Will she choose him over her family?

Dr. Odessa Valley keeps her nose out of the business of the prolific crime families of the city of Ingold, which is difficult to do when you’re secretly the daughter of James Green, Don of the Green family.

Things become complicated when she performs impromptu surgery on Victor Brand, scion of the Brand crime family, right before tensions heighten when dead bodies begin showing up on Ingold’s docks.

Odessa maintains a delicate balancing act between her loyalty to her family and her burgeoning interest in Victor Brand, keeping them a secret from each other until she’s forced to choose between family and love.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary Mafia romance contains graphic scenes and a theme of power exchange.

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Excerpt

Odessa nodded, swallowing hard.

Victor’s expression went hard for a brief moment. “There is the matter of your dishonesty, however.” Though his words were cold, he said with them with relish.

“Victor,” Odessa said, half-reproving, half-pleading.

“Odessa,” he said in the same tone, almost mocking, though it was softened by the gentle way he wrapped his hands around her wrists.

“You understand why I had to,” Odessa said. Without permission, her voice was becoming softer, cajoling.

Victor hummed. “And so you’ll understand why I’m so unhappy about it,” he said. “Not very pleased with you right now, Odessa.”

Odessa frowned up at him, almost pouting. He thumbed her bottom lip, just a soft stroke over lips chapped from stress and worry.

“Don’t worry,” Victor said, and the smirk that spread over his face was full of promises. “You can make it up to me.”

He spun her around in the same rough way he had earlier, and Odessa choked out a gasp. There was a hand between her shoulder blades then, firm and insistent, and Odessa went down on her elbows onto the kitchen counter.

“What—” she gasped. Victor’s hand splayed warm and wide onto her lower back, and she arched into it without thinking.

“Pretty girl,” Victor said, and Odessa swore his voice had dropped half an octave. She could feel it down to her toes. “Do you trust me?”

Not trusting her voice, Odessa nodded, staring down at her clasped hands.

“Good girl,” Victor said, and there was a gentle nudge to her ankle. Odessa spread her legs wider.

Without any warning, there was a sharp slap to her ass. With a jolt, Odessa’s head popped up and her mouth opened, but no sound came out.

“What do you think?” Victor said conversationally. “Does ten for lying to me for months on end sound fair?”

Odessa’s mouth felt dry. “Y-yes,” she said, her voice high and breathy and embarrassed.

It earned her both of Victor’s hands finding her hips for a brief moment, his thumbs rubbing circles into the dimples in her lower back. It also rucked up her sleep shirt around her waist, baring her panty-covered ass to Victor’s view.

“Good girl,” he said again, and Odessa couldn’t fight the shiver that ran through her at those words.

“You’ll count for me,” he said.

Just as suddenly, there was another sharp slap, and Odessa jolted forward a little and shivered. “One,” she said in a voice that was cracked and breathless.

Another slap, this one on the other cheek. “Two,” she said.

Three and four came in quick succession, and Odessa dropped her forehead onto her hands, breathing in the hot air in the circle of her arms.

Another slap. “Five,” she said on half a whine.

Victor’s hands were soft on her overheated skin. “You’re doing very well,” he said. “Halfway done.”

Odessa nodded, nearly mindless. Six and seven came not on her ass, but on the tops of her thighs, and Odessa bit back a groan.

“C’mon, dorogaya, let me hear you,” Victor said, and Odessa was gratified to hear that his voice was rough too—he was just as affected as she was.

Odessa bit her tongue, but when Victor’s hand found its way between her legs, she couldn’t hold back a soft noise.

“You’re wet,” Victor said. “Is this turning you on, Odessa?”

She didn’t get a chance to answer as eight and nine came swift and hard. Nine managed to force a cry out of Odessa’s throat, and Victor paused for another moment. “Last one,” he said. “You’re doing so well, dorogaya, I promise.”

The last slap was hard, harder than any of the others, and Odessa said, “Ten!” on a half-sob.

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Victor was hauling her up and turning her around, pressing a hard kiss to her mouth and swiping at the traitorous tears that had escaped down her cheeks with his thumbs.

“So good for me; you did so well,” he said, murmuring it into the space between their mouths. “No more lies, Odessa,” and Odessa bobbed her head, a little desperate to have his lips back on hers.

When he kissed her again, Odessa almost fell apart completely.