Waste of Worth: The DeLuca Duet, Part One
by Bethany-Kris DeLuca Duet #1
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
Genres: Adult, Mafia, Romance, Organized Crime
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2iOapQG
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iKnojZ
Synopsis: DeLuca Duet, Part OneAsk anyone and they will all say the same thing about just who Dino DeLuca is. A criminal, the son of a traitor, and a mafia Capo who can’t be trusted. His past has shaped his life, creating demons he can’t escape from that live in his mind day and night. He is all too aware of just how people see him. Closed off. Cold. Different. He doesn’t care—keeping people out means no one can get close enough to hurt him again, and he already has one too many monsters with their claws stuck in his back that he’s still fighting off. His walls are so high, no one is climbing over them. Or so he thinks … Karen came into his life like a spring shower, her light shining through the darkness and making him see something other than the hell that surrounded him for so long. She doesn’t know who he is or what he has done to become the man he is today. If he can help it, she’ll never know, and his monsters will never hurt her. She sees his differences as beauty. She never asks for more. She is perfect. The problem with happiness for Dino DeLuca is that his monsters don’t mind taking away what makes him happy. After all, what isn’t given cannot be kept. These lessons will be the hardest he has ever learned. AUTHOR’S NOTE: The DeLuca Duet is a two book tale following the same couple through their journey. It is a standalone Duet that can be read independently with a HEA ending.
To some it probably seemed stupid for him to talk to a grave, his mother’s body was rotting in a casket six feet under, and her soul was gone high above, likely.
But it helped.
Very few things helped Dino.
Knowing he had to go and chat with Riley Conti for the sake of peace and business, Dino said a quiet goodbye to his mother, giving the headstone one more pat with his hand before he stood straight. Dino fixed his jacket as he weaved in and out of the other markers, careful not to step on the graves as that was just disrespectful to the dead.
And he’d kill any f*cking fool who stepped on his mother’s grave.
He’d just stepped onto the stone pathway heading back toward the parking lot of the church when a something rammed back into him from behind.
The quiet ommpf sound was followed by a quick apology.
Dino spun on his heel, coming face to face with a young woman that held a large camera in her hands and eyes so wide he was pretty sure he would be able to see his reflection in the brown depths if he looked hard enough. She was pretty—beautiful, even—in an unassuming way with her earthy-toned clothing and her long, caramel-colored hair tied up in a messy bun at the very top of her head. The sunglasses on her head fell down over her face, hiding those eyes of hers, as she took another step backward.
She pushed the sunglasses back to the crown of her head.
Dino was still staring at her, quite unsure of what to do.
“You okay?” he asked.
The woman nodded, smiling just a bit.
That led his attention to the gentle curve of her pink lips, and the way her shoulder lifted at the same time.
“My fault,” she replied. “I was walking backward to get the right shot—missed you coming out from behind the statue. Nice day for photos, though, so I couldn’t help myself. I get the best ones in the cemeteries.”
Dino’s brow furrowed.
She talked a lot.
He barely talked at all, even when he was forced into conversation.
Maybe that was why he felt so awkward standing there, unsure of what to say or if she even wanted him to.
“I saw you, though,” the girl continued. “Over there, right?”
She pointed back toward his mother’s grave.
Dino just blinked. “Uh.”
She didn’t seem the slightest bit put off by his lack of communication, instead, rolling right on with whatever she had to say next.
“It makes me curious when I’m photographing cemeteries and see people talking to graves or whatever, and I almost stop them to chat, but never do. It wouldn’t be right.”
Yet, there she was, talking to him.
That was not lost on Dino.
She stuck her hand out, offering it to him.
“Karen Martin,” she said.
Dino’s gaze flicked down at her hand, and without his permission, lifted his own to take hers. There was a warmth to her skin that wasn’t in his, he noticed. They were both outside, so there was no real reason for the temperature difference.
Karen smiled widely. “You should tell me your name, it’s only fair.”
“Dino,” he said, surprised at how quietly his name came out.
“Do you come here often?”
Again, he answered, more honestly than perhaps he should have spoken. “Once a week usually to visit my mother.”
That brightness in her features dimmed just a bit, but she still managed a smile.
Dino couldn’t help but notice that it was a beautiful smile.
Even when it was sad.
“Can I make a confession, Dino?” Karen asked.
Dino eyed her, both curious and a little wary of her sunny disposition while she stood chatting happily in the middle of a cemetery with a man she didn’t know from Eve.
“Go for it, Karen.”
“Me bumping into you wasn’t really an accident,” she said with a wink. “You looked sad—I wanted to see if I could make you smile.”
He wasn’t quite sure what to make of that.
Karen shrugged her one shoulder again, letting go of his hand and pointing at his face as she took a step backward. “And you are, Dino. Smiling, I mean.”
Karen laughed a sweet sound that reminded him of a melody, floating in the wind and being carried further away. “Have a great day, Dino. And if you need to smile next Sunday, I might be around.”
Before he could reply, Karen was already gone back up the pathway, and disappearing behind a rather large statue in the cemetery.
It took two minutes for Dino to get back to his car.
His reflection in the driver’s window confirmed Karen’s statement.
He was smiling.
How strange …
Bethany-Kris, shoulda’ known that this is how you want to roll, eh? LOL
If you’re not familiar with Bethany-Kris’ work, I’ll tell you now that she doesn’t like easy. She likes to put her MCs thru as much as wringer as she can and I loved her for that. So be warned, that you need to be in the right mood to read her. Probably the only reason why this didn't get the max ratings for me. Not that there was anything wrong with it. It just made me too on-edge waiting for the other shoe to drop when I wasn't prepared to be that nervous. Anyhoot, If you’re looking for fluffy, you may want to put this off. Just sayin…
This was told entirely from Dino’s perspective, and I found that I “enjoyed” that. I liked being in his head. I saw his fears first hand, what motivates him even though I question some of them. I liked how he saw Karen, which made me fall in love with her as much as he did.
Karen may feel nondescript but she’s not, if that makes sense. You only really see her when with Dino, but those times showed me she’s a h I like. She’s very easy-going but doesn’t pull punches when it came to Dino. To be that accepting of him, without strings, Dino was def one lucky dude.
The world Dino lives in is all kind of wrong, as you can expect, I suppose, in the mafia world. While most mafia stories (or specifically romance) glorifies the “good things” in it such as honor, family and tradition, this doesn’t. It’s a cruel world that once anyone is sucked in, whether by choice or not, there is no turning back. At least that’s how Dino lives it. And I don’t blame him.
How do you find then your HEA in such a world?
This is only the first book so of course their story was not finished yet. There’s a glimpse of book 2 at the end. It seems it’s Karen’s POV this time. I hope I continue to like Karen, first and foremost. But more importantly, I can’t wait to read the sh!t that Dino will rain on those people.
#PREORDER YOUR COPY OF WORTH OF WASTE, DELUCA DUET: PART TWO, AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 6th!
Worth of Waste: The DeLuca Duet, Part Two
Synopsis: DeLuca Duet, Part TwoThe Chicago Mob is the same as it has always been—violent, greedy, and excessive. The Outfit families have turned their backs when they were needed the most one too many times, but Dino DeLuca didn’t expect anything different. His whole life has been lived for the Outfit—for his family. He has a whole new set of reasons to live and fight now. Karen Martin makes Dino change all the rules. He’s finally ready to show everyone just how much waste is truly worth in the mafia, and just how far one will go for freedom from it all. He’s learned these lessons well. Too well. Author’s Note: The DeLuca Duet is a standalone duet with a HEA ending that can be read independently.
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
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