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Toxic  By  cover art

Toxic

By: Maggie Cole
Narrated by: Aaron Shedlock,Ava Lucas
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Publisher's Summary

He started a war to save me. But I refuse to give him a second chance.

Dante Marino’s the definition of beautiful destruction.

Everything he touched, he destroyed...including me.

We were friends. Then we weren't.

He used me.

Played me.

Took every ounce of my affection and threw it away.

He became my enemy, then risked everything to save me.

Now, he wants me back, claiming he's changed - determined to make me his.

Each vow, every possessive kiss, feels like he’s mine.

But I can't forget that underneath his rock-hard body, seductive grin, and wicked promises, one thing will always remain true - he's my undoing.

Toxic is book one in Mafia Wars New York. It's a first-love, second-chance dark mafia romance, an interconnecting stand-alone, and guaranteed to have an HEA. Please note this contains scenes and topics on sexual abuse that may be uncomfortable for some listeners.

©2022 Maggie Cole (P)2022 Maggie Cole

What listeners say about Toxic

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⭐️ THEIR JOURNEY IS LONG, COMPLEX & COMPELLING ⭐️

Wow Ms Cole, you definitely delivered a toxic relationship with this very addictive rollercoaster between Bridget and Dante that spanned decades. Where a teen girl’s heart gets ruthlessly crushed over and over again by a young Mafia Prince who would bitterly live to regret it. So she gave it away to someone else who loved and cherished it.. along with the two children she gave him. All while your many nameless conquests came and swiftly went.. because they just weren’t her. You looked on in envy, you deeply regretted your stupid actions so long ago.. you wanted redemption and salvation.. and then it happened. Their bubble broke leaving a heartbroken damaged soul and a shattered bartered life. Dante, again and again it will not be your time.. but, hold on through the silent years.. hold on through the lies, the secrets, the shocking revelations, the trauma-filled painful tears.. and the bloody revenge you’ll seek for Bridget.. because one day it will be your time.

Worth a credit? Oh yes, it’s a well-written, long, deep, winding, complex and intensely emotional journey that Bridget and Dante have to go through before all the toxic feelings are out of their lives forever and I loved listening to every raw and real chapter. There’s passion at the end of the pain, swoons at the end of the sour, steam at the end of the second chance and a beautiful happy ever after. The Mafia mayhem layered the story and dished-up heartbreaking and hate-fuelled drama. The dual POV narration was great too.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Story & Listen🎧 Engrossing & Heartfelt!

Maggie Cole takes her readers and audiobook listeners to New York for some more Mafia Wars greatness, I loved her original series which is set in Chicago and was happy that she would not only continue her Mafia Wars greatness but was taking us to New York where different mafia family’s rule. This book is Dante Marino and Bridget O’Connor’s story, and it drew me in right from the start, grabbing my attention and captivating it the entire time. These two were friends when they were younger, both wanted it to be more, but Dante was not ready for a commitment and was more of a player and it wasn’t until he lost her did he realize she was the only one for him. She moved on, went to college in Chicago and found happiness with another man, Sean O’Malley. As much as he wanted to, Dante could not hate Sean because he was such a great guy, and he made her happy. Dante never met his special someone because no one come close to what he felt with her and he had many women, he rid of them when they got too clingy. Bridget’s happy life in Chicago takes a tragic turn, and she returns to New York with her children to live with her father. Dante wants a second chance with her, but she still wants nothing to do with him, thinks he still plays the same games as he did when they were younger. Dante does not give up on her and works his way back into her life. He realizes there is something going on with her and it is something from her past that she is hiding. He tries to get her to talk, but she is not ready for that. This is a beautifully written and cleverly plotted second chance romance, not an easy romance but one that was almost a lifetime in the making. Dante and Bridget were not ready for each other when they were younger, Bridget found happiness and a love with Sean but it got torn tragically away, what she went thru was gut-wrenching and the sacrifices she made for her children were not easy but her love for them gave her the strength to do it. Maggie Cole, thank you for another amazing story and start to a new Mafia Wars series.

🎧📚🎧 And for the amazing narration, Maggie Cole could not have chosen a better cast to bring her story and characters to life. Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas are entertaining storytellers and versatile voice artists. They had a complete understanding of the characters they portrayed, giving each a voice that suited their character’s persona to a tee, sounding believable and just as I pictured the character to sound. Aaron Shedlock played Dante’s role with perfection, alpha gangster style. Ava Lucas’ Bridget was spot on, she captured her strength and determination and her vulnerable side. Both were great at performing the roles of the secondary characters as well. They set the perfect tone for the story, captured all the characters’ emotions and projected them into their performance and have you feeling every single one. Thank you for another brilliant listen, it is always a pleasure to listen to your work.

