Authors: Dana Delamar
Tags: #Romance, #organized crime, #italy, #romantic suspense, #foreign country, #crime, #suspense, #steamy, #romantic thriller, #sexy, #mafia, #ndrangheta, #thriller
BLOOD AND HONOR
Copyright © 2012 Dana Delamar Excerpt from
copyright © 2012 Kristine Cayne
All rights reserved.
ISBN-13 (ebook): 978-0-9849311-1-8
: This is a work of
fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and
any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business
establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Book cover design by Scarlett Rugers Design
Cover photo courtesy of: disney-stock.deviantart.com/art/Epcot-Italy-at-Night-2-110476297
Author image courtesy of LGImages
Without limiting the rights under copyright
reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced,
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The scanning, uploading, and distribution of
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Please purchase only authorized electronic editions. Your support
of the author’s rights is appreciated.
Many people contributed to the creation of
this book. No writer goes it alone, and I am certainly no
First and foremost, I’d like to thank my
wonderful critique partner, Kristine Cayne, who read every word of
this book multiple times and poured her time and attention into the
shaping of it, down to individual word choices. Kristine, I
couldn’t have done this without you. You are the best!
Ann Charles and Wendy Delaney came to the
rescue when I was floundering about and needed help replotting this
book. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving up part of a
weekend to help me.
The amazingly generous Delilah Marvelle also
helped me with plot pointers and an early critique that was
instrumental to reshaping some characters and scenes. Thank you,
I’d also like to thank my beta readers, Kim
Schmeller and Ninia Ingram, for their insights, comments, and
catches. You suffered so others don’t have to.
Getting started on this journey was tough;
without the help and support of Romance Writers of America® and
specifically my hometown RWA® chapters, Eastside RWA and Greater
Seattle RWA, I would have struggled for many more years toward my
dreams. These organizations provided inspiration, support,
guidance, friendship, real-world craft advice, and industry
contacts and knowledge that proved invaluable. Thank you all.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank my
family, my friends (especially David Shank for giving me the push
to get the hell out of software and start my second career), and
most of all my real-life hero, James Davis, for bearing with me
during the madness and putting together an awesome home office for
me. You will always be my honey bunny.
(loo KAY zee) –
(head) of the Lucchesi
– wife of Vincenzo
Domenico (Dom) Lucchesi
– first cousin
to Enrico Lucchesi and
capo di società
(second in command)
of the Lucchesi
(vin CHEN zoh) (Vince)
Andretti – nephew of Carlo Andretti
– bodyguard to Enrico
Ruggero (rooj JAIR oh) Vela
bodyguard to Enrico Lucchesi
– Enrico Lucchesi’s
– son of Carlo Andretti
capo di società
of the Andretti
– godfather to
Enrico and Dom Lucchesi; second in command of La Provincia
(quasi-ruling commission of the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian
– officer of the
– brother of Carlo
capo di società
of the Andretti
(Calabrian branch); head of La Provincia
(ah ree vah DAIRT chee) –
(BAS tah) – enough (as in “I’ve
(BAY lah, bay
LEE see mah) – beautiful
(BEN ay) – good
(BWOH nah SAIR ah) – good
(KAH pee shee) – you see, you
(KAH poh) – head (don) of a crime
(KAH pee) capo di società (KAH poh dee so chay
TAH) – second in command of a
(CAR oh) –
(car ah bin YAIR ee) –
Italy’s national police force; a single member of this force is a
(car ah bin YAIR ay)
(CHOW) – informal hello and
(COH may sty) – how are
(cohm pah RAH joe) – the
Southern Italian institution of co-parenthood, whereby the person
making this vow swears to be as a parent to the child. A co-father
is referred to as
; the “parent” and “child” are
. The vow is thought of as indissoluble and
incorruptible. Within the Mafia,
will not betray
(cone TAH bee lay) –
accountant; treasurer for a
(KOHS kah) – a crime family;
(KREES toe) – Christ
(DEE oh MEE oh) – my God
(dote TOR ay) – doctor; the
“e” is dropped when used with a last name
(FEYE dah) – blood feud
(FEEL yoh) – son
(GRAHTZ yeh) – thanks.
means “Many thanks.”
