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Mob Boss #1


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Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake — until she meets Nico Vitale.

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence — while always an option — isn’t the only way to get what you want.

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.

Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.

This is not your mother's mob.

320 pages, ebook

First published July 31, 2015

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About the author

Michelle St. James

75 books542 followers
Michelle St. James is a Southern California expat now living in New York's Hudson Valley.

She is the critically acclaimed author of over fifty published novels and seven novellas. Her first series (under her not-so-secret real name) received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist and was one of Booklist's Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and translated into over twenty languages.

Michelle lives in a converted barn with a leaking roof, a 70-pound puppy, and three perpetually annoyed cats. She spends her free time doing yoga, watching Love Island UK, and anxiously awaiting the next season of Ozark and the Great British Baking Show.

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5 stars
1,864 (35%)
4 stars
1,625 (31%)
3 stars
1,192 (22%)
2 stars
380 (7%)
1 star
154 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 354 reviews
Profile Image for Taz-xo.
482 reviews13 followers
August 6, 2015
I got to just under the half way mark before I returned this for a refund on Amazon.

Please don't be fooled by the blurb and the whole 'mob boss' theme. Nico is nothing more than a boy pretending he's in a charge of a big operation. I was expecting a dark, gritty book. Instead I got a fluffy piece about how he doesn't like certain crimes or guns blah blah blah. What a load of bullshit.

Ruthless...pfft. More like dickless.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,902 reviews635 followers
July 28, 2020
Well Nico is the most polite kidnapper I ever encounter in romance book. Ruthless is typical mafia, stockholm syndrome romance. With the background of family war, Nico and Angel fate crashed together.

I was expecting more drama/ betrayal/ twist on the story. However due to Nico's politeness, the mafia story is sort of tame.

I need more chemistry between the characters. The steamy scenes are not steamy. More like copy and paste from other books.

Overall the romance is OK. Not too bad nor too good.

3 stars
Profile Image for Lindaisa.
477 reviews45 followers
December 5, 2015
I was in the mood for some mob sh*t!

Ruthless didn’t quite hit that spot for me but its was a GREAT improvement from the disaster that was “Raze” which I read earlier this year. But...to be frank, it doesn’t take much to be better than that book to begin with.

Ruthless is about a girl named Angelica who is trying to figure out what she wants to do with herself now that she’s graduated college. She works in a coffee shop and is just going through the motions of life. The only family she has is her brother who is off at college and her estranged father who barely acknowledges their presence ever since the death of his wife and their mother when they were children. She’s kidnapped one day after work and dragged into the craziness and violence of the Mob Syndicate by a man named Nico Vitale who runs one of the largest mob families in NY. Angelica’s father is the biggest real estate developer in NY and so she assumes money is the motive behind her kidnapping. But after spending a few weeks in the presence of Nico and hearing what he has to say, Angelica reluctantly admits that she knows absolutely nothing about her father and that ignorance could very well get her killed.

This was the typical forbidden love kind of story. Really nothing more than a guilty read. Its one of those stories where I went into it knowing there were going to be some things that were going to make me roll my eyes or deep sigh a few times. But it was entertaining and that’s really what I was going for when I decided to read it.

Angelica was a little naive but I didn’t expect much more from her coming from a story in which the main character falls in love or lust or whatever you want to call it, with her kidnapper, a man involved in countless dangerous and illegal activities. Nico was a refreshing mobster to be honest. I was expecting an unforgiving, violent and ruthless man as the title implies. But he was actually pretty decent, all things considered. He ruled his family with an iron fist but he was fair. Be loyal, respectful and do what you’re told and you can get ahead in the family.

I enjoyed the slow sizzle of their relationship. They were attracted to each other which at times annoyed me because, Angelica...you could DIE. Get your libido under control please. But she was always aware that her feelings and attraction for Nico was insane considering the situation she was in and the circumstances of their acquaintance and I appreciated that. I liked the fact that she knew her feelings weren’t normal and she should be afraid of Nico and no turned on. I can’t stand when characters are written doing things that are baffling and unrealistic but go on about it like everything is perfectly normal.

