I hungered to be seen.
There were three things I knew about Capo Macchiavello:
He was gorgeous.
He was reclusive.
He was considered one of New York’s most savage animals.
And he wanted me as his wife. A simple arrangement – you do for me, I do for you. Nothing owed, no expectations. Except for one: never leave.
Life was never that simple, though. By the age of twenty-one, I was parentless, jobless, and homeless, and I had come to learn the hard way that nothing was ever free. Even kindness comes with strings.
Capo might’ve been the only man to ever see me, but I had made a vow to myself: I would never owe anyone anything. Most of all, the man I called boss.
I killed to stay hidden.
Mariposa Flores thought she owed nothing to no one, but she owed everything…to me, the ghost the world had once called The Machiavellian Prince of New York.
Machiavellian is the first of three books set in the savage world of the Gangsters of New York series.
I shrugged, the white button-down shirt tugging at my shoulders. “Some things are not worth trading in, no matter how old they are.” I pointed to the building we were slowing in front of. “We’re home, Mariposa.”
“Home,” she repeated, turning to face the window. “You live next to a fire station! Sweet. That’ll come in handy when I cook you dinner.” She became quiet as Giovanni hit a button on the dash and the garage door lifted. “You own this entire building?”
“It’s not what I expected.”
“What did you expect?”
“The bat cave?”
“How do you know about the bat cave?”
“Keely’s brothers. I was over once when they watched that movie.”
I gave a low laugh, burying the thought of Harry Boy further down. “Not a place shiny enough to blind you?”
Why did the fucker still affect my words?
She narrowed her eyes at me. “No, I just thought…something in Manhattan. A penthouse.” Then she grinned, my words sinking in. “Still, this is far from a paper house.”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.”
“The big bad wolf dressed in a fine Italian suit.” She touched my hand, her fingers as soft as her lips, where the wolf tattoo seemed to snarl underneath the lights of the garage. “I should’ve known.”
Her eyes drifted to my lips, then back up to my eyes, and when she couldn’t hold my stare any longer, she started to fiddle with my tie. Nervous hands, like flitting wings.
Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.
Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs.
Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.
She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to reach out.