She breaks stereotypes established by mob novels and instead of a man driven to kill for no reason and poses a woman, she’s created Nico Vitale.

I love the twist she’s given the book in Nico. He doesn’t kill if he doesn’t have to and he takes care of his own. More than that, despite the situation they are in and the attraction he has to Angelica, he wants her to want him and will only take her completely when she does.

He’s a man with depth, with heart and with honour. Despite the unkindness done to him, he knows there is a right way to do things and a wrong way.

Zink has given us everything we could want and more in Ruthless. I can’t wait until Mob Boss Book Two: Fearless comes out in September! I can’t wait to read Ruthless all over again!

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