His first love—Bianca D’Angelo
And an assassin from the Viper Sisterhood
...he finds himself pulled into a world of espionage, intrigue, and seduction, where he'll win his family's safety and the woman of his dreams—or lose everything.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Italian mafia, fiery women, and plots of revenge combine for an action-packed storyline in Ricardo.
Ricardo is the oldest of the Santini brothers and since his father is no longer able to lead a mafia war, he takes his rightful place as head of the family and vows to protect his family at all costs. When his ex comes back into his life needing refuge, he’s torn on how to protect her without exposing his biggest weakness.
Bianca left Ricardo years ago when she saw his awful temper, but her recently deceased husband was far more violent and cruel. When she makes herself a target by accidentally poisoning the wrong man, she’s forced to seek refuge with the man she never forgot, Ricardo. But years have been hard on Ricardo and his temper has only grown worse as he now battles a rage disorder that has left him without his sense of touch after his efforts to aid his disorder with an experimental drug failed.
Bianca isn’t the only one with feelings for Ricardo either, as Ivy, a Black Viper undercover as Ricardo’s maid, does everything in her power to get into his home and then into his bed. Can Ricardo risk exposing his weakness by pursuing his feelings for Bianca? Or is he right that she deserves better and he should be with someone more like the Black Viper desperate to bed him? Will any of it matter if the Landi succeed in their vendetta mission?
The first chapter of Ricardo had me wondering if I’d fallen for a strong synopsis that hid a weak storyline. But before I knew it the characters had me captivated and I was caught up in the love stories, the sexy love scenes, and the action-filled plot. I even found myself rooting for the Black Vipers when the story was given from their perspective. I couldn’t find a single unredeemable character; except maybe the Concetta (Ricardo’s mom), and I bet even she has her reasons if I were to hear the story from her perspective. The story alternated perspectives between Ricardo, Bianca, and Ivy and the switch was seamless. I blew through the story and found myself hoping the other Santini brothers will have a story of their own. I’m shocked to find I’m most intrigued by Brando, the most unlovable of the bunch. He seems like there’s a lot hidden behind his cold eyes and I’m desperate to unravel his story.
Marita A. Hansen combines fully dimensional characters with an exciting plot for a fantastic result in Ricardo. I only hope the remaining Santini brothers are as irresistible as their oldest brother, Ricardo.
**Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
**Reviewed by preppea on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews.