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Publisher's Summary

He’s a ruthless stranger. One I can’t see, only feel, thanks to my friends who make a deal with him on my behalf. 

No names. No personal details. No face to etch into my mind. Just him, me, and an expensive silk tie. What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas. He warns me he’s full of danger. I never see that side of him. All I experience is his Russian accent, delicious scent, and touch that lights me on fire. 

One incredible night turns into two. Then we go our separate ways. But fate doesn't keep us apart. When I run into my stranger back in Chicago, I know it’s him, even if I’ve never seen his icy blue eyes before. 

Our craving is hotter than Vegas. But he never lied. He’s a ruthless man....

Ruthless Stranger is the jaw-dropping first installment of the Mafia Wars series. It’s an interconnecting, stand-alone dark mafia romance, guaranteed to have an HEA.

©2021 Maggie Cole (P)2021 Maggie Cole

What listeners say about Ruthless Stranger

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!!!!

Smoking hot, emotionally gripping, so many feels, the anger, the love, the violence is all combined to make a brilliant story. Exceptional narration by Zachary Johnson! This is a new narrator to me and was blown away at the raw emotion he played out in the chapters. I even hit the back button a few times just to relisten to a scene again because he poured every emotion into it. The audio of this book is a MUST listen. I cannot wait for the next book when we see what happens with Boris!!

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  • Sparkly Unicorn
  • 2021-04-08

9 hours

I purchased this book off of the reviews and wish I hadn’t. The premise of this story was great however the execution was terribly disappointing.

The male voice sound Irish and something else not Russian. The female voice was ok

Max as a character needed a good hug and a man up. At times he annoyed me with this why won’t she love me. What is it about me bs line. It was overwhelming for all this internal dialogue from an alpha male. The other part is his mob adjacent bs. Either you are or you aren’t.

Aubrey was ick. 20 years of being someone’s living atm. Then literally a week later after a divorce she is unable to do anything but think about the one off in Vegas.

The whole story is just rounds of sex with weak dialogue and no character to progression. Numerous storylines that never get wrapped. Why is the ex husband trying to get her money? What is going on between Max and Boris? What’s the deal with the mayor and Rossi family? We never find out why the mayor pushing the land deal. We never see an escalation of war between Zamir and the Italians. The ending is far from even close to realism.

If you just want sex this is for you. If you want to be transplanted in a world where you get lost in the story this is not the one.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S. Cole
  • 2021-04-11

Ruthless Stranger

This book is smoking HOT! Aspen finally gets her divorce finalized from her stealing, lying, and cheating husband. Her friends take her on a surprise trip to celebrate. There she gets to experience her most ultimate sexual dream without any strings attached. Maxine is a tall dark handsome Russian silver fox. After their incredible blissful weekend they go back to their normal lives. Then they cross paths again. Things pick right back up where they left them. This book is nonstop action and sexiness! Can't wait for the next book! Sarah Puckett and Zachary Johnson do an absolutely fantastic job narrating this book! Both truly did an amazing job with Maxine's Russian accent!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Trisha C.
  • 2021-04-02

intense, action packed

Maggie Cole's Ruthless Stranger is explosive, dangerously sexy hot, and full of intrigue, secrets and lies. Their dealings with the mafia, crooked politicians and the underlying motives to keep their families safe at all costs. The story and cliffhanger at the end, had me on the edge of my seat.
Sarah Puckett and Zachary Johnson narration was perfection. The emotions and accents for each character was amazing. They brought the intensity, live raw angst, to each character. This is an Amazing listen.
@PinkFlamingoProductions The Flock! @AudiobookObsession AudiobookObsessionReviewer🎧

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bette
  • 2021-04-01

Awesome Story & Narration🎧 Gripping & Intense!

I loved everything about this audiobook, from Maggie Cole’s wonderful writing style to the characters and storylines she created to the perfectly casted narrators who brought it all to life. This is my first book written by Ms. Cole and it will definitely not be my last, I hope more of her work comes to audio soon. I was drawn into her story right from the start, it captured my attention and held it the entire time. The characters are complex and well developed, they are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with. The mafia world she created is fascinating, it is easy to follow who the major players are and where the main characters fall in the hierarchy and how they became to be players in that world. This book is Maksim and Aspen’s story, I their first encounter in Vegas, her friends, Skylar, Cora and Hailey, helped set it up and it turned out to be hot and steamy time together. Neither one thought or even planned on seeing the other again but call it fate or call it chance the two do wind up meeting again. He shows up for a meeting at her office to conduct business. I loved how everything plays out for these two, it was great to learn more about each. She had her troubles with her ex-husband and Maksim comes from and lives in a world of trouble. It was heartbreaking to hear some of his and his brothers history but it explains why he became who he is, ruthless. This is an awesome dark mafia romance novel, the story is cleverly plotted and there is never a dull moment. There is plenty of drama, angst, twists and turns, action, thrilling and suspenseful moments and some hot romance. I am looking forward to what comes next in this amazing new series, need more of those Ivanov brothers, Adrian and hopefully Aspen’s friends. Maggie Cole thank you for this great story, it was entertaining, enjoyable and an unpredictable and emotional rollercoaster ride.


