Cindy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this prequel to the Blood and Honor series we are introduced to the Lucchesi family and the Andretti’s family. Both are part of Calabrian Mafia in Italy. Both families have been a war with each other for many years and that is the backdrop of all of the books in this series.
Enrico Lucchesi was a young boy when Carlo Andretti had his mother and two brothers gunned down. Enrico always knew what his father was and that his brothers were being primed to take his father place one day as head of the family. Even though he loved his family he wanted no part of the Mafia life. But all of that changed when blood was drawn.
Carlo’s daughter Antonella has proposed a truce to the family. She is hoping that a marriage between her and Enrico will stop the bloodshed and the feud. At first Enrico is very resentful of this and doesn’t know how he could marry this plain woman who has a monster for a father. But as he gets to know her he sees her warrior spirit and also that she is a very beautiful woman on the inside.
Even though Enrico didn’t want violence that came with being part of the Calabrian Mafia his need for vengeance to avenge his mother and brothers has him crossing that line.
We get an early glimps of Enrico before he has to become capo dei capi,(Godfather) and see his internal struggle to not get drug into a life he never wanted but yet a life he cannot escape.
Cindy’s Review: This story picks up 26 years after the end of Malavita. Enrico Lucchesi lost his wife of 25 years to cancer and the truce between the Lucchesi family and the Andretti’s family seems to be over as her father Carlo now also blames Enrico for her death and wants Enrico dead more than ever.
Enrico has been deeply grieving for his wife to the point he has neglected many of his duties as capo dei capi,(Godfather). One of the businesses he oversees is an orphanage. He has been intrigued with one of the new American workers there but feels guilt over this even though in his wife’s dying breath she made him promise he would marry again.
Kate was born and raised in America. She met and fell in love with a man who she thought was perfect. When his job takes him to Italy, Kate is more than happy to follow her husband on this new adventure. But what Kate didn’t count on was that her husband works for Carlo Andretti who she is scared of and has fears he is part of the mob. When her husband’s moods start changing and he becomes violent with her she leaves him. But walking away from the mob is not something that is acceptable and when Enrico sees this as his chance to both save her from her husband and to get close to her this opens up field for more bloodshed and vendetta’s.
With both his life and Kate’s in danger more than ever Enrico pulls in his trusted men to protect them but loyalties are not always where they should be. There is plenty of betrayal from all side.
This is an intense series and the author does not pull any punches. These are dark and violent books . As I am reading this series – Al Pacino’s line from Godfather 3 rings through my head – “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in”