Title: Vice City (Vice City #1)
Author: S.A. Stovall
Publisher: DSP Publications
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Format: eBook, Print
Length: 234 pages / 80.458 words
Rating: 3.5 Stars
After twenty years as an enforcer for the Vice family mob, Nicholas Pierce shouldn’t bat an eye at seeing a guy get worked over and tossed in the river. But there’s something about the suspected police mole, Miles, that has Pierce second-guessing himself. The kid is just trying to look out for his brother any way he knows how, and the altruistic motive sparks an uncharacteristic act of mercy that involves Pierce taking Miles under his wing.
Miles wants to repay Pierce for saving his life. Pierce shouldn’t see him as anything but a convenient hookup… and he sure as hell shouldn’t get involved in Miles’s doomed quest to get his brother out of a rival street gang. He shouldn’t do a lot of things, but life on the streets isn’t about following the rules. Besides, he’s sick of being abused by the Vice family, especially Mr. Vice and his power-hungry goon of a son, who treats his underlings like playthings.
So Pierce does the absolute last thing he should do if he wants to keep breathing—he leaves the Vice family in the middle of a turf war.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
I dive into the story with no expectation whatsoever, having never read S.A. Stovall‘s books before. But I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised with the story.
Vice City is the first entry of a series with the same name. Set in the fictional city Noimore, anti-hero Nicholas Pierce is an enforcer and right hand man for Big Man Vice, head of the Vice family mob. On a rare interrogation, Pierce ends up saving the interrogatee; a young man named Miles Davenport. Owing his life to Pierce, Miles becomes his protégé and vows to follow (and serve) him. Before long, the two get tangled in the search of Miles’ brother, mob turf-war, search-and-evacuate efforts for the Vice offsprings, and – of course – each other.
This is not a tale with traditional HEA. Readers are treated to sex and violence early in the story; the MC being one of the people do the torturing and killing. The relationship between Pierce and Miles, while nothing sort of dub-con, is off unequal footing. There’s not much feeling involved. I’d feel uncomfortable reading it IF Miles wasn’t the proactive party. As it is, and with the whole book told in Pierce’s POV, let readers insight to Pierce’s thought and feeling; how when he saved Miles he didn’t intend the young man to be his “play thing” but he gradually feel something.
That’s the interesting bit the author weaves with the story; the MC’s weariness of being at the Vice’s beck and call, that he’s starting to think about retiring from the underworld. Considering he’s quite smart to question the orders he received, it annoys me that he doesn’t suspect things with SOOO MANY clues and COINCIDENCES thrown his way. I get that it’s necessary for others becoming knights in shinning armor, but I really really wish Pierce could prove to be savvier!
For an introduction to S.A. Stovall‘s works, I think this book do the job nicely. I’m quite entertained with the story and the author’s writing style’s agree with me.
I’m a bit disappointed for the non secondary POV as – as a reader – I’m curious of what’s going on inside his head. He seems to be in awe of Pierce – due to the man’s notorious reputation- and see him as a compassionate man at the same time. Despite their frequent carnal acts and the hints of jealousy on Miles’ part, these guys are not romantically involved. At least not in this book, they’re not. Hopefully, they can have their more assured HEA (or happy beginning?) in the next book of the series. With everything they’ve been through here, I can only hope. 😉
Copy of this book is kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.