Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Arrangement Tour with Review, Promo, Excerpt and Giveaway

The Arrangement
by: Bethany Kris
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
When a Cosa Nostra girl and a Bratva boy meet...

Blurb ~ Nothing will stop the Bratva mob boss from taking back what’s his, and once he has her, he’ll do anything to keep her…

Viviana “Vine” Carducci’s and Anton Avdonin’s marriage was decided more than two decades ago. The deal between leading mafia families has more on the line than anyone knew, even if the Bratva and Cosa Nostra shouldn’t mix. When Vine’s family is murdered and she’s left with nothing more than her grief to survive the mob world alone, she believes the arrangement won’t see the light of day.

Anton can’t allow the one woman he was supposed to love get away. At the possibility of her death, he steps in to save her with guns blazing, knowing exactly what it might cost him: everything. But it’s been nearly a decade since their last meeting, and he can’t help but wonder if the woman he took back is the same girl he fell for all those years before.

Protected and loved, Vine is unable to forget their shared moments a lifetime ago, or the future she knows they’re owed. When an old flame of Anton’s shows up to rip the veil off the carefully constructed secrets he’d been hiding, she learns that nothing about her life is as it seems. But, that’s nothing compared to the bomb about to blow. Can Vine see beyond the pain and blood to take what she always wanted? And just how far will the mob prince go to keep her safe?

In a world where violence, deceit, and greed reign, your life is not your own, and sometimes, love has to be arranged.

“Why all the safety precautions if you’re expecting me to live openly here?” she asked. “Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?”
Anton cocked a brow. “I’m hoping your uncle will be a lot less brazen if I’m not keeping you hidden.” He still hadn’t let go of her sides, those teasing thumbs of his rolling gently against the undersides of her breasts in tender motions. “Deny that you want this, too, Vine. You’ve always wanted me. You want this life because you were meant for it, and I have waited more than long enough to get you here living it with me.”
“You’re not giving me a choice. I’ve spent the last three years thinking that this arrangement was over, and then you come in with guns blazing and a house on lockdown, Anton. That’s … It’s not fair. You signed my death warrant doing this.”
Immediately, his hands left her skin. She wanted them back, but her pride wouldn’t allow her to admit that fact. “It was already signed.”
Placing his hands to his knees, Anton shook his head and muttered, “He was already getting ready to put out a hit on you. That guard of yours was probably going to be the one to do it to get his in with the family. I was hoping to see you back in the states before I approached you myself, but Sonny didn’t give me the chance.”
No one likes to off a woman, Vine.
She couldn’t help but remember Sam saying that. Would he have done it?
“You can’t possibly know that for sure.”
The look he gave turned her stomach with fear. “I can and I do, Vine. There are men in that organization who are less trustworthy than a snake. Even their eyes and ears can be bought. I stepped in now because I needed to, not because I thought you were ready, or that you wanted me to.”
An ache settled in her chest. How was she supposed to trust him?
“Sonny wouldn’t kill me simply because I wanted to marry you, Anton. I’m not worth a damn thing to him alive, nothing more than a nuisance he has to look after.” Frustrated by his lack of expression, her bitterness rose. “Dead I’m worth even less though, right?”
“Dead you’re worth nothing,” Anton admitted, hurting Viviana a little more. “That is exactly what your uncle wants to achieve. For secrets to remain hidden from his family and for his power to remain intact.”
That only left her more disturbed, emotions rolling from one thing to the next without ever landing on just one feeling. “Our families won’t merge now, regardless if we’re married or not. So you lied to me earlier when you said that’s what this was about. A marriage is only going to cause more issues. I’m worthless to the Bratva; you practically said so yourself.”
“No, you’re worth a great deal, especially if you’re married to me.”
But, why?
“You’re hiding something from me,” she realized, hurt that he was lying again, even if it was by omission. Viviana couldn’t decide which stung worse—that he didn’t trust her, or that he thought she didn’t deserve to know whatever it was. “What aren’t you saying?”
Anton looked stricken, fingers drumming a quick beat on his thighs. “I gave them my word. It was supposed to be them explaining this to you if they desired to—all the reasons and things that happened years ago. It’s not my story to tell, and I promised. My word is all I’m worth if you consider the way I live; without it, I have nothing.”
Reaching out, he cupped a hand over her knee and ran it along the inside of her jittery leg. With his fingers moving so softly against her inner thigh, he pressed his fingertips close enough to her center to make Viviana throb with need. Murmuring, he said, “Can’t you try to trust me? Viviana, you know me … you do.”
She ignored his plea. “Who, Anton?” His fingers pressed harder at her words, grip tightening when Viviana refused to react to his motions. What she really wanted was more. So much more of his hands on her body, but she didn’t dare speak that out loud. “Was it my father, or Nicoli? Who?”
“I can’t answer that right now.” With that, he stood and held out a hand for her to take. “Come, I’ll get you back in bed for the evening. Let you rest and get the last of that sedative out of your system. I promise you’ll feel better in the morning.”
Too exhausted to argue, her palm met his. Anton’s lips touched down to Viviana’s fingers in a flutter of movement. She wouldn’t have noticed the quick kiss had she not felt the heat of his mouth brushing along her sensitive skin. She might as well have been sixteen and falling for him all over again.
Viviana couldn’t figure out if she was willing enough to let him do it. It didn’t help that she wasn’t all too sure if she knew this man anymore. Was he the same one she wanted all those years ago? Had his feelings remained the same nearly a decade later … was that even possible? Could someone want another that much?
What was even more frightening was that with his blue eyes watching, and his hand connected with hers, waiting, Anton still felt like hers.
Just like he always had.

