In a series debut for fans of Tracy Wolff and Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Missy Johnson asks a burning question: What happens when love is undeniable—and taboo?
Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone, the kind of guy women want and men respect. At twenty-three, he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter.
Raised in Chicago under the spotlight of power and privilege, Lucy Spontiago feels most alive on stage. Determined to become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her.
Pietro could never betray his mentor by sleeping with his only child. But Lucy follows her passions, no matter how forbidden. Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.
I feel like I been waiting forever for another Missy Johnson read. I have really been a huge fan of her and all her books that I have read. Except, this one! Now, I didn't hate it but I also did not love it either. Everything moved too fast and left me with my head kinda spinning. If it was another novella series I'd prob be a little better with the rushing but it's not.
Pietro Gustovi watched his parents get shot and killed right in front of his eyes. His dad's oldest and trusted friend Giovanni Spontagio promised his dad if anything ever happened to him he would take care of Pietro. Pietro leaves Italy and goes to Chicago. Giovanni had a daughter Lucia who's 2yrs younger then Pietro. He falls in love with Lucy immediately. But, he won't cross the line because of his respect for Giovanni.
It's been eight years since Pietro's parents were killed in front of him in cold blood. Their murder was never solved. And, with his father being into some bad work it's no doubt it was some sort of mafia hit. The likely hood of it ever being solved it slim to none. Even Giovanni has no answers for him. But, Pietro will not give up. He's still in love with Lucy. But, knows Giovanni would never approve of them together. He will keep their "sister-brother"relationship for now.
Lucy is kept under strict surveillance from her father. She can't go anywhere, do anything or speak to someone without him knowing. Ballet is her love. So, when she was able to sneak off to New York audition for the best ballet company she's shocked. Never thinking she'd get it. That's not the only secret she's keeping. Lucy is in love with Pietro. But, she knows he'd never go against her father. So, for now they'll continue this "brother/sister" relationship.
When Lucy gets accepted to the ballet company she must now get her father to let her go to NY. Giovanni instantly tells her no. Until he talks to Pietro. Then, he agrees under one condition. A condition that Lucy knows nothing about. Pietro must go with her and follow her 24/7 without her knowing. Pietro can't stand the idea but also doesn't want to be away from her. So, he agrees.
Things are going great for Lucy while in NYC. Except she's really missing Pietro. Their relationship starts to change. They start spending hours on the phone nightly while texting other times. They're also crossing lines with their flirting that was never a thing before. When Lucy is in class Pietro spends his days in a coffee shop working on his thesis and he finally found a PI willing to look into his parents murders.
When Lucy finds out Pietro is in NY following her she flips. But, doesn't call him out. She does everything possible to get him to break his cover. When her bright idea turns dangerous he is forced to show himself. After 8yrs of fighting their attraction they can't pretend anymore. Pietro and Lucy take the next step and they couldn't be happier. Except Pietro has a harder time. He's not afraid to let Lucy know he loves her. But, doesn't want to cross Giovanni. He's back and forth like a ping pong ball. It drives Lucy crazy that he can't love her enough to put his foot down with her father.
That wasn't the craziest thing in this story. Now, there's a threat. There's a threat against Lucy. But, nobody's sure where it's coming from. Giovanni's business..Pietro looking into his parents deaths..One thing is for certain. Lucy is the most important person to both men. So, to get the point across is to go after the one person they'd do anything to save.
While this book was a very quick read for me. There was a lot that got under my skin. Like, Giovanni. How is it that he doesn't trust anybody to watch and protect Lucy but Pietro. He looks at Pietro as his son. He always hinted Pietro would be taking over the family business. But, never really gave him a job except delivering a package. He's never told Pietro anything about what the business is. My biggest peeve. If Giovanni looked at Pietro as a son and plans on having him take over the family business then why is he not good enough for Lucy. He should know nobody would love and protect Lucy like Pietro. And, Lucy. She's never questioned her dad on his business. Even though she knows it's not all legit. I get her getting frustrated with Pietro not wanting to cross her father. I didn't see her stepping up to cross him either. And mafia...Where? Yes, it was kind of obvious it was mafiaish yet no real actual proof. I'm hoping book 2 is geared more to the mafia side of Giovanni and Pietro families. It was still a good and fast paced book. Can't wait to see what's next. ESP with that crazy cliffhanger!!
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