Series: Spontagio Family #1
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Mob, New Adult, Romance
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Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone, the kind of guy women want and men respect. At twenty-three, he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter.
Raised in Chicago under the spotlight of power and privilege, Lucy Spontiago feels most alive on stage. Determined to become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her.
Pietro could never betray his mentor by sleeping with his only child. But Lucy follows her passions, no matter how forbidden. Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.
I love mafia books, I really have no idea why, I mean little girls don’t dream about meeting your perfect criminal and living happily ever after, but hey I like me a good mafia guy, don’t judge. I really don’t like giving books anything less then three stars because I know what works for me may not work for other people and vice versa. But this book was hard for me to get through, so I can’t help but give it an honest review.
I think my number one issue with the book is pacing. During the first 25% of the book, I kept thinking “when is something going to happen?” I mean pretty much nothing happens for the first part of the book. Let me sum it up for you. Pietro’s parents died and he had to move in Giovanni, who has a daughter Lucia. Flash 8 years forward, Lucia and Pietro are like secretly in love with each other, but Giovanni is over protective and wouldn’t approve so they never say anything about it to each other. Lucia moves to NYC and Pietro follows her to watch her secretly under orders for her father. That’s it. What was funny to me is that the book felt like it was dragging on, but there were also these moments where I felt like this were happening way to fast. Like Pietro and Lucia finally get together, he kisses her and then two seconds later they are having sex and apparently it’s like the best thing ever (even though Lucia is a virgin, so yeah that was totally not believable).
Another big problem for me was Lucia in general. I mean she is a 21 year old woman who basically still needs to ask her father permission to breathe. I think the thing she is most impressed about with herself is that she has been transferring small amount of her fathers money/her trust to a separate bank account that he can’t see. I can’t help but wondering what this heck girl has been doing since high school yeah she’s a dancer, but it seems like all she has been doing is living at her dads house and practicing in the studio he built her. It’s just weird. Also she constantly makes excuses for her dad until one day she arbitrarily decides that she doesn’t care is her dad thinks she is in danger and how dare Pietro want her to be safe. It ends up being like a two day fight. I ended up like completely disliking her by the end of the book, especially the whole ending with Paris (if you read the book you will understand).
I wish I had liked this book. It has all the elements in it to make me like it, it’s just not something I enjoyed. I think the only reason I finished the book is because it was shorter then I expected it to be. I think if you have experience with this author, then you might want to give it a try, but for me it was a no go.
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I can’t believe I’m doing this.
My hands shake as I sit down on the floor and begin my stretches. I glance around, taking in the hundreds of girls who are here for the same reason as I am. To follow their dreams and perform with one of the top ballet companies in the world. This is every little girl’s dream.
Who am I kidding? I don’t even know why I’m here.
Wait, yes I do. I was unwittingly roped into coming here by my supposed best friend and my number one fan, Bella. If I trip over my clumsy feet and make a fool of myself, I’ll never forgive her.
When I found out she’d filled out the application on my behalf I’d been so annoyed that I refused to speak to her for days, but now sitting here, about to perform, I’m thankful that she believed in me that much.
Since I was a child, the only constant in my life has been my dancing. It sheltered me from the pain of watching my mother succumb to cancer. It gave me hope when all felt lost. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life but at the same time I was plagued with self-doubt. I was constantly comparing myself to others, always convinced I’d never be good enough.
“Luce, if you don’t try, how do you know what you’re capable of?” Bella had said after I’d received notification of my audition date. I’d screamed at her for applying on my behalf, but what she was saying made sense. If I wanted to do this, I needed to know I could. How could I expect others to believe in me if I didn’t believe in myself?
My heart jumps as I get to my feet. I run my hands down over my smooth tights, trying to focus only on getting inside that room. I walk in and smile at the line of officials. Some I recognize as well-known choreographers and dancers, some I don’t know at all.
“When you’re ready.”
I nod and position myself in the center of the room. I’ve been to auditions before, but none this important. The next few minutes had the ability to completely change the course of my life. No pressure, right?
Just dance like you’re the only one in the room.
I knew my chances of being accepted into this company were extremely low, no matter how outstanding my results were from college, or how many local productions I’d excelled in, and for a brief moment I want to kill Bella for setting me up for what was bound to be the ultimate failure.
If you keep thinking like that you don’t deserve a place.
Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and begin to dance as the soft notes of Bach fill my head. I forget where I am, and just like that, I’m back dancing in the studio my father built for me after I begged him for somewhere to dance.
Every day and every night I’d spend hours practicing in my studio, with the help of one of the best instructors in Chicago. Who said money couldn’t buy happiness? If there was one thing my father was good at, it was ensuring his little girl had everything she wanted.