Love Him Like Water Read Online Jessica Gadziala

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, Contemporary, Mafia, Suspense, Virgin Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 87
Estimated words: 84446 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 422(@200wpm)___ 338(@250wpm)___ 281(@300wpm)

In the heart of the city, alliances are forged in the shadows and sealed with vows.

Renzo Lombardi, the notoriously ruthless leader of an organized crime family, sees the chance to end the feud with his rivals, the Costa family, demanding a ceasefire in the form of a marriage contract.

Lore Costa, the shy, sweet princess of the Costa family, goes against her family’s wishes, and finds herself thrust into a new world when she agrees to marry Renzo, her secret infatuation.

It isn’t long before Lore discovers that the fairytale romance she’d dreamed of is anything but, as Renzo becomes consumed with the demands of his legacy, becoming a ghost haunting the shadows of Lore’s life, and leaving her adrift in a sea of loneliness.

By the time Renzo realizes his mistakes and tries to win back the heart of the woman he never knew he needed, whispers of greed and betrayal threaten to tear apart everything they have begun to hold dear, testing their fragile bonds amidst the treacherous currents of power and deception…

- This is a standalone story with steam, no cheating, and an hea -

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



As the evening sun dipped below the horizon, casting the city in hues of crimson and gold, I stood alone in the bridal suite, looking at my reflection in the ornate mirror, fingers trembling as I fastened the diamond headband and veil atop my dark hair.

I smoothed the fabric of my dress, my breath caught in my throat as my fingers traced over the delicate embroidery of my wedding gown.

With every moment that passed, the weight of my decision pressed upon me.

Marrying this man forsook the wishes of my family.

Not doing so would forsake myself.

The woman in the mirror betrayed none of the turmoil within. With each delicate brushstroke of makeup, I not only concealed my nerves, and the evidence of my lack of sleep, but the forbidden reasons I had made this decision.

To sign my life and future away to the notorious mob boss Renzo Lombardi.

An enemy of my family—the Costas—until the moment the two of us said I do.

A glance toward the wooden clock on the wall—the pendulum swinging a steady rhythm that somehow further set my nerves on edge—told me that those words would be said in less than fifteen minutes.

I fell into a sort of trance as I stood there, listening to the clock tick the minutes away, watching the pendulum swing side-to-side, much the way my heart felt pulled in two opposing directions.

The knock at the door caught me by surprise, tearing a gasp from me, and making my heart trip faster.

“It’s time,” the unfamiliar voice called.

When I was a girl, I pictured this moment a million times.

The door would open.

And there my father would be, teary-eyed, and ready to offer me his hand, to walk me down the aisle, to give me away to a man he deemed worthy.

Taking a deep breath, I walked toward the door, awkward in the long gown, and reached to pull it open.

My father was not there.

A small part of me hoped he might be, that he would change his mind, that he would take back the things he said about not playing a part in this ‘tragedy.’

All I found was an empty wall of cold gray stones.

And one of Renzo Lombardi’s men standing there, ready to walk me toward his boss.

He said nothing.

The way his gaze didn’t even travel over me, let alone linger, had a familiar insecurity rising through my system so quickly that I had to force my spine to straighten as we neared the chapel.

I hesitated at the last moment, some part of me whispering to run. Turn around, head for the doors, make my way out onto the streets, and run all the way back to my childhood home, back to the comfort of my old life.

“This is you,” the guard said, waving toward the entryway into the church.

I nodded, realizing at the last second that I’d left my bouquet in the bridal suite.

I hadn’t planned this wedding. Hadn’t picked out the flowers. When they’d shown up at the door—lush white chrysanthemums nestled in a circle of dark greenery—I’d immediately started sneezing, having to tuck them into the bathroom with a closed door to keep my allergies at bay.

My groom had planned this wedding.

He’d picked that bouquet.

Perhaps a soon-to-be husband should know which flowers his wife-to-be might be allergic to.

But of course Renzo didn’t know.

Because Renzo Lombardi didn’t know me at all.

As the organ trilled the beginning of The Bridal March, though, it was too late to turn back to grab them.

Instead, I clasped my hands together in front of me.

And took a step into the archway.

In the dimly lit grandeur of the gilded cathedral, where shadows danced like whispered secrets, silent objections hung heavy in the air, making a slight tremble start in my hands, then begin to work upward.

A sea of black suits and dresses flanked each side of the aisle, looking more like a funeral than a wedding.

No one stood to marvel at the bride.

No one dabbed their eyes or offered me smiles.

My heart beat louder than the organ that echoed the hallowed halls as I forced my wobbly legs to press forward, to make progress toward the altar.

Where my groom was waiting for me.

Unlike the men on my side of the aisle who seemed to wear their suits like second skins, Renzo Lombardi looked stiff and uncomfortable.

He looked like a dream, though, and some part of me was sure that when he finally turned to look at me, he would see his mistake, call off the wedding, and find someone who matched his stunning good looks.

Renzo was tall and fit with dark hair and eyes so deep they were almost black, framed with thick lashes, in a face full of sharp, classically handsome angles.

He had a face that may have looked too perfect, if not for the violent slash of scars that cut through his lip and brow, giving him an intimidating, dangerous look.