Katherine Anderson was living a dream life. She came from an influential family, had a successful career as a food critic, and was about to marry the man of her dreams. Her life suddenly takes a change for the worse when she finds her fiancé in the arms of another woman. Her dream wedding now cancelled, she tries to find herself in Italy, on a trip she was supposed to be taking with her new husband.
Massimo "Tony" Bertalucci has had his life destroyed by a cartel known to be trafficking black market olive oil out of Italy and around the world. While the cartel thought the entire Bertalucci family was dead and buried, Tony remains very much alive and determined to find a way to get his life back.
When Tony and Katherine’s worlds collide, she becomes Tony’s only hope of escaping Italy alive. What Katherine doesn’t realize is that this charming, unassuming Italian man is using her to save his own life. Will she be able to get back to the states safely, or will she be subjected to the same fate as Tony's family? Will Tony find a way to stop running? Or will he have to surrender his life to the cartel?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was sent a book recommendation by a friend for this book. I read the blurb and became intrigued, so I decided to give this book a go. I am glad I did, because I loved it!
Katherine Anderson is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a food critic, with the power to make or break a restaurant or café. After coming home early and finding her fiancé in a compromising position, she decides to take the honeymoon trip to Italy in an attempt to figure out what to do. Meeting a charming Italian man wasn’t part of her plans, but Tony Bertalucci is unlike any other man she has met.
Massimo “Tony Lupito” Bertalucci is also a wonderful character. I liked this charismatic and charming man. His family has been involved in the production of olive oil for several generations, but after an attack by a black market cartel that left his family dead and him running scared, he sees Katherine as his salvation.
I started to read this story and found it to be an exciting and thrilling read, which hooked me from the first page. I could fully picture the story in my own mind with clarity, due to the descriptive writing of the author. I have never been to Italy, but the way it is described, especially the city of Florence, I felt like I was there. But, the descriptions also made me feel sad that I really wasn’t! I am seriously considering visiting Italy for real.
The story is told through not only Katherine’s and Tony’s points of view, but also through the eyes of an American FDA agent, Special Agent Daniel Thompson. I liked this agent, as he is dedicated and seems to be honourable. He and his Italian compatriot, Agent Andreo Manchetti are investigating the cartel and the connection to the Bertalucci family. The story is full of twists and turns, and has a villain that chilled my blood! He is completely psychotic, and his identity is a total shock! The feeling of terror, paranoia and disbelief that Tony feels is palpable and had me jumping at perfectly normal noises at home. It also had me feeling sorry for Katherine, as she had no idea through most of the story about the danger following Tony. But, once she is involved, I was completely in awe of her level head and inner strength. I am not sure if I would be so calm in a similar situation, but I suppose since her life had already imploded, she just took it in her stride. I did find myself in tears several times throughout the story, so a tissue may be required. I reached the end of the story and nearly screamed out loud in surprise, because there is a huge twist. I couldn’t wait to see what happens next, so I have downloaded Shattered, the next book in the trilogy, and I hope to start reading it as soon as possible.
Jennifer Burrows has written a fantastic, intense and suspenseful thriller. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story is wonderful. I am definitely planning on reading more books by this author in the future.
Due to scenes of a sexual nature that are a little on the explicit side, as well as scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book to readers who love romantic thrillers, mysteries or suspense novels. – Lynn Worton
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Jennifer Burrows released her debut book A Shot in the Dark July, 2013. Recently she has released the sequel Into the Light and currently working on her third book Surrender.
Jennifer is a retired Registered Nurse who holds a Master's degree in Nursing Administration. Emergency room nursing is her passion. She enjoys going to the gym, traveling, snowboarding, scuba diving, hiking, and camping. In her free time, Jennifer is an avid reader who loves to talk about stories with her best friend.
Jennifer currently resides in Southern California with her husband and their three amazing boys, two dogs, too many fish to count, and a desert tortoise.