A. Zavarelli is the Queen of Boston Mafia. There are other Mafia queens too, but A. runs Boston. I’ve enjoyed the other books in this series, so when I got the chance to read the newest one? Yes, please.
One nice thing about A’s Mafia series is that you aren’t just dealing with the Irish (it is Boston), the Russians, the Armenians, or the Italians. You get all of the above in a pleasing melting pot of Mafia-y goodness. Is that a thing? Maybe it should be. OK, I said so, so now everyone has to go and share it.
So, Thief. This is Nikolai’s and Tanaka’s story.
Nika is a Vor, a member of the Vory, a Boston Russian mob. He’s relatively high up in their particular organization. He’s also a thief. A damn good one, not that he would brag, since it isn’t done. But, if you want something, Nika is the one to get it. He was just promoted over his father, whose ear he cut off. He has to deal with Alexi, who is his half-brother and who kind of hates him. Nika’s current goal in life is to find out what happened to his mother. His father, Sergei, told him that she was a whore and ran away with an Italian man. Nika is now in a position to find out, so he’s ready to do some investigation.
Tanaka has been raised to be a proper young woman. She’s also an Italian Mafia Princess. She knows that her only real value is as a trophy bride to her fiancee. She’s supposed to keep his house, look pretty, and turn a blind eye. However, she loves to dance. She’s trained for years and years and years until she’s become a principal ballerina with a prestigious ballet company. It’s all she’s ever wanted. She made a deal with her dad that she would be able to dance for a time before she had to go be the dutiful daughter, marry Dante, and give up ballet. But, tonight? Tonight is her big night. Her dad does his normal pre-show appearance and this time brings a scruffy looking nerf herder with him. He introduces this guy in jeans and motorcycle boots as Nikolai. Then it’s time for her to go dance. When she goes on pointe for the first time, she notices that there is something wrong with her toe shoes. When she goes to land her first jump, that something wrong turns into something very wrong, and she falls, injuring herself, and probably ending her career as a professional dancer.
There is A LOT going on in this story. It can be read as a standalone from the series if you want, but if you read Ghost first, you may enjoy it more because there is some overlap. It’s up to you. You should have no problems keeping track of the story and enjoying it either way you go. You get enough of the backstory during what’s happening. A. doesn’t lay a chapter or two of exposition and backstory on you, it comes out organically, which I tend to enjoy more. There are some aspects to this one that could be considered dubcon. I kind of fall on the side that there are some dubcon aspects, but it swiftly moves out of that category. Tanaka and Nika are explosive together, in good and bad ways. There are parts of the book when they seem to be more determined to piss the fuck out of each other instead of anything else. They do have a lot of stuff they have to work through, both with each other and on their own, and all of it makes the story both better and darker. Definitely worth going over and giving it a read.
I seriously, seriously hate Tanaka’s dad. I mean, I knew he was a piece of shit before we get more information about him. From the first word he says to her, I knew that he’s going to be a dick. I would love to say that I was a better person and didn’t think he got what he deserved. I’m not and he did. In fact, they may not have gone far enough, surprisingly.
I’m glad that Tanaka did what she did. I didn’t see it coming though. I was thinking that there was going to be something else going on with that particular subplot. I didn’t particularly care for the other person involved in that subplot. He was a dick.
OK, that’s all for this one. More to come today. Happy reading!