Read the Prologue - Breathless & Bloodstained #MafiaRomance - Coming Soon
Today, I'm sharing the Prologue from Breathless & Bloodstained.

Tommas and Abriella, like the other War couples, started somewhere. This is where.

Breathless releases on March 7th, so a little over a month from now.

For today, enjoy a taste of this couple.


Add Breathless & Bloodstained to your Goodreads TBR.



Abriella Trentini had been called a lot of things in her life. A principessa, a beauty, stubborn, and difficult. She had been praised for her tenacity, adored for her place as the oldest granddaughter of the Outfit’s boss, and respected simply because of her last name.

What she had never been called was a whore.

Until now.

“Just like our mother,” Joel snarled. “A whore, Ella.”

Abriella flinched as if her brother had reached out and slapped her with his hand instead of his words. Squeezing Abriella’s arm tighter, Joel dragged her down the dark hallway. His fingers dug so deeply into her skin that he was going to leave bruises. With every step they took, she could barely hear the thrum of the club behind them.

“Let me go,” Abriella hissed.

She tried to jerk out of Joel’s grasp, but he yanked her hard enough to make her stumble. The short club dress she wore did nothing to protect her knees when she hit the floor. Joel forced her back on her feet, sneering.

“Stop fighting, or this will get a hell of a lot worse,” Joel warned.

Abriella sucked in a hard breath, wanting to stay calm.  For the most part, she followed the rules set out by her family. Being mafia bred, meant women didn’t get much of a choice when the men in their lives made calls on certain things.

The women who fought back lost.

The men of the Outfit won.


Abriella had too much stubbornness to go out like that. She’d always been close to her grandfather. There was no way in hell that Terrance Trentini would stand for his granddaughter being treated like she was worthless, no matter what she did. Terrance might have been the boss, but he loved her. He let her get away with anything, even if that meant he had to hide things for her. Terrance wouldn’t stand for Joel acting like this.

“I want to call Granddaddy.”

Joel barked a bitter laugh. “He’s out of town. Shut up. Don’t make me tell you again.”

“I said—”

Joel kicked open a door and shoved Abriella inside before she could finish her sentence. Abriella fixed the skirt of her dress and spun around to face her brother, thinking she had just made the worst mistake yet. Her brother was angrier than she had realized. When he took a step toward her in the dark room, Abriella stepped backward.

Her back hit the edge of a desk, stopping her from moving further away. The room looked like some kind of office for the club. Joel flicked on a light, illuminating the space. A leather couch rested along the far wall. Black and white pictures of Chicago lined the walls in a haphazard fashion. The desk she bumped into was filled with paperwork, a laptop, and other personal belongings.

She had picked the wrong club tonight. With the help of high heels, a tight dress, and a fake ID, Abriella was able to get into just about any club she wanted. Eighteen wasn’t legal, but her ID said she was twenty-one, and no bouncer would refuse her.

She just wanted a good time tonight.

Respirare was the newest, hottest club in town. She heard about it through her friends at college. Abriella checked it out, ended up dancing with a guy who bought her a few drinks, and then she found herself being shoved down a dark hallway by her brother. Abriella didn’t even know how Joel found out she was there.

“Christ, look at you,” her brother spat.

Abriella blinked away the tears stinging in her eyes. “I didn’t do anything wrong, Joel!”

“Is that what you think, really? Where I stand, you didn’t do a goddamn thing right. Is that what you want to be, a fucking whore like our mother?”

“No,” Abriella said, forcing herself not to cry.

“Hey, come on.”

A familiar form darkened the office doorway behind Joel. Abriella looked away from Tommas Rossi as he came to stand beside his friend. Tommas had always been respectful to Abriella when they crossed paths. The Outfit Capo was never rude, but he never went out of his way to talk to her, either. They were at two different spectrums in the family.

“Joel, chill out,” Tommas said quietly.

Joel flipped a hand at his friend. “Stay out of it.”

Abriella refused to let her brother see any tears. Joel liked that shit too much. Other people’s pain was nothing more than amusement for him.
Joel waved Abriella’s clutch for her to see before he opened it. Digging in the purse, he pulled out the fake ID. “Where did this come from?”

“A friend,” Abriella said.

“Which friend?”

“Someone from school.”

Joel shoved it into his pocket. “It’s mine now.”

She would have a new one in a week.

Fuck him.

“And as for you—”

“I want to call Granddaddy,” Abriella interrupted sharply.

Joel scoffed. “You’re an idiot. I told you, he’s out of town. Our parents are gone for the weekend. I am the only one left watching you.”

“Then I’ll take a cab back to my dorm.” Abriella shrugged, feeling worse the longer she had to stay in the room. “You can let Granddaddy know what happened. I’ll deal with the consequences when he’s back.”

Abriella moved forward to leave and tried to push past Joel as she went. It was a stupid move. Joel had a short temper. Before Abriella had blinked, Joel grabbed her arm, spun her around to face him, and raised his hand. Abriella couldn’t have gotten out of the way even if she tried to move, but she was too stunned to make the attempt.

