Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Always - Bethany-Kris

Always: A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine #1)
by Bethany-Kris
Published: October 2, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Organized Crime, Romance

A wild boy.
A sly girl.

Cross Donati defines trouble. He does what he wants because he’s never known anything different. He’s unapologetic, and he owns it.

Catherine Marcello is every bit a good girl … on the outside. Her entire world is a legacy, and she lives it. She’s curious, and she’s exploring it.

She chases bad things.
He never learned to be good.

They’re late nights, stolen cars, first times, fist fights, leather jackets, beaches, bloody smiles, and life.
They’re vicious and precious, dangerous and harmless, innocence and sin. They are love.

Love is killing for someone.
Love is living for someone.

Sometimes, you can’t keep saving your heart when it means sacrificing it, too.
Sometimes, you have to learn to save yourself.
Sometimes, love has to fall, crash, and burn.

This is what love is like when you’re a principe and principessa della mafia.
This is what love is like when you’re Cross Donati and Catherine Marcello.


Always is a Legacy Novel, and while it is standalone, it can also act as a prequel for Revere. Each Legacy Novel stands alone from any other book, series, or collection.

5 Stars
Cross doesn't follow the rules and as the principe of the Donati family he's able to get away with it. His future is set, he's meant to be a made-man after his step-dad, Calisto. He's restless, always bored, only calmed by his ever growing attraction to Catherine Marcello, reginella and daughter to organized crime King and Queen, Catrina and Dante Marcello. With only a couple of years between them they share a connection through the secret mafia world. At just 15 and 13 the two start a romance that spans years, though it isn't always easy. Their families and the power they hold in crime is different and there's an unspoken rule that two mafia families do not go together. Everything works against them, but they have a love that lasts, always.

"But hey...the pretty girl with the green eyes had a name."

I love mafia romance, but there's very few books out there that really live up to the expectations. When I open a book about organized crime I want to know about the families, the inner workings of the mafia, the crimes they commit, how it works with the real world, and Bethany-Kris gives you all that and more. I know when I open a Bethany-Kris book I will be sucked into a different life, where I feel just like the main characters whose POV I am reading, where I fall in love with another, but must also deal with the repercussions that come from mi famiglia and the expectations that come with being the child of a Don or Boss. Always is no different, from the moment I picked it up I was sucked in, I was another student at The Academy that Cross and Catherine attended together and I was a fly on the wall as their respective families brought them up in very different worlds. As children they don't speak about the worlds they come from, it is only known by their last name and the wealth they have. Cross and Catherine break all the rules though and I fell in love with them from the start.

"No one else was like her. No one else was her. No one else could be."

Cross and Catherine are young, younger than the age group I usually read, but older in many ways due to their upbringing. They have the usual teenage issues; parents harping on them, grades to keep up, sports, and the general angst of being young. Cross is happy without friends and with a reputation, while Catherine worries about what others think of her all the time. When they are together it erases everything, but their dependence on one another is what makes the story. Both are so focused on one another that they let things slide they shouldn't. As Cross gained interest in the world of gun-running, Catherine found her personality flourished with her secretive drug dealing. I loved that Always spanned so many years, Bethany-Kris allows us to get to know the characters in such an in depth way, making me invested from page one to the very end. It's emotional, it's full of angst, and there's plenty of drama.

"First love was pretty and dangerous. Fire love made it hard to let go."

Always is the kind of book that takes your emotions for a ride, even DURINGthe moments of love and bliss there is a lurking feeling of anxiety, much as there must have been for Cross and Catherine. It's a slow paced story, the characters age from 15 and 13 to 20 and 18, but that time is what makes this story. I truly felt like I was in the world of the wealthy and connected, their lives so different than the youth I had. Like Catherine's favorite romance, she and Cross share a fated love, their lives predestined for something more, and their battle to be together and grow up within their respective families is a journey you must read. Always is book one in the Cross + Catherine series by Bethany-Kris. It's a must read for fans of true mafia romance.

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

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