Home > Forbidden Arrangement (The Four Valenti Brothers #1)

Forbidden Arrangement (The Four Valenti Brothers #1)
Author: J. S. Cooper

 

 

BLURB

 

 

The Case: Casually bump into Valentina Ford. Take her out. Be a jerk. And then she’ll go running off to Daddy’s perfect match. Easy peasy.

The Mark: Valentina Ford, 28, headstrong, too beautiful for her own good, enjoys trashy reality TV shows. Has a wild side.

The Problem: The second I meet Valentina Ford, she kisses me. And I realize nothing about this case will be easy.

I’m Sam Valenti. The eldest of the Valenti Four. Yes, I have three other brothers who are even crazier and hotter-headed than me. The teachers just loved us in school. I run The Valenti Brothers Fix-It agency. There is no problem too big or small that we won’t attempt to fix. I’ve found cheating husbands, lost dogs, and even procured a recipe book from a little old lady for a large culinary corporation.

But now I’ve gotten my weirdest case yet. I have to date an impertinent sassy brunette. But there’s a twist; I have to be the biggest jerk she’s ever dated. It’s an unusual case, for sure, but I’m willing to take it on for the money he’s offering. It should be a piece of cake.

But then I meet Valentina Ford, and I know instantly that nothing about this case will be easy. Not one single thing.

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

“I can’t believe Dad has another new girlfriend.” Sergio, my best friend and brother, rolled his chestnut brown eyes as we made our way up the stairs and out of the subway.

“I’m surprised his dick hasn’t fallen off,” Stefano, another one of my brothers, commented, and we all laughed. I saw a cute blonde in the corner, staring at us all with a small smile as we made our way down the street. I supposed we were a sight to see. Four tall, handsome Italian American studs who were all obviously related. My brother Santino winked at the blonde, and she blushed as she licked her lips.

“I’m surprised your dick hasn’t fallen off, Santino,” I ribbed my brother, and he just grinned at me. None of us took anything too seriously. We were each other’s best friends and endlessly poked fun at each other.

“Don’t be jealous that I get all the ladies, Sam. Maybe if you weren’t such a stick in the mud, you’d be getting some p …” His voice trailed off as my phone rang. I answered it immediately. A phone call meant potential money, and we Valenti brothers needed money.

“Thanks for calling the Valenti Fix-It Agency. Sam speaking, how can I help you?”

“This is the detective agency?” a deep, gruff voice asked, and I held a thumb up to my brothers. Not only were my brothers my best friends, but we also worked together. We were private detectives at our family business. My father, Lorenzo Valenti, started the Valenti Fix-It Agency before we were born, but that was back when he was in the Mafia. He was a fixer for a couple of mafiosi and lived a life of crime until he got shot and nearly died. Then he turned legit and transformed the agency into a private detective firm, with no case being too small. He always reminded us that he did it for us boys because if he died, then we’d have no one.

“Yup, we are all private detectives. No case is too big or too small.”

“I need your help with my daughter.” The man sighed, and I wondered what his daughter had done. Had she stolen his life savings? Run off with his business partner? Maybe she was engaged to some banker who was cheating on her, and he wanted me to provide proof.

“And how can I do that, sir?” I could see my brothers watching me as I spoke. I knew they were all hoping this would be a big case. The sort of case that would put us on the map and have the big bucks rolling in. We needed more business. We weren’t exactly broke, but the income from the agency was supporting the entire family, and we didn’t have much left in the bank after all expenses were paid at the end of each month.

“I’d rather talk to you in person.”

“Um, okay.” I looked at my brothers and held up my hand for them to stop. “If you want to meet us at The Toad’s Hole, my brothers and I will be there in about five minutes … until about midnight.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.” He hung up, and I shrugged as I placed my phone in my pocket.

“So we may or may not have a new case,” I told my brothers as we continued walking.

“I might have to leave early tonight.” Stefano clenched his fists, and I nodded. Stefano worked with us by day, but he was an underground fighter by night. He usually didn’t come to the bar with us on fight nights, but this was the first Friday of the month. On the first Friday of every month, my brothers and I held a meeting in a local bar called The Toad’s Hole. We did it for several reasons. One, we loved to hang out together. Two, we loved to hang out in bars, and three, we inevitably found new clients at the bar, so it was also a way to drum up business. As the eldest, I was in charge, and being in charge came with a lot of responsibility. We called it a Fix-It Agency because we considered ourselves Mr. Fix-Its. However, some people would classify our company as a detective agency. However, none of us Valenti boys liked the word detective. It was too close to the word cop. And one thing we Valentis didn’t like was cops. Well, I liked cops, even went to the police academy, but I had to drop out. The family dislike was more than likely born from the fact that our great-grandfather, who had been a little bit of a criminal, had been in and out of jail so many times that he’d hated them first. He’d taught our grandfather to hate cops, who had taught our father, and our father had taught us. It didn’t help that our father had spent most of his life working for the Mafia, but he was retired now. At least that was what he told us. Half the time, he was at the bar or the office with us. He was the kind of guy who always had to have his say in something. It drove me crazy. But I loved him. He raised us four boys by himself when our mom left. While he wasn’t perfect, he did his best.

“That’s fine.” I nodded as I hit him on the shoulder. “I’m surprised you’re willing to bruise your pretty face.” My brothers all laughed at my joke. Stefano was the best-looking of all the brothers, even though we were all pretty handsome. Something about the way his dark hair flopped over his bright-blue eyes made the women drop their panties faster than they swiped their credit cards at a Kate Spade sale.

“You guys gonna come?” Stefano asked as we walked into the rowdy bar. The Toad’s Hole was dark, smelled of beer, and was full of criminals and tourists, but it felt like home. We’d been coming here since before we could legally drink.

“I don’t know.” I shrugged. “Depends on how much business we drum up.”

“Isn’t Elise going?” Santino asked Stefano. Elise was Stefano’s best friend and like a sister to us all. Her mom, Sienna Dane, had been our dad’s first girlfriend after our mom left. Even though she and he had only dated for a year, she’d stayed in our lives. Sienna took care of us as a surrogate mom, and I always wondered how she had remained such good friends with my dad, who was a serial womanizer.

“Yeah, probably.” Stefano nodded. “And Betsy too.”

“Oh boy.” I rolled my eyes. Betsy was Stefano’s trophy girlfriend of the month.

“Don’t be jealous, Sam.” Stefano winked at me. “You don’t have your next twenty-nine-dayer?”

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