There are stories, which will break your heart piece by piece and then slowly mend each broken piece until its whole again. Salvatore by Cecy Robson was one such book for me.
Salvatore works for the mob, but his heart is not in it. He does it to repay a favour. He had a challenging childhood. Left home at 16 to become an MMA fighter so he could help his mom and brothers. However, tragic circumstances forced him to give up his dream, and he had to raise his brothers. However, his need to take care of his brothers was not without its challenges, and to overcome the obstacles he found himself indebted to a mob boss. Hence, his current occupation, bodyguard to said mob boss mistress. All this happened when he was barely 21.
The battle for his soul would be his biggest challenge yet as his boss is determined to drag him deeper into the belly of the underworld. Then he meets Adrianna, who encompasses sweetness and innocence. He knew he should avoid her, but the pull was too strong.
Adrianna is a guidance counsellor for an inner-city high school. Her desire is to help students who had potential to succeed, so when the Romero brothers caught her attention she had to stage an intervention. However, nothing could prepare for, Salvatore their big brother and guardian.
Adrianna grew up in a Christian home. Conservative from head to toe not the kind of person who belongs in Sal’s world, but they cannot stay away from each other.
She is light in his dark world. He knows he is not the right man for her, but the heart want what it wants. Walking away would prove to a hard task.
Sal made many mistakes along the way. The secrets and the lies would be too much for any well thinking person to tolerate. I knew the reason he lied. It was out of fear of losing her, but I still did not agree with his actions. He tried separating both his worlds, but eventually they would collide.
It took a while for Adrianna to recognize he was hiding things from her, but when she did, she had no qualms of letting him know how much she detested his actions. Despite her love for him, there were certain things she could not accept.
I loved his protective nature towards his brothers and Adriana. I enjoyed the interaction between Sal and his brothers. They were not afraid to stand up to him and call him out on his mistakes.
I must admit I took a while to get on board with an HEA Sal and Adrianna. Their worlds were so far apart. An innocent woman with a Christian upbringing and a man hardened by his past and works for the mob. I kept wondering how the author would work out this precarious situation.
The story was not as dark as I had expected. In fact, when compared to other dark stories I have read this one was rather tame. However, this was darker than the stories the author is known for.
The twist near to the end of the story came so unexpected it took a while for me to come terms with it. Never once throughout the story did I get a hint that this would transpire. Talk about a mind-blowing moment.
I felt the events leading up to the HEA could have done with more development. This aspect of the story felt rushed and left me disappointed. Despite this, I enjoyed the story.
This moving story captured the complexities of loving someone whose life is shadowed by pain and darkness. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Cecy Robson delivered an emotional read and one I recommend to fans of mafia romance.