Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Ricardo (The Santini Brothers #1) by Marita A. Hansen


On a Mediterranean Island run by mafia, the Santini brothers are fighting a war against the Landi family, who are targeting their loved ones. After his fiancée is murdered, Ricardo, the eldest of the brothers, starts spiraling out of control, his violent nature leading him down a path that could rip his family apart. But, when two women walk into his life...

His first love—Bianca D’Angelo

And an assassin from the Viper Sisterhood

...he finds himself pulled into a world of espionage, intrigue, and seduction, where he'll win his family's safety and the woman of his dreams—or lose everything.

Genre: Romantic Suspense

“I told them to have their guns at the ready.”
“Bravo. I’ll see you soon, brother.”
“You better, Ricardo, because if you die, I will come down to Hell and kill you again.” Ricardo barked out a laugh. “I’ll be seeing you either way, then, and good luck with keeping our madre from killing Valentino.” Salvatore laughed , his voice going serious a second later. “I love you, brother. Live for me.”

Not just a romance. Brotherhood, family and vengeance are strongly interlaced in to Ricardo as readers get to meet eleven, that’s right ELEVEN BAD A** ALPHA MALES! And some FIERCE FEMALE counterparts!

 Ricardo starts off with one brother, Valentino, seeking protection for his two daughters knowing their lives are in danger from a mafia war he did not start yet feels will be the death of him and his daughters. Valentino already lost his wife to this war he now asks this one thing of his older brother Ricardo… Protection. The mafia war now being the catalyst which jump starts everything in the story once the Santini brothers enter it.

I Declare War
The Landi family is on a murderous rampage. The Don, Pedro Landi vowing to slaughter men, women and children after two of his daughters are murdered. Although, the Santini’s were not his main target they soon become it after protection is granted to Valentino’s two girls.
The Santini family is the largest on the Island where all the players reside; Ricardo’s mother having birthed ten children to her husband, a man now bed ridden from an unknown illness. When the sh*t hits the fan Ricardo decides it’s time for him to take the helm and be the Don. His family agrees…well everyone except for his mother.

‘Seeing the Donatelli coming, Bianca had panicked and ran, only looking back at the sound of yelling…’

On The Run
Bianca D’Angelo is the first love of Ricardo Santini. She is also the one he let walk away due to the fact she could not handle who he really was. A killer. Now they find their paths colliding. With her life in danger as well as the lives of his entire family, Ricardo decides that total annihilation is the only way to go.

While the mafia war progresses family secrets come to light, infiltrators surface, hearts are broken and death comes. 

My thoughts
In true Marita A. Hansen fashion the story is told from multiple pov’s which I LOVED! This may not work for everyone. There are a TON of characters with multiple plot lines, if this a writing style you are NOT use to it can get confusing. Me? I’m use to it.

As previously stated Hansen gives us eleven HOT ALPHA MALES to choose from. I mean what more can a girl ask for right! The brothers are delicious and I am eager to get and know each and every one of them. I won’t lie a couple characters reminded me of a few in another book I’ve read that shall not be named. Never the less they were NOT replica’s they just gave off a feel that I like but it also felt a tad familiar. If that makes sense to any one beside me… *raises both eyebrows*

The Writing: The writing was good. The book starts and ends in high suspense. I was continually kept on my toes for what came next and even when I predicted something would happen and it did I was wrong about the how…I was only right about the who.. Sorry I know that may seem confusing but I don’t want to spoil a plot line.

All in all I enjoyed the book and found myself being entertained with each new chapter. I think the various pov’s made it that much more entertaining and gave us a lot more sub plots that can continue in to a book two, three and so on.

The Characters:
The Viper Girls? LOVE!! They are bad a** assassin’s team with an agenda.
The Santini brothers? I want! I want! I want! Each offers something different but Brando LOVES HIM! He’s dark, moody and broodingly dangerous, lord help me that man has got me by the panties. Salvatore and Alessandro are a close second and third. I WANT MORE!

 Why readers will love Ricardo- Strong ALPHA male, cold hearted but not necessarily by choice, you will have to read the book to understand why. He also does not mince words; he speaks what he knows to be true even if it will make him look bad in the process. We all have a soft spot for an A-hole..Or is that just me? *Wink, wink*

Why readers will love Bianca- She’s straight forward, strong willed and takes no bs from anyone. Not even a mafia Don. I prefer my heroines strong and she was that.

My Rating and Why
Why 3.5 STARS? I’ll tell you. The story is very fast paced and at times I felt like it could have slowed allowing certain plot lines to be a bit meatier. Now even though Ricardo and Bianca are the main couple it honestly did not feel that way. The book had so much going that the fast pace became a double edge sword. The only way to work that out in my opinion is if the book would have been longer say an extra twenty five to thirty pages.
We do get romance but not as much as I would have liked. In other words this did not feel like it was their story. Things could have been expanded on with them; such as more history info between them, maybe a flashback to know how they met… I don’t know, I just felt like some things were missing within their story. I found myself wanting more between the two.

My Ratings
Characters- Sexy, Dangerous, Broken plus a lot more..
Writing Style- Good. The story is told in multiple pov’s and has various plotlines
Plot/Storyline- Lovers reunited in the midst of a war. Mafia jumps off and the Santini clan enters after vowing protection to two girls.
Steam Factor- High/Very Steamy On a scale of 1-10 I say 8.5
Entertainment Level- Lo-Med-Hi I say High, I was thoroughly entertained
Overall- I very much enjoyed it!

 Now go forth and read. Then come tell us about it!

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Ricardo by Marita A. Hansen
Published: August 14th,2014


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