No man had ever hit her.

None tried.

Abriella was a Trentini—no one touched a Trentini.

Joel’s palm met Abriella’s cheek with a loud enough crack to take the air from her lungs. The sting of the hit radiated over her face. Gasping, Abriella stared at her brother with her mouth open and a hand on her cheek where heat bloomed.

“You …” Abriella started to say.

She tried to speak, begged the words to form, but nothing came out. Joel’s hold on her arm loosened briefly. The two stared at one another for what felt like minutes, but was probably a few seconds.

Joel released her fast and let her go. “I-I—”

While Joel struggled with his own words, Abriella jerked back into reality.

“You,” Abriella hissed. “You … hit me!”

Joel stuttered stupidly. Abriella rammed her hands into her brother’s chest hard enough to knock him backward. Shock flitted over Joel’s features as he righted himself. Abriella shoved him again the second she could, forcing Joel away from her.

She didn’t want him anywhere near her.

Abriella wasn’t a dog to be beaten.

She was no man’s toy.

“Don’t you ever fucking hit me again!” Abriella screamed at him.

Tommas Rossi stared between the siblings, but stayed out of it.

Abriella took another step toward her frozen brother. “I might have done wrong being out tonight at a club, but out of the two of us, who do you think is going to take more shit for this? Me, with my slutty dress, or you and the bruise you just left on my face? Huh, which one?”

Joel swallowed hard, his shoulders stiffening. “You shouldn’t have—”

“I did nothing,” Abriella snapped. “Don’t blame your abuse on me. You are a piece of shit, Joel. Just wait until I tell Granddaddy what you did to me tonight.”

Like someone had lit a fire under his feet, Joel lurched forward to come at Abriella again. Tommas Rossi moved faster, sliding in between the siblings and hitting Joel hard on the shoulder with a closed fist. The smack echoed in the quiet office. Joel froze on the spot. For the moment, Abriella felt safer.

She silently thanked Tommas.


Tommas’ one word was deadly quiet. A promise of violence that made Abriella shiver in her heels.

“Excuse me?” Joel asked.

“I said that it is enough,” Tommas repeated, still quiet but firm. “Leave her be. You have done more than enough, Joel. She gets it. But I won’t let you touch her again. Try it, and I’ll physically throw your ass out of this room before I have the bouncers remove you from this club. Test me, Joel, you know I can fucking do it.”

“That’s how you want to play this?” Joel asked.

Tommas nodded once. “It is.”


“Young, man. She’s eighteen, trying to have a little fun, and made a goddamn mistake. You made your point. No more, Joel. It’s enough.”

Swallowing hard, Joel flicked a hand in Abriella’s direction as if to shoo her away like she was a piece of trash. “If you want to handle the little whore, then handle her. Make sure she gets back to her dorm. I have better shit to do.”

“I bet,” Tommas muttered.

Joel turned on his heel and stormed from the office. The pictures on the wall rattled when the door slammed shut with a bang.

Tommas’ shoulders heaved. Abriella could practically feel the anger flowing from the man as he stared at the spot where Joel had vacated.

“Thank you,” Abriella whispered.

Her throat was tight. As fast as her fight had come, it was gone.

Tommas didn’t act like he had heard her.

Clearing the thickness away, Abriella said, “Tommas, thank—”

“Hush,” Tommas interjected sharply.

Abriella stiffened, surprised all over again. “I beg your pardon?”

Slowly, Tommas turned on his heel to face her. “I said hush. It means be quiet.”

“I know what it means.”

“Then listen.”


Where had the man from two minutes ago gone to?

“Hey, don’t be an asshole.”

Tommas’ brow furrowed, softening the sharp lines of his features as he grinned.

What was amusing?

It wasn’t the first time Abriella had gotten a good, close-up look at the man, but it was the first time she took notice of how roguishly handsome Tommas truly was. His easy stance, tall frame, and broad shoulders that filled his suit perfectly, only added to the smirk he sported. From his steel-blue gaze, to his strong jaw, and his dark hair that was swept upward like he’d been running his fingers through the short strands, the man oozed confidence and …

Abriella blinked, caught in her daze of staring.


Tommas was sexy as sin.

She’d always had a bit of an interest in the quiet Capo of the Rossi family, but Abriella kept her distance for many reasons. One, because he was a goddamn Capo. Two, because he was her brother’s friend. And three, because he was eight years older than her.

Abriella willed away the sudden heat flooding her cheeks and the rest of her body as Tommas looked her up and down.

“Stop that,” Abriella said.

“Stop what?” Tommas asked.

“Staring at me like that.”

“You’re staring at me.”

She was.

Abriella glanced away.

“So?” she asked.

“I don’t mind,” Tommas admitted. “I told you to be quiet, because I don’t want you to thank me for doing that. Never thank a person for doing what is right, Ella.”

Abriella’s gaze snapped up to meet Tommas’. He’d never called her anything but her full name before.

