BREATHLESS & BLOODSTAINED by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: March 7, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic, Mafia
Purchase: Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited)
No war is won without a few bloodstains.
Tommas Rossi wants what belongs to him—he wants it bad. At thirty-years-old, he’s on course to become the youngest boss in the Chicago Outfit’s history. He just has to make it to the end alive. But being the boss of the Outfit means nothing to Tommas if a certain blue-eyed girl isn’t standing with him when the city finally crumbles. The crown is so close he can taste it. Blood paves his way. Every king needs a queen, but he doesn’t know how to get his anymore. Abriella Trentini has always been the rebel. She’s quicker than most men, dangerous when she wants something, and more careful than anyone knows. Her relationship with Tommas Rossi has been a dangerous game she loved to play, but someone always has to lose. With choices to make, the kind that determines who will live and who will die, Abriella doesn’t know what to do. This should have been easy, but nothing ever is, and her time to choose is running out. So much blood has spilled for this. The Outfit is in shambles, grieving and angry. The families just want peace. No one knows who will take the Chicago throne because too many men have a stake in this game. In wars like these, no one will let it go easily. They’ll be bloodstained until the very bitter end. And left breathless in the devastation of it all. Has it been worth it?
*** Please Note: Breathless is the fourth book in a series and should only be read after the first three books have also been read. It is NOT a standalone.
There were very few things in life that made a man worthy. Those things became lessened when a man was in the mafia. Instead of his value being counted in his actions and words, it was tallied by his deeds and possessions. It was determined by the number of men on his streets and the most red he could cover on a map to say he owned.
Tommas Rossi had always found it amusing how made men were called Men of Honor. There was nothing honorable about this life. The Outfit had forgotten honor a long time ago. Long before the war.
They breathed. They bled.
Life and death.
That’s all this life had ever been.
The one thing in his life that had kept Tommas honorable throughout the years was just a few steps ahead of him, but still out of reach.
Tommas tugged his jacket tighter around his neck, determined to keep the cold February air out. Even with it being the last days of the coldest month of the season, he knew the weather wouldn’t let up for another two. Probably. The bite of the wind was the only thing he seemed to feel lately. Maybe that was why he preferred to be outside rather than inside.
“No way,” a familiar voice said down the way.
Leaning around the lamp post, Tommas watched the two women walk arm in arm down the street. His eye caught the taller of the two and the dark waves of her hair that flew wildly in the wind. For a moment, he felt something else.
His heart splintered.
It was an agonizing crack.
He hated it.
But he loved her.
“Not at all?” Abriella asked.
“No, I want to make sure it’s all pale yellows and greens,” Alessa replied. “No pink. I hate pink. No dark blues, either. I don’t want to know the gender or make people think we do know what it is.”
Abriella’s laughter floated down to Tommas’ spot, traveling in the wind. It was a sweet sound, and one so familiar to him that it soothed the deep ache inside his chest. But not for long. It never lasted very long.
He hadn’t expected to see Abriella strolling out of the hospital with her sister in tow when he arrived to visit Theo. His plans to see the Capo had been forgotten while he followed the sisters down the street.
“I’m excited for you,” Abriella said.
Alessa tugged her sister closer. “Me, too.”
Tommas wondered if Abriella was smiling. The fact that he was the cause of her unhappiness lately, or the majority of it, sucked away what little soul he had left. People shouldn’t hurt those they loved.
God knew he had grown up in a home where that’s all he ever saw. His mother hating his father, and his father despising his mother. Violence. Drinking. Abuse.
Tommas wanted to be better than that, but then he’d went ahead and got himself mixed up with a girl eight years younger than his thirty years. Someone that the Outfit determined he couldn’t have because of her status and last name. And because he wasn’t good enough for her with his status or last name.
He knew better.
All those years ago?
Tommas wasn’t stupid, but it had been fun. Just simple, honest fun with a girl who tasted like trouble all over and gave him a whole new thrill that had nothing to do with the streets, being a Capo, or the mafia. Somewhere along the lines, fun with Abriella turned into a private apartment with her clothes in his closest, scarfs hanging off the bedpost, and her lotions in the bathroom.
It changed to comfort.
She seeped into his blood.
She infected him.
