This was a harsh read, no other way to say it. The series is called Battered Hearts for a reason, and Tino is the most battered of all so far. I hesitate to call this a romance since the bulk of the book was an opus of the endless list of horror Tino was forced to endure to protect those he loved by those who should have cherished him. Dark stuff.
About ten percent of the book is dedicated to Tino and Brianna’s budding love story and I wish it had been more. The rest was about the mafia life style, hierarchy and general lack of regard for human life, especially the lives of illegitimate children. This is fiction and I hope by all that is holy that this is solely in the author’s imagination and not actually happening.
I had to put the book down several times to absorb what was happening and went through a gamut of emotions as a woman and mother. Yeah, it’s that deep. I do wish it had ended totally, as the hanging sensation is not pleasant when I’ve invested this much of myself into a book. Have plenty of time, tissues and a teddy bear when you sit down to read this book.
They are the lost boys.
Sons of mafia mistresses expected to keep their fathers’ sins in the shadows. The lucky ones are forgotten.
Unfortunately for Valentino “Tino” Moretti, his brother Nova was too smart to be forgotten, and too valuable to risk when he resists a life of crime. So they punished Tino instead. Forced into the cruel world of the Sicilian Mafia at twelve, Tino was broken before he was old enough to know the man he was supposed to be. Now he’s what the mafia made him.
A trained killer forbidden to love, but he did anyway. He's loved Brianna all along.
Raw and beautiful, their romance was all consuming and far too dangerous. They were ripped apart a long time ago. It’s not until the borgata puts out a hit on her that Brianna falls back into Tino’s arms, churning up their dark past and unraveling all the Moretti brothers’ closely guarded secrets.
This isn’t the end of the story. It’s only the beginning, and it is brutal.
There’s a reason enforcers are considered too deadly to love.