I will admit that I skimmed the last 50 pages of this story. It was entertaining for the most part but after a few days, my mob appetite died down and I just wanted to finish the book. The ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting which was refreshing. However the overall story and characters aren’t entertaining enough for me to carry on with any of the other books in this series. This was a BETTER mob story than the one I read previously...but it still fell short of what I’m looking for. Maybe next time! Third times a charm right and all that...
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,351 reviews433 followers
September 21, 2015

The blurb hooked me straight away, I quickly scanned a few of the reviews and they were good so I couldn't wait to start.
Now I'll skip my usual summary since there's already a lot of reviews summarising it better than I could, I'll just give my opinion, which is mixed, very mixed.
As I've said I loved the blurb and the idea behind this book and even though I read this in one sitting I always felt something was missing.
Nico, I liked Nico as a man but he wasn't the character I pictured as the boss of a crime family.
Angelica, she annoyed me endlessly and I got so frustrated with her inability to even consider the fact that her father obviously wasn't the man she thought he was.
The story was light and I think this was part of what was missing for me.
I didn't feel any real connection or chemistry between Angel and Nico.
As for the ending, yes I should have checked I know it says book one but I didn't realise it was a cliffhanger and I can't honestly see me continuing on I just can't face more Angelica.
122 reviews14 followers
December 11, 2015

Well I love mafia books and this one was just one of my favorite!

Nico Vitale is the head of the Vitale family in NYC.His parents were killed by another faction of the mob and he wants revenge,so Nico abducts Angelica.
Angelica is girl who lives her boring live in big city until the day she was kidnapped and her eyes were opened to many things about herself and her family.

If you are looking for a really dark read this isn't it,but is very good read and has kept me hooked from page one

 photo tumblr_ntpz60VWs71utxtpko1_500_zpsb0mwmqzx.gif
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,064 reviews395 followers
April 24, 2017
A dark read is a hard thing to pull off - I get that. I always try to give authors who go out on a limb the benefit of the doubt. Because really, how would a character react to being kidnapped and held against her will? Only those to whom it's happened to can say for sure. But somehow I doubt the reaction would be non-existent except to comment on how hot the guy in charge is. There's no mention of the tedium of being held in a small windowless room, or how she's suffering after not eating for seven days (!), not even a mention of a stomach cramp - no, there's just drivel about how she wants to get it on with her captor. It's a shame, because the rest of the story wasn't bad. The premise was good and the writing (except for my above complaints) wasn't horrible. Unfortunately, I couldn't get past the heroine's lack of depth. DNF @40%.
Profile Image for Maheswari.
511 reviews13 followers
December 21, 2020
It’s not such a bad read - it has many disturbing point while h have no qualms of her own feeling , and for such a leader of mob - H is an complete softie , I could mistaken if he is the owner of preppy polo club

It’s like looking for a needle in the hay that’s how I lost the chemistry between the main characters...

Profile Image for Snow.
2,213 reviews651 followers
June 15, 2016

4.5 "NICO" stars

God only knows, why I have forgotten to write a review for this...

Forgive me, I actually loved it

No matter how lame it sounds now...I am stunned by my own action LOL

This was actually a very good written story about revenge amongst mafia ranks...involving "the innocent" kidnapping, reluctance and denail, hate and fear mixed with undeniable passion and chemistry...that can only go wrong...
BUT then
how can "wrong" feel so damn "right"

and to follow the wise words...

I'll say...*wink*
Profile Image for sara j.
201 reviews41 followers
June 10, 2017
3 stars.

Ordinary mafia story.....lost interest after 55% ...however alpha hero has impressive personality in the book...
Profile Image for Charlene (Char).
217 reviews5 followers
June 21, 2022
50 Shades of Mob

I had this book for quite sometime and decided to read it and that was a good decision. This book is about love , the mob and family secrets. This is an action packed love story that sweeps you from the first page.
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,089 reviews314 followers
August 15, 2015
This review was originally posted on Cocktails and Books

I was sold on RUTHLESS by the blurb. I love a good mafia story and this seemed like something I'd really enjoy.

Angelica Bondesan lives a fairly quiet life. She has few friends and her younger brother is the person she's closest too. So when she finds herself kidnapped one night after work, she confused as to why they took her and what these people want, especially when they keep trying to implicate her father in wrong-doings. It's not until she meets the leader of the NY mob family responsible for her kidnapping, Nico Vitale, that she realizes that no everyone is who they seem and she had to decide who she trusts.

