The Valesky Crime Family Book 2
by Tina Donahue
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
I drive to a neighborhood gym. I doubt my so-called suspension will allow me to use police facilities. Even if it did, putting myself into a demeaning situation—the female cops ignoring me while the male ones make snide comments—isn’t at the top of my to-do list. Better to keep far, far away from that.
Once inside the place, I grab a locker then dress in my workout clothes, black leggings and a matching sports bra. Deliberately bypassing the weights and other equipment, I stop at a speed bag, also known as a punching bag. The kind shown on TV and in movies where a fighter prepares for the championship bout. Gloved up, I picture Crastano’s, Fratrazelli’s, Hickenstone’s, and my perp’s revolting faces on the thing.
My first slug is hard. My next way past that. I’m soon breathless but totally stoked.
Then I get serious and imagine Dimitri’s putrid features on the thing. Next to him are the Petrov Family assassins who destroyed Jash.
I’m pounding so hard, my hair comes loose from the scrunchy, strands sticking to my sweaty cheeks. It’s not enough, endless rage still burning within me. I go at the bag with unending malice. It’s my only option at this point, and I want to fucking annihilate it. To send the thing sailing across the—
“Damn.” A guy my age stops next to me. “You’re on fire, babe.”
“Fuck. Off.” Teeth gritted, I get in his space. “I am not your goddamn babe.”
He lifts his hands, his eyes wide. “Sorry to have bothered…”
I don’t hear the rest. I’m too busy taking out my fury on the bag.
The others who pass me keep a wide berth. They must have seen me snarl at that other guy. I should feel bad but don’t. Losing Jash in such a horrible way keeps draining away my sympathy and humanity. Before long, I’ll be exactly like Dimitri.
I can’t wait.
Winded, I slow somewhat.
A young woman makes eye contact. I refuse to look away. She does so quickly.
I’m so worked up, I’m ready to challenge anyone here who regards me the wrong way, says any-goddamn-thing, or gets too near my—
Standing in the doorway is a man who doesn’t belong here, unless he’s wearing a business suit because he’s a promoter or a sports agent.
Neither seems likely given the lack of talent in this room.
Yet, he keeps standing there, his gaze riveted to me.
I throw a punch at the bag and miss.
He arches one dark eyebrow, a smile tugging at his chiseled mouth.
To say he’s handsome is understating the fact by a thousand percent. His all-American good looks have a bad boy edge enhanced by his dark wavy hair kissing his forehead, his lushly lashed eyes, and his impressive stubble. Five o’clock shadow at two in the afternoon is quite a feat.
My nipples peak. Something deep inside my pussy stirs.
I don’t try to stop it. This is the first good feeling I’ve had in too long, even if I don’t understand why he’s here and slowly perusing me from head to toe.
If he’s not denying himself, why should I?
I stop at the precious package between his legs, his spectacular erection pressing against his pants.
Warmth pours through me. Already weakened from my workout, I have trouble standing.
Who are you?
If he’s a promoter or agent, maybe I should consider boxing as a fallback career, should my future in policing actually be over.
If he’s from the IAB—the Internal Affairs Bureau of the DPD—come to give me grief about the Representative’s snotty kid, I want him fucking gone.
I smack the bag one last time then cross the room to him, my strides certain and fast, demanding he back up.
He doesn’t, his stance saying he’s in charge, his eyes hooded.
My pussy creams.
Shit. Stop it. He’s not a date. He’s…
Fuck if I know, but I intend to find out. “Who are you? If you have business here, do it. If not, leave the premises. Quit leering at me.”
Rather than obey, he drags his gaze down my length far slower than he did earlier.
My heart races in a good way when it shouldn’t. Not one to back down or accept behavior like his, I step closer.
His heat and crisp woodsy scent surround me.
Unwelcome desire surges within my sheath, a faint pulse beating there. Fighting it, I tighten my shoulders. “Didn’t you hear me?”
“Every word, Ms. Blosky.”
He knows my name? How? “Are you with IAB? If you are, I have nothing to say to you.”
“Then it’s good I’m not with them.”
That doesn’t make sense. There’s no other way he could know my name. No one has to sign in here to use the equipment or be a member. You pay for your time up front then go your own way. We’re all anonymous, which is how I like it. “Then who are you with?”
He shifts his attention from my mouth to my eyes.
