(4 customer reviews)

Love wasn’t for me … not until I met Sydney

I’m a monster. Violence, pain, and power is my life. Nothing soft, nothing pure. My work as a mafia enforcer demands it. In my world, everything soft and pure dies.

Sydney is an angel. Innocent. I have no business dirtying her with my touch.

But I can’t stay away.

I’ve claimed every inch of her over and over again—and it’ll never be enough.

I know I scare her sometimes. But she’s not nearly as frightened as she should be.

Because my demons could destroy her. I’d kill or die to protect her, but what if the biggest danger she faces is me—the ruthless monster in her bed?

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One




Leaning against the railing, I watch the Cubans as they toy with the kidnapped woman. She’s in her fifties, a dark-haired beauty, dressed in a classy suit, torn now, the expensive high-heeled shoes long gone.

Swinging her between them, they dangle her over the water, just long enough to get high off her terror, then yank her back to the illusion of safety with empty promises in her ear. Then they do it all over again.

Growing tired of the game, I pull out my Colt and put a bullet between her eyes. She’s dead anyway, it’s a mercy kill. The sound of the shot is deafening, the screaming stops, and I have four AR-15s pointed at me. I tuck away the gun and shrug.

“Stop fucking around. Let’s get to work.”

The men glance at each other and come to a decision, tossing the body overboard, before they disappear into the depths of the boat. I light a cigarette and watch the final moments before the woman vanishes beneath the surface. The ocean glitters cheerfully in the sun, seagulls shrieking high above us. Nature, as always, uncaring about human struggles. I close my eyes, fight down my frustration, and take a few more deep pulls. Enjoying the warm gusts of wind and the absence of the screams and hoots, I flip the butt over the railing, turn, and walk down the stairs into the cabin.

I never toy with my targets. Death is a serious matter, personal, the last moments of a human life. It is to be met with some amount of respect.


The Manhattan skyline grows in the distance, partially obscured by the morning fog. Only the top of the Chrysler building glitters in the first rays of the sun. It’s a promise of home, of getting some well-deserved rest. I like the anonymity of New York, the melting pot, how easy it is to meet and discard a person. There are all kinds here. Good people, bad people, lost people, broken people. Very few normal people. I fit right in.

My phone buzzes.

“Nate.” Christian Russo, my larger-than-life brother, greets me cheerily.

“Chris. What’s up?”

“Tell me you’re in the big apple.”

“I’m in a cab. Just left JFK. Got a foggy view of Manhattan across the river. Why?”

“I’m passing through. Need a place to crash.”

“What’s wrong with hotels, mate?”


“I’m just kidding. Of course you can come by. Wanna go out?”


“A’right. Gimme a call when you get to town. I’m not picking you up. I’m fucking beat. Cuba was Hell on earth.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“You’re funny. I don’t talk. Let’s go out for a drink instead.”

Christian barks out a laugh. “Talk later.”

The taxi dives into Queens Midtown Tunnel. Dark turns to light as we resurface, and the well-known streets surround us. It makes me breathe easier. Even early in the day, it’s noisy and buzzing with cars and people. I roll down my window and inhale the scents of freshly baked bread, garbage, car exhaust.

“Sixty-four bucks.”

I lean forward and hand my credit card to the driver.

“Thanks, Mr. Russo,” he says, giving me back the card before opening his door.

“I got it.” I grab my bag and hop out. The air is chilly, and white fog comes out of my mouth with every breath. Tribeca is waking up, a few are on their way to work, not much going on yet.

I jerk off in a scorching shower. It doesn’t help one fucking bit. I’m still edgy, still frustrated. Cuba was technically a success, but I’m not feeling it. I need to go out, I need to vent. As I unpack and wake up my loft again after a few weeks of hibernation, I ponder where to go tonight. I’ll see what mood Christian is in, but me, I don’t want to think; I just want to blow my mind clear from all the shit that’s gathered there.

A call announces the arrival of my big brother, my friend, protector, and partner in crime. Quite literally.

I pick up and tell the door man to let him up and a few moments later come three signature loud bangs on the door, making me jump.

“Fuck’s sake.” I stride over and turn the lock. He gives me a slap on the back and looks around the large bright space that is my loft.

“Still no woman’s hand, I see.”

I scoff and jerk my head toward the kitchen. “Beer, bro. Talk soon. Women later, all right?”

Christian grins. “Sounds good to me.” He trails behind me and I hand him an ice-cold Corona.

Grabbing it in his large paw, he regards it. “Still with these Mexican beers, Nate? Got anything more to my taste?”

