Top positive review
YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER SAW THE REAL ME
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2018
The story is the second in the Vegas Underground series but can easily read well as a stand-alone story. There will be a mention about people and incidences in King of Diamonds but is told in a way that the reader will not be lost. The story is about sweet, all-American girls who fall in love with mafia men. The story will also include more about Nico and Sondra, some of the battles they must face with his family, the arranged marriage contract, and true love, with a wedding.
Corey Simonson hails from Michigan and came to Vegas to attend graduate school, she has been studying psychology but is bored with it. She took a job at Bellimisso as a croupier and has a knack at being able to read players. She will have one man at her table that is off and later that night; she will learn that it is Stefano Tacone, brother to Nico who is engaged to her cousin, Sondra.
Stefano is impressed but cautious with Corey, especially after reading her file and knowing her Dad is a fed. He will ask her to work a private game upstairs, away from the casino floor, and it will become a night that changes things for both of them when a player aiming for Nico will pull a gun, and Stefano will kill him. Corey being a witness will now find herself held captive by Stefano and under his demands, which will include punishments. It isn’t all bad, but it goes against everything in Corey to accept being held prisoner and things out of her control.
“I might have to admit to myself that I enjoy being his captive. Leaving now would be a disappointment. I’m his captive. If I don’t cooperate, I’m dead.”
The plot will have Stefano and Corey getting off on a wrong start, but he tries to make things better, in his way, which is ordered her around. Corey has an independent streak, being a true red-head, and after living with an abusive father, then boyfriend, she doesn’t capitulate easily. She will find herself being punished and at Stefano’s mercy. He has been raised in the mob, taught to be tough, not to cry, and if that means killing, it’s all part of the family. What he wasn’t counting on was the way Corey makes him feel—and that is scary. The way she responds to his dominance is exhilarating and the more he is with her, the more he wants, he is becoming addictive to her. The only downfall, her father, a dirty FBI agent.
“I like it way too much. Just like you—a bad bet.” –Corey
“I don’t know. You try to define this; it’s not going to fit right. I’m not the one who’s gonna give you the white picket fence. I’m the guy who wants to pull your hair and slap you a** and spoil you rotten.”
“I still know our relationship is complicated—considering who our fathers are, but I don’t want to worry about that now. All I care about is getting closer to Corey. Getting into her head. Having her near me at all times.”
Stefano and Corey can’t seem to get enough of each other but issues with their families are always going to be there, and plays in the back of their minds. He comes from a Chicago mafia family, with his father serving time in prison, and she comes from middle America with an FBI agent and bully for a father. There is always the threat of trust, is she gathering evidence against him, or does he trust her? He listens to her stories of childhood, the abuse, the beratement, and what she wants and dreams of doing—and then he does what he can to make it happen, like taking her to another casino to play poker, including entering her in high stake games. He seems to be her champion, but do they really trust each other? What happens when something questionable comes up?
“I will always defend you.”
The story is a page-turner with a great cast of characters, plenty of interaction, with dominance and control by Stefano and submission eventually by Corey. She is no doormat, like her mother, she is a fighter, but knows when it is best to submit. The sex between them is an erotic dance of power exchange and includes punishments. What starts out as imprisonment and forced submission and punishments later becomes consensual. They will be tried by fire and tested between right and wrong, good and evil, and even though there will be a loss of faith, in the end, they will find their way back to each other and will have come through stronger than before.
“Justice was served, in its own way. It doesn’t matter to me if it happened on the right or wrong side of the law. My father didn’t uphold those laws.”