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Tainted Beginnings

Tainted Beginnings

Dark Mafia Romance!  ★★★★★ stars 
This is a fast-paced dark mafia romance story with off the charts chemistry between Nick and Tennessee.
Keeping his safe! ★★★★★ stars 
This is a dark mafia love story you’ll want to read in one sitting about two opposites, Tennessee a recently divorced woman in Vegas with friends to celebrate her freedom and Nick a mafia assassin who is one gorgeous man. 
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Main tropes

  • Angst Romance
  • Dark Romance
  • Enemies-To-Lovers


One wild night in Vegas led me here…

I should have known Nick was the devil when he first smiled at me.

But I couldn’t resist the irresistible.

Especially when the devil came in the form of a sinfully hot Italian man that looked like he stepped out of a forbidden fantasy.

Of course, I said yes, when he asked me to spend the night with him.

After all, this was Vegas.

I came here to forget the disaster at home with my ex-husband and former best friend.

The night I spent with Nick was perfect.

Until I saw him do something I shouldn’t have seen.

I ran to protect myself.

But what happened in Vegas followed me home.

Now I’m in danger.

And he’s the only one who can save me…

**Tainted Beginnings is a dark mafia romance set in the Dark Syndicate world.

Please note this story was previously a part of the Darkly Ever After Anthology. So if you already have that collection, this story will be included.

This book contains mature content, graphic violence and may contain triggers. If such materials offend you, please do not read.

Chapter 1 - Look Inside


I scan the crowd once more and sigh with frustration. 

He’s not here. 

I know Federico. He’s never late to anything. It’s not his style. So, if we’ve been here for over three hours and haven’t seen him or one of his fucktards yet, it means he’s not coming. 

Like most of the men in my circle, the Marchesi is one of the places he visits when he’s in Vegas. 

I always stay here when I’m in town. The hotel has become sort of a neutral ground for the underworld, because like the other famous hotels on the Strip, it attracts some of the world’s elite. 

I’m sure between Leo and me, we have looked everywhere we could. The ground-floor casino was the last area to check, and I’ve scanned it three times to be certain I checked the place out properly. 

We’ve also been here long enough to pick up on anything amiss, even though Vegas is constantly busy. 

Since nothing gets past me, I can say with certainty that nothing is going to happen tonight, which means we’ll have to go back to the drawing board. 

This is the kind of shit that happens when you have to rely on information from underground snitches like Benji who can’t get their facts straight. If he weren’t as loyal to the D’Agostinos as my family and I have been, I’d be inclined to think the fucker was screwing with us. But what he gave us is what he had. 

To his knowledge, Federico DiMaggio was supposed to be in Vegas tonight at the Grand Marchesi. Either Leo or I was supposed to make the hit on this kill on sight job. 

This mark is one I’ve been itching to hit since Federico killed Antonio. Antonio was one of the best enforcers in our crew. More than anything, he was like a brother to me and helped me avenge the deaths of my family. 

This mission is personal for me. Not just a job. It’s pissing me right the fuck off that Antonio has been dead for six weeks now, and we’re still looking for Federico.

I make my way over to the furthest wall by the upper-deck bar, so I can have some privacy to talk to Leo. Taking out my phone, I find his number and call him. 

He answers on the first ring.

“I got nothing up here, Leo,” I say. “Not a damn thing.” 

“Same here. What should I do now, boss?” He chuckles, placing emphasis on the word ‘boss.’ 

Following Antonio’s death, Massimo D’Agostino, the head boss of the L.A. Syndicate and leader of the D’Agostino family, upgraded me to senior enforcer. The guys tease me about it at every chance because I’m the most reckless of the group. I get my shit done, though. That’s all that matters. I was also trained by my father, who was the best. 

Prior to Antonio, it was Father who held that position. The men in my family have worked with the D’Agostinos for many generations. I’m the last one left, so I take pride in the position.

“Go over the footage and reports on where Federico was last seen,” I answer. “Something’s off, and we need to figure out what it is before this gets back to L.A. I think either he knows we’re here, or he has other plans.” 

“Leave it with me.” 

“Good. I’ll let Massimo know what’s happening. I don’t think we’re going to find anything in Vegas.” 

“Alright, I’ll report back later.”

We hang up, and my gaze instantly drifts across to the group of ladies sitting around a table on the floor below me. 

I zero in on the beautiful redhead who reminds me of a cross between an erotic mermaid and a shy librarian. 

She looks shy; I’d bet she’s not, though. 

A woman as sexy as her shouldn’t be. It would be a crime if she were, and a real shame for a guy like me. 

As tonight was a bust, and I don’t have any other plans, I see no harm in making use of my time here in Vegas in other ways.

I head to the balcony to get a better look at the beauty and rest my hands on the glossy black rails.

I first saw her when she walked in with her friends. There are four of them sitting at the table. Two brunettes, a blonde, then her. The sexy mermaid stood out amongst the group and this sea of people. 

I’m not sure what it was exactly about her that caught my attention. Yes, she’s beautiful. Hollywood gorgeous. And that mid-length, figure-hugging navy dress she’s wearing with those fuck-me heels screams exactly that—fuck me. 

There are many beautiful women here, and I’ve fucked even more, but what got my attention was the spark I saw in her eyes when she looked at me. It was brief, but it was there. 

She looked away first and was right to. That would have been her innate instincts telling her to stay away from me. All beings have those instincts when faced with danger. Listening to the warning keeps them safe and away from dark creatures like me.

I’m a very bad man, and she looks like a good girl. 

She looks like the kind of woman I should never touch. And that just makes me want her even more. 

As she lifts her pretty, little head and her gaze collides with mine, I see that spark again. 

This time, she doesn’t look away as quickly, and I feel more like the devil I am for holding her gaze and making a point of ensuring she knows it’s her I’m looking at. 

We’re about thirty feet apart, but the magnetism of the attraction rippling between us makes it feel like she could be standing right next to me.

I might not have found the man I came to kill, but I found her. 

And I’m going to end tonight with her in my bed and those long legs wrapped around me as I pound into her.

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