Ricardo (The Santini Brothers #1)
by Marita A. Hansen
Publication Date - August 14, 2014
SynopsisOn a Mediterranean Island run by mafia, the Santini brothers are fighting a war against the Landi family, who are targeting their loved ones. After his fiancée is murdered, Ricardo, the eldest of the brothers, starts spiraling out of control, his violent nature leading him down a path that could rip his family apart. But, when two women walk into his life...
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.
*There are NO love triangles in this book. This is Ricardo and Bianca's story.
Review****4 Stars****Ricardo is book 1 in the Santini Brothers series and is the story of Ricardo and Bianca. Ricardo is a sexy, suspenseful, intense read that had me on the edge of my seat for a majority of the story, especially the last few chapters.
Ricardo is the oldest of the Santini brothers and is next in line to take on the role of Don in his mafia family. Ricardo's father's health is rapidly declining, forcing him to take on the role of Don sooner than expected. Ricardo suffers from IED, causing raging outburst of anger, making his siblings question his ability to properly run the family. His IED is also the reason that the love of his life, Bianca, walked away from him so many years ago. An experimental drug treatment for his IED left him with no feeling in 90% of his body.
Bianca is on the run from another mafia family after she accidentally killed one of their family members. The poisonous drink was intended for her husband who abused her. Running for her life one night, she winds up at the Santini compound where she knows she will be safe...physically that is. Emotionally, she doesn't know how she will handle being around Ricardo when all these years later he still has an effect on her that no one else has ever had. Bianca is strong, not taking shit from anyone including Ricardo, even if he is the Don. The real question is whether or not these two can move forward from the past while surviving the mafia wars, the vipers, and Ricardo's mother.
I enjoyed this book immensely! The reason i gave this book 4 stars and not 5 is because 1) there is so much going on. You are thrown into the underground mafia world of five families, all with back stories, pretty quickly. It is a lot to take in all at once. 2) I would have really liked to see a little more Ricardo and Bianca time. I feel that their love story took a backseat to all of the action and drama going on so we didn't get to see their relationship rekindle as much as I would've liked to.
Those two factors aside, I really enjoyed this book. It is told from multiple POVs which I love and the author did that flawlessly. The plot is fast paced and there is always so much going on, which kept me engrossed with the story from cover to cover. The epilogue is promising and will leave you salivating for more. Book 2 can't get here fast enough!!
About the Author
NATIONALITY AND CULTURAL CONNECTIONS: I'm a true blue Aucklander, born and bred in New Zealand. I tend to write about cultures I have connections to, such as Croatian and Maori. I would love to visit Croatia again as I have family there. However, in My Masters' Nightmare, I have started writing about Italians . My husband is part Italian and I also have a degree in Italian.
SPORTS: As a teen my favorite sports were karate, badminton, and running. I also did unarmed combat and played in a touch rugby team (my gym teacher made me do the last one!) Now, I stick to coaching soccer and running. I have completed two marathons, numerous half-marathons and one 30K run.
CAREER PATH: I started off as a Graphic Designer, then went to Auckland University, where I got a BA degree in Art History and Italian Studies and a post-graduate Honors degree in Art History. I worked in the Art History field, then became a full-time artist, doing commissions. I eventually lost all of my senses and gave it up to be a poor, starving writer, smh.
FAVORITE FOODS: I'm vegetarian. I love pasta based foods, tofu, chocolate mousse and golden queen peaches.
BAD HABITS: I'm a major procrastinator that can't seem to earn money to save myself!
STATUS: Married to my high school sweetheart (which he hates me calling him). We have two kids.