Every one has their corner of the market that I shop when I need to curve my reading appetite. I turn to Kirsten Ashley when I want a well thought out and lengthy novel, I go to Jodi Ellen Malpas for all my British men, Madeline Sheehan provides my biker romance, E.K. Blair and Barbara Elsborg gives good M/M romance, Alessanda Torre writes some of the best unconventional but works stories and J.M Darhower is all about the Italian Mafia, cause Latrivia Nelson has the Russians.
With that being said, it is safe to say that I enjoyed every minute of this book and I never wanted it to end. I kept trying to find loopholes when the truth was revealed and kept screaming at Karissa to be Team Naz. Everyone against this man is my enemy -_-
Ignazio Vitale. It's sweet and filled with fear all in one, depending on how you say it. He had the best character profile to me. Yes, he is American-Italian, apart of the mob, does suspicious things all hours of the day and gets off on pseudo-rape and restraint scenes, but I love him anyway. He is honest and carries himself with a flair that begs you to try and question him. Every time he opens his mouth, I learn something new and rethink an earlier assumption.
They are ridiculously cute and compatible as a couple and I can stand just as strongly as individuals. Everyone's personality was memorable and I love that the mafia aspect was subtle. There was not the usual criminal activities scenes, just a man on a mission, who fell in love on the way. His ties and power was strongly suggested but never flaunted. If you bypass the obvious luxury and reputation these men carry, they seem like a normal set of older men living life and making no excuses. I even liked the mistress o.O
Karissa was an interesting character. She is lost, unsure of where she is going in life, because she doesn't even know where she is coming from. I love how she interacts with every one in this novel and she occasionally reminds me of myself with her nonchalant, wherever the wind blows you, personality.
I can understand being confused, but the tone at the beginning and end of this novel puzzles me, because I can't figure out how she ends up hating Naz. By the end of this book, based on the story line and development, I would have thought they's be stronger than ever, trusting in each other and leaning on one another as they sort through the past to the future. He isn't perfect and he surely makes some mistakes, but after the ride we had with him throughout this novel, I couldn't possibly hate him. He gave no valid reason to receive hate. If anything, he's been deceived one too many times by the people he holds dear.
There is something about Ignazio, that draws you into this story, more than the story line itself. It's one of revenge and justification but it's also heavily philosophically based and I for one love the topic. We covered from Plato to Dr. Suess and everything in between. Some were used to identify present day situations and others were just down right for fun.
Paul and Melody gave us breaks from Ignazio's intensity but I found myself missing him in those moments. He has an answer for everything and Karissa has just the right questions to keep us entertained and following the story.
Even their down time was filled with anecdotes and truth that we shy away from when in a relationship. The glaringly obvious age gap didn't even register pass the first time it was mentioned and the few times it was alluded thereafter. I loved the dynamic and could care less about anything else. It is effortless for me to say all the things I loved about Ignazio and Karissa as individuals and a couple.
This novel covers an array of topics and stages many of life questions and answers while throwing up a major road block at the end. I am jittery, waiting to see what will become of these two, because as much as I love them, life altering doesn't begin to explain the developments of the last chapter. Normally I shake my head at climaxes that appear at the end of novels, but I felt the build up and think we broke away at just the right time. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, but sometimes they are necessary and this story needed this impasse.
Love, lies, betrayal, trust issues and an Italian gangster who is paranoid to the point of domestication. You will laugh, cry, mope and soar, hoping for the best while anticipating the worse. This was another notch on Darhower belt and I can't wait for the next stroke on the post!