Series: Sinners of New Orleans #1
Author: Natalia Lourose
Genre: Mafia Arranged Marriage/
Release Date: May 5, 2021
A sinner met a saint,
Two worlds collided,
And everything burned.
I’ve done everything right.
Playing the part of the demure famiglia daughter,
And hiding my pain beneath makeup and pretty dresses.
But marrying a man ten years my senior?
Whose words cut like knives,
And lips taste like poison.
This is the one thing I can’t do.
I’ve done nothing right.
I’m not a virtuous man,
I balance on the line between light and dark.
My past is littered with sins,
Each of them is haunting me.
I’m not worthy of the angel with long hair and hazel eyes.
And yet, I’d burn the city to the ground to hold her in my arms.
What’s a sinner to do?
“What are you trying to escape, bella?” He doesn’t put the car in drive, instead he removes his hand from the gearshift and turns his attention on me. His warm eyes penetrate me, seeing through my brittle exterior, past the façade that my family has created.
What am I trying to escape?
I play with the idea of telling him about my arranged marriage. About the ring that I have stuffed in my underwear drawer back home. About my parents who showed no sympathy when I came back to the kitchen with an angry red mark blooming on my arm.
Today, for the first time since her death, I felt angry with Lily. She met this man and took the easy way out; she jumped to escape him and with her escape she put me directly in the path of the lion.
I want to tell Naz all of this. All the thoughts spiraling through my head that led me to calling Molly and leaving my house tonight.
I don’t though, out of fear that he’ll call me naïve.
A stupid, silly girl.
I was raised in this town, in this family. I know how the game works, I know the power plays, and yet I thought that behaving and looking pretty would somehow exempt me from them.
And what would he say to me? There’s nothing he can do to change this, to fix this broken situation. He knows. I know he knows what my family plans to do. If he’s a true soldier, he’ll probably drive me right back home, dropping me off on the front porch with a bow.
Those deep eyes are studying me as the thoughts roll through my head, threatening to take over and send me back into a panic. His tattooed hand reaches up to his throat, his thumb and forefinger slipping over the St. Jude pendant. I don’t think he even notices that he does it, it’s just an instinct.
Naz is handsome in a bad boy way. He’s not the type of man my parents would ever approve of. The black ink that peeks out of his button-down shirt, working its way toward his throat, would give my mother a heart attack. Even his fingers are covered, the ink extending toward his nail beds. For some reason that I can’t place, it sends a rush of heat to my core.
His hair is slicked back, dark as black ink, and buzzed on either side. He looks well-groomed but there’s a few days’ worth of stubble that covers his chin and my mind wanders to thoughts of how it would feel between my thighs.
“Everything.” I finally answer his question. “I’m trying to escape everything.”
He moves a hand to his face, rubbing over his chin thoughtfully. I don’t want him to overthink this. I want him to take me home; I want to feel him between my legs, his mouth on my skin; I want to erase Davis’ hand from my body; I want to experience a man that I choose.
And I definitely did not choose Davis Lafontaine.
“Take me to your house,” I breathe. “Please.”
Natalia Lourose writes angsty romance about broken people figuring out life and finding love along the way. Television and far too much smut as a teenager left her obsessed with dark-haired bad boys who are moody and wear leather jackets. Tucked away in her office with a dog at her feet, two cats on her keyboard, and husband doing something she is always writing something, or trying to.