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Readers Raving Over Devil's Playground!

I'm thrilled at how well Book 1 in my new Dark Refuge series has been received. Thank you to all who read and reviewed so far.

Here are a few. You might recognize one of yours here :)


"The Mafia genre seems to be very ‘in’ at the moment and quite frankly I had my doubts that it was all getting a bit tired, how wrong could a reader be? This was fantastically entertaining, with loads of tension and thrilling action." ~ Lalaland Reviews.

See the full 5 star review on Goodreads:

"Maddie Taylor knows how to write suspense."

Jennifer Pierson, Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

"Definitely worthwhile waiting for. Maddie has delivered a stunning story, Intriguing, suspenseful, and full of action."

Maureen, Goodreads Reviewer

"An addictive book... I had trouble putting it down."

Nichole Ranae - Amazon reviewer

"A fantastic story! I loved every minute of it. I couldn't put it down."

Sassy Angel Goodreads

"Nick is the perfect book boyfriend. Honest, smexy, doesn't give up when (things) get tough." Joyffree - Goodreads

You can read all the reviews on Goodreads:


Pampered mafia princess Carina Denali is running from two men:

one wants her heart, the other wants her dead…


Still unconvinced? Here's a little snippet that might do the trick:

Nick picked up a lock of titian hair from her shoulder and rubbed it between his fingers. The color was different, but the silky softness hadn’t changed.

“Now that we’ve caught up a bit, can we address the elephant in the room?”

“You mean the St. Andrew’s cross and all the other BDSM paraphernalia?”

Though curious how she knew the terminology, he didn’t press her on it. “I was referring to how we left things the morning after Brae’s wedding?”

The blush in her cheeks deepened. “I’d rather not. Besides, I have to go.”

When she moved as though to hop down, he braced his hands on the table with one on either side of her hips and leaned in.

“Running again, princess? Haven’t you done that long enough? I’ve seen how you live and what you had to do to earn a living—”

“There’s nothing wrong with hard work,” she cut in.

“I never said there was, but sixteen-hour days on two jobs to make ends meet is too much for anyone, especially when one keeps you out half the night in dangerous areas of town. And don’t get me started about the risks of working at a strip joint to begin with.”

“As a waitress, Nick.”

“Maybe, but you still had to deal with getting hit on and fending off handsy drunks. You don’t know how many nights I stared at the ceiling, hoping someone walked you out to your car after closing.”

“Some of the bouncers were nice guys and offered,” she replied without meeting his gaze. “But I tried to park under a streetlight, just in case.”

The thought of her walking alone at three in the morning in the sketchiest areas of town was what had kept him up at night. Anger rippled through him, and his grunt of disapproval came out more like a growl.

“How often did your managers push to get you on stage? Or threaten to replace you if you didn’t? And how often were you tempted to when you were down to your last few bucks and had to decide between eating or paying rent? Or filling your gas tank so you could be ready to run if Vinny’s goons came knocking?”

She looked down at her tightly clasped hands. “What else was I supposed to do with Vinny wanting me dead and Carlo’s murder hanging over my head.”

Did his brain short circuit, or had he heard her wrong? “How’s that?”

“One of my uncle’s men said I was wanted in New York for murder.” Her voice grew tremulous when she gazed up at him and proclaimed, “I didn’t do it. I swear. He was arguing with Vinny and Enzo in the library when I heard the shots.” Her face paled, and her gaze dropped to his chest when she added, “A silencer isn’t really silent, is it?”

He cupped her shoulders and gave them a gentle squeeze. “That’s why they were after you. You’re a witness to attempted murder.”

“Attempted? What are you saying?”

“Your cousin Carlo isn’t dead, Cari.”

Her fingers curled in his shirt. “But I saw him take his last breath, and I couldn’t find a pulse. I wouldn’t have left him otherwise—”

“Carlo Mancuso is alive. At least he was three days after you disappeared. He fell off the grid after that. He’s most likely on the run from Vinny’s goons, too, but from what your friends said, I think he’s also been searching for you, too.”

“You’ve seen him?” she demanded as her hands moved to his wrists, gripping them with surprising strength. “Actually breathing?”

He smiled down at her and replied in words she couldn’t misinterpret. “When I paid him a visit in the hospital, he wasn’t lying in bed at death’s door but pacing the floor, waiting for the doctor to discharge him. I’m no medical expert, but he seemed healthy as an ox.”

“Oh, thank god,” she whispered in a rush as she slumped forward with her head against his chest. “I thought for sure he died that day. He was by my side for years, and I loved him like a brother.” She sniffed and let out a little huff of laughter. ‘‘An older, annoying one. You can’t know how happy this makes me; I grieved for him for months.”

Gently, he stroked her back, frustrated she’d gone through that alone. “Why didn’t you come to me, Cari? I would have helped you.”

He felt her tense beneath his hands before she sat up.

“I tried to go to the police, but I saw men I knew at the station. They’d been to my house and not on official business. I couldn’t trust any of them, not after leaving bloody fingerprints everywhere. I thought for sure Vinny would have me framed for Carlo’s murder.”

“And you didn’t trust me, either.”

“I need to go,” she blurted out as she scooted to the side.

But he shifted, using his body to keep her on the table. She laid her hands on his chest, palms flat, fingers splayed, in a defensive reaction, which was beginning to piss him off.

“What you need,” he bit out, “is to stay here, where I can protect you.”

“How can I trust you to do that when you lied to me from the first moment we met?”

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