Wattpad’s The Hitman’s Mark by Emily Renfroe

Just like any self-respecting Kindle Unlimited subscriber, I’ve spent my fair share of hours hunched over my phone at night, pouring over pages of the darkest mafia romances on the platform. I’ve indulged in countless book boyfriends named “Luca,” excused the violent deeds of my favorite morally gray bad boys, and simultaneously cringed and melted over every quintessential grumbling of “good girl” in an Italian accent. The recipe for a good mafia romance book seems so simple, but, at the same time, it’s so effective. There’s a reason dark mafia romances have skyrocketed in popularity recently, and I think it boils down to the fact that readers can’t help but love the intrigue and danger of a dark-haired, six-foot tall bad boy. 

So, in the fall of last year, I decided I wanted to try my hand at crafting my own mafia romance, complete with a badass female lead, a grueling game of succession in the heavily patriarchal society of New York’s underworld, and, of course, a brooding bad boy. I actually came up with the idea for my story, The Hitman’s Mark, while watching HBO’s House of the Dragon. I was inspired by Rhaenyra’s plight to take her place as queen despite the challenges presented by the politics and traditions of her world. I wanted to take this concept and apply it to a contemporary setting, creating a mafia-based plot centered around female empowerment, which I feel is oftentimes absent in dark romances. Valentina Romano, my fearless and bold heroine, was born as a result. Of course, at the same time, I tried my best to weave our favorite aspects of bad boy romance into the mix without degrading or taking away from Valentina’s story. 

The Hitmans Mark Master by Emily A. Renfroe!

With my main character and underlying plot line set, I dove headfirst into writing The Hitman’s Mark. My writing habits tend to fluctuate over time and seasons of life. When I began this project, I wrote like a crazed woman, spending long hours at the keyboard with a glass of wine and a finely-cultivated Spotify playlist for inspiration (Yes, the playlist is filled with an unhealthy amount of Lana del Rey). I wrote the first twenty chapters in a craze, desperate to bring all of my ideas for Valentina and Matteo, her hitman-turned-lover, to life before the dreaded writer’s block set in. To my surprise and delight, the story poured out of me and hasn’t shown signs of stopping. Even now, months later, my editor and I are still crafting new plot ideas and character arcs for the story’s second season, which will be released on Wattpad in the fall of 2023.  

It has been my honor to share Valentina and Matteo’s story on a platform like Wattpad. Initially, I went to college to study creative writing, but time and time again, I received discouraging feedback from professors that my stories about fantastical worlds and romances would never be taken seriously. They encouraged me to pursue different genres, so I put my favorite stories about supernatural love triangles on the backburner. Despite the advice of my professors, I still wanted to share my favorite pieces of writing, so I turned to Wattpad and posted my first book, hoping to connect with a reader or two who might appreciate the same genres that I love. As it turned out, posting my stories to Wattpad has been one of the best decisions I could have made for myself as a writer. In the years since first joining the platform, I’ve been connected to thousands of readers from around the world, immersing myself in a community of readers and writers alike that inspire me to keep writing. On the days when my motivation is lacking or I’m beginning to question my abilities as a creator, I’m reminded of why I started this writing journey by my readers. 

All of this to say, whether you’re a Wattpad veteran or new to the platform, the application is filled to the brim with dastardly bad boys and dark mafia bosses, including the morally gray heroes in The Hitman’s Mark. Happy swooning! 


Emily Renfroe is an aspiring author and avid lover of all things romance! From the time she first saw Mr. Darcy walk down the countryside hill in the Pride and Prejudice movie, she knew that she wanted to write and create her own epic, soundtrack-worthy romances. She lives in Georgia with her husband, newborn daughter, and two adorable rescue pups. She enjoys going for walks, watching Formula 1 with her husband, and daydreaming about far-away fantasy worlds that she hopes to one day bring to life. 

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