With this ring
(To Have and to Hold Duet #1)
di Natasha Knight
Euro 5,99 (ebook); 13,50 (cartaceo)
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ARC ricevuta dall'autrice tramite Give Me Books Promotions, in cambio di un'onesta recensione
When I rescued Scarlett De La Cruz from her tower it’s not like her prospects were looking so great.
You’d think she’d show a little gratitude. Thank me for putting my ring on her finger and marking her as mafia property.
I’ll keep her safe. And the trade-off isn’t so bad. Most women would jump at the chance to sleep in my bed.
Not Scarlett, though.
My Cartel Princess has a big mouth and an even bigger attitude. But it’s her furious caramel eyes that keep me coming back for more. That and the way her body bends to mine like it already knows it belongs to me.
Scarlett is my enemy. She’s also the one woman I can’t keep my hands off.
But if I don’t keep my head on straight, everything I’ve worked for all these years will have been for nothing.
Lace falls across my face. It’s yellowed over the years and the smell that clings to it is musty. Old. But it’s my mother’s. The one she wore on her wedding day.
Baby’s breath and discarded lilies litter the stone floor as the woman grumbles behind me. She’s annoyed at having to work with the old veil when a brand new, prettier one sits unused in its box. I move my foot, crush the delicate baby’s breath, impaling the fallen petal of a pale pink lily with my heel.
Funeral flowers for a wedding. An omen.
Not that I need one.
The stink of them turns my stomach. This isn’t how I imagined my wedding day.
“Finished,” the woman announces.
I stand, the petal sticking to my heel. I don’t care. I look up to meet my reflection in the mirror.
“He won’t like the veil,” she says. She’s a blur beside me.
I shift my gaze, letting my eyes focus on her. She’s plump and short and has a wart on the side of her face with a thick black hair growing out of it. Don’t judge a book by its cover has nothing on this one. She is as much a bitch inside as she looks on the outside.
“I guess he’ll have to get over it.”
“You should wear the one he sent.”
I don’t bother to answer her, although I agree. The veil was a gift from my brothers.
No, not a gift.
Just another cruelty to make me wear my mother’s veil for this sham wedding.
She snorts, turns to gather up the dress, the keys jangling on her belt. I could take them. Overpower her. That part would be easy. It’s the men with the guns outside the door who’d be the problem.
Noisy footsteps on the hundred stairs announce the approach of soldiers to my tower room.
A tower. They locked me in a fucking tower. My own fucking brothers.
From the sound of things, they’re expecting me to put up a fight. They’ll take me kicking and screaming if I do. Besides, I know better than to waste my energy on them. I’ll need it after. For the wedding night.
A man says something, another one laughs, just before I hear a loud crash, like something smashing hard against the wall.
It’s then that it happens. Gunfire explodes just beyond my room. A bullet splinters its way through the thick wooden door and shatters the mirror, breaking my reflection into a thousand pieces, sending me backward into the stone wall.
The woman with the wart screams.
I right myself. Touching the back of my head with one hand, I somehow still manage to keep hold of the lilies. Suddenly, the door is kicked in, banging against the wall as heavily armed men in military fatigues raid my room. A cloud of smoke follows behind them, seeping into my circular tower.
They fan out, a dozen of them and I don’t recognize a single one. These aren’t my brothers’ men.
The woman is on the floor blubbering something, sobbing.
I just stare at the door as another set of footsteps approach, quieter now. This one isn’t in a hurry. And I know the instant he steps into my line of vision that he’s in charge.
He’s the one to worry about. The only one who’s masked.
He stops just inside the room, surveys it, eyeing every soldier, every stone, every cobweb. And when deep blue eyes land on me, a weight drops in my belly, a hundred-pound cement block.
The woman with the keys stands, tripping over her words as she walks toward him. He looks down at her like he’s irritated, and she doesn’t get far. An echo of bullets shuts her down, splattering blood like paint on my neck, my face. The shots put her back on the floor.
