Author: Kitty Thomas
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Rating: 5/5 Star
Faith Jacobson was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After witnessing a mob hit, she’s only moments from death when Angelo Raspallo decides to give his brother an unlikely gift.
Leo has avoided involvement with the family business, but it doesn’t make him a saint. He’s troubled and ashamed by his darker sexual desires, one of which is to own a slave. But when his brother throws Faith at his feet, repainting the scenario to make Leo the hero rescuing her from certain death, his moral fortitude will be tested. If Faith were kinky, it would be easy to live out his fantasy, but she’s not—not even a little bit. Even the mildest spanking sparks terror in her that Leo can’t bear.
The gift soon becomes a burden as he fights with himself over how to handle the addition to his home. He could release her, but his brother doesn’t do loose ends. The only thing keeping her out of the bottom of the harbor is Leo’s mercy. She’s like a beautiful piece of art he keeps in a glass case but can never touch. Is possessing her enough?
Author’s Note: Mafia Captive has more of a love theme than many other Kitty titles, though the work is still quite psychologically dark. Readers may also notice a “new adult” flavor as Faith is just out of college and trying to find her place in the world when she is thrust into Leo’s life and home.
Mafia Captive thoroughly captivated me. As per the author’s note, it is not like her other books, and if you are a Kitty fan, you can easily see the differences. The theme remains expressively dark, but the male leading character Leo is much more compassionate than the other male characters in her previous books. A reader can easily fall in love with him, very much like this reviewer has done. The feel of the book remains ominous, and the themes of exploring ownership over another person remains consistent in this book as with the author’s previous works.
But with Mafia Captive there is a sweet change in the writing…more of a romantic and empathetic quality. Angelo and Leo are brothers, and they grew up believing that family was everything and ALWAYS came first. Angelo is involved in the family business aka the mafia. Leo however is not and disapproves of everything that the mafia stands for. But even though he disapproves of the family’s illegal activity, his belief that family comes first will always remain first and foremost.
Angelo is the crueler brother. He kills a man one night, only to find that a young woman by the name of Faith witnesses the murder. But this particular woman is special. Her outward physical appearance has all the qualifications of what his brother Leo wants in a woman. So instead of killing her, he “gifts” her to his brother Leo as an early Christmas present. I’m sure Angelo, in his own psychotic way of thinking, believes that this is a wonderful gesture on his part.
But although his brother Leo is very much the “good brother”, he can be quite wicked in other ways. You see, Leo doesn’t do normal vanilla relationships. His ultimate fantasy is to own a woman and for her to completely submit to him and the sexual lifestyle that he enjoys.
When Leo meets Faith for the first time, it is with both disbelief and trepidation. Disbelief because she looks to be everything he desires in a woman. Trepidation because if he doesn’t satisfy him, then his brother will kill her because she is a witness to the murder.
Leo is tormented by the fact that even though Faith seems to be everything he wants, she does not satisfy him sexually. In fact, Faith is terrified of Leo and is fearfully intimidated at what he expects from her sexually. Faith is vanilla with a capital V, and nothing that Leo does seems to help her relax and let go of her fears. She stutters almost all the words in her sentences and slowly withers from apprehension at the hopelessness of her situation.
Meanwhile, you can’t help but feel sorry for Leo. In fact I had more sympathy for him than I did Faith. Here, the poor man was trapped in keeping someone who did not even want him, even after trying to be kind to her while slowly introducing her to this new world. He gives her space and leaves her alone, sending her to the opposite end of his large mansion just so she feels comfortable. After several failed attempts to form a relationship with her, Leo no longer asks Faith to involve herself with him. Leo is trapped with a woman he can’t have and a woman who can’t leave his home either. If she does leave, her life is forfeit, and Angelo has no qualms about killing a witness. Family comes first, and Leo will protect his brother while protecting Faith by keeping her. But this leaves Leo lonely for a companion, and the companion that he fantasizes about lives in his own home but he can’t have.
Things get complicated when Angelo finds out that his “gift” is not cooperative , and the threats against Faith increases the already complicated and volatile situation. Add that to a week-long visit from his close-knit Italian family and things get downright lively.
I really wish I could talk more about the book, but to do so would give away major spoilers. Needless to say, the book was a wonderful read, and it has quite a few delightful and comical parts to it. The plot was strong and the story engaging, and I was easily pulled in by the plight of Leo and Faith’s relationship and how it digressed and eventually progressed. Angelo, not so much. I didn’t like Angelo. :-/