Series: Forever #0.4
Published by Self-Published on October 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Crime, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.
It's kill or be killed.
Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there's only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.
Never get close. Never get attached. It's a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they're words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn't quite as black and white as it's made out to be.
*An E-ARC was supplied to me in exchange for review*
“The world treats me like I wronged them, when really, the world wronged me,” Corrado said. “The world made me this way. And maybe they all hate me, but still, they need me. Because without villains, there wouldn’t be superheroes.”
Ever since reading Sempre Redemption, I’ve wondered about the man behind the cool exterior of the Kevlar Killer. What is Corrado Moretti really like? What makes him tick? I must admit, I didn’t care for him at all in Sempre. He was cold, aloof, and came across as unsympathetic and heartless. Which is how he should come across, he is after all a mafia hitman. But then something changed. In Redemption, we got a few more glimpses of this evil man, except he didn’t seem that evil anymore. He was starting to appeal to me, and by the end of the book HE was the one I wanted to hear from, so when I learned that his story would be told I was looking forward to reading it.
I loved seeing Corrado growing up, from a small boy to a teen, he DID have a heart, he cared, he felt, he knew pain. He was treat appallingly by his mother and betrayed by his sister more than once. I cried for the little boy in the beginning of this story, I just wanted to reach out and hug him. His father was his only solace but he wasn’t there as much as he should have been. Corrado witnessed terrible things growing up, but it did teach him one thing – keep quiet. He learned to observe, to take note of what was going on and only speak when necessary. These qualities soon get him noticed by the Boss, Antonio De Marco, and from then on in Corrado’s career is mapped out.
Corrado’s relationship with his wife Celia was a stark contrast to the way he was portrayed in the past. Yes, there were glimpses that he was a good husband to her in Sempre, but we really see the dynamics in this book and I loved the pair of them. Celia, being the daughter of Boss Antonio De Marco, is under no illusions about Corrado’s work, and they are just perfect for each other. There were plenty of moments that made me laugh, he may be the notorious Kevlar Killer to the outside world, but Celia knows how to deal with the Corrado who is her husband, and she certainly isn’t afraid of him! Corrado may have the hard as nails vibe going on with everyone else, but with his wife he is protective, gentle and so loving.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “I should be asking you that.” “You’re allowed to feel,” she said, pulling back from his embrace. “You are human, after all.” He smiled softly at her. “That’s supposed to be our little secret.”
It’s not just Corrado that we learn more about in this story, we also see a young Vincent De Marco, Carmine’s father, and learn more about his tragic love story with Maura. They fought so hard to be together, Vincent doing for Maura just what Carmine would eventually do for Haven. There were parts where I knew what was going to happen, from reading Sempre, but this didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story at all. It just gave me more insight and from a different perspective, so if anything it enhanced the experience for me. One particular part was when Vincent and Maura said a cheery goodbye to each other – it was heartbreaking knowing that it would be their last time together even though they didn’t know what was coming.
I could write on and on about how much I loved this story, but I won’t be able to do it justice, and you should just read it for yourself. I tried to read slower than normal, to savour it as long as I could because I didn’t want it to end. When it did end though, the last few lines slayed me. I just sat there, in tears, reading those words over and over again and wishing it wasn’t over.
Life, he thought, had been like a line of dominos, set up in a complex, interweaving path, toppling one another as things fell into place. Corrado often tried to pinpoint what had been the trigger, the first domino in the line, the one that had set him on this path of no return. How far back did it all go? He wasn’t sure where it began, but he did know the end. He knew where the trail led to, what the last domino to fall would be. It would be the last page in Celia’s scrapbook.
JM Darhower has created a world where it’s OK to love a mafia hitman, a remorseless killer, a world where you turn a blind eye to the horror and many crimes committed by these men, just as a mafia wife would do. And I love it! I just can’t get enough of these books!