I don’t spare her a glance. I don’t need to, to know she’s dead.
The man’s eyes return to mine. They narrow. And when he takes a step toward me, I take one back, knocking the chair behind me to the floor, panicking then. Animated then.
I turn to run but see a dozen sets of eyes staring back at me. The masked intruder, the biggest of them all, blocks the only exit. I can’t even jump from the window. They’re barred. Suicide was never an option, not for my brothers. They needed me.
But something’s gone wrong.
And before I can decide what to do, before I can make up my mind to try to charge him, to risk bullets putting me down like they did the woman on the floor, he’s got my wrist in his right hand and he’s squeezing it.
My hand opens. Flowers scatter to the floor. I watch them, then watch him lift my hand to his face. His thumb comes to my ring finger where the hideous diamond catches the waning sun. For a moment I think he’s going to break my finger. But he twists and forces it off. It’s tight but he manages. He pockets the ring then shifts his gaze to mine again.
I swallow hard.
He cocks his head to the side, one hand still locked around my wrist. He spins me around.
I scream as he jerks me to him, his body a solid wall at my back.
He releases my wrist and bands his arm beneath my breasts. With the other, he pushes the veil off my neck, his hand rough against my skin, fingers digging, bruising. I think he’s going to snap my neck. One quick twist is all it would take. He’s a fucking giant.
But he doesn’t.
Instead, the moment I turn my face up to his, he squeezes and instantly, my knees give out. My arms drop uselessly to my sides. He shifts his grip and as I slip, he lifts me up, hauling me over his shoulder, turning the room upside down before it goes black.
#2 I Thee Take – Releasing February 23
Apple Books: http://apple.co/38lHqwz
Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over half a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1752075498339742
Non ho idea di come faccia, ma con ogni nuova uscita Natasha Knight riesce a superarsi, ad alzare l’asticella e a regalarmi storie che rimangono nel cuore. Per non parlare poi dei suoi personaggi maschili…
Ma andiamo con ordine! With this ring è il primo volume del duetto To Have and To Hold, un dark mafia romance con il mio trope preferito: il matrimonio di convenienza.
Una sposa rinchiusa in una torre, china a osservare il velo appartenuto alla madre morta. Non è un giorno felice per Scarlett De La Cruz, costretta dai fratelli a sposare un uomo che non ama e meno che mai apprezza. Una pedina su una scacchiera pericolosa, ecco cosa è lei. Ma la giovane e riluttante sposa non fa in tempo a mettere piede sulla navata che uomini armati fanno irruzione nella torre, uccidendo tutti per arrivare a lei. A Scarlett e ai suoi fratelli.
Unico superstite assieme a suo fratello minore, Cristiano Grigori è risorto dalla tomba per bere il sangue dei suoi nemici, che hanno avuto l’ardire di tradire la sua famiglia. Un destino peggiore della morte attende coloro che hanno avuto anche solo una parte marginale nei piani che hanno portato alla dolorosa e violenta dipartita dei suoi genitori e dei suoi fratelli e sorelle.
Scarlett era una bambina all’epoca, eppure agli occhi di Cristiano lei deve pagare. Perché è così che va il loro mondo. Occhio per occhio. Ma anche se Cristiano sa cosa fare, decide di dare tempo a quella ragazza che non si piega, che combatte, che senza saperlo lo aiuta a ricordare ciò che ha dimenticato suo malgrado.
What I want is to hold her. To feel her skin against my skin. What I want is more.
In queste pagine, l’autrice ha intessuto una storia emotiva sensazionale, sia sul fronte della coppia protagonista, che sugli intrighi e i giochi criminali.
Io non so come ci riesca, ma ogni volta mi innamoro dei suoi hero. Cristiano Grigori è pericoloso, spietato, cattivo, uno squalo assetato di sangue che tutti temono e riveriscono per timore. Eppure nasconde delle debolezze, delle ferite profonde che rischiano di frantumarlo dall’interno. La vendetta è il suo obiettivo primario; ma anche ricordare un passato ormai perduto per sempre. E soddisfare quel vuoto, quella fame costante che lo attanaglia. Ed è qui che entra in gioco Scarlett. Lei è una donna che farebbe di tutto per proteggere il piccolo Noah, persino sacrificare la sua stessa vita per lui. Una devozione che Cristiano apprezza, nonostante tutto.
