The things they made me do…
Okay. So I’m not perfect. In fact, I might have a little problem.
And it might involve breaking the law.
So when mob boss Leo Borroni and his buddies catch me in the act, well, I’m pretty much screwed.
They take bets on how far I’ll go to get out of the mess I’m in.
And the winner?
Well, it looks like he gets…
This hot, over-the-top romance includes sexy mafia hitmen with a penchant for pursuing and protecting the women who give them a run for their money. If you love outrageously naughty stories as a way to indulge your not-so-secret bad girl side, this is for you.
This is an interesting twist on the darker side of romance.
Maray is a college student on a full scholarship with work study. She’s living with sorority sisters and she is well aware of the differences between her and the others. Money. Feeling particularly inadequate after overhearing a conversation about her she does something she never thought she would. She shoplifts.
Now it wasn’t the store security that sees her, it’s Leo Borroni and he’s about to make her an offer she can’t refuse. Not if she doesn’t want to be charged with a felony.
Now Leo is an owner of an exclusive card club for high stakes poker. Frequently he and his business partners play a high stakes game of their own, just not with cards, with a person. Maray was about to become that person.
While essentially blackmail, the things Leo has her doing aren’t exactly legal either.
This is a favorite scene.
I loved how when I asked if she wanted lunch, she pointed to a street vendor.
“Do your sorority sisters know you eat hot dogs from a vendor?” I asked as we walked around the block.
She looked up at me, a smudge of mustard in the corner of her mouth. “Hell no.”
“Why do you do this to yourself?”
Her head whipped in my direction. “Do what?”
I stopped walking to face her. “Pressure yourself to keep up.”
Surprise crossed her face. I wanted to tell her how easy it was to see she was pretending to be someone she wasn’t, but why insult her? People had to learn shit on their own. Make their own mistakes.
Just ask me.
She sighed. “I had a guidance counselor who told me this was the way to do things. That if I played my cards right, my future would fall into place. You know— go to the right school, meet the right people, act the right way.”
“Sounds like a real winner. And how’s that working out for you?” I asked.
She stiffened, then suddenly looked at her watch. “I have to get ready for class.”
Okay. She wasn’t ready to face facts. But it was all good. I was drawn to her in a way I hadn’t been drawn to a woman in a long time. We’d be spending plenty of time together in the near future, so there was no need to rush anything, including important conversations.
“Maray, I have an offer for you. I need help at the card games a couple nights a week.”
She shook her head. “Nah. That’s not my thing. I’ll get another job somewhere else.”
I hooked a finger under her chin. I might have been pushing it, but I couldn’t help myself. “Look, you get paid in tips. You’ll walk out of there with at least a thousand bucks every night you work.”
That might have gotten her.
Something washed over her— first fear, then curiosity— as she did the math in her head.
She could use the money, we both knew, but hell, I wasn’t inviting her to hang around because I was a nice guy. I wanted to see more of her, plain and simple. And to make sure she felt the same way about me.
Which she would, in time. I could be patient when I had to.
There was something about her that was scrappy. Sure, she might have been more sheltered than most women I knew, but she had drive.
And, she was sexy in a completely unselfconscious way, which was the best kind of sexy. She didn’t even try, with her jeans, sneakers, and little or no makeup— she was a natural beauty. Very different from the typical woman I was attracted to, but hey, maybe it was time to turn over a new leaf.
She bit her bottom lip while thinking of what to say about my offer. I waited patiently. I knew her well enough to know she couldn’t be pushed.
“I don’t know,” she said softly, shaking her head over her conflicted thoughts. “I mean, is that stuff even legal?”
I was hoping she’d ask. “It’s a complex business, but yes, the way we do it is legal.”
She frowned. “What do you do to make it legal?”
“In a nutshell, it’s legal as long as the house— that means me and my business partners— don’t take a rake.”
“A rake?” she asked. “That’s a cut of the money played in each hand. If that goes to anyone other than the players, like if we took it for the club, that would be illegal. We also keep no cash on the premises.”
Her eyes widened. “How do you make money, then?”
“You really are a finance major, aren’t you?” I said, laughing. “We make money by selling memberships to the club.”
She nodded slowly. “And how do you play with no cash?”
“We use wires. Everyone wires the money they need to buy in and then to cover any losses. Then, the winners get their money via wires, too. There’s a trust factor. That’s why we do background checks and interview people who want to join.”
I didn’t bother telling her how we also extended credit to certain, qualified members, much to the chagrin of our Russian competitors. That was more detail than she needed.
“Holy shit. A whole world out there I know nothing of.”
After our hotdogs, I walked her to class. “Don’t feel badly. Most people know nothing about high-stakes poker. There’s really no reason to, unless you’re going to play. And to play, you need to have a fuckload of money.”
When we reached her classroom door, I stopped. “What do you think?”
“Well. I do need a new job.”
Mika Lane. Nasty Bet: The Anti-Hero Chronicles (Kindle Locations 875-913). Headlands Publishing.
So many complications, a shopping spree, the realization he’s falling for her combine into a page-turning read with just the right amount of sizzle and a touch of drama.
5 Contented Purrs for Mika!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Writing has been a passion of mine since, well, forever (my first book was “The Day I Ate the Milkyway,” a true fourth-grade masterpiece), but steamy romance is now what gives purpose to my days and nights.
I live in magical Northern California with my own handsome alpha dude, sometimes known as Mr. Mika Lane, and an evil cat named Bill.
A lover of shiny things, I’ve been known to try to new recipes on unsuspecting friends, find hiding places so I can read undisturbed, and spend my last dollar on a plane ticket somewhere. I also drink cheap champagne and have way too many shoes.
I’ll always promise you a hot, sexy romp with kick-ass but imperfect heroines, and some version of a modern-day happily ever after.
I LOVE to hear from readers when I’m not dreaming up naughty tales to share. Join my Insider Group below, So we can get to know each other better.