If Mario Puzo and Jane Austen crossed the time-space continuum and mated, FIRST, I LOVE YOU would be their literary baby.
Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.
Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.
One part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, FIRST, I LOVE YOU isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.
FIRST, I LOVE YOU is available in print and digital format at all major eBook retailers.
“You don’t have much respect for me do you?” Kiki asked.
“On the contrary, if I ever need to know which shoes to wear to match my tie, you’d be the first person I call. If I had your number,” James said, trying to temper the sarcasm with a charming smile.
“I’m sure you already have it, along with all the other boring background check facts you recited earlier,” she rejoined, still making no move to retreat.
James admired her nerve. Maybe this princess had a bit of her father’s steel in her after all.
“That would defeat the purpose of you giving it to me,” he said.
“What purpose would that be? And you still haven’t answered my question,” she retorted.
“How about you answer one of mine first?” James asked then chuckled as she raised an eyebrow in a pretty good impression of her father. “Why would you invite your father’s old mistress to your party when she is not related to you, was no doubt the source of great pain and embarrassment for your own mother, and her presence, youhad to know, would be unwelcome with at least a few of your guests?”
“I already explained my reasons to my brother. And his opinion is the only one I care about; certainly not a rude, presumptuous, party crashing boar like yourself. You don’t know a damn thing about me,” she answered, dark eyes glittering with anger.
“What I know is there’s a lot of big important grown up things going on and the last thing Tommy needs is his spoiled little sister playing games with his family, and distracting him from this case,” he said with perhaps a bit more heat than he meant but the smell of her hair and the glittering of her lip-gloss with the hall lights was distracting him and he was trying to keep his mind on the task at hand.
“How dare you? You’re the outsider here! It’s you who should butt the hell out of my family’s private issues! And you’ve the nerve to say we can be of use to each other? Why the fuck should I help you with anything?” Kiki ground out.
“Tisk, tisk, such language, little girl,” James said with a smirk. By God, she was beautiful, he couldn’t help but think. “How about we go back to your place and discuss this like rational adults,” he finished in a playful yet suggestive tone.
She let out a huff, clearly nonplussed by his forwardness. Then something flashed in her eyes, a sort of calculating, cynical and predatory look that had him feeling momentarily nonplussed himself.
“Alright. Let me say good bye to my guests. You obviously already know where I live. I’ll meet you there in a half hour,” Kiki said, cool and collected once more.
It was more like an hour when she arrived at her door, but who was counting? They said nothing to each other as she let him inside. James looked around her one bedroom apartment and thought it was nothing like he’d expected. He’d expected lots of pink or maybe something trendy with splashy colors. It was all cool metals, finished wood, and retro 50’s style furniture. Frank Lloyd Wright stills peppered the room and books lined the entirety of one wall. Her windows were left uncovered and the city lights cast interesting reflections in the room. She threw her shawl and little clutch purse on the butterfly chair by the bookshelves. Then she walked up to him and grabbed his holster. He stopped her hand.
“What are you doing?” James asked, his discomfort at having underestimated her twice in one evening making him irrationally angry.
“You should make yourself more comfortable,” Kiki said seductively.
“I thought we came here to talk?” he prevaricated, as he took his jacket, gun and badge off.
He could tell she was playing some sort of game and it spiked his irritation up a notch. His mood was all over the place, actually. There was frustration at the blocked opportunities by his partners and Downey to further the case tonight, mixed with his desire for her, the self-disgust that that brought, the irritation with her childish interference, the discomfort of knowing she was right that it wasn’t his business what went on between her and her family.
But now she had decided to take his sexual sparring and call his bluff. Except he wasn’t bluffing. Did she think he would be scared off from her family this way? Maybe that would work with her usual limp wristed boy toys or the gumbahs who were probably too afraid of her Daddy to actually make a move, but not with him.
James hooked an arm behind her back and yanked her towards him. She gasped and put her free hand on his chest, but she didn’t push him away. She kept looking at him, eyes still full of challenge and no fear. It was like something snapped in his brain and all he wanted was to wipe that look from her eyes, to make her realize lives weren’t to be played with, manipulated. To give her a taste of her own medicine.
He gripped the back of her neck with his other hand and crushed his mouth to hers. She met his kisses with equal fervor, pressing up against him. He let go of her waist and neck and began a rough exploration of her body, not bothering to be gentle. She sunk her hands into his hair and gripped painfully. Whether to give as good as she got or from passion he didn’t know. All he knew was his body was on fire for her and all he could think about was sinking into her.
Genevieve Dewey is the author of The Downey Trilogy (First, I Love You & Second of All) and the short stories Bird Day Battalion & V-Day Aversion. She is a wife, mother, sister, friend and Anthropologist. She was raised mostly in Nebraska, partly in Arizona. She has a Master’s in Anthropology and worked as an Applied Anthropologist for years (even ran her own research company for a while) before deciding to be a stay at home mom. She loves passionate (rational) debates, reading, and libraries… oh, and Chicago and high-heels and chocolate and target practice and gangster flicks and anything with the FBI in it and run-on sentences. She lives in Nebraska with her three brilliantly diabolical children and one incredibly funny husband.
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