Author: Bella Di Corte

Skin Deep by Bella Di Corte

Skin Deep

Posted on June 20, 2022 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 4 Comments

Skin Deep by Bella Di Corte is the first installment in the Ryan Brothers series and this is Harrison (Harry Boy) Ryan’s story. It wasn’t until I started reading that I realised that this was a spin- off of Corte’s Gangsters of New York series. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to delve deeper into the story. Read on for my thoughts on this romance set in the mafia world.

Skin Deep by Bella Di CorteTitle: Skin Deep
Author(s): Bella Di Corte
Series: The Ryan Brothers #1
Published by Self Published on June 10, 2022
Pages: 313
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Source: Author
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Life in three steps: Go to college. Get a job. Marry the girl of my dreams.
I went to college, then got a job with one of New York’s most notorious gangsters.
The girl? I lost her to a man who didn’t deserve her.
So when one of Italy’s most famous women made me a proposition to help me win her back, I couldn’t refuse her offer.
Georgina “Gigi” Dolce wasn’t the shallow Italian principessa I took her for, though—and she was out to wreck my well-laid plans.
Harrison Ryan thought he had me all figured out.
Because the world called me “beautiful,” he assumed I only ran skin deep. But he had no idea who I was beneath the surface.
How I craved to be loved by someone loyal and unwavering like him. How far I would go to claim that love for my own.
And when I wanted something, I considered it mine.
I wanted him.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


When I realised that Skin Deep featured Harrison Ryan from the Gangsters of New York series story I wondered how his story would play out. He had a plan. A plan which went up in smoke when the woman he loved married another man. Not one to give up, he attended the wedding, hoping to convince her she made the wrong choice. Then he met Georgina ‘Gigi’ Dolce, who offered to help him win back the girl he lost, or so he thought.

Gigi knew he had no hopes of winning back the girl he lost. But she wanted him for herself. So she would do anything to get him to notice her, even letting him believe she could help him with his problem. Poor Harrison never knew what hit him.

I Liked Harrison from the moment I met him. My heart broke for him, knowing that he was in love with a woman who only thought of him like a brother. A fact which he refused to acknowledge, which led to heartbreak when she fell in love with someone else. His actions disappointed in Skin Deep. He needs to move on, but he believes he can convince her she made the wrong choice. Also, the choice of event to do that was in poor taste.

Gigi was no stranger. She also appeared in the Gangsters of New York series. I was not a fan of her then, as she appeared entitled and pretentious. However, in Skin Deep, she redeemed herself. The deeper into the story one goes, the more dynamic the characters become.

Gigi and Harrison shared an intense sexual chemistry, which burned bright from their first encounter. The more time they spent together, the brighter it burnt. Now, as much as they burnt up the pages, their romance lacked authenticity. It all happened so fast. One moment Harrison was pining after the woman he lost and the next he came to the realization that Gigi was the one for him.

Besides the romance, the story delivered suspense and action. Some of these events took place in the Gangsters of New York series, but now it was being delivered from Harrison’s perspective. The story also touched on issues relating to obsession and depression.  I thought did a good job with both issues.

Despite the issues I had with the romance, Skin Deep was an intense and captivating story. A great start to the series and one I think fans of the genre would enjoy.


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

About Bella Di Corte

Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page. Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs. Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground. She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at if you’d like to reach out.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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