Mobster’s Gamble will be book 1 in the Chicago Mob Series.
If you have read the Mobster Series, you will definitely recognize the characters. The setting is La Bella Regale Casino in the heart of Chicago.
Carlo Caruso runs the family businesses. The son of mob boss Ennio Caruso, Carlo knows his place and he is up to the challenge of taking care of both the casino business and the not-quite-legal “other” business, all without drawing unwanted attention from the authorities. But when a group of cult extremists, headed by a guy who calls himself Priest, decides to target his family’s casino as a den of sin while attempting to recruit for their cause, Carlo may be in for a challenge he has never been trained for.
Anya was born inside the walls of a cult and has never known anything different. Anya’s beauty has always stirred the wrong kind of attention from the leader and then, when he was gone, his son. Anya has had a complicated and volatile relationship with Priest since she was a little girl toddling around in the religious commune. She knows she deserves better but has no idea how to go about getting it.
Can Carlo and Anya overcome their upbringing and find love?
Wow this is a top five read for me. This was my first book by Amy Rachiele and she has made me an instant fan. Mobster’s Gamble has every element I love in a book, darkness, evil and she added a new twist for me cult extremists, which surprised me at how interested I became in that.
Carlo runs the family casino business as well as his father will let him. It is clear Pops still runs the family and doesn’t always make it easy on Carlo. When Priest, the leader of the cult, brings his followers to protest in front of the casino action needs to be taken but Carlo is drawn to a woman in the cult, draped in a baggy robe with her head down, her pain and need for help is clear to him but his hands are tied. Family first is the motto he lives by.
Anya was born into the Anointed Heavens so this is the only life she has known. Her mother died a cruel death at the hands of fate in this cult and Priest’s father took Anya at a very young age. Abuse of the physical, mental and sexual kind was her normal and when Priest took over the cult, she had a slim hope that things would be different. Even when the chance to escape presented itself, her heart always went back to protecting the remaining members of the cult.
As Priest began to lose control over his followers and the faithful began to lose their faith, attendance was low and Priest was desperate to keep the cult alive. In walks Caesar who had his own agenda, with no problem using Anya and the cult leader to take down whoever gets in his way.
The buildup in this story was remarkable as we were taken into the depths of hell that Anya was thrown in and followed her as she made her way to the casino an into the protection of the Caruso family. I was drawn in on page one and felt like I never wanted this book to end. The emotions were vivid and real as was the chemistry between Carlo, the man of wealth and power and Anya, the young woman who had never tasted freedom and peace in her life. This is a must read for me and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good book of evil versus evil with a hot streak of chemistry, compassion and innocence. I will be hunting for more books from this author for sure.