Accidental Witness by Sam Mariano

March 29, 2017 Book Review 0 ★★★★½

Accidental Witness by Sam Marianofour-half-stars
Accidental Witness by Sam Mariano
Series: Morelli Family #1
Also in this series: Surviving Mateo, Once Burned, Family Ties
Published by Self-published on March 27th 2017
Genres: Suspense
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"It's not an easy thing, loving a Morelli."
Vince Morelli.
The closest I ever wanted to get to him was several rows away in English class. We’d never spoken, but of course I heard the stories about his family. I know they’re dangerous. I know he’s dangerous. Vince never had a reason to notice me, anyway—until I inadvertently witnessed his first mob hit.
His family doesn’t believe in leaving witnesses alive, but Vince seems different. He knows the best thing he can do for me is stay away, but something keeps drawing us together. Despite knowing the risks of getting mixed up with him, I can’t resist. Only problem is, Vince is a package deal—you don’t get him without getting swept up in his family’s dark games.
Now entangled with a notorious Chicago crime family, will my life ever be mine again?
**Obligatory trigger warning: This is a mafia romance with dark themes. Sensitive content not recommended for those under 18. **

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

By LilyAccidental Witness, from the title alone, was my first hint this story would be up my alley. I bookmarked the book I was reading to just take a peek at Accidental Witness. Before I knew it, I had stayed up reading into the early hours of the morning. My respect for the next day demanded I squeeze in a few hours sleep before I had to  face it.

What kept me going from chapter to chapter was the suspense and great chemistry between Mia and Vincent. Mia found Vincent a hard guy to ignore.  Drawn to men with a streak of danger running through their veins, he was a temptation hard to ignore. The thought that her safety would come into question dawned on her too late. Vincent was under no illusion as to what a relationship with him and his family would mean for Mia. He was willing to walk away from her, but of course, he doesn’t.

They both attend the same school but soon found themselves immersed into another world, far removed from a school yard.  Vincent Morelli possessed a youthfulness and self-assured authority.  He was portrayed well as a young man being groomed for a role within the family business.  Vincent was a minnow among sharks but always aware of the danger lurking around him. His credibility was reinforced by his astute understanding of the challenges he knew Mia would undoubtedly encounter.

This provided an interesting contrast to Mia’s relative innocence, tainted with her yearning for all that Vincent represented. Once she witnessed what the Morelli lifestyle entailed, it was too late to do anything but stay out of trouble. A lot more easily said than done, though. While Mia’s naivety was the catalyst for her predicament, her ability to adapt and survive kept me hoping for a miracle.

Interestingly, while I easily predicted the majority of the plot twists, I was still shocked when they occurred. The biggest wild-card in the story is Mateo, the head of the Morelli family. He insists on strict guidelines that are followed with fearful obedience for fear of retribution. Mateo uses his power as a puppeteer manipulates the strings on a marionette.  Mia’s ability to control her life prior to meeting Vincent was under control.  Her chances of outmaneuvering the Morelli’s required a skill-set no one could imagine they would require. Then just as I thought I was in a relatively safe section of the story, I soon discovered I was so wrong. This twist I didn’t see coming.

Mateo was the master of mind games. It illustrated the essence of a good story comes from the strength of the characters in conjunction with a great plot.  Chemistry rather than the setting heightens the anticipation of a potential romance. A couple of situations were out of step with what I thought would occur but they were minor and didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the story.  Another Mafia Romance where the plot was not a cookie cutter version of other books within the same genre. What it does have in common with other dark suspense stories is the element of shock and horror. There were a few times when a situation went in a direction that kept me turning pages in hope of a miracle!

What I loved most about this story is that my hopes for what would happen next were altered by the time I reached the final chapter. While the ending portrayed a scene of tranquility (relatively speaking), my thoughts are that there is a lot more ahead for Mia.  I can’t wait to find out what that might be!

4.5 Stars 


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