I pop one open for myself and sink down on a stool by the bar. “Nope. I love all things Mexican. Now what brings New York the honor of your presence?”

“Salvatore wants me to deliver something personally.”

“Doesn’t sound good for the receiver.”

Our uncle is known for sending not too subtle messages to people who fault him or meddle in his business.

Christian cocks his head and shrugs. He’s an imposing man. Dark and tall. My brother has an inch on me, and that’s saying a lot because I’m six feet two. It was always a contest between us, growing up. I thought I’d catch up, but he won big time. I wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of whatever he doles out.

He takes a few swigs from his bottle. “Can I use your shower?”

“Take what you need. My home is your home.”

“I don’t wanna smell like you, though.”

“What the fuck?” I sniff my armpit. “What’s wrong with my smell?”

“You smell like a sissy.”

He dodges my punch and disappears laughing.


Coming from the bathroom, Christian brings with him a cloud of cologne and dons a dark gray suit that looks like it’s never been worn before. I’m on my couch, a second beer in my hand, with my feet propped up on the table, flipping through TV channels. Old reruns of comedies with canned laughs. I turn it off, drop the remote on the table and turn to him, tossing him a spare key to my place. He pockets it with a knowing grin.

“Just not in my bed, you fuck.”

He barks out a laugh and lays his hand over his heart.

I sigh. “Cuba was shit. It went well technically, I guess, but these guys… No finesse, I felt disaster looming around every corner. It’s not often my stomach is in knots throughout a whole fucking op.”

“What are you doing now?”

“Tonight, I wanna forget about everything. I want booze, women, and songs. Tomorrow, I’m off to the Dominican Republic.”

“Really? Again? Same people?”

I nod. “Yeah. They were apparently pleased with the outcome last time. But fuck that. I don’t wanna think about that tonight.”

Christian raises an eyebrow. “Booze and women, then.”

“Hell yeah.”

“That’s my man.” He nudges my shoulder. “Where’s the place to go?”

“Le Bain. It’s walking distance from here, unless you feel lazy. I need to walk off some steam, because I’m still fucking riled up.”

Christian shrugs. “Let’s do it. I want to fuck an upper-class bitch who’s never been tied up in her life.”

I laugh. “They’re all pretty hardcore here. Good luck with that.”

“Oh, I’m game with hardcore.”

“Yeah, I know.” I rise and grab my phone, wallet and keys.

“Nate, I’m a wuss next to you. You’re insatiable. Leave them alive at least.”

I scoff as I lock the door behind us. “I don’t hurt chicks. Much. At least not permanently.”


Le Bain is hot, filled to the boiling point, heavy music pounding through the loudspeakers. It’s the go-to club at the moment. Christian disappears into the depths of the venue within a few seconds. He’s on the prowl. I’ll be surprised if I even see him again tonight.

I haven’t been here even five minutes when I see her by the bar, standing alone, trying to get the attention of the bartender. Young. Long, beautiful brown hair with a hint of red that catches the playful lights from the dance floor. Tiny frame, a perfect round ass in a snug dress. I picture wrapping my fist around that lush mane, pulling hard, hearing her scream as I fuck her.

“You can keep those on,” I say, coming up from behind, pressing against her back.

She spins around. “What?” Taking me in, her face turns from a snarky frown to interested in a second.

“Those.” I nod at her high-heeled shoes. “When we fuck.”

She has big, round doe-like eyes. I can’t discern the color, but the intensity in them makes something stir in the pit of my belly. She crosses her arms over her chest and stares me down, narrowing her eyes.

“What makes you think we’re gonna fuck?”

I move in on her, putting a hand on the bar next to her, cornering her between my arm and the girl on the other side. “That heavy sensation in your pussy right now,” I whisper in her ear.

Her pupils dilate and her breath quickens. Then she scoffs. “You’ve got some nerve. I’m not screwing some random stranger.”

“I’m Nathan,” I say and give her my hand. When she takes it, her face guarded, I add, “Now we’re not strangers anymore.”

She laughs. “Right. In your mind, maybe. Who am I, then? If you know me so well.”

I eye her, letting my gaze travel along her body, fighting down an urge to just whisk her away. “You’re from out of town. Not used to this—” I tilt my head, indicating the rest of the club. “Single, though I can’t understand why.” I cock my head and narrow my eyes. “You’re also interested, but you’re gonna fight it and I’m not getting anywhere with this, am I?”

Widening her eyes, she squirms, glances over my shoulder as if searching for someone, then she bites her lip and meets my gaze.