I wanted to love this one, but I found myself not really like either one of these characters. Each had qualities that I liked/disliked, but they just didn't seem to mesh together other than in the bedroom. I realize Nico did have Angelica kidnapped, so she probably has a lot to hold against him. But she was always so quick to believe in her father, when he's never given her any reason to have that trust in recent years. Given how things are in their family, I thought she might at least be willing to entertain that her father may not be who she always believed him to be. But when she constantly accused Nico of lying about him, I lost whatever interest I had in their relationship.

I did like the suspense of trying to figure out what was going on with Angelica's father. Right up until the very end we were kept guessing who was helping who.

While RUTHLESS and I didn't exactly get along, others might find this mafia romance right up their alley. For me, I needed more to the relationship between Angelica and Nico. Hopefully, as this series continues the more I craved will be there.

Reviewer information can be found under the Tags section of the post on our site.
Profile Image for Angel Payne.
Author 93 books3,282 followers
October 3, 2016
What an HONOR and privilege to read a Michelle St. James book! The romance is just as sweeping as all the glamorous international destinations. I love this series SO MUCH.
Profile Image for Kate Anders.
Author 3 books24 followers
July 28, 2015
To read this review and others like it check out my site at www.homelovebooks.com

I love mob books! Which is so weird, since I'm not generally a fan of mob movies, but in books they just work for me. I have to admit though I was a little worried about this one because I knew it started off with basically a kidnapping by our hero on this story, for me sometimes I really hate kidnappings, unless they are written extremely well or there isn't a lot of violence associated with it. Thankfully, the kidnapping aspect of the book didn't bother me at all, and I seriously enjoyed the book.

So our heroine in the story is Angelica, who I really liked throughout the book, and oh man did I feel for her during the course of events. Her whole life changes so much from beginning to end. When the book begins she's just a regular girl who has a degree in philosophy and works at a coffee shop, she's pretty much estranged from her rich father, but has a good relationship with her brother. And then one night when she is locking up she is taken. Of course she thinks that she is being held for ransom, but oh is she so wrong. I liked that Nico isn't violent with her, and when the creeper Dante tries to be, he seriously puts him down and hard. I understand how shocking the situation was for Angelica, but she handles everything so well, she has such fire and I love that about her.

So Nico is not exactly what I was expecting when I started the book, I mean he's a mob boss, so I figured he would be hard and violent, but he was a complex character with more than one layer. I liked how he is kind of Angelica, when she goes on her hunger strike he does whatever he can to make her feel more comfortable and get her to eat. I liked how he was protective of her. I understood that he wanted to avenge his parents death, I mean if I was in his shoes, I totally would want the same thing. I really liked the evolution of Nico throughout the book, and I understood his actions throughout, even though they didn't always get the results he wanted.

I really want to know what happens next with these characters, I will say that if you are hoping this book ends with everything tied up in a nice and tidy bow then this might not be the book for you. But if you want a book that will take you on a ride and leave you wanted to know what is going to happen next, then this is without a doubt a book you should check out.
September 29, 2015
Rated a 4.5 due to the cliffhanger. Which drove me crazy.

This was my first mob/mafia romance and I loved it even thought there was a cliffhanger and my reaction was NOOOO! So I need to get to the next book so I can find out what is going to happen next.

This book grabbed my interest right from the start. The tension I felt every time something happened kept me from putting it down, except when someone interrupted me :/ There was action every time you turned the page and I don't just me steamy parts.

Angelica but to Nico "Angel", lived a close enough fairy tale life. She really didn't know what was really going on around her until the day she was kidnapped and her eyes were opened to many things about herself and her family. When she meets her capture, the hot Nico Vitale, the sexual tension between them begins and climbs to some pretty steamy moments but so much more happens between them and you can't help yourself and want them to beat the odds of what is to come between their families.
Profile Image for Emily (Mrs B's Books).
1,548 reviews84 followers
January 16, 2016
**My thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review**

This is the first book that i have read by this author and it certainly won't be the last as I automatically downloaded the next two books in the series as I JUST HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!

The chemistry between the two when they finally meat for the first time is hot and it continues to be hot all through the book.

We get kidnapping, murder, deception and angst all thrown together and mixed up to keep you guessing who is the baddie and how is everything going to end up.

It was a stunning read that made me turn page , after page, after page, not able to put the book down.

A recommended read.
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48.6k reviews4 followers
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April 11, 2022
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Profile Image for EroticaAfterDark (Lilith).
3,182 reviews746 followers
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January 15, 2021
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Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake — until she meets Nico Vitale.

