The Kings of Italy: Mafia Target – Mila Finelli
GIULIO I’ve renounced my birthright as the heir to an Italian mafia empire, but no one leaves the brotherhood without paying a price. To evade my enemies, I stay on the move. Now a new man is stalking me, watching me. But there’s something else in his eyes, a hunger that sets me on fire. He’s rough and dangerous, all the things I crave in the dark. Except he’s been hired to kill me.
I shouldn’t want him. But I do.
They say to keep your enemies close. So that’s exactly what I’m planning. Beware the hunted who becomes the hunter…
ALESSIO I live in the shadows, the assassin they never see coming. I’m the best, but Giulio is my weakness. I need him in ways I can’t begin to explain. He might run, but I’ll follow him to the ends of the earth. And if others try to hurt him, I’ll protect him with my last breath. Except I’m hiding a secret, one that will cost me everything. I should walk away, but I can’t.
Even if it’s my undoing.
Mafia Target is the fourth book in the Kings of Italy series. It’s a stand-alone male/male romance, complete with two hot and dangerous Italian men. HEA and no cliffhangers guaranteed!
To say my interest was piqued would be an understatement. My guts was screaming for me to read this book!
Mafia Target is an enemies-to-lovers story between the scion of a top mafia family and the assassin hired to kill him. It certainly ticked all my boxes and then some! It’s the 4th book of The Kings of Italy by new-to-me author Mila Finelli. The rest of the series are mf romance.
This installment can be read as a standalone since the backstory can be effortlessly put together. Giulio Ravazzani is the gay son of Don Fausto Ravazzani. He was supposed to marry Francesca in Book 1, but the don ended up marrying her instead. Giulio’s former lover was killed in a car bomb intended for him, and the young mafioso decided to leave home to carve his own path away from his father’s shadow.
The story starts when Alessandro Ricci, an ex-military turned assassin, was hired by a rival Family to kill Fausto. He was about to pull the trigger when he spotted Giulio. The world’s top assassin was so awestruck, he missed!
He likened the experience to being struck by a thunderbolt, which I think is a very apt description of him falling in love at first sight. This was also mentioned in Godfather, so the thunderbolt must be an Italian thing. Because of his fuck up, he was tasked to kill Giulio instead.
The enemies-to-lovers aspect was chef’s kiss! Just pure perfection! The air between Alessio and Giulio practically hummed with electricity and anticipation! The stalking, the buildup, the accidentally-on-purpose meetings, and the halcyon days of fucking and feeding sheep had that elusive, much sought after ZING only the best and most unforgettable romances have.
Between the two MCs, Alessio immediately won me over. He’s a man of few words with an intensity that radiates off the page. Watching him unerringly stalking Giulio as a target and then turning that into a single-minded determination to protect his beloved Principe, even at the cost of his life and limb, even with Giulio’s rejection, Alessio was both a force of nature and a man badly in need of a hug.
Giulio took a while for me to warm up to, mainly because he had his walls up. I can’t blame him for not jumping into the relationship head first. He’s still grieving his late boyfriend. But I loved how everytime Alessio does or says something endearing, his cold, dead heart melts little by little. He’s ambitious and resourceful, slowly carving out his little empire on his own. He and Alessio make a great team. He brings out the assassin’s human side.
This is one of the swooniest books I’ve read this year! The separation scene that wrecked our MCs emotionally and physically brought the already potent brew up to another level! And that’s not all. The cherry on top of this already exquisite treat is the writing.
The setting is in Italy and various parts of Europe. Typically, authors would use a couple of native phrases and leave it at that. Here, almost every other dialogue is spoken with Italian sentences and phrases. The way the prose seamlessly flows between English and Italian, with a smattering of Gaelic and Russian, the bilingualism of this book was pure eargasm! I highly recommend audiobooking this.
I am especially ecstatic about the multi-lingual prose because it’s exactly how I want to write my book if I know how to write a story. I loved how the author pulled it off in a way that remains true to the characters’ nationality yet still relatable to an international, mostly American, audience.
Mafia Target is a book that will grip you hard till the end, and as it is a long one, best read during weekends. It’s dark yet surprisingly fluffy, often heart-wrenching but just as incredibly squee-tastic, with prose that speaks to me. All in all, a thunderbolt to the kokoro and music to the ears!
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
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This is a round up of the books I read on the 1st half of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.