6 people found this helpful

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Slow Confusing

Struggled to finish, very slow but fast paced. lots of weeks or years later scenes. main female character just seems too young. I forget she's 42 in the last half alot due to how she handles things. not a fan and I don't understand how the description has any relevance to the book. What war over her??

3 people found this helpful

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OMG!

OMG! Great story and narration!!! Absolutely awesome! This is a MUST listen! But I didn't know it ended with a cliffhanger. Now I HAVE to go find book 2!!!

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Would be awesome if I could finish.

This is the 3rd book I have purchased and can not finish. It just stops with 1 hour left. It’s not a download issue, it’s not a connection issue. The book just stops. How disappointing. This was a great book. But someone needs to pay attention and figure out why the books aren’t complete.

2 people found this helpful

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Dante is an inferno!

I was not ready for Dante Marino! He blew me away. I am so thrilled with how Bridget’s story ends. It’s tragically poignant. Maggie Cole continues to knock it out of the park! And I am so thrilled we get to stay in this Mafia world she has gifted us with. Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas breathe beautiful life into Dante and Bridget. The pair smashed this performance.

1 person found this helpful

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Good but….

Was a good listen but the female lead is just so whiny!! She truly becomes hard to sympathize with at times.

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SO GOOD!

Omg this! This is the toxic kind of romance I love listening to! Irl, would kick Dante's d-bag a** to the curb! Lots of time skips, but done right. Irish mafia and Italian mafia = sexy accents and lots of danger.
Warning for rape.

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Sexy!

Aaron Shedlock always gives me all the feels. Hearing him bring Dante to life was a dream come true. Ava Lucas was superb as Bridget. This is the first installment of Mafia Wars and boy did it deliver. You have set the bar high for the rest of the series Maggie! I was so so sexy and hot!!!! I can’t wait for the others.

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I really liked this story

But, I feel like I was missing so much by not reading the other series first. Don't get me wrong, this is a great story and the narrators really make it enjoyable but the characters from the O'Malley series played a bigger part than I expected so I feel like I missed out on connecting all the dots here.

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  • Jacqueline anderson
  • 11-28-22

Second chance Mafia romance

I really loved Dante, but I just really didn’t like Bridget. She was a coward and over controlling and had no self worth. I get that she was raped and her husband killed, but she is part of the mafia world and could have done a million things other than what she did. Her kids will of course not be in danger if they are protected by her family. Of course you would tell your teenagers if such a threat existed and instead train them to protect themselves.

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  • Babs
  • 07-15-22

Good story

I enjoyed this book, looking forward to the next story. The narrators did a good job and were easy to listen to.

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  • mangankillarney
  • 05-30-22

loved

Loved the amazing dual narration of Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas

This story is wonderful and heartbreaking all at once. Bridget and Dante’s story is beautiful, steamy, full of drama, danger , heartache and love. What a roller coaster ride.

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  • Traceyb
  • 05-21-22

Spin off series

This is the first book in mafia wars New York and follows on from mafia wars ,you probably could read this one without reading mafia wars but it is such a good series I would recommend giving it a go.
Toxic is the story of Bridget and Dante, Bridget has been running and hiding secrets for a long time. I loved both characters and I liked that they loved each other before when they were at school. There were moments when I got frustrated and want to shout at Bridget just to tell everyone what happened but I did get why she was too afraid.
I thought the story was really good and I have been sucked in to these characters from the very first book I read by Maggie cole. I've come to realise it's also quite satisfying when you get really good revenge for the injured party.
Cannot wait to read the rest of this series and will definitely be rereading the entire mafia wars series in the future.

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  • Melissa Woods
  • 05-02-22

Fantastic

Another fantastic story from Maggie Cole.
After the Finn & Brenna story I couldn’t wait to get my Bridget questions answered in Toxic! Wow what an emotional rollercoaster, I couldn’t stop listening. My heart broke for Bridget but then also admired her characters strength & determination to do all she can to protect her family.
Dante!! Wow! I loved how he never stopped trying to right his wrongs to Bridget & their relationship became one of such amazing trust.
The audible book brings the book to life & the narrators bring the emotions with it which adds to the experience!
Thoroughly recommend listening as you won’t be disappointed!

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  • cavylady68
  • 04-27-22

WOW! Amazing start to the new Mafia Wars series

I totally loved the Mafia Wars series and have been eagerly awaiting the release of the first book in the Mafia Wars, New York series. OMG, this book did not disappoint. I didn't think Maggie Cole's writing could improve but she somehow managed to pour everything and more into this book. I think it was also the voices of Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas that made the story come alive with so much passion, Aaron making Dante strong, protective and warm/caring whilst Ava successfully portrayed Bridget's angst as a mum, widow and victim, trying to find some kind of strength to survive. I was lost in audio heaven for 10 hours.