“You trapped me good. I can’t say ‘you’re wrong’, because then you’d take it as an invite. I can’t say ‘you’re right’, because then you’d think you are getting somewhere.”

She shifts and pulls her hand out of my grip. I take a step back. I’m not stupid. I won’t be getting anywhere, and I’ve made her uncomfortable. Sometimes that’s what gets me my highs, but it wasn’t my intention tonight.

“You never told me your name.”

“Yeah, look Nathan… Forget it. You’re not my type.”

The disappointment strikes me hard. What is it with this girl? The stupid fucking feeling that I could have taken her home and enjoyed waking up next to her tomorrow strikes me, and it’s a bitter surprise. It’s probably because she rejected me. I never take anyone home.

“You’re a lovely lady,” I say. “Take care.”

I turn and sneak through the crowd, frustration building, the need for a body, any-fucking-one mounting.

Long, platinum blonde hair catches my attention and I smirk. A well-known face. Hello Vanessa. Our on and off fling has been mostly off the last few months, but she’ll definitely do.

I snake an arm around her waist.

“Come.” She jerks and cries out, but when she sees it’s me, she doesn’t object as I steer us through the throng of people on the dance floor. I pull her flush against my body, wedging a thigh between hers. We move with the music, sweaty bodies surrounding us. She rocks her hips against mine, leans back in my hold, her arms above her head, exposing her chest and her throat.

“What a nice surprise, Nate,” she says huskily in my ear. “I didn’t know you were back in town.”

I don’t answer and start pushing her in front of me, maneuvering her through the crowd, through a curtain-covered doorway into an abandoned corridor. I try a couple of doors until I find an open one. The room is empty and dark. I already have a hand shoved up between her ass cheeks, pressing into her heat and feeling her soaked against my fingers. She moans as I back her up against a wall and nuzzle her neck. She smells fresh. Soap, a light flowery scent. I appreciate that.

In one rough move, I jerk her dress up to her waist.

“Hey!” she cries.

“No talking.” I push her panties to the side and caress the smooth, wet flesh, circling her clit, her entrance, teasing, but never entering. Then I stop. She buckles in my hold and groans. I chuckle.

“On your knees. Be a good girl and pull down my pants.”

She turns out to be a really good girl. All thoughts of Cubans, late night raids, rattling machine guns, and people screaming, blissfully fade. I pull her up by her arm.

“Bend over.”

“You got protection?”

“Yes, I’ve got protection. Now turn the fuck around and bend over.”

I tear open the little package and roll on a condom, then I move her panties to the side and push inside her, reveling in the feeling of her warm softness hugging my cock. She cries out and supports herself against the wall. I cup her breasts in my hands and find her nipples, making her gasp as I thrust, pinching her peaks until they’re stiff. Then I wrap a thick length of blonde hair around my fist and pull her head back until she arches up. My other hand follows a taut belly down the front of white lacy panties. I push inside and caress her clit as I fuck her harder and harder.

She tenses, her breathing erratic. “I’m coming,” she cries. I fuck her through her orgasm and feel her shudder on me.

“Turn around.” I pull out of her pussy and toss the condom. “On your knees.”

She obeys and takes me in her mouth again. It isn’t long before her skills make me come hard, all my pent-up energy finally released.

When I zip up and walk out the door, she’s still kneeling. “You’re such a dick, Nate,” she yells behind me.

Yeah. I know.

Physically, I’m sated, but all I feel is emptiness. In a club stock full of people, I’m still lonely.

On my way toward the exit, I see the little brunette again. She has a bottle of beer in one hand and a wide grin on her face. Her petite body sways with the music, squeezed in between two huge guys who clearly only have eyes for each other. I stalk half a lap around the dance floor, taking her in, forgetting about my misery. She has a shyness to her, and still there’s a heat underneath. I admire her curves, her toned, slender body. She’s dressed with more class than most chicks here. A thin sheen of sweat covers her skin as she dances with abandon. My cock twitches to life again and I find my feet almost moving on their own accord.

I’m an arm’s length away when I realize I have nothing to say. She’s not the kind of woman you grab by the hair and fuck behind a dumpster.

I’m clearly not the man she’d ever look at twice.

Something dark in me flares up, and I turn away, disgusted with myself.

I push through the crowd, glancing behind me once more, and at that moment she turns, and our eyes meet briefly before she averts her gaze. It’s like a bolt of disappointment shoots through me. An empty shell of a man is what I am, but I don’t know how to live any other life. Not anymore.

