My mafia family rejected our love.
So I loved him all the more.
When I was forced to leave I took my secret with me.
Now I’m back. And I’m not alone.
This forbidden love affair is about to start a war.
They call me a thug. Vengeful. Fierce.
And I don’t give a f*ck.
I’m here to make things right with Julia.
The only woman I’ve ever wanted.
And the only one I could never have.
Her ruthless uncle wants to take me down.
And he’ll use Julia to get his way.
Let the b*astard try. This time nothing comes between us – or my son.
The world will finally accept our love – even if I have to bring them h*ll to take what’s mine.
**Top Dog is a 70,000+ word full-length standalone novel with no cheating or cliff-hangers.Books by Author:Rye Hart Books
This is all so surreal.
My nerves crept up my spine as I sat in the parking lot of the restaurant. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet Romeo after six years.
He"d taken over his father"s seat. Head of the Martine family.
The news of his decision to take over the family business had shattered my dreams of a happily ever after for us. I"d seen too much and experienced too much. And now that I was a mother to a beautiful precious little boy, I had to keep my hands clean.
Matteo was beginning to ask questions, so the silence needed to be broken eventually.
Everyone knew of our tryst. The two lovers from rival families who found love in the oddest of places. And I had to admit, I"d loved Romeo Martine once.
His deep blue eyes had called to me.
His words had melted my heart.
I"d always been putty in that man"s hands.
But more than that, he was respectable. Good to his core. Which was why it sickened me when he took his father"s place. Our families ripped us apart, forbidding us to be together, and I was shipped off. Forced to raise Matteo alone. For years, I had dreamed of us getting back together. leaving New York City and starting a life of our own that didn"t involve the authorities and bloodshed and mayhem.
Until I heard of the death of Romeo"s father.
And Romeo"s ultimate ascension to the throne.
For decades, our families had been at war, and an innocent city I used to call home was caught in the middle of it all. The Martines and the Bianchis, always killing and always feuding, trying to one-up the other and falling short.
Red tainted the streets and bodies dumped into unmarked graves were all that remained of some of my cousins.
And my father. A car accident, they said. I heard the rumors that someone from the Martine family ordered a hit on him. There was no proof, yet after years of rivalry, nothing could be put passed the Martines. I knew Romeo would never be capable of such a thing, but his link to the Martine Family was always the source of torment in my life since my father"s death.
Uncle Stephano urged me to make immense with Romeo. He"d always meant well, especially after my father died.
My father"s death had sent my uncle into a tailspin. But instead of reaching for his gun, he reached for his phone and informed the family of his want to make peace and took up my father"s place in the family as the patriarch, the shot caller. And though I hated what our families stood for in the community, I could get behind his message of peace.
That was why I was sitting in the parking lot of the first restaurant Romeo ever took me.
To make peace.
To make the impossible somehow possible.
I clutched my purse and pulled out my phone. Uncle Stefano had already sent me pictures of Matteo"s day. He was riding piggyback on one of my cousins with a massive smile on his face. More and more every day, he looked like his father.
He had my brown hair with those thick red streaks, but he had his father"s blue eyes and his father"s scowl whenever he was upset.
He even had his father"s tall stature. He stood taller than every single one of his classmates at school.
Sighing, I stuck my phone back into my purse. I climbed out of my car and smoothed my hands down my dress, then made my way for the restaurant. So many memories came flying back. The red dress I had on for our first date. The corner booth we sat in so no one would spot us. The drinks we threw back and the way his foot slid up my bare leg during dinner.
How he fucked me against the bathroom wall when I"d escaped to the women"s restroom with a wink.
I walked into the restaurant, spotting a man at the back of the room who stood up from the same booth we"d giggled in almost seven years ago.
I felt my heart race.
I"d know those blue eyes anywhere, and his thick head of dark brown hair almost blended into the background. He towered over everyone else, a cool six-foot-five, and the suit cut against his body clung to every muscle. I nodded at the hostess and began walking toward him, trying to draw deep breaths.
But he was as sexy as he had ever been.
Stacked with more muscle than I remembered, but still gorgeous. There was a grin set upon his cheeks, and his chiseled jaw stood out against the shadows of the restaurant.
His legs were long and his waist was slim. His shoulders and chest were impossibly broad, and I waited for the fabric stretched across them to groan and give way. His large hands reached toward me in greeting.