Her teen crush is now a ruthless killer and powerful mafia heir. Will one life-altering night unite or destroy them?
Bennett Mazzone grew up ignorant of the truth: he is the illegitimate son of the most powerful mafia boss in New York. Until it suited his father to drag him into a world where power, wealth, violence, and cruelty are the only currency.
Celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Sin City should be fun for Sierra Lawson, but events take a deadly turn when she ends up in a private club, surrounded by dangerous men who always get what they want.
And they want her.
Ben can’t believe his ex’s little sister is all grown up, stunningly beautiful, and close to being devoured by some of the most ruthless men he has ever known. The Vegas trip is about strengthening ties, but he won’t allow his associates to ruin her perfection. Although it comes at a high price, saving Sierra is his only choice.
The memory of Ben’s hands on her body is seared into Sierra’s flesh for eternity. She doesn’t regret that night. Not even when she discovers the guy she was crushing on as a teenager is a cold, calculating killer with dark impulses and lethal enemies who want him dead.
Understanding the risks, she walks away from the only man she will ever love, stowing her secrets securely in her heart. Until the truth becomes leverage and Sierra is drawn into a bloody war—a pawn in a vicious game she doesn’t want to play.
As the web of deceit is finally revealed, Ben will stop at nothing to protect Sierra. Even if loving her makes him weak. In a world where women serve a sole purpose, and alliances mean the difference between life and death, can he fight for love and win?
As a young teen, Sierra had a crush on her older sister’s boyfriend, Ben, and he was one of few bright spots in her life. Bullied by her monstrous oldest sister, she also had to contend with an abusive father and weak mother who never stood up to him for her children. Sierra never understood what a sweet man like Ben was doing with her intolerable shrew of a sister and often wondered what became of him after he suddenly disappears.
Years later, Sierra ditches the bodyguard her CEO father requires to party in Vegas and gets into deep trouble. Ben happens to be there to save her but he’s as cold and dangerous as those he’s saving her from, nothing like the man she knew before. Despite sharing an intimate and passionate experience, he cruelly rejects her without explanation, proving himself to be ruthless.
Sierra’s nobody’s fool and doesn’t chase Ben or mourn her lost love. She’s strong and independent and proves she can take care of herself. Rooting for her is easy, especially when the consequences of that night come back to haunt her, bringing Ben back into her life where he’s no longer welcome.
The story takes an enemies-to-lovers turn and there are dark moments but I found myself rooting for Ben and Sierra in spite of his flaws. It’s eventually revealed that some of his worst behavior was borne of tough choices made to keep her safe. But despite justification for some of his actions, there’s no denying Ben’s ruthless nature. He’s merciless in many ways, although sometimes for good reason. It’s easy to see how he became so cold and calculated while still hoping there’s a heart and humanity left in him.
A few of the twists were genuine surprises. In hindsight, there were hints but I was so caught up in the romance I never bothered trying to guess where the plot may be headed. Others were more predictable but well done. The characters were engaging and their story was compelling enough to make me want more. I loved CTL, my first book by Siobhan Davis, but definitely not my last. Luckily for those of us who hate to say goodbye to characters we enjoy, there’s an epilogue to be had, although that’s hardly enough.