We were previously introduced to the Marino family in Killian and Finn's books and there were lots of hints of some kind of unknown relationship between Bridget and Dante. What we didn't know was how long that had known each other for and what their back story was. This is very much a second chance relationship between Bridget and Dante, who went to school with each other and spent Christmas celebrations with each others families. Bridget had a major crush on Dante but he broke her heart as a teenager, and thus was a contributing factor to moving to Chicago to live with the O'Malley's where she fell deeply in love with Sean. I love how the author managed to not take anything away from the love between Bridget and Sean that had been referred to in previous books, and the reasons why Bridget left and returned to New York had me in tears...actually I was close to tears throughout this book, again I think it was the amazing connection between the book and the narrators, that made it such an emotional journey.
This audio book was a thrill from start to finish as I was taken on a ride full of drama, distrust, lies, suspense and of course some very hot passion as Dante did everything he could to convince Bridget that he was worthy of a second chance, but does he get it and can Bridget find true love for a second time?
This book totally deserves its 5 stars, a highly recommended audio book. I cannot wait for Dante's twin brother, Gianni's story, especially after the major tease right at the end!
I received an ARC of this audio book from the author and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 04-27-22

Grippingly Captivating!

This is the first book in the Mafia Wars NY series, a Mafia Romance. Wow! I loved it! Dante and Bridget's story is intense, intricate, and grippingly captivating. Dante is handsome, powerful, and protective. Bridget is beautiful, smart, and strong. My heart broke for her. They are both fantastic characters, very determined. The storyline is filled with danger, secrets, action, suspense, and twists and turns. Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas did an outstanding job with the narration. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to listening to Immoral, the next book in the series. If you like Mafia Romance, this one is definitely for you. I HIGHLY recommend it.

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  • koalajt
  • 04-24-22

A GREAT EMOTIONAL READ

I loved this book when I read it and to hear it brought to life by audio is everything I hoped it would be !!!!!!
The narrators are amazing and fully pull you into this story giving you every emotion possible.
I was eagerly awaiting this new series following on from mafia wars and I wasn't disappointed.
Dante and Bridget take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride to their hea.
I loved that you got to hear about their past and Liams and that other family and friends are in it drawing it all together .
An amazing start to the new series and can't wait to read more xxxx

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  • shedevilreads Bookstagram
  • 04-18-22

Second Chance Mafia Romance

Toxic by Maggie Cole is a dark mafia romance that I listened to on audio narrated by Aaron Shedlock and Ava Lucas. This is the first book in the Mafia Wars New York series.

I absolutely love Maggie's books! She does an amazing job pulling me into the story. I loved the relationship that bloomed between Dante and Bridget. I really enjoyed getting both of their points of view throughout the book. It really brought the story to life.

I can't wait for the next book in the series Immoral to be released on May 15, 2022 so I can get Gianni and Cara's story.

Aaron and Ava did an amazing job on the narration. They both really know how to bring a story to life. I look forward to listening to more of their work in the future.

I would recommend this book if you like dark romances, mafia romances, first love romances, second chance romances, or romantic suspense.

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  • Loves 2 Listen
  • 04-17-22

excellent performance

this is book one in the NY mafia wars series and thoroughly enjoyable, I loved hearing Bridgets story. I'll be ordering the rest in the series as they come up on pre order, just as i've done with all the other books. although it's not necessary to read the rest of the Mafia wars series, I would highly recommend you start with ruthless stranger and follow the series throughout or you're missing out. the performance from both of these narrator's was excellent with fabulous differentiation for the various characters each of them portrayed

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  • GBBEAUTY
  • 07-14-22

dragged on to boring and repetitive

I'm new to audiobooks and I don't really like the way that to narinate is imatating the male voice or the female voice imatating the female voice it kind of gets me out of the mood when it's specially a romance book I think that the romance books that are narrated with audiobook should be made with the actual narrator's speaking The Voice the other narrator is speaking because it just sounds funny when the female is imitating the male voice which I find really strange why they would do that when they have narrators reading the book I found this book extremely boring dragged onto long with her silly secret that she wouldn't tell I just couldn't finish it to the end it was just too boring and repetitive. first time I'm reading An audiobook from this author not a fan I prefer Colleen Hoover

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  • Terri Brown
  • 04-21-22

Obsessed

Hot hot hot!

Maggie you have done it again!

If your looking for a fun, exciting HEA this is for you