by Maddie Taylor
“Devil’s Playground” by Maddie Taylor is so intensely involving that I honestly stayed awake all night reading because I kept needing to see what would happen next. The cover seems to indicate that it’s book one of a new series, which makes me very happy!
The plot is complicated but easy to follow. It deals with events that take place over a total of about 14 years. Carina is the daughter of a mafia Don. An only child, she’s deeply loved by her parents, who shield her as much as possible from the dark part of the ‘family business.’ When she’s just 17, the brutality of her world becomes devastatingly personal. A decade later, she survives another violent and traumatic event, and this time it results in her spending several years on the run from the person who caused all the horror.
Nick is a young NYPD patrolman when he tries to comfort Carina at the scene of the initial attack. By the time of the second tragedy in Carina’s life takes place, he’s an FBI agent. While she’s on the run from the mob, he’s trying to locate her so he can protect her, but she also thinks he betrayed her so she’s running from him as well. I don’t want to say much about the plot because when you read the book it’s like watching a movie unfold and it would be a shame to ruin it for you. Just have faith, it’s a really good story.
Carina and Nick are wonderfully complex characters. As the book progresses, we get to experience so much with each of them separately and together. There are good secondary characters, some humor, and several scenes of extreme violence. The chemistry between Carina and Nick is incredible, and when he introduces her to the BDSM lifestyle, it adds a whole other level to the story. He’s a ‘knight in shining armor. with a dark edge, It seems likely there will be books featuring some of the men who work for Nick at a business he creates to facilitate his search for Carina. If that happens, I’ll definitely buy them all because this one was excellent.