“Okay,” she said.

“And I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“Two things.”

“Do tell,” Abriella said.

“I should have stopped him sooner. Joel is an ass, I know. I didn’t think he’d go off like that on you, especially not with someone here.”

Abriella shrugged. “I guess you don’t know my brother all that well, huh?”

“Apparently not.”

“What was the second thing?”

Tommas wet his lips with his tongue, drawing Abriella’s gaze in again. A question passed through her thoughts so quickly, she almost missed it.

What did he kiss like?

Tommas’ next words did not help to take away that errant idea. “I called him to let him know you were in my club. I shouldn’t have done that. You were having a good time, it seemed like innocent fun, but I thought your brother should know you were out. That was my mistake. It won’t happen again. You’re free to come and go from my club as long as you can get in, Ella.”



“One more thing.”


“You’re not, Ella.”

She frowned. “Not what?”

“A whore,” Tommas murmured.

Heat pinked her cheeks again. She didn’t want to rehash all of that. It was bad enough that Tommas had heard what Joel said about Abriella’s mother.

Sara Trentini wasn’t an angel. Abriella knew her mother’s darkest secret, but only because she’d accidentally stumbled upon some paperwork regarding Sara and Joel’s father. Biologically, Joel belonged to Terrance, although their father Peter had claimed him as his son.

Skeletons like those wouldn’t stay hidden in the closet forever.

Abriella didn’t judge her mother.

She couldn’t.

Sara was her mother.

“I just … it doesn’t matter,” Abriella said lamely.

Tommas rubbed at his right temple. “No, it isn’t. You’re eighteen, and you can consent to whatever you want to do when it comes to a man. What you were doing tonight wasn’t any different than what Joel does with whoever he picks up on any given night.”

Abriella cringed. “I don’t want to hear that.”

“Well, it’s true. Double standards are reserved for hypocrites and assholes only.”

Unable to stop herself, Abriella laughed.

Tommas flashed her with a sexy smile. “That is a much better sight and sound.”


“Your smile. Your laugh. Not that the fight you showed wasn’t good, because it was. A strong fight makes for a good woman, but I like your smile and laugh more.”

Abriella’s throat went dry. “Oh.”

“Don’t let anyone take that from you, either.”

“I won’t.”

“Good. You’re not a whore, Ella. Don’t ever let a man call you that, or label you with that title unless you want him to.”

Her mind blanked.

Tommas’ sharp stare caught Abriella’s as he asked, “Do you get what I’m saying?”

“No,” she confessed.

“You’re not a whore, sweetheart, but you can be anything you want to be for the man you want to be with. It’s that simple. What you do in private with a man is nobody’s business but yours and his. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Abriella’s bottom lip caught under her teeth as she took in his words. “You don’t think so?”



“Outfit daughters shouldn’t act like who—”

“What did I say about that word, huh?” Tommas asked, taking a step forward.

Abriella tipped her chin down, but grinned all the same. “Sorry.”

She didn’t realize how close Tommas had come to stand in front of her until his fingers were sliding under her chin and tilting her head up. She decided right then and there that she liked the feeling of this man’s hands on her skin.

That was so bad. Wrong, even.

But she liked it.

“Do what makes you happy, Ella. Let the assholes like your brother keep their judgment.”

“Easier said than done. You know where I come from, Tommas.”

“Tommy. I prefer Tommy.”

“Tommy,” she echoed.

“Let them keep it,” he repeated. “Just get smarter about your ways, girl. That’s all.”

She didn’t know how to respond to that.

“Are you encouraging me to break the rules?”

Tommas chuckled. The sound of his amusement rocked through Abriella. “If you want to call it that, then sure. The thing is, I have a feeling this wasn’t your first time doing something you shouldn’t and it probably won’t be your last. Just get smarter about it; that’s all. You want to have some fun. Have it. You want to go out. Go. Don’t be stupid about it, though.”

“Are you always this … strange?” Abriella asked.

“No, sometimes I’m even worse. Moody. A prick. Quiet. Depends on the day.”

Abriella wondered if she could find out more about Tommas.


“I do have a question for you, but you don’t have to answer.”

“Maybe I will, but you won’t know unless you ask.”

“A smartass. I like that, too.”

Abriella smiled. “You’re not the first to call me that.”

“I’m not surprised.” Tommas tipped his head to the side a bit and asked, “The man you were dancing with … would you have taken him to your dorm or wherever tonight?”

“No,” Abriella said instantly.

“Why not?”

“Because he was good for a little fun, but not much else. Two dimensional men are boring.”

Tommas cocked a brow. “What would it take, Ella?”

Was he asking?

Because almost everything she learned about Tommas tonight was a great start. She wasn’t an angel. She hadn’t been one of those for years. She wasn’t going to act like one now.

“The right kind of guy.”

Tommas laughed. “And who is that?”

“The one who can give me what I want.”

His gaze caught hers, holding strong. “Care to let me in on the secret?”

“I just want to be free, Tommy.”

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