Scarlett quindi si trova prigioniera e ospite di un nemico che non conosce, di cui non può fidarsi. Un nemico che la seduce e poi la allontana. Un nemico che è l’unico alleato che le rimane.
Dimostrarsi deboli è un lusso che né Scarlett, né Cristiano possono permettersi. Ma se fosse quello l’unico modo per sopravvivere?
Poi c’è la parte suspense che apre le porte ai traffici bestiali che fanno rizzare i capelli dal raccapriccio, dal terrore. Una fotografia precisa, senza fronzoli, che fa diventare la realtà criminale un importante elemento nella relazione dei protagonisti, stavolta più che in altri romanzi.
Ho divorato le pagine, ho sentito la sensuale voce di Cristiano all’orecchio, e avrei voluto abbracciare stretta Scarlett per tutto quello che ha subìto. E che, dopo quel cliffhanger cattivissimo, immagino dovrà ancora affrontare. Per fortuna, non dovremmo attendere troppo per l’uscita del volume conclusivo. Imperdibile!
ARC provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.
I have no idea how she does it, but with each new release Natasha Knight manages to surpass herself and to give me stories that remain in my heart. With this ring is the first volume of To Have and To Hold duet, a dark mafia romance with my favorite trope: an arrenged marriage.
A bride locked up in a tower, observing the veil that belonged to her dead mother. It's not a happy day for Scarlett De La Cruz, forced by her brothers to marry a man she doesn't love. A pawn on a dangerous chessboard, that's what she is. But the young and reluctant bride doesn't have time to set foot on the aisle, because armed men burst into the tower an kill everyone to get to her. To Scarlett and her brothers.
The only survivor along with his younger brother, Cristiano Grigori rose from the grave to drink the blood of his enemies, who dared to betray his family. A fate worse than death awaits those who played even a marginal part in the plans that led to the painful and violent demise of his parents, brothers and sisters.
Scarlett was a child at the time, yet in Cristiano's eyes she has to pay. Because that's how their world works. Eye for an eye, blodd for blood. But even if Cristiano knows what to do, he decides to give time to that girl who does not bend, who fights, who without knowing it helps him to remember what she has forgotten in spite of her.
What I want is to hold her. To feel her skin against my skin. What I want is more.
In these pages, the author has woven a sensational emotional story, both on the front of the protagonist couple, and on intrigues and criminal games. I don't know how she does it, but every time I fall in love with her heros. Cristiano Grigori is dangerous, ruthless, bad, a bloodthirsty shark that everyone fears. Yet he hides weaknesses, deep wounds that risk shattering him from within. Revenge is his primary goal; but also remembering a past that is now lost forever. And satisfy that emptiness, that constant hunger that grips him. This is where Scarlett comes in. She is a woman who would do anything to protect Noah, his little brother, even sacrifice her very own life. A devotion that Cristiano appreciates, despite everything.
Scarlett then finds herself a prisoner and guest of an enemy she doesn't know, whom she can't trust. An enemy who seduces her and then drives her away. An enemy who is her only ally.
Weakness is a luxury that neither Scarlett nor Cristiano can afford.
But what if that was the only way to survive?
Then there is the suspense part that opens the doors to the bestial trades that make your hair stand on end from horror, from terror. A precise photograph, without frills, which makes the criminal reality an important element in the protagonists relationship, this time more than in other novels.
I devoured the pages, I heard Cristiano's sensual voice in my ear, and I wanted to hug Scarlett tightly for all that she has endured. And that, after that bad (very bad!) cliffhanger, I guess she'll still have to deal with. Fortunately, we shouldn't wait too long for the final volume to come out. An unmissable reading!