Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vice City by S.A. Stovall

After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.

Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.

So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.

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Book 1
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DSP Publications

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This gangster story is a gritty, gripping adrenaline rush. Nick Pierce is a ruthless mob enforcer who surprises himself when he rescues a kid he should have killed. Miles is a street rat caught up in mob business he doesn’t understand. As violence between rival gangs escalates, Pierce and Miles fight for their lives. This is an unusual book. It isn’t at all what I expected but I really loved it.

The action doesn’t stop in this story. Caught between the internal politics in his own Vice Family mob and the rising violence between Vice and the rival Cobras gang, Pierce spends this story dodging bullets as he lurches between dangerous, gory situations. Miles starts as a liability but he soon becomes a sidekick and an asset. This is more action than romance and I really enjoyed the rapid pace of the story.

Pierce and Miles aren’t likeable characters. The violence Pierce unleashes at the start of this book made me queasy. Pierce lives by his own brutal code and the man is cold and harsh. Miles is much younger than Pierce and I found the power balance between them disturbing at times. At the start, Miles is a victim who needs Pierce’s protection so much that he will do anything for the older man. Their first sexual encounter pushes into non-consensual territory. Miles does grow up and develop skills. The relationship does eventually balance out, but I still struggled with some of the sex in this story. The story has been marketed as a romance but while Miles and Pierce’s relationship is sexual, I’m not sure the mob enforcer ever really does romance.

The book is full of colourful and dangerous underworld characters. From the undertaker with a basement full of rats and dead bodies to the mob boss’ son who needs rescuing from a cult, I loved the diverse cast of morally depraved characters.

S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that storytelling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game, or comic, she had to experience. Now as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

Connect with S.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Vice City (Vice City #1) by S.A. Stovall to read and review.

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