Review: Broken Vow (Broken #2) by Stella Gray

TitleBroken Vow
Author: Stella Gray
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 10/5/21
Length:  194 Pages
Series: Broken #2

Overview

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…

My Thoughts

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!

Review: Broken Bride (Broken #1) by Stella Gray

TitleBroken Bride
Author: Stella Gray
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 9/7/21
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Broken #1

Overview

I was sold to him to settle a debt… but Dante Bellanti never settles.

My father was always a gambling man.
Unfortunately, he never could pick winners.
When the wolves closed in, he chose himself, like always.

He traded his freedom… for mine.

He forced me to marry.
Now Dante Bellanti owns my body.
I’m just another possession for a man who already has too much.
So I won’t let him have my heart.

But you know what they say about gambling.

The house always wins.

And I’m at the mercy of the Bellantis…

My Thoughts

Well….I read through this book in a matter of hours last night, could not put it down because I really needed to see what happened between Frankie and Dante. Frankie was on the precipice of something great – coming home from Italy after spending a few years learning how to improve her family business and what does she learn when she walks in, it was all for nothing

Down the road there’s the Bellantis – who are mourning the death of their patriarch and Dante finds himself at the head of the family. Trying to alleviate the family of the ownership of some debts that people owe them, ensuring that territory that is theirs remains safe and giving space where they can afford to in order to keep the peace. As part of that, he takes on the debts of Frankie’s father and with that, he takes her as part of the payment.

The story from here on out is watching Frankie come to terms with a life that she never wanted, for reasons that she’s not sure of, and with a man that she wants but doesn’t want to want. Her older sister is able to give her some guidance on how to life with a ‘made man’ since her husband is part of a crime family and together they try to protect their younger sister.

Dante on the other hand has to manage his two brothers – each of who has a different motivation in the family business if any at all, and we hope that there’s something that can come out of that family.

There’s an adversary in the form of Dante’s assistant – a woman who clearly wants Dante as more than a casual bed partner, and when she meets Frankie and sees there is something building between husband and wife, well, we know that it’s not going to end well for anyone.

There are several unknowns in this story. One is how Dante’s father died. We learn that perhaps Frankie’s father knows more about it than he let on, so we see if that plays out. Then there’s the notion of wondering if Frankie and Dante will ever find a common ground. She wants to be an equal – she wants love and she wants to work. She’s given an opportunity to help the vineyard and we have to be patient to see how that plays out. There’s also a man named Rico that Frankie clearly doesn’t want to have any contact with and of course that means that he will show up at the wrong moment.

We have a roller coaster with this couple – there’s chemistry and a spark between them that’s unexpected and they slowly come to have more than hate towards one another. They are celebrating the First Press of a new wine that bonds their families together and then the unimaginable happens. A spouse turns up that no one expected…..end scene.

You can now understand why I couldn’t put the book down last night so now thank goodness book 2 is out and i’m going to read it tonight! Enjoy!

Review: Broken (By a Dangerous Man #7) by Cleo Peitsche

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Title:  Broken
Author: Cleo Peitsche
Publisher/Year: Pouch Publications 3/01/15
Length: 108 pages
Series: By a Dangerous Man #7

Overview

Audrey’s shortcomings as a bounty hunter and as a girlfriend rise to the surface during a trip to Paris, and Corbin is the only one who can save her… But will he forgive her?

A desperate fugitive begs Audrey to help clear him of a murder charge. He’s hiding something, but he isn’t necessarily guilty. Before Audrey can make a decision, she learns that she and her family are already involved.

My Thoughts

I don’t know that i can honestly say that there was a significant point to this 7th installment.  While we finally made our way to Paris with Audrey, there wasn’t much substance to the piece tied to her and Corbin.  Yes, their relationship is in a weird place but there wasn’t that much development with that.

What we did get though is the interesting twist and turn of events tied to Massimo – the guy that Audrey had been asked to investigate.  Although if you remember, she didn’t think that there was anything notable to worry about with him before, she sees him on her flight to paris which is strange and then he confronts her and gives up information that may tie him to a murder and beating of Neil (his ex) and Neil’s ex Jack.  That’s really the big excitement in this next set of chapters.

What i’m still pondering though is whether Massimo did it and if he didn’t – who did?  While it won’t make or break the story – i thin kthat it’s an interesting sub plot.

What happens towards the end though – the information that we learn that Henry is getting out of jail, well that’s a great piece of information since you know that something bad is going to happen.  Given that Corbin’s attention isn’t focused 100% on Audrey, (he’s still searching for his ex wife and the informant we learned has escaped) it will leave an open opportunity for Henry to get at Audrey and that means that we’ll get to see the bad ass side of her again i’m sure.  Whether it will be in the US or in Paris i’m not sure, but i’m sure that we won’t be disappointed.

The sweet element of this story though ist hat we get to see that Corbin really is in the relationship for all the right reasons and even though Audrey is a bit uncertain about her place with him, he’s clear that he doesn’t just love her, but that he’s IN LOVE with her and that’s what every girl wants to hear.  the other bit is that he asks her about marriage and what she thinks and while her response isn’t necessarily the one that he was hoping for, at least it leaves the door open for things.  I feel like his dom side will make thigns all work out in the end.

Throughout this installment though, at least we continued to get what Cleo does best.  Steamy, passionate, naughty sex and that’s something that you come to crave from her stories.  We see that there’s still such great chemistry between our mains even though they may not be in the happiest of places. i think that the fact that Audrey thrives and loves the pain and punishment aspect of what they do makes it even hotter and while it’s not necessarily one of my own personal things (at the moment) it’s still really hot and exciting.  so….enjoy!