<strong>Question is: Who’s the Boss?</strong>
Carmine Martinelli is the eldest son of Seattle’s mob boss and to him, family is everything. When his aunt and uncle are killed at a wedding, he vows to find out who is responsible and make them pay the ultimate price. To accomplish his goal he plans to infiltrate the Russian mafia through none other than the bratva’s ice princess, Nadia Tarenkov.
Nadia knows she has the chops to step into the Underboss’ shoes, regardless of her gender or that she’s not the firstborn. Her older brother doesn’t have what it takes. Besides, he’s weak and lazy. Her father heads up the Russian mafia in the U.S. and getting him to recognize that she could fill the Underboss’ shoes is her mission. When the heir apparent to one of the State’s most powerful mob families starts pursuing her Nadia recognizes it as a ploy to get inside her organization. Beating him at his own game could give her the leg up she needs and winning is always fun. But what happens when the players get played and pretending to care about someone suddenly gets very real?
“Underboss” is Book one in Kristen Proby’s new MAFIA family sub-series of With Me in Seattle. To this reader, the Mafia theme is somewhat of a surprise since the Mafia itself has a lot of negative baggage. But author Proby has done an admirable job of kinda’ sorta’ sanitizing the mob’s image. Proby acknowledges that the mob isn’t made up of a bunch of choir boys and she neither denigrates nor glorifies them. That’s a mighty fine line but Proby has walked it successfully. I loved both Carmine and Nadia but Carmine’s character is totally swoon-worthy. The plot is believable and well laid out and the action keeps everything moving along with no lulls or dead spots. I’m totally looking forward to the rest of the series. Four stars.
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