Synopsis: Michael Valente...My father was the Underboss of an organized crime family. He was murdered when I was a teenager leaving me broken. My mother died in a tragic accident, her death annihilated me. My life was in shambles until Victor Pastore, one of New York’s most notorious gangsters and my late father’s best friend, recruited me to work for him.
Everyone expected me to walk in my father’s shadow, to be the prodigal son, the next big thing to hit the mob. I was torn between filling those expectations and walking the straight line my mother wished I had. Nothing made sense and I felt as if I was just passing through life.
The only beacon of light in my otherwise dark world was the one girl that was off limits to me. The one girl who could bring me to my knees consuming my mind, body and soul.
She’s the sweetest temptation I’ve ever known and the most illicit.
My father’s a gangster. My boyfriend’s is the king of New York’s nightclubs. I am often labeled as Vic’s daughter or Rico’s girl, never just Nikki. I struggle for people to acknowledge me for the woman I am and not for the men in my life. I’m fighting a losing battle.
There is only one person who sees me for me, my Mikey.
He’s hot as hell.
He’s completely unattainable, but oh so tempting.
ILLICIT TEMPTATIONS- PROLOGUE
Present Day: MichaelIt all happened so quickly. I chased the sound of her desperate cries, her dull voice begging for someone to help her. I turn the corner of the abandoned warehouse careful not to make my presence known. I breathe through my mouth because the stench in the air is so vile smelling like piss, death and filth. There is silence. I can’t make out her cry anymore. The only sound I catch is the water dripping from the leak in the roof onto the concrete floor.
Drip. Drip. Drip. “Help me. Dear God, please help me,” she cries out. Her voice sounds weaker than before, as if she’s giving up, resolving that no one will answer her plea for help.
I step in something sticky forcing me to glance down at my foot that is now covered in blood. My eyes follow the trail of crimson to the dead body that is decomposing in the corner. I want to scream. My gut clenches thinking of all the horrors my girl must have been exposed to and how it’s all my fault.
I failed her.
I won’t fail her now. Never again.
I take a few more steps, hiding behind a palette of wooden crates, peaking between them, I spot her. My girl. She’s sitting in a metal chair. Her wrists are tied behind her back and her ankles are tied together. Her head is down so I can’t see her face but I notice she’s still wearing the same clothes as she was the day they took her. I silently will her to lift her head. I need to get a look at her face. I need to see she’s okay.
“No one’s here to save you sweetheart.” I hear a taunting voice speak to her.
I’m here to save her you fuck.
His body comes into my view as he stands in front of her, slowly bending so they’re eye level. I watch, struggling not to do anything stupid, hearing Vic’s voice in my head reminding me not to be a cowboy.
Her life is at stake.
He cups her face not so gently and forces her to look up at him. He blocks my view of her so I shift to my right hoping to catch a glimpse.
“My father will kill you.” She shouts. “Do you hear me? He will kill you! Just let me go.”
He laughs. “Your father can’t save you little girl just like he couldn’t save his best man. And when you’re dead, he won’t do anything either just like he didn’t after I killed Val. Daddy’s not in control anymore, you’re at my mercy.”
I freeze for a moment at the mention of my father. The man who has his back to me, the man torturing my girl, is the same man who killed my father. I didn’t even have a chance to process the information because his hand reared back and slapped Nikki across her face. He takes a step backward, and she comes into my view, lifting her head slowly. Her eye make up is running down her face. One of her cheeks is red, branded from that son of a bitch’s hand and yet she’s still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.
Something is triggered inside of me and I know it’s time to end this nightmare. I straighten my posture, my hand securely holding my gun at my side. Slowly I lift my hands, my gun cocked aiming the barrel of it straight at the back of the enemy’s head. I look at Nikki once more, she’s all the strength I need to pull the trigger. She turns her head, her dull brown eyes meet mine and for the slightest moment I see life reborn in them.
I take one hand off my gun and lift a finger to my lips, signaling her to stay silent. I want the motherfucker to be surprised when I riddle him with bullets. I hold her gaze and hope she trusts I won’t let anything else happen to her.
I’m here Princess
You’re safe now.
I gradually step around the pallet I was hiding behind and creep up behind him, keeping a steady eye on my girl. I wrap my finger around the trigger. This is it. I’m about to kill a man. I’m about to put someone else’s blood on my hands. I am about to walk in my father’s shoes.
I avert my eyes to the back of my target's head, tearing my gaze away from Nikki. I lift the gun and then it happens…
“Mikey watch out!!” She screams.
I pull the trigger.
All of a sudden my gun isn’t the only one going off in the warehouse. The sound of gunfire erupts as I watch my bullet pierce my victim. I turn toward Nikki, hurrying to make my way to her. My victim falls face forward onto the floor, a single shot to the head killing him instantly. Nikki screams out as his blood splatters onto her. She’s shaking her head screaming no as I struggle to make my way to her.
“Mikey Get down!!” She screams through her sobs.
I don’t fully comprehend what she’s saying. I think I’m still reeling from the fact that the man I put a bullet in was about to kill her— just like he killed my old man. All I cared about was taking her in my arms and holding onto her for dear life. I needed to touch her, to feel her, to know she really was okay.
She is shaking her head violently forcing me to focus on what she is trying to warn me of. I glance over my shoulder, eyes wide as I see the ambush Victor and his men are taking part in, guns blazing as they seek revenge on the rival family that held his daughter captive for two days.
They don’t go down easily and men start appearing from all over the warehouse, firing back at Victor and his gang. I lift my gun, ready to help Victor, out of the corner of my eye I notice a man to my left, his gun aimed at Nikki. I keep my gun aimed at the men firing against Victor and look over my shoulder towards my girl. She’s oblivious to the gun pointed at her and there is little she could do to protect herself since she’s still tied to the chair. I walk backwards towards her, debating if I have time to take out the gunman.
I turn my gun towards the man aiming at Nikki but he pulls the trigger.
I’m too late.
“No!” I hear myself cry out as I run, attempting beat the speed of the bullet. I dive on top of her, my body shielding hers, knocking her and the chair she is tied to backwards as the bullet sears through my flesh.
I’m here Princess. You’re safe.
The gun slips from my hand as I roll off Nikki. I stare up at the ceiling. I hear her crying beside me, I try to reach for her hand but I can’t move. The heat sears through my body. I’m trying to contain the blood, but it pours from my wound uncontrollably. There are more gunshots fired. I hear Nikki’s cries become muffled until everything fades to black.
#ILLICITTEMPTATIONS IS #FREE
ABOUT JANINE INFANTE BOSCO
Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.