cover image Nico


Sarah Castille. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-10403-8

In this super-sexy Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century, the first in the Ruin and Revenge romantic suspense series, Castille (Chaos Bound) combines raw passion and barely leashed violence. Mobster Nico Toscani helps rule Las Vegas with an iron fist—as the bastard son of a deceased mob boss, he knows that showing weakness would undermine his power, already in question due to his uncle’s questionable morals. Computer hacker Mia Cordano wants nothing more than to distance herself from the violence and ruthlessness of the mob—but she can’t, because she’s the daughter of a rival crime family. When Mia meets Nico while doing a job, sparks fly. But given their feuding families, the resulting inferno could kill them both. Castille doesn’t romanticize the Mafia; the mobsters’ violence and questionable rationalizations of good and bad are clearly depicted, particularly with Mia’s ruthless and amoral father and her deeply damaged brother. Still, she skillfully draws her hero and heroine and several in their close circles in intriguing and realistic shades of gray. This is a deftly plotted page-turner that will leave readers panting for the next installment. (Dec.)