Twenty years ago, as a young Pagano Brothers soldier, Donnie Goretti was horribly injured on the job. The devastating scars of that attack led him to be known as “The Face.”
Since then, he’s been alone, reminded daily that he’s too ugly to look at, much less to love. He's devoted himself instead to his work, and he rose through the ranks to become the underboss of the Pagano Brothers family.
Now, he is a man of wealth, influence, and respect. In the day, he’s a powerful executive and philanthropist. In the night, he’s the don’s ruthless right hand. When he wants companionship, he has it; there will always be women attracted to his status. But he harbors no delusions that they care about him. How could they, when they can hardly bear to look at him?
When he meets Arianna Luciano, a principal dancer with the Rhode Island Ballet, Donnie offers her the same arrangement he’s offered many other women. He’s armored his heart with cool reserve and an arsenal of iron-clad rules about what he expects, what he’ll allow, and what he’ll give in exchange.
But Ari doesn’t like rules, and she wants no part of Donnie’s offer. She sees his scars as signs of his pain, markers of his history. They are nothing to be ashamed of. They don’t diminish his worth. She wants the chance to fall in love.
If only she could make him believe it.