Review - "Johnny V and the Razor" by Ryssa Edwards
Gangsters with romance
Johnny V is screwed. The driver for a bootlegger, he knows his number might be up when the big, muscular guy slips in the backseat of the car instead of Donnelly. And when he is ordered to drive, he starts planning how he might survive the night.
Sloan is an enforcer, the brawn to his brother Nick's brains. He is good at eliminating threats, taking care of business and making all loose ends disappear. Until he looks at Johnny V, and sees something in the handsome younger man that makes him want to take a chance. Protect him. Make him his. "His mouth was wide, with smooth lips that could make a man think about things he shouldn't". So he does.
Sloan takes Johnny V home with him. And plans to keep him, till Nick catches wind of it. Orders him to take care of it, or he will. So Sloan has a choice to make. Will this be the end of Johnny V?
This cool and slick slice of life short tale is well crafted, with characters smoothly drawn and brought boldly to the page with mad skill by Ryssa Edwards. She brings a dark, dangerous era to life and populates it with men that are layered, damaged, tough and yet oddly hopeful and capable of love. What starts as a gangster story becomes a life long romance.
Ms. Edwards shows a sure hand here, making Sloan into a multi faceted, interesting character - a brute with a heart, smart and sure of himself. And Johnny V, a young survivor with a past that could have crushed him but which made him resilient and capable. They make a wonderful pair.
This is one of Dreamspinners' Nap Sized Dreams, and is oh so enjoyable.