🎧📚🎧 And for the fabulous narration, Sarah Puckett and Zachary Johnson are talented narrators and versatile voice artists. They did an awesome job portraying the characters, bringing them to life and humanizing them with their emotions and personality. They gave each character their own distinct voice voice making it easy to follow along and tell who is who. I loved how each took their characters role and made it their own, sounding believable and just as I picture them to sound. Both were awesome with the different accents especially the Russian, Zachary Johnson perfected Maksim’s role and Sarah Puckett did the same for Aspen. Both were great performing the roles of the secondary characters as well. They are entertaining storytellers and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for another awesome listen🎧

Thank you @PinkFlamingoProductions The Flock! @AudiobookObsession AudiobookObsessionReviewer🎧

3 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie
  • 2021-04-02

Hottest ever strangers to lovers!

Maggie Cole has done it again!!!! And this time she took it the next level with amazing narration!

Zachary and Sarah bring Maksim and Aspen to life....the performance was spot on....you feel
the emotions and like you are right there with the characters! Fabulous narration!!!

This strangers to lovers book is a must read.....it was supposed to be just one night but it turned into two....there were rules, the rules were followed and everyone was satisfied....or were they? They had no clue they both lived in Chicago so when they see each other again it is electric! Maksim is dangerous and ruthless, but can Aspen live with that? I think the better question is can she live without Maksim once they rekindle the passion they had the first two nights? This book is filled with suspense, danger, intense love, and passion with every page turn! This is book one of Maggie’s new Mafia Wars series! Maksim is Dmitri’s brother, from Wrapped in Perfection, and there are more Ivanov brothers to come (pun intended)!

This book has it all.....super hot sex, money, love, passion and suspense! Get this audiobook now! Available on KU and with whisper sync for the win!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kylie
  • 2021-04-27

What Happens in Vegas

The opening to this story is simply delicious. An actual dream scenario. One night with a stranger, no names, no limits and you don't even look him in the eyes. SCORCHING! Of course, fate can't just leave it there and what unfolds is an intense love with some fun mafia barriers and one ex-husband who is the very definition of a scrub. The only reason this wasn't a 5 star for me is that the h is 40ish and her inner monologue is closer to that of a 20-year-old.

If you like your romance hot and heavy, possessive alpha types and a sprinkle of mafia this is for you.

The narration is really good. Sarah Puckett is wildly talented!

#PinkFlamingo

1 person found this helpful

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  • TINA WILLIAMS
  • 2021-04-13

Loved it!!

I just listened to the audio version of Ruthless Stranger and this book was an amazing listen. The narration and performances were fantastic. The emotion and chemistry between these two characters was sizzling. I loved the connection that grew between Aspen and Maksim. They felt connected from the very first touch. This story makes you want to book a flight to Vegas. I loved all the characters and that ending was a shocker! I loved this audiobook and can’t recommend it highly enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amy Marie
  • 2021-04-11

Absolutely Amazing!!

I absolutely loved the audio of this book! I felt like I could picture everything playing out in my mind like a movie. The narrators did such an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next in the series! It was hot and steamy but full of action and drama as well!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • G.C. Kalberer
  • 2021-04-11

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!

Started reading the paperback when it arrived Thursday of this week and was immediately pulled in!!! So much so that I found it on Audible so I could keep listening during my work day! IT’S THAT GREAT!!!

Fabulous story, amazing character development, HOT. HOT passion, and lots of heart-stopping plot twists!!! Most of all, I’m SO IN LOVE with Maxim! It’s now Saturday, and I just listened to it a second time and can’t tear myself away! May have to go for round three!!! ♥️

Great job, Maggie!!! I will never forget this unique and beautiful love story!! ...sigh... I’m still breathless!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jessica Schneider
  • 2021-04-11

I’m booking a flight to Las Vegas ASAP!

As with all Maggie Cole books, I am invested in these characters. Sarah and Zachary did a phenomenal job bringing Aspen and Maksim to life! Being somewhat new to audiobooks, I was curious how such an intense, steamy story would “translate”, but I was very much pleasantly surprised with the outcome of how these wonderful narrators portrayed these characters. Be sure to have a cold beverage nearby (and be alone or have headphones)!! No matter the medium, Ruthless Stranger is not to be missed!

1 person found this helpful