(ma DOEN nah) – the Virgin
Mary; Mother of God
(mah lah VEE tah) – the
criminal underworld, the criminal life
(mar ess SHAH loh KAH
poh) – Chief Marshal
(MARE dah) – shit
(MOLE toe) – very, a great deal,
(en DRAHNG eh tah) – the
Calabrian Mafia, or “The Honored Society.” Members are
(en DRAHNG eh tees tee), or “men of
(NOHN nah) – grandmother
(pah DREE noh) – godfather papà (pah PAH) – dad
(pair fah VOR ay) –
(pair FEHT toe) – perfect polizia (poh leet TZEE ah) – Italian
(PRAY go) – welcome
(poot TAH nah) – whore,
(sah LOO tay) – to your health;
(SKOOZ ah) – excuse me
(cee) – yes
(seen YOR ay, seen YOR ah, seen yor REEN ah) –
sir, madam, miss; the “e” is dropped from
with a last name
(soh toh teh NEN tay) –
(STRAY gah) – witch
(tee AH moe) – I love you
(TROY ah) – slut
(vahf fahn COO loh) – go
(ZEE oh) – uncle
Twenty-eight years ago
Cernobbio, Lake Como, Italy
As his assassins set the trap, Carlo Andretti
leaned forward, his nose nearly touching the window.
is mine. Just like the Lord above
. His pulse quickened, his
mouth went dry, his body itched to be in on the action. To aim a
gun. To pull a trigger.
The Lucchesi family’s driver and their
bodyguard waited outside the restaurant in a large black Mercedes,
smoke from their cigarettes floating out the open windows.
Idiots. Anyone could get the drop on them
men Lucchesi trusted with his family
Bruno, the man Carlo used for all his dirty
work, snuck up behind the car, followed by one of his assistants.
The two men dispatched the guard and driver without effort,
slitting their throats in tandem, the strike perfectly timed.
Sipping an espresso in a room across the
street, Carlo watched his men melt back into the dark. It wouldn’t
be long now until they attacked their true prey. He savored the hot
bitter brew he swallowed. Rinaldo Lucchesi, the
Lucchesi family, had interfered in Carlo’s business for the last
time. He thought he could come up north, into Carlo’s territory,
and impose his principles and his will.
Rinaldo and his ridiculous, short-sighted
philosophy would be the ruin of the ‘Ndrangheta. Carlo was not
going to let Lucchesi expose their bellies to the sharp teeth of
Cosa Nostra or the Russians. Lucchesi might be suicidal, but Carlo
most assuredly was not. He had a family to look out for, a child he
adored. He couldn’t let Lucchesi destroy her future, and he
couldn’t let him destroy the future of all ‘Ndrangheta.
Taking Carlo’s son hostage to force him to
capitulate was where Lucchesi had miscalculated. He’d taken the
wrong child. In a contest between Dario and Antonella, Toni won
every time. Had Lucchesi taken Toni…. Carlo’s gut quivered.
Everyone would know his weakness then. He’d make any sacrifice for
his tigress, his cunning little she-wolf. The child of his heart.
The child who
If Toni knew he was risking her twin
brother’s life this way, she’d be appalled. But if his plan worked,
he’d have the boy, his vengeance, and the way clear in the north.
Milan and the lake would be his alone. And once their riches were
his, nothing could stop him from pushing his father and his brother
off their perch, high at the top of the ‘Ndrangheta. They’d
censured him once, they’d exiled him up north, thinking that would
keep him weak, that their lapdog Lucchesi would be able to muzzle
him. They were about to learn otherwise.
The front door to the restaurant swung open,
its glass catching the light of a streetlamp, and the Lucchesi
woman and two of her children strolled out, the boys flanking her
on either side. Rinaldo and their middle boy, Enrico, were not with
them. Unease wormed through Carlo’s belly.
Where are they
He glanced around and saw nothing out of the ordinary, but the
nighttime shadows could be both friend and foe.
The woman and her boys had almost reached the
Mercedes when they stopped short, the woman placing a restraining
hand on the shoulder of her youngest child. The eldest son, Primo,
nearly a man now, the one who was supposed to be
someday, pulled his gun and looked in the passenger side front
window. No doubt he saw the bodies, because he shouted, “Go
It was too late.
Bruno and his four men charged toward the
family, opening fire. Primo whirled around to meet them, but
bullets slammed into his chest before he could get off a shot.
Carlo felt an odd sort of admiration as the
boy fell, blood blanketing his once-white shirt. Primo had tried to
defend his family like a good man of honor. But the boy was ruined,
his mind tainted by his father’s notions.