Angel Mabbot is the perfect daughter.
Perfection has always been an expectation set forth by her adoring father and her overbearing, neglectful mother. Knowing she can never live up to their standards, Angel falls into a life of partying, drinking and pills in an effort to dull the pain of her insecurities and perceived failures.
Kevin Hawken, a former business partner of Angel’s father, has always loved Angel, although she has no idea who he is. Angel's substance induced state of mind forces her to question what is real.
And Kevin is too good to be real.
Caught in the clutches of Roman Conti, a notorious and dangerous Mob boss from Italy, Angel slips under Roman’s control. A control she can't escape.
And the only man who can rescue her...
Is a man she believes existed only in her dreams.
Releasing May 5, 2014
Always At First picks up where Not At First ended. Angel is in love with Kevin, but Roman has declared her to be his and went as far as to ensure it with a child. She's been swept away to Italy and everyone is concerned for her as they don't know for sure what is happening. She's torn between the decision of whether to go to the man she loves and endanger them both or to stay with the man she cares for and keep them safe. Can either of them be truly safe though?
The pace is spot on during most of the book. There is so much detail and so many events. You'll be shocked by much of it. I truly don't know who I feel sorry for in this story. You have the glutton for punishment, the unreturned love, a mob boss, deeply scarred youths. Basically between the three of them they are a sad lot, but a hot lot.
It's a really good read and you truly don't know what is coming until it happens. They were things left out toward the end. I'm wondering if there is a third book. The ending was a bit rushed for me and didn't seem complete, though in my perspective it seems to elude to another book. I truly hope so as I've enjoyed both books and would like to see where the story goes from here.
This book has so many different dynamics to it as Angel is trying to not only come to terms with her life changing, but also wanting to make decisions for herself. I will say the one part was heart wrenching and at first I wasn't sure what was going on. It was a scene that could have been even more powerful if we'd have known truly what was happening from that first moment.
This book is better than four stars but I can't give it five yet. If I knew there was a third book to fill in the blanks I would give that extra shiny, but alas there's nothing that I could find stating there is one. This is a wonderful read for a lazy day as the length can be enjoyed in an afternoon or evening.
The author contacted me and there is in fact another book coming out! Yeah! So yes, this is a five star book and I'll be on pins and needles waiting for the next book!
Roman leads me away from the helicopter and down the walkway to his estate. The moment of silence feels surreal as I await my fate. This is a horrible nightmare and I will wake up safely in Kevin’s arms.
But this is not a dream.
This is real.
The man who refuses to let me go removes his hand from my lower back and roughly turns me to face him.
“I will give you the life you crave my sweet angel, but you need to stop fighting me. Let go of him…he doesn’t have the means to give you your happily ever after like I do,” Roman murmurs as he steps closer to me. His hand grips the hem of my sweater, tugging me toward him.
I stand frigid, waiting for his next commanding move, but nothing happens. Tears spill down my cheeks, and my body tremors as I find the courage to speak. “I will never love you,” I whisper, turning away.
“Ah, you see, I don’t need love. I own you, Angel,” he growls as my name slips off his lips. He roughly cups my chin, forcing me to face him. “Love kills you. You live to find love, only to be cheated and left to die alone.” He kisses the tears on my cheeks away. “We will make this work.”
His dark gaze locks with mine, sending a shiver down my back, then he gently lifts my left hand, his thumb rubbing slowly up and down my ring finger. “You need something here…a reminder, perhaps,” he says evenly.
“Yes, baby, so you don’t forget who you belong to.” His lips tug into a sad smile.
“Who I belong to…” I repeat, my voice breaking.
“Yes…” he whispers. He glances slowly toward his house and frowns, then his jaw clenches tightly, and his lips press into a hard line before he turns back to me. “Our family is waiting for us. I need you to wipe away everything that happened today.”
I shake my head and let out a cold, hard laugh. “I will never forget what you did to Kevin.” Or what you are doing to that poor girl, locked away at your secret compound.
“That was nothing compared to what I can do…what I will do if you try to leave me again,” he warns, dangerously. His eyes shimmer thickly with sadness and dangerous rage.
I flinch and take a step back. “You have me. You own me. I’m yours to do whatever you want. Just leave Kevin alone.”
I just made a deal with the devil.
Phalla S. Rios lives in California with her husband, a daughter and two goofy pit bulls. She loves to read and write while drinking her favorite tea, Joy, from Starbucks. During her spare time, she is usually at the movies or looking for the next best place to eat. She often refers to herself as a foodie. Her debut novel is Not at First. She is currently writing the sequel, Always at First.
Angel is trying a fresh start. Her family hates her and blames her for her father's death. She wants to go where no one will know her. No one will hate her. She'll start out going to college and end up where?
She meets Kevin on her first day of class. He's gorgeous, cocky, and a puzzle to be figured out. He's also becoming one of her best friends. He wants more, but can she give it to him?
While at the bus stop she sees Roman Conti. First she mistakes him for a homeless man with the looks of a God. She'll find out he's wealthy, connected, and wants to possess her. She can't help but fall for his romantic displays and his take charge appeal.
As the two men make their way into Angel's heart she'll have to choose between the man she knows and the one that still is a mystery. She may not know as much as she thinks she does though and when she finds out it could be too late.
This book is full steam ahead. At times I felt like it was rushed. The connections are made so quick that you wonder what type of girl she really is. While that being said when it comes to emotions, it's full on. I loved the premise of the story and think it's a great read.