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Trigger by Kirsty-Anne Still
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's review
Oct 10, 2015

really liked it

If this is the dance with the devil,
why does it feel so right?

They say some matches are made in heaven, some are made in hell. Some others are made on the path in between, I might add.

I have only recently come to love Mafia Romance books, and Trigger belongs with the more-than-well accomplished instances in the genre. This is not a chocolate-box romance, not even an angsty tale of twarted love. It is more, so much more.

Mobsters, Godfathers and Capos, are usually easily acknowledged as the villains in any story. What happens when they are the victims of someone else's machinations? Someone more evil and more twisted than they already are? What kind of judgement is to be passed on them, when all they have been taught is violence, indifference and revenge? This change in perspective totally hooked me up and made this book a hard-to-put-down read. My interest was also piqued by the fact that Dante and Ryleigh don't fall head over heels for good looks or a beautiful soul: they fall for each other's scars and bruises and it's their darker side, what they leave unsaid, what they don't know about each other that actually bring them together. While reading Trigger, I appreciated the fact that the Mafia background is kept as such; we get glimpses of what Dante's line of 'job' is, and those are intense enough to make you cringe, but it's the unravelling of his character that really stands out.

Dante Valentino and Ryleigh Turner are both survivors and revenge is their only coping mechanism, the only thought that has kept them alive. For different reasons, they have numbed their hearts to love but they share the same purpose in life: justice for their slaughtered families. In the first two chapters they are seen as the product of their environment and upbringing (or lack thereof): a rich, ruthless killer who prides himself in his job, and a badass pole dancer striving to make ends meet; they are two lone wolves who are circling around one another, waiting for the other to make the first move. And Dante is the first to act upon his feelings (albeit unconscious ones) for that strange creature dancing on stage with her scars for all to see. Electricity zings between them from the very first start and in a progression of witty banter, loudest clash of wills ever, an even share of bad, really bad mistakes, we're led to a confrontation scene between them that is nothing but short of epic.

Despite all his self-confidence and self-assuredness, Dante doesnn't stand a chance against Ryleigh's unrelenting drive towards him: her stubborness, her astonishing understanding of the twisted moral codes he lives by, not to mention her willingness to take care of him, slowly but inexorably chip at the defensive walls he has built around his heart. He tries to keep their relationship on a physical level but his struggle to keep her at a distance only results in an almost extenuating push-and-pull game that perfectly mirrors his internal debate whether he should follow his heart's desire or...... Little he knows, his heart has already made up its mind.

This is a standalone in Author Still's Pericolo Series and I am absolutely going to read all the other books, because this one left me breathless.

***ARC received for an honest review***

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Reading Progress

October 10, 2015 – Started Reading
October 10, 2015 – Shelved
October 10, 2015 – Finished Reading

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