Published 8 October 2014
Published by Acerbi & Villani, LTD.
Copy received from authors for review.
Guns n’ Boys needs to be read in order. This is the second part of book one.
— Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —
The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.
Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.
Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.
Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.
If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself–with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.
Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime
Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller
Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion
Length: ~90,000 words
WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.
Holy smokes! I had to forgo some commitments to finish this book, it was so intense! In part one of Guns n’ Boys, Seth was conflicted and felt taken and used by Domenico. Domenico was cold, harsh and forceful. The focus was training and pressuring Seth to bend to Dom’s will. Everything has changed in a big way.
Seth’s arranged marriage has gone on as planned by the Family. The bride-to-be is pleasant, but she’s more in theory than in real life. They don’t even meet in person until the day before the wedding. She’s young and indifferent, which is probably for the best because Seth is NOT interested in having a wife. He wants Domenico. Of course it’s what the Family wants and tells him to do, not his wishes or desires. Here he was just minding his own business in New York, far from the Family. Now he’s back in Sicily, named the new don and getting freaking married. His life is not his own and it’s pretty crappy to boot! Seth is kind of depressed. His whole world is crashing down, coming unraveled and is out if his control.
The only thing holding Seth together are the few stolen moments he manages to carve out with Dom. They find some spots that allow for some private time but it isn’t enough and they haven’t had release because they keep getting called away. Tensions are also running high so they tend to fight more than they make out.
One of my favorite scenes involves declarations and signet rings being shared right before Seth’s wedding. It was one of few moments when Seth was in total control and yet oblivious of the power at the same time. A sweet state only Seth seems to pull off flawlessly. Domenico seems to be very emotional at this moment and that is also unique.
Domenico’s jealous side rears its ugly head. We see him as a cold-hearted killer but never in a jealous, love-induced rage. It happens before the wedding and then again later. Right after the wedding Seth and Dom are sent to New York for more training and to await a mission. It’s there that we see the extent of Dom’s possessive fury and also how much he needs to have total control over Seth.
New York is an opportunity for the guys to reconnect. They experience a false sense of what it would be like if they could live the rest of their days together and even be partners/lovers/married in the open. Seth takes Dom to meet his friends and it’s a total disaster. Domenico is way too protective and can’t control his anger over Seth being touched by an ex. These guys are giving me whiplash with the posturing followed by sweetness followed by raving. Dom goes totally crazy with jealous rage. Tipping over tables, and throwing vases. Then he’s calm and wooing Seth once again. It’s insanity!
The insanity is followed up by the most out of left field comment from Dom about a dying request. It just grabbed my heart and I was again shocked at how sad and sweet Dom could be after his earlier behavior. It’s all so intense and made me realize that Dom is scary as hell! His mood swings are a force! It shows his instability. His line of work and the things he’s done for the Family have really left him a bit off. No one can live that life and not be affected.
Of course all good things must come to an end and once the mission comes down, Seth is left with a very hard decision. Align with the Family or align with true love.
KA Merikan do a fine job of keeping us emotionally on edge throughout most of this book. Wondering how Seth and Dom will be able to stay together. What will happen to Seth, with that big target on his back after being named the next don. Even wondering if Dom is who we really want him to be, the love of Seth’s life and his protector. It’s in the face of danger and fighting for their lives that we see the training, love and devotion really pay off. That’s when the guys are the most fragile, yet the most strong and fierce in their love. Dom is willing to give everything and Seth is not willing to give up. It’s beautiful and terrifyingly stressful as a reader! Be prepared for a bit of an open ending. Seth and Domenico’s journey will continue in 2015.
RATING: BAD ASS LEMON CUPCAKES (BOOTS)!!