Deep (Pagano Family #4) by Susan Fanetti
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Nick Pagano is a leader in the Pagano Brothers organization. As their head enforcer, it has been his responsibility to mete out justice, to seek retaliation, to uncover the secrets of Pagano enemies by any means necessary, and to sink deep the evidence of those means. It is work that requires keen vision and perfect control. It is work at which Nick excels. It is work that has made him dark.
As the Paganos fight a war against an enemy determined to destroy them and change the landscape of the New English underworld, the boundaries between work and family that Nick’s father and uncle long ago made sacrosanct are crossed, and Nick’s work becomes personal.
Beverly Maddox lives across the hall from Nick. She’s living a life she’s worked hard to build, with a job she likes and friends she loves, content in her surroundings and in her own skin. She thinks the best of people and offers them her trust and friendship without reservation. Though her life hasn’t always been kind, she has not let the troubles of her past weigh her down. Her outlook is light, in both senses of the word.
It’s her light that catches Nick’s eye, and his attention inadvertently causes Beverly to be swept up into his dark world. Thrust together by circumstance, Nick comes to see that Beverly’s light eases his dark soul. But will his darkness douse her light instead?
Note: explicit sex and violence.
I actually don’t know how to start this review. While I loved them all, Deep is my favorite in the Pagano Family series. This book had it all, intensity, romance, steam, engaging characters, emotional and well-developed plot… I could go on and on about the writing. I have lauded Susan Fanetti for her amazing talent and writing within each review I have written for this series, and I am not sure there is anything left unsaid. Except that I believe Fanetti is “the best-kept secret” out there and more people need to know about her. She will make your heart race, break it, rip it to shreds and make you love every bit of it. You will adore her heroines, and love her heroes and “live” their stories.
Deep was darker and grittier than the others in the series, and yet, it had so much heart that I was deeply engrossed in the story. We are introduced to Nick’s story at the end of Carmen’s book, Rooted. Nick’s world is turned upside down and he has vowed revenge. Being the enforcer for the Pagano Brothers, he knows exactly how to mete out his revenge. By his own words, he is not a good man. His job has led him to do things that are not good. It isn’t until he meets Beverly, “his sun”, “his light”, that he can even imagine a life with good in it. Life for them is not easy. Tragedy strikes many times. What I found incredibly addicting, was the way Ms. Fanetti balanced the dark with the light. She didn’t try to sugarcoat who he was or the things he did. Rather, she reinforced (using Nick’s words and POV) his dark side. But she also showed us, his light and his good. Thereby showing us all that there is more than one side to any person. A person’s bad acts don’t wholly define who they are.
“He wasn’t a ‘bad boy.’ He wasn’t a bad man. He was a good man who did dark things.”
The character development in this book was simply one of the best I’ve read. The development of their relationship from friendly neighbors with lust to deeply needing one another for love and support was beautifully written.
“I love you, bella. My life has been dark since I was fifteen. But you’re my light, my sun. I will do everything in my power to help you shine again. Anything you need, anything you want. If it’s within my power to make it so, it will be so. I love you. Ti amo. Sei il mio sole.”
I encourage anyone and everyone to meet Ms. Fanetti. Her stories will forever be imprinted in your heart and your mind.
“Il vero amore e senza rimpianti. True love has no regrets.”
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