The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


Reece Reads: De Lucci’s Obsession


I’m officially eighteen, a legal adult, so I think it’s time to acknowledge that I have matured. Recently, I read a book titled “De Lucci’s Obsession,” and I hated it.

“De Lucci’s Obsession” by Victoria Paige is a semi-typical mafia romance novel. It has all the features of wealth, opulence, secrecy, and danger, but with a little less violence. The male main character, Cesar De Lucci, is only an associate of the mafia, so the story is a bit removed. However, the lack of criminality was not the reason I detested the novel: instead, it was the sheer stupidity of the characters. 

To start, let me set the scene, and I promise I’ll give more background context than the author did. “De Lucci’s Obsession” takes place in New York City and focuses on the story of Ava McGrath & Cesar De Lucci. The story has many complicated subplots, but I’m just gonna focus on romance, because, to be honest, I don’t remember the rest. What you need to know is that Ava’s family owns an Irish pub, and Cesar’s family is Italian and rich. 

The two families have a complicated history together that has to do with jail, the mafia, friendship, etc., but this is never explained. I swear, I thought this book was at least the second in a series given this lack of explanation, but, as it turns out, it’s a standalone. Anyway, this confusion is not necessary to understand why I hate this novel, and why no one should ever read it again. 

What is necessary to know is how they met. Ava has known Cesar for years, given that her best friend, Paulie, is his younger brother, but she hasn’t seen Cesar in ages. That is, until Eamonn’s, the McGrath pub, gets hired to cater a De Lucci event. 

While working the party at their house, Cesar creepily stares at Ava the entire time. And Ava is just as gross: the moment she lays eyes on Cesar, she says, “I struggled to look away, but my eyes kept returning to him. This alpha among men. […] His dark gaze roamed the room until it landed on me, settled on me. I was pinned to the spot, my heart, and lungs competed for space in my chest, waiting for his attention to move on. But it didn’t” (27). 

I’m ashamed to say that I originally thought this quote was attractive. Ew. I’ve matured. 

Unfortunately, this is not the only example of gross, obsessive behavior so early in the novel. Just a few paragraphs later, Ava’s thoughts describe how Cesar “pushed away from the entrance and advanced.” Her instinct was to “back away, except she was up against the counter. Very casually he took a square of the gravlax and caviar and popped the entire thing in his mouth, chewing deliberately, before taking a sip of wine. He did all of this without taking his eyes off [of her]” (30). Once again, ew. I’m ashamed to say that it gets worse.

I hate to skip chapters, but, for your sake and mine, let’s skip to the ending. And let’s be real, nothing substantive happens in between anyway. Toward the end of the book, after their relationship has already developed, it’s revealed that Cesar is a stalker. Wow, surprise…

As it turns out, Cesar orchestrated a breakup between Ava and her ex-boyfriend by paying him to move so that she would be single by the time he came back to New York. Not only is this behavior needlessly extravagant, but it’s also super exploitative. Ava’s boyfriend basically dumped her and left with little to no explanation. As Ava puts it, “You ruined my self-esteem,” which is not okay (168). 

Then, Cesar continued stalking her, sending people to follow her and gather information. However, my true issue with this novel is not because of Caesar’s stalker-ish behaviors, but because of Ava’s later reaction. 

After this incident, Ava rightfully tries to kick Cesar out of the apartment, but he refuses to leave. He continues to make “advances” on her (iykyk) and is eventually successful. Then, after spending the night together, Ava wakes up and seems to have gotten some kind of mafia Stockholm syndrome, because she says this crap:

“A silly smile formed on my lips. I rolled to face the empty side of the bed again and grabbed his pillow and hugged it to me, burying my nose and inhaling his scent I couldn’t get enough of. 

I wasn’t frightened by Caesar’s obsession. 

He stalked me for 6 months. I wasn’t imagining the feeling of being followed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he engineered the way I ended up catering the dinner at his house so our paths would finally cross” (175). 

And this was the moment when I realized I messed up. As a first-semester senior, my time is valuable, and I just flushed a chunk of it down the drain. It was as if a switch had flipped in my mind and all of Ms. Fox’s feminist lectures were finally getting to me. I understood. I saw the light. This behavior is deplorable. 

At this point, there’s no reason to finish the review. This book is trash, so don’t read it. Let’s skip to the rating. 

“De Lucci’s Obsession” earns zero out of five C’s. It barely deserves the honor of a rating. 


From now on, the saying goes, “Possessiveness and toxicity are always (and only) excusable in [some] fictional men.”

Reece Reads is published biweekly on Fridays. To access more reviews, click the “Reece Reads” tag below.

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    Aasiya Memon | Nov 30, 2023 at 9:20 am

    Reece Reads is the highlight of my week. Phenomenal review