A few months ago I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Kristina’s first book in The Moretti Trilogy, featuring my favorite evil henchman of all time. So of course I was thrilled when I discovered that he would be a main character in the next book!
And it did not disappoint.
How much more will she lose?
Lillian Rossi had it all—a devoted husband, a new baby, and all the riches she’d dreamed of. But one January day changed everything. Now, the consequences of her late husband’s sins extend to her and her son, and Matteo, though only a baby, is the rightful heir to the Rossi empire, making him a target.
Alberto Moretti promised to protect Lillian and her son, but he well knows the cruelty and desperation of the Rossi family. He served them all too long—until God set him free.
As Lillian and Alberto are thrown together in a race to save her and Matteo’s lives, their own sins and Stefano Rossi’s plans threaten to destroy them. Will they fall prey to the danger so close behind, or will they find mercy they’ve done nothing to deserve?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin. Visit her website at kristinahallauthor.wordpress.com.
Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Characters – This was more of a character-driven story, with the main characters Moretti and Lillian having their own motivations and lifelike personalities.
Of course Moretti was an amazing, richly fleshed out character. I love his dry sense of humor and wry observations. His arc was also delicious, dealing with the aftermath of becoming a Christian yet still struggling with his previous sinful ways. Not everything becomes jelly beans and roses right after you accept Christ. However, Moretti is still a formidable guy (ex-evil henchman and all) and I really enjoyed all the fight scenes. I will say that the way his love for Lillian progressed was confusing. One moment, he was protecting her because he’d made a promise, so he was duty-bound. The next, he was protecting her because he actually loved her. I didn’t catch the moment of this transition, so it felt rather abrupt. But I was happily content with the outcome! And I really really wanted to hear him call ‘the kid’ Matteo at some point, but alas, nothing can be perfect. 😉
Lillian was also a captivating character. Her motivations were incredibly touching, driven to protect her baby and herself from very real threats. And the decisions she had to make were realistic and heart-breaking at times. I could really empathize with her in her grief and pain and eventual transformation. A delightful character arc, beautifully and emotionally conveyed.
Stefano fell rather flat to me. I would have liked to see more of his motivations and personality, but overall, his role as the big dark menacing bad guy worked perfectly fine for the story.
And, of course, Matteo was ADORABLE. My heart melted at all of his interactions with his mother and the many times he clenched his baby fist in her skirts. ❤ ❤
Photo Credit: PopularMechanics.com
Prose – This was beautiful in its simplicity, crafting the scenes of the story in a subtle, yet all-encompassing way. However, I did have one big pet peeve, how Moretti kept using the phrase, “As if…” I understand he has a wry, cynical way of putting things, and it might be a character quirk, but that phrase was used way too much. Here’s just one example:
Eventually I just resigned myself to the idea that it’s just how Moretti talks, and I moved on. XD
Plot/Pacing – As I mentioned before, this is a character-driven story, so there is not an elaborate plot. Being more of a plot-oriented reader, this was jarring at first since I felt the story was dragging and not going anywhere. But I quickly realized that this was a character story and really began enjoying it, diving deep into Moretti and Lillian’s head and watching them grow and change. The pacing was, for the most part, wonderfully thrilling, with horrifying and heartbreaking scenes, plenty of danger, adrenaline rushes, and all that good stuff. Much better than the first book, I would say.
Themes – The main thing that grabbed my attention, early on in the book when I still hadn’t figured out it wasn’t a plot-driven story, was the theme. I mentioned part of it above, but I really enjoyed seeing the process of a struggling new Christian, whose addictions and sinful past still exist. It was so captivating seeing Moretti fight and sometimes fail at his alcohol problem, because it was so realistic but encouraging in the end. And then, of course, all the discussions of mercy and forgiveness and facing the consequences for one’s past crimes was wonderful.
I actually liked this book far more than the first one. Possibly because it had more Moretti (hehe – More Moretti.) Anyways, you should definitely get this book! You don’t have to read the first one to enjoy it, but if you do, you’ll love and appreciate both Moretti’s and Lillian’s characters more.
Until next time,
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Hope to see you soon! ❤