My Review 
March 26. 2014
★★★✩3.5 Mobster Lovin’ Stars

Copy Provided by Author for Honest Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. I think I was expecting something different or at least different in the main characters. Where I assumed this was a mob-romance (and it is) the more hardcore elements and stereotypical elements were missing. Sure there are scenes of violence and murder but to me it fell a bit flat. Not to say the story was bad, just not what I was expecting. 

The main characters were a bit of an annoyance for me. I hoped that Viviana AKA Vine would have more of a backbone or at least develop one in order to live in the mob life but the passion that drives her seems to weaken early on. She went from a defiant and badass chick to someone who basically did everything she was told. I understand she felt it was necessary to mind herself in this new life but she lost part of herself at the same time. Having grown up and witnessed this life only from a Italian family rather than Russian one would assume Vine would know to be strong and worthy of her man, but I didn’t feel it. Personally she grew into a tamable puppy and where it helped ease the story along it just wilted a bit for me. 

Aside from my dislike of Viviana the story itself was interesting and the pace was steady. Vine is stolen from her home and brought back to New York where she is supposed to marry an old flame and someone who she was promised to as a young girl. Mob-life runs differently than ours and Vine knows the best thing she could do is follow her family’s wishes. Not to mention she has to fear an uncle with a grudge.  That’s where Anton comes in the most. Not only can he offer Viviana protection but he can have what’s his: her.  After a steamy hookup when they were still teenagers, Anton knew there was something special about Vine and she would be his when the time is right… Now is that time. 

The greatest issue Anton and Vine face is having and keeping a relationship with all the threats that being together and Anton being the Don hold. He may be in charge but together they have to be strong and not show fear. Money is power but so is being the most fearsome and steadfast Don, and that’s just who Anton sets out to be. Anton is a man who won’t let anyone stand between him and Vine even if that man is her relative.  Should that enemy try and hurt her, well the gloves come off and things get messy. 

Overall this was an interesting mob-style read. I wasn’t overall thrilled with the mob lifestyle, I expected more fights, explosions, something. And I also felt slighted by the romance that happens too quick and felt weak. All that aside I was still kept engaged and entertained till the very end. If you like your men on the wrong side of the law, wielding a power that will probably get them killed then I highly recommend The Arrangement. Immerse into a world where Brooklyn becomes the home of the mob and no one is safe, not even your heart.


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