His are the deepest blue I’ve ever seen. A sapphire color with faint grey specks. Simply breathtaking. My mouth dries.
“The FBI,” he says.
I don’t understand and shake my head. “What about the FBI?”
“I’m a Special Agent with the Bureau.”
Yet he’s here and ogling me? I don’t believe him for a second. “What’s your name? Where’s your badge?”
“Adrian Kalin,” he says then slips his hand inside his jacket.
The edge falls back, revealing his weapon.
The Valesky Crime Family Book 1
A Russian kingpin wants her dead… the only one who can stop it is the man sent to murder her.
Toni Flores loved her dream job working for a respected US senator until he raped her. She’s determined to bring him to justice, no matter the cost.
For years, Dimitri Valesky, head of a Russian crime family in America, has bought off those in government. Just like the senator responsible for Toni’s assault. When she won’t keep quiet about it and risks Dimitri’s business, he orders his stepson Michael to kill her.
Michael’s a lobbyist not a mafia enforcer. He refuses the insane demand, but Dimitri insists. The power he holds over Michael and his brothers is absolute… or so he believes.
Rather than murder Toni, Michael intends to romance her. Once he convinces her to keep quiet about the Senator, she won’t be a target any longer and Dimitri will back off on the hit. The plan falls apart and now they are dodging mafia enforcers, bullets, and Dimitri’s outrage.
Michael and Toni fight to stay alive and save those dearest to them as they also fall hopelessly in love.
This is book one in the Valesky Crime Family series and has an HEA.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary dark mafia romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, adult themes, and possible triggers for some readers.
Once outside the capitol, my phone buzzes. The display shows my mother’s picture and name. Worried, I answer. “Mama, are you all right?”
“It’s me,” Dimitri says.
I squeeze the phone, wishing it were his throat. If Mama hadn’t married him… If she hadn’t been desperate about feeding and housing her boys when we were little…
Too late now for regrets. The SOB’s tentacles surround each of us. Unless, or until, I kill him, nothing will change. Before I speak, I make certain to mask my disgust. If I piss him off, he’ll take out his rage on my mother, his nearest and weakest target. “He’s voting your way. This time, he won’t change his mind.”
“Khorosho.” Russian for good. “I knew you’d come through for me, Mikhail.”
Only because he has the proverbial gun to my head. There isn’t one thing I don’t detest about Dimitri, including his guttural voice. Despite having lived in the States since he was fifteen, he still has a thick accent.
Wanting to end this as quickly as possible, I lie. “I have another appointment. When I’m through with it, I’ll send you details of what Cyrus and I discussed.”
“That’s not why I’m calling.”
Despite the warmish spring weather, my skin goes clammy. “Is Mama all—”
“She’s fine, and will stay that way, as long you do what you’re told.”
I long to call him every vile thing imaginable but keep my tongue. Something I learned as a kid. His beatings were always worse if I cried or cursed him. If I was silent, that enraged him further, but he wore himself out faster. A win for me.
He clears his throat, but still coughs, thanks to his three-pack a day cigarette habit. Innocent kids get cancer, but not him. What a screwed-up world.
“I have another project for you, Mikhail.”
Damn. “What bill is it this time?”
“Not a bill. A woman. Toni Flores.”
I’m crossing the street when he says the name. My step pauses. Someone from behind bumps into me.
“She’s causing trouble,” Dimitri says. “You need to get rid of her.”
A different person bumps into me. I cross to the other side. “What are you talking about?”
“She’s causing problems for Stowe.”
Lucian Stowe is another senator Dimitri owns. “What kind of problems?”
“She’s been claiming to the police and anyone else she can that he sexually assaulted her. It’s not true, but she won’t stop lying about it and she never shuts her mouth.”
I hurry down the street to a less crowded area. “How do you know she’s lying?”
“Because I said so!”
In Dimitri’s world that makes perfect sense. “That’s no damn proof.”
“Even if she is telling the truth, it doesn’t matter!” He’s shouting louder than I did. “I need Stowe in my pocket! She has to be eliminated! I want you to do it.”
My stomach falls. “No. I don’t do that kind of work. Ever. Especially to a woman who’s—”
“I don’t care what she is or how you found out about her. I want it done. No arguments.”
Before I can speak, he ends the call.
Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.
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