Cover Design: Makeready Designs
Release Date: January 23, 2017
SynopsisVince DaMarco always liked Cassie, the shy waitress who works at the restaurant that serves as a front for his mob boss uncle. Unfortunately, she witnesses a back alley hit, and while fleeing, she’s struck by a truck. Now she’s at the top of the hit list. Desperate to stop anyone who’d draw out Cassie’s death, Vince volunteers to take care of it.
Cassie Dalton has no recollection of her accident, but she’s told she’s lucky to be alive. A few years are missing from her memory, and the unsettling feeling that something isn’t right—along with the creepy sensation that she’s being watched—won’t go away.
Vince shows up right when Cassie needs him most. In a world of confusion, the rugged stranger is the one thing that makes sense. But little does she know, she’s found refuge in the arms of the very man who’s been sent to kill her.
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I received an advanced copy of this book with the promise of an honest review.
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cassie Dalton was just doing her job and ends up in the hospital with short term memory loss. She can't remember what led her to run into the street and get hit by a truck and if she does, she is as good as dead. Enter Vince DaMarco. He is the restaurant manager where Cassie works and the nephew of the man who wants to make sure Cassie doesn't remember what she saw. Vince has always liked Cassie and can't stand the thought of anyone hurting her, so he offers to take care of it. When he realized that she has no memory of what happened, he doesn't kill her, but inserts himself in her life so he will know as soon as she does. Everyone pretty much loves Cassie and they don't want to hurt her, but that is how things work in their world.
I really enjoyed this book. I like to think of Vince as a (sort of) mobster with a heart of gold. He genuinely cares about Cassie (always has) and doesn't want to see her hurt. Of course as he spends time with her, his feelings grow. He wants to protect her. He needs to protect her. And the Cassie that wakes up after the accident is a more bold Cassie. When she "meets" Vince, she immediately takes a liking to him and accepts his friendship, no questions asked.
I enjoyed Vince & Cassie's relationship. Yes, it was a bit unconventional, but it came from a great place. They genuinely liked each other before everything happened, but Cassie was a bit shy and Vince was hesitant to get involved considering his line of work and family connections. But circumstances are now different and the two of them together makes sense.
Cassie grabbed Vince’s arm and pulled him back to the sidewalk. “So, how was your day?” she asked, throwing as much sarcasm into her words as she could.
“Sucky. And then I come outside and find you being a total caveman. Was it really necessary to haul him halfway out of the car like that?”
“Yes.” He put his hand on her back and guided her into the Jeep.
She wasn’t sure how to feel about dating a Neanderthal, but she had to admit she felt pretty damn safe.
Well, she’d admit it to herself. Vince didn’t need encouragement. When they pulled up to her apartment complex, Vince kept the engine running. “I told you from the beginning I wasn’t the do-gooder type and that my life was messy,” he said. “I’m not denying it. But I do know how to take care of problems, even if my methods are a little—”
“Archaic? Caveman-esque? Crazy pants?”
His eyebrows drew low over his eyes. “I was going to say unconventional.”
She shook her head. “Unconventional barely scrapes the surface of describing you.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever used the term crazy pants, either.”
A laugh slipped out before Cassie clamped her lips shut.
“Did I screw it up?” Vince asked, imploring her with those brown eyes she had such a hard time resisting.
“I think…” His intense gaze and the way it made her heart hammer her rib cage made it hard to get words to come out right. She cleared her throat. “Well, I think security is a good field for you. And honestly, I would’ve died that night we were shot at if you hadn’t been there, and it’s good to know I wasn’t just paranoid, thinking someone was following me.”
Cassie swallowed hard. The truth was, Vince terrified her. Not because she was scared he’d hurt her—not physically, anyway. Emotionally, though? She already relied on him too much, and she’d opened up to him more than she ever had with anyone else. She was starting to fall for him, and she didn’t think she could simply recover from a guy like Vince. Their vast differences made her wonder if they were crazy to even attempt a relationship. But the other option was ending things, and the thought of that made her lungs constrict.
She ran her fingertip down the muscled line of his forearm. “But maybe we should try a little harder to have days not involving bullets or pulling people out of cars.”
A lopsided smile spread across his face. “And I could trust your judgment a little more?”
“Exactly. No demanding I have to wait for you to pick me up. And how about just ask guys why they’re following me before threatening them.”
“People are so much more motivated to answer that way, though.”
Cassie raised an eyebrow at him.
He held up his hands. “Okay. For you, I’ll try a little less…archaic methods. Are you happy?”
She nodded. “Skeptical, but happy.”
“Smart girl,” he said. “Now, did you eat? Because as much as I love watching you cook, I think I owe you dinner out. Somewhere nice.”
“Do I get to change first?”
“Like any good apology dinner bribe, you get whatever you want.”
She started out of the Jeep, then abruptly turned back and put her hand on the side of his face. “Just so you know, Vince DaMarco, I see you. The real you. Even if you don’t.”
*sigh* I just LOVED them.
Putting aside the whole "Vince is supposed to kill Cassie" thing, they were so great together. Cassie post accident was so brave and direct in what she wanted and while that surprised Vince, he welcomed it. Cassie was a strong, badass woman and she proved it time and time again. But this book is not all about their relationship. There is plenty of action to keep things moving. Who doesn't love a little shoot 'em up, mob related romance once in a while? This book is different from Cindi's previous books and I hope she writes more like it.
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About the AuthorUSA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
Visit her at www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter and learn about upcoming releases.
Cindi is the author of YA books All the Broken Pieces, Cipher, Rift, Resolution, and Demons of the Sun, and adult romances Falling for Her Fiancé, Act Like You Love Me, Resisting the Hero, Cinderella Screwed Me Over and Ready to Wed.
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