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Synopsis: Secrets and wars leave the deepest scars.
Evelina Conti has always worn a mask. She is an Outfit principessa, respected and adored. She wasn’t allowed to be anything else. Her father went from a grieving husband to the Outfit boss, and now that Riley heads the family, Eve is more suffocated than ever. No matter how much she hates it, the Conti princess still has a role to play. A little attention from Theo DeLuca seems innocent enough, but nothing is when it comes to him. And certainly not when everyone believes that Theo is out to kill her.
Theo DeLuca has a target on his back. His biggest problem is figuring out who put it there when everyone is aiming at him. He doesn’t need a woman causing him issues, but the Conti princess keeps showing up at the worst times, and he’s the one left saving her. Between the men surrounding him that Theo can’t trust, and the past he can’t outrun, Evelina might be the one thing he doesn’t have to question. But when Riley decides to use Eve as his next move, even Theo might not be able to save her.
The war in Chicago is not even close to being over. This game is deadly. Each hand played cuts another mark into someone else. The Outfit boss is struggling while the men around him are rallying. As the body count continues to rise, the families keep losing.
Sacrifices are a part of war. No one will walk away from this without scars.
PLEASE NOTE: Scarless & Sacred is not intended to be read as a standalone in this series. It is the third book in the series and should be read after the first two books. Trigger Warning: Scarless features graphic violence and scenes of past abuse.
“You’re not ready yet?”
Evelina jumped at the sound of her father’s voice. Fixing the curls back around her neck to hide the mark she’d been looking over. It was one of the few reminders of her three days holed away in a hotel with Theo. She pretended like her father hadn’t scared her.
“I’m ready,” Evelina said, turning to let her father look over the silver, knee-length sparkly dress she’d chosen.
As the boss of the Outfit, Riley had decided to throw a Christmas party for the families. Maybe it was some attempt at a peace offering, or a way to bring everyone together and try to make peace. Evelina wasn’t exactly sure what games her father was playing with the people around them, but he’d invited everyone as far as she knew.
Riley looked her over, sighing quietly. “You look …”
Evelina tried not to let the sentimental tone her father took on weed its way into her emotions. The last few months couldn’t be ignored, and Evelina had very little trust for her father, now. Not after all he’d done, and how he acted after her mother’s death.
Riley took another step forward. “Courtney will be on her best behavior tonight.”
For once, Evelina held back from saying.
“I expect for you to do the same,” Riley finished firmly.
No need to piss her father off, after all. There was only so much the man would take, and acting like a fool in front of his people was not one of them.
“And if anyone happens to mention your little disappearing act last week, you’re not to say a thing,” Riley said.
Evelina swallowed the lump that lodged in her throat. “I won’t.”
“I understand your brother’s reasoning for panicking and hiding you away, but it looked terrible on me when I was unable to account for my daughter, Evelina.”
But she wasn’t.
Not at all.
“As far as the BMW …”
“What about it?” she asked.
“I have a new one ordered, but it’ll take a few extra days what with the holiday and everything. We’ll call it your Christmas gift, I suppose.”
Evelina didn’t like this at all. Nothing was right about her father’s behavior. He’d been this way ever since Evelina had returned home with no one any wiser about her days away with Theo DeLuca. Her father hadn’t thrown a fit about her disappearance, that she sneaked away from her enforcers, or that she lied to Adriano the night her car was burned. Riley had been nice, good-natured, and had even kept Courtney’s attitude on a leash. It was almost like her father was trying to soften Evelina for whatever reason.
No, she didn’t like this.
She didn’t trust Riley.
“I wanted to have a chat with you before the guests start arriving, which was why I asked you to come here and get ready,” Riley said.
Evelina stiffened at her father’s admission. “About what?”
“After your brother’s mess with the Trentini girl—”
“Alessa, Dad. It’s Alessa.”
Riley waved her words off. “Whatever. He made a damned fool of me, Eve. And at the worst possible time. I have to fix it. You’ve always understood the rules before; you understand this life and how it works.”
A sickening sensation washed over Evelina. He couldn’t possibly be talking about what she thought he was. He wouldn’t … right?
“Groomed and understand are two entirely different things,” Evelina said quietly.
Riley’s gaze narrowed. “Yes, well either way, you know what is expected.”
She did, sadly.
“What is it?”
“Tonight, I’ll be announcing your engagement.”
ALSO IN THE CHICAGO WAR SERIES…
Synopsis: Lies and love. This is how a war starts.
A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.
Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.
When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.
No one is deathless.
Synopsis: Play dirty. It’s the only way to win in a war.
Alessa Trentini follows the rules, or so it seems on the outside. A certain Conti has always been able to sway her inner rebel and keep her out of trouble, but even Adriano won’t be able to get her out of her brother’s mess. In a war, no woman is safe if her hand in marriage can advance her family in the world of the mafia. But mistakes of the past have a way of slipping into the present and Alessa will soon learn that even the most shameful of secrets can get her everything she wants.
Adriano Conti’s loyalties are torn as he’s forced to stand at his father’s side while Riley uses his wife’s murder as a way to get higher. Blood comes first and then the Outfit. The one thing he doesn’t question in the war between the families is Alessa Trentini and even that doesn’t seem possible when he’s forced to watch Alessa be used as another man’s pawn. Adriano has his own role to play to get what he wants.
The families in the Outfit have never been more divided than they are now. Blood continues to spill as revenge takes center stage and more lives are lost. But every man in the family is fighting for something different and no one’s intentions can be trusted. Playing a dirty game might be the only way to stay alive.
Even if that means ruining it all.
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
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