This book was the culmination of a very long war pitting friend against friend and family against family. The Outfit is at a pivotal turning point with Tommas Rossi and Abriella Trentini in the middle of it. Their story finally gets told and it was the absolute best ending imaginable.
Ella and Tommas have had a secret affair going on for years. Even though both are part of The Family and have considerate ties to The Outfit, Ella is way out of Tommas' league. Plus Tommas being eight years older doesn't help matters. With so much turmoil and death surrounding the families, Tommas and Ella have to fight for what they want. Tommas is determined that he and Ella will get their happy ever after, even if he has to do it dirty.
Even though this is the final book in the series, it's really important that all the books in this series be read in order. This tale is long and involved and rightly so. Every character is entangled and enmeshed in the fabric of The Outfit creating a delicate balance. With war raging one small move creates an avalanche of epic proportions affecting the whole group but none more than these two.
As I read this book my mind was blown more than once. I look at these characters as friends by now since I've been with them for four novels. I feel like I know them, but they still managed surprise me at every turn. I'm amazed that they can me so adoringly in love and absolutely stone cold at the same time. It's gotten to the point that I am so rooting for this family to figure it's way out of this war that things that should bother me don't. Not at all. That's a testament to the impeccable writing skills Bethany-Kris has as she tells these four couples' story.
Breathless & Bloodstained is my favorite book of the series and Tommas is my favorite hero, but this one could not have been told without Damian, Adriano, and Theo. Together these four created such a strong front and made me fall in love with The Family. As the story concluded and their epilogue was told, I swooned, clutched my chest and smiled from ear to ear. This was an epic series that demands to be read.
Reviewed by Paige
★★☆ 5+ "New Generation" Stars ☆★★
DON'T MISS THE FIRST 3 BOOKS IN THE CHICAGO WAR SERIES....
DEATHLESS & DIVIDED by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: September 7, 2015
Lies and love.
This is how a war starts. A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his. Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested. When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety. No one is deathless. No one.
RECKLESS & RUINED by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: November 9, 2015
It’s the only way to win in a war. Alessa Trentini follows the rules, or so it seems on the outside. A certain Conti has always been able to sway her inner rebel and keep her out of trouble, but even Adriano won’t be able to get her out of her brother’s mess. In a war, no woman is safe if her hand in marriage can advance her family in the world of the mafia. But mistakes of the past have a way of slipping into the present and Alessa will soon learn that even the most shameful of secrets can get her everything she wants. Adriano Conti’s loyalties are torn as he’s forced to stand at his father’s side while Riley uses his wife’s murder as a way to get higher. Blood comes first and then the Outfit. The one thing he doesn’t question in the war between the families is Alessa Trentini and even that doesn’t seem possible when he’s forced to watch Alessa be used as another man’s pawn. Adriano has his own role to play to get what he wants. The families in the Outfit have never been more divided than they are now. Blood continues to spill as revenge takes center stage and more lives are lost. But every man in the family is fighting for something different and no one’s intentions can be trusted. Playing a dirty game might be the only way to stay alive. Even if that means ruining it all.
SCARLESS & SACRED by Bethany-Kris
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Secrets and wars leave the deepest scars.
Evelina Conti has always worn a mask. She is an Outfit principessa, respected and adored. She wasn’t allowed to be anything else. Her father went from a grieving husband to the Outfit boss, and now that Riley heads the family, Eve is more suffocated than ever. No matter how much she hates it, the Conti princess still has a role to play. A little attention from Theo DeLuca seems innocent enough, but nothing is when it comes to him. And certainly not when everyone believes that Theo is out to kill her. Theo DeLuca has a target on his back. His biggest problem is figuring out who put it there when everyone is aiming at him. He doesn’t need a woman causing him issues, but the Conti princess keeps showing up at the worst times, and he’s the one left saving her. Between the men surrounding him that Theo can’t trust, and the past he can’t outrun, Evelina might be the one thing he doesn’t have to question. But when Riley decides to use Eve as his next move, even Theo might not be able to save her. The war in Chicago is not even close to being over. This game is deadly. Each hand played cuts another mark into someone else. The Outfit boss is struggling while the men around him are rallying. As the body count continues to rise, the families keep losing. Sacrifices are a part of war. No one will walk away from this without scars.