Nicolo: The Powerful Sicilian like all of Sandra Marton's Orsini Brother series was a marvelous and stunning romance
Their mobster father, Cesare Orsini as he did with his other three sons, summoned his son Nick to go on a mission. There was no love loss between this son and his father but when the mob boss said he wanted to invest in the Antoninni vineyard in Tuscany for Nick's mother, Nick agreed to go and check it out. However, he told his father he only had two days to spend in Italy. Nick and his other three brothers had founded an investment firm and were as wealthy and powerful as their father without being a part of their father's life. Like his brother's he adored his mother and sisters. Of course, his other brother's had gone on similar missions for their father and had ended up meeting and marrying lovely women. As for Nick, he was a love `em and leave them sort of guy. However, I secretly wondered would he also meet his match?
As another reviewer described him, Prince Vittorio Antoninni was a "royal rat". His wife was still alive but was living in a sanatorium and he had a mistress. The Prince had run his vineyard into the ground. He needed cash and he demanded of his daughter Alessia that she meet with Nicolo Orsini. Of course, she was aware of Cesare Orsini reputation to be the head of a New York crime organization so she assumed Nick was involved in his father's organization. She lived a separate life from her father, resided in Rome and was an events planner. However, without the loan what would become of her mother? So she agreed to meet Nick, entertain him and give him a guided tour of the vineyard.
Nick and Alessia's first meeting got off to a bad start because she waited hours for him to arrive at the airport. On top of that, Nick thought she was looking down her nose at him and of course, she didn't know what he did for a living. Anger got the best of this princess and Nick knew of only one way to silence her and that was to kiss her! She was furious to put it mildly and she almost killed them both while driving back to her family villa. The sparks few between them and they were constantly arguing and the two days Nick agreed to, he now demanded two weeks. I knew that kiss intrigued him and this princess intrigued and challenged him. On top of it all, she was livid.
Per her father, Alessia was to wine and dine Nicolo Orsini, and invite important guests from the region also to attend a dinner. Nick didn't know what it was that attracted him to Alessia because she wasn't his type and he couldn't imagine her wanting to please a man. However, insane as it was Nick and Alessia realized there was something brewing between them. He was always touching and kissing her and then he decided that he would personally invest in her father's vineyard, however, he wanted controlling interest. For Alessia it was her mother who was important and her care and the Orsini money would guarantee her care. Without bailing out her father, what would happen to her mother? So, as Nick's tour guide, she took him on a tour of the vineyard and it ended up with more touching and kissing, confusing them both. Insanity took over and they agreed that Nick would get them a place away from the villa and watchful eyes. A place where they could explore and be together and leave the ghosts of both of their father's behind.
Their time together was magical! Nick realized that time with Alessia was more than he had anticipated and more than a man could find in a lifetime. She had told him she was on the pill and that was a relief because he had no protection. And then Nick realized he would lend her father the money with no restrictions. Meeting the prince face to face, he could see the man was uncaring, he had gone to a crime boss for a loan but that didn't matter, only Alessia mattered. He wanted more time with her, didn't want to return to New York and so they took a little trip to Florence where the light bulb went on for Alessia. She realized she could be pregnant. Early on in their relationship, Nick he made it very clear to her, never to lie to him. So I wondered how or if she would tell him? It was an extremely emotional time for both of them. There was one thing was for sure, Alessia was NOT going to be any man's problem. Think about it, two Italian's arguing about the fate of their child and then coming to the conclusion marriage was the answer. It was quite an argument.
After a civil ceremony, and an overheard conversation with her father, Nick exploded. His future wife was a liar and she and her father had cheated him. However, he married her anyway for the sake of their child. After that, Nicolo Orsini became an entirely different man. I so loved this man but his behaviour was completely unacceptable and I wanted to strangle him. Was there any hope for this couple because Alissia definitely loved her husband but how much could and would she endure?
During the final chapters this couple's journey was one huge roller coaster, including meeting the Orsini sisters, an emergency trip to the hospital and a family Sicilian wedding. Nick and Alessia's story was a brilliant ending to this series. I only wish there were more Orsini brother for Sandra Marton to write about. However, I'm patiently waiting for the sister's stories because they both professed never to tie themselves to a man.
Behind the book:
"Nick reluctantly agrees to see if a Tuscan vineyard is a worthwhile investment. Princess Alicia Antoninni, the daughter of the vineyard's owner, thinks Nick is a thug like his father. A handsome, rich, heart-stoppingly sexy thug but still, a thug. Nick doesn't like the lady's disdainful attitude but so what? He's going home in a couple of days. The only thing he and Alicia have in common is their mutual dislike... unless you factor in a sexual attraction that's hot enough to start a fire! The commoner and the princess have a sizzling affair and just when it's almost over, Alicia discovers that she's pregnant. Has she played Nick for a fool? He has good reason to think so, but he's going to do the right thing even as he breaks both their hearts.
As with all of my mini-series, you can read and enjoy each Orsini book on its own.
And, oh, one last thing. FALCO: THE DARK GUARDIAN is a nominee for Best Presents of 2010. Yay!" Sandra Marton post at ((Heart)Presents