Bound by Duty
by Cora Reilly
Book 2 in the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles
Dante Cavallaro’s wife died four years ago but her memory still haunts him.
On the verge of becoming the youngest head in the history of the Chicago Outfit, Dante needs to remarry or risk appearing weak.
Valentina is chosen for the role.
She, too, lost her husband, but her first marriage has always been for show. Even after her husband’s death, Valentina carries the weight of his secrets with her— to protect the honor of a dead man and herself.
With her wedding to Dante, her castle of lies threatens to crash.
Valentina fears the wedding night might reveal her secret, but her worries prove unfounded when Dante ignores her. Soon, her fear turns to confusion and anger.
Valentina is tired of being ignored. She’s determined to get Dante’s attention and desire, even if she can’t get his heart that still belongs to his dead wife.
She wants to capture his cold heart but she may have to settle for his desire.
Bound by Duty by Cora Reilly follows young widow Valentina, who is arranged to be married to Dante, a widow himself, who is about to become the head of the Chicago outfit. Valentina is ready to marry. While her first husband was her best friend, it was also done to cover up her husbands sexuality. Dante, still haunted by his wifes passing, is only going ahead with the marriage to appear strong amongst the outfit. While Valentina is afraid of Dante realizing her first marriage was a sham on their wedding night, it turns out she didn't need to - for Dante ignores her. What starts out as hurt and confusion, turns to anger. Valentina has already done the whole marriage for show thing - but not this time. Valentina might not be able to get her husbands heart - but she is determined to at least get his desire.
I actually really enjoyed this one. We are still dealing with bad people. They still murder and commit crime. But Dante is better than a lot of the men in Cora Reilly's world. He does believe women have more to offer than their bodies, and he has absolutely no tolerance for rape. So automatically, for this world, he is a great male character. And I loved Valentina. She is a strong willed, and intelligent woman. She doesn't let men walk all over her - despite living in a culture that deems it so. She enters into a marriage with her childhood best friend to protect him from the Outfit, knowing he could never give her a true marriage. I love her - and I love her and Dante together. His issues made sense, which made how the story played out much more interesting. Something I find interesting is --------------spoiler---------> the book ends with Dante still not telling Valentina that he loves her. She senses his love for her in his actions, and she is okay with that. To this day, I have NEVER read a romance that didn't end with an "I love you", and it works for this storyline. <--------------------
I'm still not sold on the whole mafia romance storyline, but after this book, I do plan on starting the next one. Hopefully we get another story with a strong, female character like this one. I