By Gabby Grace
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
She wants me, but can she handle the heat?
If I decide you’re mine tonight, you’d better be ready for the time of your life; you’ll only get one chance. If you get in the way of my business, you’d better make your peace with this world; it’s the last thing you’ll ever do.
Flying to Miami to keep tabs on a rival family was supposed to be just business as usual. But that all changed the moment I laid eyes on that Latina beauty.
Innocent and pure, Bella Rojas is everything I’m not. One look at her killer curves and her seductive smile, and I had to have her. One touch of her silky skin on mine and I wanted more. Her dark eyes flame with passion, and I want to be the one to keep the fire burning.
She doesn’t need to know who I am, just how I make her feel. But when it’s time for me to take a drug operation down, she discovers what I do and won’t let it go. She says she needs time to work through things, but the enemy won’t allow it.
Danger finds her in the form of a dark, sadistic man. We’ll never be together and free, unless I kill him and every last one of them.
It’s always been about business. About family. Now it’s just all about her.
I swore to protect her, and I’m bound to my word. When all is said and done, I’ll claim her as my own.
No doubt about it, Stroke enlightens all of the reader’s senses and stokes a wide range of emotions from start to finish. Author Gabby Grace boldly weaves violent, mob-driven drama and steady-paced action in the plot and sub-plots, dousing it with steamy eroticism and intense chemistry between the two main characters, Vito and Bella. Grace blends rich storytelling and superb writing to make all the characters – primary and secondary – come to life and contribute to moving the story along. There’s also revenge, suspense, twists and turns, and passion – passion for family, both personal and professional. Grace is also not intimidated about dishing out gritty violence, and the attention to detail is sure to cause a few stomachs to churn.
Bella is a feisty, spicy, and independent Latina, and even though first impressions led me to assume she was going to be one-dimensional and too assured of her sex appeal on the male species, as the story progressed, I was proven wrong. She’s a smart and resourceful businesswoman who is not afraid to go after what she wants – or step back to consider things more fully if she needs to – and is really loyal and family-driven deep down inside. Bella can’t quite figure out what it is that draws her to Vito from the get-go, and she can’t get him off her mind. Vito, a hard-core mob enforcer, feels just as drawn to Bella, so when he drops by her house to hook up the first night he’s in Miami, it’s no surprise that their mutual attraction leads to the first of several off-the-charts scorching sex scenes. They both quickly realize that one time won’t be enough, and they can’t get enough of one another. However, once Bella discovers what Vito does for a living, she steps back and considers walking away. As fate would have it, though, Vito’s job has put Bella in great danger. Her life is on the line, and Vito is willing to do what needs to be done to save her, while taking down a rival in the process.
Kudos to Grace for her descriptive and thorough writing style, intense story development and follow-through, and detailed characterization, right down to Vito’s dialect in his POV chapters and the feelings some of the characters conveyed (anyone else get creeped out by the evil Petrone in a white suit?). Stroke may be Grace’s debut work, but it certainly captured and kept my attention, made a favorable impression and left me waiting anxiously for more.
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on January 27, 2017.