4 reviews for Heat

  1. LuCinda

    I first will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this great, smoking hot story by Nicolina Martin. I think it was professionally written and fast paced. Sydney Lewis is going on vacation by herself for the first time when she meets Nathan Russo at a bar the night before she leaves, Nate hits on Syd and she turns him down. The next day she again runs into him at the airport and surprise, surprise he is sitting right next to her on the plane. I can’t help but feel the heat just rolling off these two from the start. This book is so good that the statement Heat will take you on a journey to paradise, through hell, and back is absolutely right. There is many twists and turns to this tale. This books deals with love, adventure, risks, conflicts, and survival. You won’t regret picking up this book.

  2. Lalaland

    I read another of Ms Martin’s books recently and was completely blown away so was delighted to note that she had a new series started. Heat – wow how fitting, definitely not an exaggeration. Sydney is in middle management at a hotel in Miami but dreams of owning her own hotel one day in the future. The daughter of wealthy parents with an indulgent father she prefers to make her own way in life – sadly she spends most of her time working and aside from the occasional run on the beach or a visit to the gym that’s her whole life. For the first time in her life she decides to go away for a few days on holiday to the Dominican Republic. The evening before flying she visits New York to see her mother and spend the evening with some friends and visit a night club. Whilst at the bar she meets Nathan Russo who hits on her and although he is gorgeous she rejects his advance. The next day they meet by chance in the airport where once again Sydney is drawn to Nate recognising the amazing chemistry but also she can sense the underlying innate danger in becoming involved. Coincidentally, of course, they are seated next to each other on the plane and Sydney is afraid of flying so naturally Nate comforts and holds her and she cannot hold out for long against this compelling and extremely hot man and they very soon become members of the very exclusive mile high club. Once arrived they go their separate ways. Nate is the product of a terribly violent and sad childhood and he has work to do the sort of work which is not conducive to relationships and certainly not anything that Sydney would ever countenance as being normal or safe. Throughout the next few days whether by coincidence or design Sydney and Nate get together and when they do their chemistry is red hot, Sydney can feel the danger but somehow she feels safe when in his arms. Nate cannot keep away from Sydney and somehow wants to be different for her. This story is an erotic thriller and as so it ticks every box, thrills, violence, villains, hot raunchy scenes, hot spanking scenes with no punches pulled. A very hot and sexy antihero and a lovely hard working and innocent caring heroine. The writing is stylish, intelligent and compelling and the characters are multi faceted, I could not put this down until The End. Fabulous entertaining read – cannot wait for the next in this series, excellent. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy.

  3. Redrabbitt

    What a great start to this series that is a steamy, dark romance fully of mystery, suspense, danger, passion, and romance. It does contain violence and murder, along with forced submission and dubious consent. Two people will meet by chance at a nightclub in New York, and shockingly enough, again the next day at the airport on their way to the Dominica Republic. One is on vacation; the other is on business. But fate will keep bringing these two together.

    The plot will have Sydney and Nate together from New York to the Dominica Republic where he takes this shy reserved woman and dominates her, controlling situations and pushing her beyond her comfort zone. Together, they will join the mile high club while on the plane and before long, he will take over her vacation at a resort and move her to the area he is in taking care of family business.

    “That was ten shades of wicked.”

    Nate has an uncanny way of avoiding answering questions Syd ask him and instead turns the tables and conversation back to her. The story has two tales taking place, one with Nate and his team taking care of family business—killing and then the one of him and Syd and their erotic romance that has spankings, BDSM elements, and explicit sex scenes. Syd is very confused by her feelings for Nate but when she is attacked for the second time by another man and Nate comes to her rescue, his level of anger and violence scares her.

    “I didn’t want to leave, but I can’t stay. I can’t take more. He’s eating me alive. He awakens something in me I can’t put words to. He frightens me and makes me feel safe at the same time. I can’t do it. No matter what I do, I’ll lose. Either I cut him out and lose him, or I say, and lose myself. I don’t know what Nathan is, or does, but he’s no normal business man. He’s dangerous, dark, and I don’t want to know. I don’t want to see him ever again.”

    Syd returned to Miami, a different woman that went on vacation. She is haunted by Nate and what she witnessed and trying to pull her life back together. What will she do when after several months Nate shows back up? Will she give him a second chance?

  4. Goldie

    Sydney has dreams of a perfect vacation nothing to do but relax. She meets
    Nathan Russo a very dangerous man but part of his intrigue is his dark past
    with a lot of secrets. He sees Sydney give him a look like he is a monster. He
    kills a man in cold blood after he threatens Sydney’s life. Will Nathan give up
    his livelihood for the one woman he can’t get out of his system. Will Sydney
    wait for him to choose a new way of life?

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