This was my place. My business. Easter Lanes.
Then a guy comes in, trying to rob me, daring to take it away from me.
My home. My life.
Hell no. I won’t let my livelihood be threatened.
No one knows what I’ve done to build this life for myself.
Except he might.
Ashton Walden, a man I remember from when we were kids.
Even back then I could tell how dangerous he would be one day.
He’s now the head of the Walden mafia family, and my father is so in debt to them that they practically own him.
My dad and I are estranged and I want nothing to do with him or his debt, but the day after the attempted robbery, I don’t wake up in the hospital.
I wake up in Ashton Walden’s home. And he drops a bomb on me.
If I want my livelihood back, I need to earn it back.
And thus begins our cruel arrangement.
Ashton seemed like a huge jerk in Jess and Trace’s book, so I was in no hurry to read his story. But I enjoyed the first book so much that I had to read the next one and boy, am I glad I didn’t blow off Ashton Walden. He’s the gruff, broody mafia boss with a soft spot for a sad little girl he met a long time ago. They have a connection Molly doesn’t even know about but she’s inexplicably drawn to Ashton, despite the fact that he frustrates and infuriates her like nobody else.
Molly’s dad is a degenerate gambler and con man who provided a less then ideal life after her mom died. She knows exactly what he is, and she’s understood that for a long time, so she didn’t think it was possible for her father to ever disappoint her again. But he has secrets and there’s a lot Molly doesn’t yet know. Ashton is determined to make sure she knows the whole truth but it’s not pretty and he fears the stark reality of the situation will crush her. It took him a lifetime to realize it, but he wants to protect Molly and take care of her, starting now.
These two were fire and ice initially, but I loved watching them thaw one another out and deal with one another. Molly is strong-willed, stubborn and fearless to a fault so she doesn’t take orders from anyone. Ashton is The Boss and isn’t used to people refusing his orders, so they don’t agree on anything at first. The truth isn’t pretty, but Molly needs to know, and Ashton will be there to help her through it, he just has to keep her safe while it all goes down.
I loved Jess and Trace so much, but Molly and Ashton’s story is even better. This is one of those books you cannot put down, it’s just too good and there’s so much happening. The characters are amazing, and I loved everything about this book.