Title: Savage Beast
Series: Sinfully Savage #3
Author: Kristen Luciani
Genre: Dark Mafia Enemies to Lovers Romance
Release Date: April 1, 2021
He Stole My Kiss…Right Before He Stole Me.
The second my brother’s ex-best friend tore off my clothes, I was obsessed. His ripped muscles, seductive smirk, and bad boy charm made my knees weak and everything else tingle ever since we were teenagers.
I always dreamed I’d become the center of his world.
I guess I should have been more specific about my wish.
He ruined me.
Then my childhood crush kidnapped me.
Now I’m a pawn in his vicious game.
He thinks he can use me as leverage,
Revenge for my brother’s betrayal.
I should hate him for starting this war with my family and for taking my life.
I should resist my cravings for his rough touch, his hungry lips, and his sinful body.
Because even though Roman Villani is evil and cold, a brutal monster who is incapable of love,
It only makes me want him more.
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I fold my arms over my chest. “So I guess you’re a dog person.”
She lifts an eyebrow at me. “So just like that, we get personal? This isn’t a sweet reunion, Roman.”
“I was just trying to make conversation. Look, you don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to. Hell, we don’t need to speak for the next week. But don’t mistake my questions for congeniality. I’m not looking for a friend here. I’m looking for my money. And you being here is gonna get it for me.”
“Wow, you’re a real charmer. I guess some things never change,” she says sarcastically, continuing to dance around with the dog. “You must need a stick to fight off all the ladies, huh?”
I push myself off the wall, my stomach grumbling. “Like I said before, this ain’t social, Marchella.”
“You know, it would be a lot easier for me to figure out how to deal with you if you weren’t so inconsistent.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
She nestles the puppy against her shoulder and walks toward me. “Well, let’s see. You purposely avoid telling me who you are, then you stalk me, kiss me like I’ve never been kissed in my life, drug me, and kidnap me. Then you have my brother beaten to a pulp, threaten us both with extreme torture before death.”
The corners of my lips curl upward and I let out a chuckle. “Like you’ve never been kissed in your life, huh?”
She rolls her eyes, flipping her hair over her shoulder. “That would be what you caught. I should have known,” she mutters.
“No, no, keep going. I wanna hear the rest. Don’t leave me hanging.”
“You basically hired me so I’ll go with you to that event, in essence paying me to sit tight so that my brother stays on task to get your money back. Then you rescued this puppy because you knew she meant something to me.” She shakes her head. “Completely inconsistent.”
“Well, I’m not a total dickhead, much as you’d like to believe otherwise,” I say. “Besides, it gets cold at night. The puppy should be inside. Christ only knows what she sees, or just barely escapes, when she’s creeping around Inwood at night.”
Marchella narrows her eyes, the blue much darker than it was only a few minutes ago. More turbulent, like a violent wave that’s about to consume everything in its path. “I came here hating you with every fiber of my being.”
“And so what now? Did I score any points?” I flash a half-smirk.
“Not enough to make a difference,” Marchella snips. “I just wanted to point out that your behavior for a mafia thug is bizarre as hell.”
“So I basically risked my life going into your neighborhood for nothing? Not even a fucking ‘thank-you’?”
She recoils, her eyes now wide. I guess the thought didn’t occur to her. Then her expression is eclipsed by the pent-up anger at her situation. “Let me tell you something, Roman. If you want me to kiss your ass because you did a couple of somewhat decent things after shooting me up with a drug that could have killed me, as well as making me your captive for the foreseeable future, you’re crazier than I thought!”
I grit my teeth, my hands balled into fists at my sides. Of course, she’s right. I did some pretty shitty things today, like stealing her freedom. Did I really think that finding the puppy would make her forget that I’m a vicious and somewhat unhinged killer who slapped a target on her beloved brother’s back?
Still, a little gratitude wouldn’t hurt. I did risk my life and my car.
That’s the heated side of me, the irrational side that tries to justify all of the bad.
The side that doesn’t give a damn about anything but being close to her.
I stomp across the room, my jaw tight as the puppy jumps out of her arms. She gasps as I put my hands on her hips, my fingers digging into her flesh. The puppy stares up at us as if she knew to get the hell outta dodge, then trots into the kitchen.
Electricity crackles between us, my insides sizzling at her nearness. “I don’t normally give a damn about people’s feelings,” I growl, tightening my grip on her. “People serve a purpose to me. They’re a means to an end. Period.”
“Why are you telling me that?” she says, her teeth clenched. “Do you think I’m some kind of an idiot? I know how your world works. I know you only care about your money. And I know you made this grand gesture to get on my good side so I don’t mess up your event by telling everyone what you’ve done to me, my brother, and our lives. You’re using me. Manipulating me!” She struggles against my grip, her sinful body rubbing against me in the process. It makes my blood boil, except it’s desire, not anger, coursing through me.
My pulse throbs against my neck as we glare at each other, death wishes co-mingling with a hunger that proves we share the same inner conflict.
The longing infused with hatred.
The craving that battles the disdain.
Our lips are so close together that I can almost graze them with my tongue.
The all-consuming lust blinds me, clouding my judgment and my objective.
“I’m doing what I need to preserve my organization,” I hiss. “You’re only alive right now because of what you can do for me. And you’ll go to the event as my date because I’m paying you to. But, like your brother, if you decide to fuck around, you’ll suffer the same fate as him. So don’t test me, Marchella.” I force out the words because I need to do something to show her I’m not some pathetic excuse for a leader. It’s the only way I can preserve my place, and I need to remember said place unless this whole plan goes up in smoke.
I can’t let myself be distracted by her gorgeousness, her smart mouth, or her fiery will.
All of those roads most definitely lead to hell.
Her eyes widen for a split second and she takes in a sharp breath.
Yeah, I surprised myself with that little speech, too.
It may fuel her hatred but it’ll keep me in control.
“You’re a fucking monster,” she whispers.
“I know,” I snarl. “Always remember that. You’ll survive longer.”
“Ooh,” I say in a mock scared voice. “I’m so scared.” I shove my good shoulder against his thick, muscled chest and of course, it doesn’t do a damn thing. He stays rooted to his spot and presses his fingers deeper into my flesh.
My heart thumps, blood rushing between my ears as the overwhelming urge to kiss him grabs hold of me.
The line between lust and disgust…my God, it’s almost invisible right about now.
“Don’t make me prove it to you,” he grunts. “Because I will, and you won’t want me to stop once I get started.”
I gasp. “You’re sick!”
“It’s the only way to thrive in this world, sweetheart,” he says, letting me go with a smirk playing on his lips.
Releasing May 26
Kristen Luciani is a USA Today bestselling romance author and coach with a penchant for stilettos, kickboxing, and grapefruit martinis. As a deep-rooted romantic who loves steamy, sexy, and suspense-filled stories, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. Pun intended…