Daniel Solano has to take a wife to make sure a Mafia war doesn’t start. He must marry a Valenti daughter, but the oldest doesn’t appeal to him, even if he will do what needs to be done to keep the peace. But then he meets the youngest daughter, Natalie Valenti.
Natalie has always done whatever she could to stay out of the Mafia life, including avoiding her family most of the time. Still, she’s home for Thanksgiving—and meets Daniel.
Daniel makes it clear he will marry a Valenti—and it will be Natalie. Seeing no other choice, her father orders her to marry Daniel. She tries to fight it, to no avail. She becomes Daniel’s wife, and in doing so, is forced into the Mafia life she tried so hard to escape.
Daniel vows to take care of Natalie, so when someone places a hit on her, everything comes to a head. Daniel won’t allow anything to happen to his wife, and whoever tries will answer to him. But will Natalie ever accept this life? Can Daniel ever give her what she craves … love?
“They’re my brothers and my best friends. I wouldn’t let anything happen to them,” Daniel said.
She saw the love among them, and she was a little jealous at how close they were. “I wish I had that. Louisa couldn’t stand me. I don’t make friends easily.”
Her cheeks heating, she looked down at her food.
“As it happens we all make amazing friends. We’d gladly take you under our wing, show you the ropes of friendship.”
She couldn’t help but look toward Daniel.
He held his hands up. “I’ve not got a problem with this. When we’re around the elders though, try to ignore them.”
“Yes, it would seem elders don’t like bastard children having a place,” Ronnie said, winking at her.
“I’m so sorry,” she said.
“You’re really not a mafia brat, are you?” Vincent asked.
“I never really fit in. No, probably not. I guess having your mom trying to kill you on more than one occasion would do that to you.”
She saw that she’d shocked them all.
“She tried to kill you?” Ronnie asked.
Nodding, she took a bite of her noodles. “A couple of times. I think it’s why Dad was so nice to me. He didn’t like that she tried to kill me.” She shrugged.
They all finished their food, and she loved the time spent with them, but of course, it wasn’t long before they had to leave, and the nerves kicked in.
She didn’t know why she felt nervous.
Daniel had told her he wouldn’t do anything with her unless she wanted it, and she didn’t know if she wanted it or not.
Gathering up the empty cartons, she placed them in the trash and waited.
Sitting down on the stool, her hands linked together, she watched him come back.
“Do you want to see our bedroom?” he asked.
Locking her fingers together, she stood up and followed him. His hand rested at the base of her back, and even as her heart thumped, she tried to ignore it.
Entering the large bedroom, she saw the bed, which looked imposing and huge.
“Where will I be sleeping?”
“Here, with me.” She made to protest, but he simply kissed her lips, silencing any further refusal. “Nothing is going to happen tonight. Trust my word on that, but we share a bed, that is the final word on it.”
“You can’t be swayed?”
“Not with this I can’t.”
“Okay.” She stared at the bed a final time, seeing there was no point in arguing. “Would you undo the zipper of my dress?” She presented him with her back.
Her stomach clenched as his fingers grazed her side. She closed her eyes, thankful that he couldn’t see her.
“I know you’re affected by me,” he said, lips brushing her neck.
Opening her eyes, she stared at him. She’d been so drawn to the bed she’d not noticed all the mirrors.
“You like to watch something?” she asked, feeling her skin heat up.
“I like to do a lot of things, Natalie.” The zipper slid down her back, easing open with each second.