Title: Broken Vow
Author: Stella Gray
Publisher/Year: Paige Press 10/5/21
Length: 194 Pages
Series: Broken #2
I thought the past was behind me… but becoming Mrs. Bellanti put a target on my back.
My husband isn’t a gentle man.
And God knows he isn’t the sharing type.
Rico’s announcement has dropped a bomb into my marriage.
I never thought I’d see Rico again.
Never thought Dante would ever have to know.
Seeing the way he looks at me now, as though I’m just another problem to be handled?
It’s breaking my heart.
I thought I was in love once before.
I swore I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
But falling for a Bellanti was far worse than a simple mistake…
We ended book 1 on the worst note – seeing things start to get amazing for Dante and Frankie – they really did seem to have a true and real relationship, one that had love in it regardless of the means to the beginning, and then Rico shows up. We didn’t know who he was, but we knew that there was a reason that Frankie was avoiding his calls in book 1.
She was married. To Rico. And he left her. On their Honeymoon and never came back. She was heartbroken, then angry and then she went home.
Fast forward to the present when she’s truly happy with Dante and he with her, and then Rico appears. Perfect timing right? He makes Dante lose trust in everything, and we see Frankie lose everything. She is kicked out of the house, out of Dante’s life, out of the vineyard. She watches Jessica the conniving assistant come back and sink her claws into Dante. On the other side of things, we also watch her non-Dante life fall apart. Her father sells off all of the horses that Livvie loves so much and we watch Livvie get shuttled between Charlie’s house in SF to school every day since they deem it unsafe for her to stay at the house with their father anymore.
There’s so much despair happening – we don’t know what else can go wrong. Charlie and Frankie are trying to be strong – Charlie’s husband is still away and he’s been away longer than ever so she’s nervous. There’s really nothing good on the horizon and really all that Frankie wants is for Dante to give her a chance to explain.
He’s not having it. He wants to hear nothing that Frankie has to say – he just wants to cut his losses with her, take over the winery that he got when he married her and be done with it all so that his family’s reputation doesn’t get hurt any more.
Little does he know that there’s more to the story than anyone knows. Frankie goes searching in her father’s office and finds the contract that sells her to Dante. What is included are the clear words that the Abbot vineyard goes to Frankie and her legal husband. which is not Dante – so she goes in fighting, knowing that Dante only wanted the grapes. She thinks that she’ll be able to convince Rico to leave and give her his piece of a failing winery but vindictive Jessica lets Rico know the full value of what he has.
This makes the story take a frustrating turn. Rico doesn’t want to let Frankie go because he wants the money from the vineyard – and Franke really doesn’t want to sell her family history. Rico never wanted anything from Frankie even when they were married if it wasn’t tied to money. When he realized that her father wasn’t going to be able to buy them a house in Italy, that’s when he left her, so we know that his money driven.
On the flip side, Dante hates Frankie and hates Rico, and really just wants to get everyone out of his life. What’s nice for Dante though is that he has a brother Armani who’s not going to leave any rock unturned and will get to the bottom of what’s going on with Rico – and what we learn is not surprising but it’s a way to end things.
The turn that we see happen in this story – throughout the uncertainty is the notion that love can conquer all – and that sometimes even the hate that you have for someone is firmly rooted in love. Dante wants to hate Frankie and wants her out of his life but what he realizes is that she’s gotten under his skin. He wants to get her out of his system physically but when he does that, when they come together with intense heat and passion, it’s not enough for him. He wants more. On the same note, Frankie has never stopped loving Dante – she only wants to make him realize that what they had is real and what she had with Rico was an illusion.
We’ve made it over a hill of sorts, but there are lies and there are untruths being told that have broken trust all over again. The end of this story leaves us on another cliff where we thought life would be happy and move in the right direction but the discovery of information makes that impossible. Our happy bubble is shattered and it’s going to take quite a bit of effort to get it back on track. Now I have to wait 3 weeks -ish to get the final installment of the series – so i’ll try to be patient. Enjoy!