My review of The Exceptions by David Cristofano


About the book: 

No loose ends. It’s the Bovaro family motto. As part of the Bovaro clan, one of the most powerful and respected families in organized crime, Jonathan knows what he must do: take out Melody Grace McCartney, the woman whose testimony can lock up his father and disgrace his entire family. The only problem: he can’t bring himself to do it.

Had Jonathan kept his silence, Melody and her parents would never have been identified and lured into the Witness Protection Program, able to run but never to hide. So he keeps her safe the only way he knows how-by vowing to clean up his own mess while acting as her shield.

But as he watches her take on another new identity in yet another new town, becoming a beautiful but broken woman, Jonathan can’t get her out of his mind . . . or his heart. From the streets of Little Italy to a refuge that promises a fresh start, Jonathan will be forced to choose between the life he’s always known, the destiny his family has carved out for him, and a future unlike anything he’s ever imagined.

My review:

I absolutely loved this story. The author’s storytelling is beyond superb. I really enjoyed The Girl She Used to Be by the same author. In fact, it made my favorite fiction list the year it came out. The cool thing was enough time had passed between my reading each of the stories that it felt like I began the story again from a totally different perspective. But this time it went way back to the beginning. In some ways I loved this book even more than the first. The ideal is to read both, but this could be read as a stand alone novel.

This was an exceptionally good book because my emotions were fully engaged. I was also enthralled by the concept – the son of a notable crime family guarding the life of one of his family’s targets. As far as romantic elements go, this author really cranks up the heat while staying fairly chaste. It’s a technique worth studying in depth. I could feel the love oozing off the pages and it was enough to melt my heart.

The hero tells this story entirely from his perspective. You feel his intense longing and his inspiring discovery of what it means to truly love someone. At the same time, the hero wants to do right by the heroine. He couldn’t free her if she clung to him, so he refrained though everything in him wanted to love her fully. There is nothing more romantic than restrained passion and sacrifice.

There were moments when a sense of betrayal which got me a bit choked up. I felt the wounds myself as it were happening to me. But like all good love stories, the truth eventually comes out and it isn’t what it seems. This is my cryptic way of telling how much I enjoyed the twists and turns without sharing them in this review. I stayed up late many nights reading this book. I highly recommend it.

The Exceptions was published by Grand Central and released in August 2012

 
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