The Characters

Monty has wanted to be governor most of his adult life, and now, as interim governor, being officially elected seems to be within reach—if only he didn’t have to shake hands with the devil in the form of an unholy cabal of corrupt politicians, a respected tycoon, and the Chicago Mob. And the woman he loves just happens to be the voice of his conscience. His only hope lies in his covert IBI team’s exposing the sins of the past. Monty’s dream of living in the Executive Mansion quickly spirals into a nightmare, and his enemies wage a war that escalates into a potential coup d’etat.


Jake Panelli knows more than most guys. He knows his capos hate his guts, and he knows The Outfit is now mostly a bunch of outdated clowns. He knows gambling, and he knows the way to rule the state of Illinois through casinos. He knows he’s no worse than his partner, a well respected business tycoon, and the politicians in their pockets. And especially, he knows how to make his enemies disappear. Smart man. Who could stop him? Definitely not some underfunded pissant-come-lately governor….


Raised on her mother Mandeeq’s obsession with revenge, Zahra was trained internationally for one purpose: to become a courtesan so seductive she could lure two powerful men to their deaths, a governor and the head of the Mafia. From exotic dancing to repartee, Zahra is the ultimate femme fatale, but is she also an assassin?  She loathes her life as a high-priced prostitute on Mandeeq’s houseboat, but murder is her only way out—until a steamy night on a Mississippi riverboat that might change everything….


Vittorio “Video” DiGenovese’s father sacrificed everything to put his son through Harvard to keep him from working on video poker machines the rest of his life for the Mob. Unfortunately, Jake Panelli, the top capo, decides Video is just the kind of up-and-comer he needs to help run the new casinos. His cold brutality earns Video’s all-consuming hatred—which just might turn Video into Governor Monty Sanderson’s secret weapon. He knows better than to fall for the mysterious Zahra, but he can’t quite get her out of his mind.  Yet he has no future until he gets the Mob’s hooks out of him. Is that black sedan following him…?


The leader of a protest group, Maggie has compelling reasons for her R.A.G.E., so the Mob just wants to shut her up any way they can. Though Maggie is uncompromising, she also has a soft side that pierces Monty’s soul, and as her impact grows more powerful—both with the public and with Governor Monty Sanderson—she steps ever closer to the hit man’s cross hairs. No woman with a bullhorn is going to stop the casino backers from raking in their potential billions.