Vinnie Vesta left Hell’s Kitchen in 1950 to find a better life. Now post-college, he leads an idyllic life in Jacksonville, Florida, as a U.S. Navy pilot and womanizer far removed from the organized crime of his youth. When one of Vinnie’s copilots dies in an accident, the Navy discovers that he was secretly married, and Vinnie is tasked with escorting the body home to California. Vinnie finds that the marriage had been short and was almost over, so the mutual attraction between widow Caitlin Pennington, a rising starlet, and Vinnie is quickly consummated, and they pledge eternal love. Unfortunately, her mob-affiliated father does not approve and plays dirty to break them up. Vinnie finds his mafia connections are needed to help him keep his dream girl.
While the big names in the 1950s mob scene and events are historically accurate, the premise of the book tests one’s suspension of disbelief. Despite the widow’s impending reasons for divorcing, the rapid seduction seems ill-advised considering the rapid demise of her marriage and husband the last time she hastily hooked up with a pilot. No attraction other than sexual seems to exist, which does not seem to warrant the risks they take to be together, especially considering Vinnie’s past and her quest to be a movie star.
The first book in the series, Mafia Summer, is helpful to read first. Otherwise, the names and relationships do not resonate with the proper significance. The first book deals with the world of organized crime and violence, while the second focuses more on Vinnie’s shallow-feeling relationship with Caitlin. Gangster fiction addicts may want to read the first book in this series. Otherwise, fuggetaboutit.