“What you’re looking for, I can’t give you. The part that was capable of it died with my wife, and it won’t come back.”
Seriously, how can you resist a line like that one? When I saw it I almost died, I wanted that book, I wanted that character! It is rare that a book includes a character that has such strong feelings for someone other than the heroine. But lets’s take things from the top.
Book #1 introduced Luca and Aria. From NY and Chicago, they joined the mob families. Dante is the Chicago mob boss and a widower. Four years after his wife died he thinks it’s time to get re-married for the sake of his image as the boss. Val is a widow, after loosing her husband soon after their marriage which was as fake as they come, she’s not in a hurry to marry because of a secret she’s been keeping.
“Why had Dante Cavallaro chosen a widow instead of a young innocent bride?”
We were introduced to Valentina very briefly and I was looking forward to reading her story since it seemed like she was in love with her husband, but she was far from it. They were good friends who had agreed to marry each for a different reason, her husband so his secret would be kept a secret especially in the tight mafia circle who would punish him for his sexual preferences. It is made clear multiple times throughout the series that gay men are simple not acceptable and would be punished and that totally justified Val’s husband’s actions. Also her willingness to keep his secret.
“I swallowed. Be strong, Valentina. The wish of a dead man is sacred. Don’t break your promise.”
Dante is the boss and admittedly he’s very cold as a person, the proposal was dealt with as a business deal, as was the wedding and the marriage. He proclaimed his love for his wife multiple times and I sort of liked that. There seems to be a general anti insta-love with this series which is refreshing and welcomed. Val of course wants a real marriage, her first one was not and she’s having none of it, she’s going for it and she’s a badass to be honest, she won’t let him reject her or dismiss her and she owns it from the start.
“You can tell me. I have a phone and I am capable of operating it.”
She’s not looking to be a trophy wife and she is not taking his bullshit, which in time Dante learns to appreciate and maybe love?
“Then maybe you should look for another wife. I didn’t ask you to marry me.”
What I loved about this story apart from Val’s badassness was Dante’s character and his love for his wife, even though in the end he fell for Val and they made a stunning and hot couple he had been married for 12 years and it felt real that he held onto her, if he’d just gotten over her in such a short time it would have made this so cheesy and unrealistic. He was true to himself and he felt real, I could feel his pain for loosing his wife, a person whom he’d been with for so many years, plus the fact that he never actually said the words I love you to Val but still showed her his love, it made it all the more real and like it could actually happen in real life.
There was a huge over the top dramatic moment at the end which kept me from rating it with 5 stars, it wasn’t needed in the story and it cheapened the authenticity plus a few grammatical errors that I could not not notice. Overall, I loved them I even combined their names and all that, it’s Danvina, plus Dante is my new book boyfriend!