I give this book five stars because I couldn’t put it down. I started it late afternoon and finished it the next late morning. I think it’s well written and very interesting. I have not read a book in a long time about mafia and this one was perfect with everything that I like – high school/private school setting with an alpha male. The only downfall that I would consider making it at least half-star less is that it was done in third person. I would have preferred this to be in first person since it mainly followed Elle anyways. I did find that the pace seemed a bit off because it seemed like days would go by and then they would mention something that happened the previous day and I would think to myself “that was only yesterday?” and that happened a few times throughout. Other than that, it has great dialog and it’s very descriptive. The side characters are awesome as well.
Elle is in senior year at a private school. Her and her best friend, Chloe have been picked on and tortured since freshman year and this year seems to be worse. Now Elle has witnessed a murder and she believes it’s the mafia’s work. Nero’s job is to get close to Elle and find out what she knows. Did she see who they were and is she going to tell anyone. So, Nero gets close to Elle, talking to her, following her around and making sure no one messes with her anymore. Little did they both know that they would end up falling for each other. Now Nero has to either let her know himself that he has a job to do or let her find out from someone else. It’s how Elle takes it which is the kicker and all the other drama that goes on as well – and it’s high school, so there’s lots of drama.
Elle is smart, hard-working, and stubborn. She’s a loyal friend to Chloe, who has deep issues who can’t fend for herself at school. She works almost full time at a diner so that she can afford to continue to go to the private school just so she can take care of Chloe. Of all the crap that gets thrown at Elle, she keeps trucking along because she knows that in six months time she is leaving high school and her town forever. She also doesn’t fall for Nero’s crap – at least not right away. Now there’s Nero, who is tall, dark and sexy. He’s a ladies man who can get any girl he wants but when he befriends Elle, she isn’t as easy as the rest of them. She’s skeptical and alert to his games but being an alpha male that he is, he gets what he wants and he isn’t afraid to take it.
I really liked the side characters in this book. Vincent and Amo are Nero’s underdogs but are respected just the same as Nero. They are funny, loyal, and just a bit of crazy to keep everyone at bay. Vincent is the ladies man, he is a charmer, whereas Amo is the tougher one, the one to keep guard when shit goes down. Chloe, on the other hand – I am not too sure about her. She kind of drove me nuts in this book. I understand that something bad happened to her and now she has a social anxiety but she’s weak and doesn’t have any backbone at all. She has to walk behind Elle, even when the guys are there with them. She doesn’t stand up for herself or Elle at all, and even when Elle does everything in her power to protect her, she does nothing. But, I am interested to read her own book because I think there is something about her that we are not seeing in this one and it will all make sense later on.
Even though this book is set in high school, I believe that it is for mature readers only. There is violence, language and sexual content that shouldn’t be read by anyone younger than seventeen. This is the first book I have read by Sarah Bianne, but it won’t be the last. I loved this book and am excited to read the others in this series. They can all be read as standalone’s as they each follow different characters, but I recommend reading them in order because that way you won’t miss anything in the storyline.