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Literature / Ragnatela

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Ragnatela is a work of historical fiction erotica by Quieta.

United States, 1959. Private Eye Patience Winslow has one dream: to take down the mafia, the vicious organization that stole the lives of her parents. Unfortunately, when she catches the attention of the suave, manipulative Don of the Borghese family, her life and dreams begin to quickly fall into ruin.

Tropes in this work include

  • The '50s: More towards the end of the decade, but it fits the dark, gritty aspect of the '50s.
  • Aborted Arc: Quieta confirmed that there was supposedly another arc that involved the Irish mob but it was completely written off as it would’ve made the story longer than it already is.
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Leonardo’s mother is so idealized in his head she’s not viewed as a real person.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Salvatore and Patience’s relationship is more complicated but they do have their moments despite how often they hurt each other. In the final arc, when Salvatore finds out what Leonardo has done to Patience when he abducted her he rages and proceeds to pummel Leonardo in the face repeatedly. Another time is when Patience meets Salvatore in order to get him to plead guilty so that he’d receive a life sentence instead of an execution, and even admitting that it’s because she wants him to stay alive and he relents.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Leonardo is extremely attractive and extremely despicable.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Patience and Salvatore share this dynamic, to the point that Salvatore himself points out how Patience nags him as if they’re married.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: Garland City is an obvious pastiche of New York City, with all the grime, crime and corruption associated with it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Tons, considering the Italian dialogue is untranslated, but a noteworthy one is Leonardo calling Patience "mia mignotta" early on... which instead of being one of his many terms of affection towards her, translates to "my whore".
  • Bittersweet Ending: More bitter than sweet. Despite all the horrible deeds Leonardo and Salvatore has done, one cannot help but feel a bit sad at their demise with Salvatore being imprisoned for life and Leonardo being deported to Italy with little to no chance of meeting Patience again, not to mention the deaths of Andrea, Flora, and Michael at the choices that Patience has made upset quite a few readers as well. But ultimately, our protagonist finally got what she wanted though at a very heavy price and has to go in hiding and change her identity above all else. The story ends on a mysteriously sad note with Patience driving away from Garland city with no one by her side and the uncertain fate of what the future will look like.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Leonardo doesn’t remember killing Patience’s parents, stating they were only one in a million of faces to him.
  • Easily Forgiven: Downplayed. Salvatore is usually an unforgiving person towards people who had wronged him, but surprisingly he does forgive Patience for all the hurt she has caused him, though it’s only because he loves her. It’s subverted in the last arc when he hires a hit on her in order to be prison-free, then double subverted when right before the hit he had cried for Patience to stay with him.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Patience has been researching and following Leonardo for years before the story takes place.
  • The Gentleman or the Scoundrel: Leonardo is the gentleman and Salvatore is the scoundrel of the Love Triangle.
  • Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: Patience, Leonardo, and Salvatore definitely has a fair balance of flaws, though the latter two obviously has a lot more bad ones.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Patience can come off as rude, crass and bitter but her heart is in the right place and she genuinely wants to help people.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Patience often uses justice as an excuse for why she’s planning Leonardo’s demise, but it’s plain as day that It's Personal for her, and although she is often willing to work with the law in bringing down Leonardo, she ends up making some unsettling decisions along the way that make her almost as bad as Leonardo himself in the end.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Patience inwardly notes on the height gap between her and Leonardo.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: The more Patience pushes away Leonardo, the more obsessed he becomes.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: Can go both ways for Salvatore and Patience. More so for the latter, since Patience wants so badly to ignore all of Salvatore’s better qualities since he’s still an amoral person in the end, she ends up still caring about him in her own way, though she probably won’t admit it.
  • Love Triangle: Of the demented and cruel variety, with Leonardo being creepily obsessed with Patience and Salvatore being infatuated.
  • Mad Love: Of the unhealthy and dark kind for Leonardo and Patience. Though perhaps it’s not as one-sided as it seems..
  • Maternity Crisis: Patience goes into labor while Leonardo was murdering a small child in an abandoned warehouse.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Salvatore and Leonardo. While they both carry themselves in a very different manner from the other, they are ultimately family men who fell in love with the same girl at some point, and are equally dangerous in different ways. Quieta also mentions that Salvatore likes Patience because of how her temper reminds him of his mother, which points at both of these men sharing an Oedipus Complex, Salvatore to a lesser extent.
    • Patience and Salvatore could also count as this, considering that both of them are very hot-tempered individuals who at one point became ...allies of sorts.
  • The Napoleon: Patience is 4’11 and filled with rage.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Patience pulls this one on Leonardo by killing Andrea, whom is the only being that Leonardo genuinely cares about.
  • Plague Doctor: Patience is chased by one in her Recurring Dreams and even starts seeing it in real life—it turns out to be Vittoria.
  • Pregnant Badass: Patience got out of a hostage situation amongst other things all while pregnant with her first child.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Patience causes a lot of problems for herself by putting her need for revenge before common sense solutions.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: Both Leonardo and Salvatore believe themselves to be the center of Patience’s love life. Truth be told, she can’t stand either of them, and for good reason.
  • Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: Salvatore leans towards permanently unsympathetic, but Leonardo is square in the middle of vile.
  • Unequal Pairing: Both Leonardo and Salvatore are infamous mafia bosses who are big and intimidating while Patience is a small private detective.