Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Malavita by Dana Delamar

Malavita by Dana Delamar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Malavita was an intensely compelling read. I was glued to my Kindle for the first half of the book, and when I had to take a break for a couple of hours to do some paperwork, I could not get back to my Kindle fast enough. I connected to Toni’s character almost immediately and because of her upbringing – both as an Italian and as a principessa – I often forgot that she was only 16. The life into which she was born required that either she grow up with a maturity and understanding of the world that most her age don’t have or she grow up completely sheltered and naïve. What we learned of Antonella (Toni) over the course of the book is that despite his old school ways, her father, Carlo, seemed to have struck a nice balance between the two that gave her far more insight into that world than a female normally gets while maintaining her innocence. And ultimately, it is this combination of maturity and innocence that wins Enrico over.

In his own right, Enrico was put in an unenviable situation that left me feeling badly for him on many accounts. And while his lashing out at Toni was understandable, I was relieved when he finally saw the error of his ways – even if his initial reason for doing so was out of revenge rather than understanding. Because of this, he unintentionally gave Toni the opening she needed to unknowingly work her way into his heart. While Enrico’s path to revenge was a bit grisly, it was appropriate to the situation and storyline. This was one of those instances where I felt that the violence added to the book and Enrico’s character development rather than being added just to shock the reader.

I felt the author did an excellent job of striking a balance between the romance between Toni and Enrico and the machinations of the men in power – Carlo, Rinaldo, and Enrico. There was only one actual sex scene and it was glanced over, similar to fade-to-black sex scenes on television. As Toni is only 16 and a virgin, there were a few scenes showing her and Enrico making out and this served as an extended bit of foreplay that provided just a bit of heat while preserving her chasteness. Ms. Delamar demonstrated that an author does not have to include graphic sex scenes (which we know I’m all for) in order to ramp up the heat in a novel. Even knowing that Toni is considered a woman in her culture, I was quite pleased with the manner in which the author dealt with the sex (or lack thereof) scenes because it helped to maintain Toni’s overall innocence. This allowed for more of a focus on the romance that develops once Enrico takes the time to look past Toni's last name and give them an honest chance. Malavita was an exciting introduction to the Blood and Honor series and I hope to be able to read the next book in the series soon as I need to know what life (and Carlo) has in store for Enrico and Toni.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Malavita (Blood and Honor 0.5) by Dana Delamar blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

View all my reviews

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