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence — while always an option — isn’t the only way to get what you want.

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.

Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Edwards.
4,865 reviews9 followers
August 20, 2018
i am new to Michelle's writing ... found this on my kindle ...sucked right on it ... great quick read. amazing characters ... i always had "Fire with Fire" as well, is it before this read or after? i gotta place that so i will totally understand and all ... i see some similar characters ... i gotta figure this all out .. being new and all. hoping to read more from Michelle very very soon. Must read. so enjoyable. ( ;
Profile Image for Kira.
1,241 reviews132 followers
July 4, 2021
The title is misleading. Nico is about as far as you can get from a ruthless mob boss. The guy is a total softie, so even though this is a kidnapping story there was never any sense of danger for Angelica. I didn't care for the romance. Too much instalove.
Profile Image for Lo.
108 reviews9 followers
January 7, 2021
dnf, nothing against the book I just got bored with it and started skimming parts. I don’t think I liked the third person POV
Profile Image for Mandy Reads Indie.
1,596 reviews98 followers
December 1, 2019
RUTHLESS is the first book by St James I have read but it will definitely not be the last. It was everything a mafia romance should be. It had kidnapping, romance, action. I absolutely gobbled it up. And why wouldn’t I? It was excellent, well written and had so much romance. Love me some romance

Nico was yummy and had my heart from the start. I loved how he was gentle and ruthless. Fierce and loyal. He is the kind of mob boss I love to read about. Angelica was super sweet and a great character. I adored the slow burn romance that ignited between them. It kept the story interesting.

There are several reviews stating this ends in a cliffhanger. It does but it doesn’t. It ends not at all how I hoped. But not all stories do. It sort of wraps up in a way but their story is not completely over. Nico and Angel’s story continues on in FEARLESS and I cannot wait to see what transpires. 5 Stars!!
Profile Image for Nickcole.
970 reviews66 followers
November 5, 2015
Stars: 4

Overall: Angelica is a normal college girl, when one day she is taken from her job when closing it down and forced into a basement room with no clue why she is there. Slowly information is fed to her about her father and the type of man that he really is. Of course Angel doesn't believe Nico and Luca at first, but once the pieces start to come together and her love grows for Nico she starts to see the situation for what it is. Nico is a man on a mission and he will not rest until justice is sought for his parents and their death. He goes above and beyond to defend and protect the ones that he loves, even the one that he didn't plan on falling in love with. I feel his character grew the most in the story and I'm hoping in the second story he gets a chance to redeem himself in Angel's eyes.

Pros: I did enjoy how the story evolved from Angel having no clue to what was going on and hating Nico, to loving him and trying to protect him. The story progressed nicely and the sex scenes were pretty well written. I also liked that information was feed to us little by little and as a reader we didn't get the bigger picture until the characters did. I also liked the ideas that Nico had about running the mob and standing up for those changes. I don't feel like he got the justice that his parents deserved and I hope it talked more about in the second story.

Cons: At times I got a little bored with the characters and the lack of talking between them. I also hated the cliff hanger at the end because I felt that Angel just dropped Nico. He loved and protected her and she never gave him a chance to explain himself to her. I was also surprised that nothing happened to her brother David and I'm hoping that in the next story he has a bigger part to play.

Characters: Angel & Nico

Page Turner: Yes

Series Cont: Yes

Recommend: Yes
Profile Image for Bibliophile Wonderland Reviews.
416 reviews13 followers
September 17, 2015
This is probably now one of my favorite mafia love books. Nico Vitaly is the head of the Vitaly crime family in NYC. He was the crowned prince. Now with the murder of his family he is now King. Nico is looking for revenge on his family's murder. He know who it is but also he has a mile in his own organization. This is were Angelica comes in. She is the daughters of the man Nico thinks killed his parents. He kidnaps her and has kept her captive. She didn't have a clue that her father was in the Synidicate organization. He even went as far as giving his kids his mother maiden name to protect his children. Nico at first glance was attracted to Angel as he called her. When lines begin to blur feelings and urges come forth. Will either of them be safe. Will Nico finally get the Justice he has sought out for years. Stay tuned this is one bumpy road that you won't regret going.

ARC was provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for ☆MichelleNicole☆.
573 reviews9 followers
October 10, 2015
I liked this book and the idea of it....the only thing I didn't really care for is that it's told in a 3rd.person.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 354 reviews

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