Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham (Ruthless)

          Title: The Italian’s Inexperienced Mistress
          Author: Lynne Graham
          Release Date: January 15, 2014
          Publisher: Harlequin Presents
          Category: Contemporary Romance
          Type: Digital, Audio, Paperback, Hardcover


When Angelo Riccardi sought revenge Gwenna Hamilton added another, delicious dimension.

Innocent and pretty, she had no chance when the Italian tycoon offered her the devil’s bargain: pay for her father’s freedom with her body. In her naiveté, Gwenna thought that Angelo would tire of her and her innocence very quickly. But he had more in mind than just one night.

Excerpt:             (from the Lynne Graham website)

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

ANGELO RICCARDI climbed out of his limousine, a heavy-duty vehicle armoured with reinforced panels and bulletproof glass, built to withstand a rocket attack. The heat outside was relentless. His sunglasses screening his hard dark gaze from the bright Venezuelan sunlight, he ignored the uneasy chatter of the English intermediary sent to greet him at the airport. While he understood the man’s tension he was also irritated by it.
Angelo had not experienced fear since childhood and the shame of it had been beaten out of him. He had known loathing, rage and bitterness, but fear no longer had the power to touch him. His relentless rise to power and influence had featured in hundreds of magazines and newspaper features, but his birth and parentage had always been shrouded in a haze of uncertainty. When he was eighteen he had been told the truth about his ancestry. Any idealistic notions he’d had had died that same day when his chosen career had become a complete impossibility. With every successive year that had passed since then he had grown tougher, colder and more ruthless. He had used his brilliant intellect and razor-sharp instincts to build a huge business empire. That he had not had to break the law to become a billionaire was a harsh source of pride to him.
‘There’s a colossal security presence here,’ his companion, Harding, muttered uneasily.
It was true, Angelo acknowledged. Armed guards were everywhere: on the rooftops of the ranch buildings, in every manicured clump of trees or bushes, their state of alert palpable. ‘It should make you feel safe,’ Angelo quipped.
‘I won’t feel safe until I’m back home again,’ Harding confided, mopping his round, perspiring face.
‘Perhaps this was not the job for you.’
He dealt Angelo a look of dismay. ‘Believe me, I meant no offence. I’m delighted to be of service.’
Angelo said nothing. He was surprised that such a man had been chosen to act as middleman in a secret meeting. But then, how many outwardly respectable men accepted the kind of undercover favours that forced them into uncomfortable repayments? He strode into the cool air-conditioned interior of the opulent ranch house where a lantern-jawed older man awaited him. Harding was dismissed like a lackey of no consequence, while Angelo was looked over and greeted with a level of respectful curiosity that bordered on awe.
‘It is a very great pleasure to meet you, Mr Riccardi,’ the older man declared in Italian. ‘I’m Salvatore Lenzi. Don Carmelo is eager to see you.’
‘How is he?’
The other man grimaced. ‘His condition is stable at present but it’s unlikely that he has more than a couple of months left.’
Lean, handsome features taut, Angelo nodded. He had thought long and hard before he had agreed to visit and the old man’s declining health had provided the spur. The infamous Carmelo Zanetti, head of one of the most notorious crime families in the world, was a stranger to him. Yet Angelo had never been able to forget that the same blood that ran in Carmelo Zanetti’s veins ran in his own.
The elderly man lay propped up in a hospital-style bed surrounded by medical equipment. His face was lined with ill health. Breathing stentorously, he feasted his clouded dark gaze on Angelo and sighed. ‘I can’t tell you that you look like your mother because you don’t. Fiorella was tiny…‘


Angelo is a self-made billionaire. He has painstakingly made each and every business transaction above the law. It isn’t public knowledge, but he is the grandson of a mafia boss and, though the tainted blood runs through his veins, he refuses to operate outside of the law. He has kept himself away from that life purposely until he finally meets with is grandfather in an effort to fill in the blanks – many unanswered questions he has about certain aspects of his life. Though he confidently maintains that he is nothing like his blood relation, when he finds out the man responsible for his mother’s demise, he teeters on a very thin thread of morality in the way that he deals with the lecher. After plans have been set into motion, he encounters a woman who commands his attention in a way he has never before experienced. And then she refuses him; something that never happens to the suave Angelo. Her refusal stokes a need for her and discovering that she is the daughter of the man he is systematically destroying, another plan takes shape. He strikes a bargain with Gwenna, fully intending on using her for as long as she holds his interest and then discarding her. But Gwenna and her stark differences from the world and women Angelo has known ends up captivating him. Before too long it is Angelo who is in danger of Gwenna’s hold on him. If not for her misguided sense of loyalty toward her father, she would never have found herself in the demeaning position of Angelo’s mistress. Not bad enough that she has thrown her morals out the window with this deal, her sexual attraction to the man cannot be quashed no matter how great her annoyance with him. As irritation develops into much more, a bond is formed between the two. But that link may not be strong enough to whether the unfolding of the web of lies and deceit that have surrounded an unknowing Gwenna; deceit that has led Angelo into decisions he swore he would never make. 

I’m at somewhat of an impasse with this book. While I enjoyed the characters Angelo and Gwenna, I found some fault with the story the interfered with my reading. Their language was  … I don’t know … off, I guess, from how I expected them to speak. Angelo has zero hint at being Italian other than the fairly frequent Italian endearment or assumed expletive. Gwenna says things like “my word” and calls her mother “mum”, yet fails to demonstrate anything else in her behavior that gives credibility to such wording. Angelo at some point is “atop” Gwenna and I truly have no idea where that words fits at all. I wasn’t reading a Regency, so why “atop” was used is beyond me. His story is that he knew very little English when he was sent away to school. With frequent use of Italian words, when he popped off with “Oh please”, I was confused. The word “chill” was placed in a random place and even after reading that particular page several times, I could not figure out why it had been used. Perhaps I am just confusing everyone else right now. But when I am reading a book, I want to get lost as I rush through the pages in an effort to place myself somewhere within the story. But when I have to stop on several occasions to think to myself that the language just used was not true to the characters, that tilts my axis, and ultimately interferes with my reading enjoyment. Had the dialogue remained consistent with the characters presented, I would have easily rated this book a 4. The story was solid, the conflict present, and the characters flawed yet likeable. It is a shame that this small issue even had to occur because the book was actually quite entertaining. I’m bummed and will likely be cautious with any future reads by Ms. Graham until I have a chance to identify whether or not this problem was a fluke, associated only with this particular story.

Kindle version purchased for personal library

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