Russian Pride by Holly Bargo
The fourth and final book in the Russian Love series. Discounted e-book launch price of $0.99 good thru October 15, 2017.
The marriage alliance between the Russians and Italians embroils both organizations in a deadly war with the Chinese Triad. Can love grow in such circumstances?
A victim of domestic violence, Inessa recuperates in the home of mafia captain Giovanni Maglione. Her parents, Bratva chief Maksim Andrupov and his wife Olivia, learn that Inessa’s recently deceased husband double-crossed the Chinese Triad and they’re coming after her for reparation. Thinking to save their daughter, Maksim and Olivia convince Giovanni to marry Inessa, who doesn’t particularly want to marry again and yet finds herself agreeing to the scheme.
The ruse fails and the Chinese pursue their target with bloodthirsty determination. Giovanni draws upon the resources of his own colleagues and rival mobs to engage with the Triad, avoid prison, and save his family, which now includes Inessa. The most dangerous man in Cleveland displays a surprisingly tender and gentle aspect of his character as he engages in terrible violence to protect what’s his… and Inessa is most definitely his.
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Marriage to a woman he found himself wanting and who did not want him back promised to punish him for every evil deed he had committed.
Giovanni had committed many.
Hours later and covered in snow, Paolo admitted without rancor that Inessa had built the better snow fort and won the battle with her superior ammunition. The younger boys merely cheered and flopped down in the snow to make snow angels and build snowmen until Bianca called them in for supper.
Gathered around the kitchen table that evening for supper, Bianca held court as usual. Lively conversation and friendly insults flew back and forth in a merry combination of affectionate bickering that Inessa still had not quite gotten used to. These boisterous, openly emotional Italians bewildered her, especially when Paolo flung an insult at his cousin that no one in the Bratva would have dared utter to her father. Yet Giovanni laughed it off and gave the boy a playful swat, while the elderly housekeeper frowned in resigned acceptance that the hooligans at her table might never grow up and act like gentlemen. Giovanni’s sparkling eyes met Inessa’s across the table. She felt a blush rise at the instant transformation of amusement to heated desire.
A hand gently patted hers, distracting her from the man’s intense stare. Looking at Bianca’s soft smile, she smiled back, though her expression held more than a tinge of anxiety. She could not—and would not—deny that Giovanni Maglione was one sexy, beautiful man. But the thought of submitting to a man made her blood run cold. The nightmares of experience doused any answering spark of desire.
Giovanni would want and expect children.
Inessa lowered her gaze to her plate and let the family discussion flow over her.
From the head of the table, Giovanni forced a smile at whatever inanity his young cousin spewed. Paolo, he knew, attempted to show off his wit to impress the shy, lovely woman who would marry into the family and unite Bratva and mafia. He also knew that his adolescent cousin, suffering from surging teenage hormones, had a crush on the quiet Russian woman. He made a mental note to keep a watchful eye on Paolo to ensure the boy didn’t do anything too stupid.
Giovanni also noticed the pretty blush that turned Inessa’s cheeks such a lovely pink. Within his mind, he winced at the sudden fear that flashed in her eyes and surmised her thoughts. Somehow, he had to convince her that hurting women was not his style. He would never hurt her, would never tolerate a hand raised against her.
She was his and he protected what was his with all the considerable resources at his disposal.
Holly Bargo is the author’s pseudonym and really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare fondly remembered for watching over toddler children and grinding a brand new pager into dust. Holly lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, a clowder of cats, an elderly llama, and an even more ancient horse that looks and acts half her age. Until recently, Holly and her husband’s two children also lived with them, but kids grow up and leave home.
Holly has published 17 fiction books since 2014—many of them steamy romances—and works full-time as a freelance ghostwriter and editor. All her books can be found on Amazon.com.