Renzo + Lucia , #1
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance
They didn’t come from the same world …
Born rich to a family of mafia royalty, Lucia Marcello was already destined to succeed. She wanted for absolutely nothing, until she met him.
Born poor to parents who never cared, Renzo Zulla was already destined to fail. He has struggled for absolutely everything, but she’ll prove to be his biggest fight yet.
She’s high society from the upscale suburbs.
He’s a drug dealer from New York’s slums.
They just weren’t meant to be … until they were.
What would it take to change a life—an entire perspective? All the things you thought you knew and wanted?
For them, it took thirty-six days.
And the privilege of meeting each other.
They shouldn’t be.
They don’t fit.
Love doesn’t care.
Note: Privilege is book one in a three-book trilogy following the same couple.
“Well, when will we—”
Renzo turned his sharp gaze on Perry. The youngest of all of them at seventeen, Perry was a handful sometimes. Sure, he got the job done, and he was sneaky as fuck when it came to staying out of trouble, but still … a handful.
“You’ll get your packages tomorrow. Don’t you have a bit to carry you through?”
Perry shrugged. “I guess I got enough.”
“Yeah, all right.”
Giving the rest of them a look as if to silently ask, Anyone else? None of them spoke up.
Renzo stuffed his hands in his pockets, and eyed the quiet streets. Across the way, a man slept in the mouth of an alleyway tucked inside a dirty sleeping bag. Every day, that man and his pigeon stayed in the same exact spot. And every fucking day, it was a reminder to Ren.
He’d been there.
More than once.
Shortly after his birth, his mother sucked on a meth pipe, blew a positive, and got kicked out of the shelter where she’d been staying with him. She called it an act of kindness that the shelter hadn’t called CPS for four-week-old Renzo.
He just called it bullshit.
At thirteen, he slept inside the tunnel of a slide at one of the city parks, and used a public bathroom to wash his face every morning.
His sister, Rose, had been around then. She cried all the damn time. She was cold, and hungry. Sometimes, their mother showed up with enough money to keep them warm in a pay-by-the-hour motel but that was just as much a blessing as it was curse.
Especially when they had to step out of the hotel room every so often, and listen to the sounds that slipped out from under the door when each new man would randomly show up.
Renzo made a choice, then. That was the first time he went out on the streets, and looked for some kind of work to give him money to keep his sister warm, and feed her. At first, it’d just been chasing dregs and homeless away from businesses that didn’t want that kind of problem in front of their windows. One day, a guy in a leather jacket handed Renzo a package, and asked if he’d run it up to the man sitting in a bakery in Queens.
No questions, he’d been told.
Don’t open the package, he’d been warned.
He ran that package, and without ever knowing what it was, had a thousand dollars in his hand by the time he got home.
That man was Vito,
Vito came back, too. Renzo kept saying yes to jobs. He put money away, worked from the time the sun came up, until the streets were pitch black. He kept walking and moving and running for people who wore better clothes than he did and drove vehicles he could only dream about because they paid well, he didn’t ask questions, and he needed to do better.
He needed to do better for his sister, and then later, his brother, too.
The rest was fucking history.
His life was not a pretty one.
It was the only he was given.
And fuck anyone who said he didn’t try because he did. All he ever did was try.
“I’ll get your shit to sell,” Renzo told the guys, “right after I make a trip into Brooklyn.”
Noah and Perry nodded like that was enough for them. Diesel, on the other hand, decided he wanted to test Renzo’s already thin patience by running his mouth. As he usually did.
“Say hi to Rose for me, yeah?” Diesel punctuated that smartass comment with a smirk. “Haven’t seen her in a while.”
Renzo turned a bit, ready to leave, but not before tossing a remark over his shoulder he knew would cut the other man. “Rose ain’t coming back to these streets for nothing, man. And everybody knows those who walk these streets aren’t going anywhere but right on these goddamn streets. Where she is, you’re never going.”
He’d made sure of that.
Dropped every cent he had into lodging and food and books and whatever else his sister needed when she won that scholarship to a private school in Brooklyn for the arts. No matter what, he was going to keep making sure Rose could stay right where she was for as long as she wanted to be there.
“Like you, too, right?” he heard Diesel shout out behind him. “You’re walking these streets, too, Ren. Where the fuck are you going, huh? Right here, man.”
Was that supposed to hurt?
It wasn’t news to Renzo where he was going to live and die. These streets had been mean to him for his entire life. Maybe they’d be kind when they finally killed him.
He wasn’t holding his breath.
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
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