Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Angel Zamora has always looked out for numero uno, even after getting sent to prison for robbing a convenience store at knife point. But now two crazy feds show up to tell him he has undeveloped magic. And they want him to inform on a group that has been recruiting and disposing of magic users. When Angel agrees, he expects to play the feds until he can make his own escape plans.
However, once he’s inside the mafia and developing his Talent, he starts to realize that he’s not as concerned about his own skin as he is young Matteo. The only son of the mob boss Mr. Luschese, Matt is even more trapped than Angel. His hot temper, disdain for authority, and deeply in-the-closet attitudes are all so familiar that Angel aches for the young man. A relationship that starts with Angel seeking one more potential advantage quickly turns into Angel’s worst nightmare–a deep sense of commitment to another human being. Escape routes are closing, and Angel fears he is going to end up one more body dumped in the river…and if Angel plays this wrong, Matt could die with him.
Review: Angel Zamora finds himself unable to refuse an offer from the FBI. He isn’t even out of prison yet, and he’s already being punished for something he hasn’t done. Angel is convinced he can play everyone. Not so much. Angel finds out pretty quickly he’s in way over his head. Not only is he in over his head but he can’t really tell who the good guy is. Not that Angel necessarily wants to be good, he just doesn’t want to die. It doesn’t take Angel long to realize he’s not the only one in over his head. Matteo Luschese is the son of the organized crime boss Angel was sent in to take down. So, you know, of course they fall for each other. Unfortunately when Angel does his best to stay alive he triggers a series of chaotic events. Nothing goes as anyone planned.
There are no good guys and everyone has a secret of some kind. Everyone wants something. This is certainly true for this book, but it’s even more true for the series as a whole. I don’t think I had really appreciated how layered the shades of grey were in all the characters until I read this book and had lots of time to dwell on it. I suppose it’s entirely possible I’m reading too much into this, but has Les ever really explained why he left Hawai’i? Even Ahtisham hid the truth about his leg. I think the only character I’m not suspicious of is Coretta. Is it suspicious she’s not really suspicious? I know nothing about her. A good portion of this is, as the reader, I don’t need the backstory of every character ever. However, how much do we really know about the people we work with? How much can we trust the people who are our casual friends and acquaintances? And how much can they trust us? Darren is still dealing with the fallout of his behavior towards Ben Anderson.
Angel is not a good guy and he does some really foul stuff to stay alive. I will never deny Angel does heinous stuff. I also feel it’s really important to keep in perspective he was forced into that position by the FBI. Matteo seems to be positioned as the honorable guy in the relationship. He’s enraged by what happened to his uncle. I do not believe Matteo didn’t know his father was guilty of these types of crimes. If Matteo is so good why didn’t he move to turn his father in years before he did? Angel and Matteo are a well matched couple. One guy committed an assault, the other was complicit in years of assaults.
This book is a good addition to an established series. I enjoyed seeing Darren and Kavon but also enjoyed the focus being about a new couple. It can be read as a standalone, but there is a lot of nuance that makes the book much more satisfying when read after the previous books. At the very least understanding all the magic would be easier if you start at the beginning.