Family Ties by Sam Mariano

July 15, 2017 Book Review 0 ★★★

Family Ties by Sam Marianothree-stars
Family Ties by Sam Mariano
Series: Morelli Family #4
Also in this series: Accidental Witness, Surviving Mateo, Once Burned
on July 10, 2017
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 682
Buy on Amazon

Francesca Morelli.

Sweet as sin, like the cupcakes she slings at the Morelli bakery. Her sweetness and killer looks are what reeled me in, but her unexpected vulnerability really sealed my fate. I don't care if there’s a war brewing between our families. I don’t care if I have to go through her evil dictator of a brother. I will break down Francesca Morelli’s walls, I will make her mine, and I’ll keep her—no matter the cost.

Salvatore Castellanos.

If good men exist, I’ve certainly never met one—until the day my brother’s rival sauntered into my bakery. Raised around manipulation and unimaginable dysfunction, I know better than to invest in dishonest, dangerous men. I also know Salvatore is exactly that type of man—only, it turns out he isn’t. After years spent living in a shell, Salvatore opens me back up. He’s sexy and sincere, making well-intended promises he’ll never be able to keep. Even knowing he’ll ultimately break my heart, I can’t resist falling for him.

But tensions are rising between our families, and whichever side wins, I know our love won’t make it out alive. Salvatore may be a man accustomed to getting what he wants, but as much as I wish otherwise, I’m the one thing he can never really have.

*** THIS IS NOT A STANDALONE. This is book four, and read alone it will be confusing and weird. Also, you have to be as invested in the Morellis as you will be after books 1-3 in order to care about the Morelli madness accompanying this love story. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK FIRST, IT WILL BE A BAD TIME. ***

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

By LilyI await each new release in the Morelli Family series with bated breath, waiting to discover what Mateo has in store for his family and employees. Family Ties is told from the perspective of Mateo’s sister, Francesca Morelli. It takes a sombre, more distant stance, following her unsanctioned, secretive relationship with Salvatore Castellanos. The overarching plot between books is wound up with this book, allowing readers the choice of continuing with the series if they wish. The good news is there is more to look forward to, if like me you are keen to keep reading!

Francesca has dreamt all her life of a way to escape living as a Morelli and all the trappings associated with a mobster family. For the moment, her only reprieve is managing the bakery owned by her brother Mateo. It’s a sweet moment when Salvatore works his charm on her as an inconspicuous customer. As luck would have it for Francesca, Salvatore is from an opposing mobster family and her hopes of thinking he could be Mister Right are quickly crushed.

Salvatore is smitten and wastes no time in wearing Francesca down to agree to go on a date with him. Persistence could be Salvatore’s middle name, because he refused to give up on the woman who had consumed his every thought. He’s a nice guy, caring and you could understand why Francesca took the risks she did to be with him. What he didn’t portray was the fact he was a high ranking member of a crime family. This was juxtaposed to Mateo and Adrian, neither faltering from their confident, fearless personalities throughout this story.

Francesca and Salvatore are the perfect couple. Both realistically savoured their stolen moments and bided their time before their respective families discovered their secret. This causes more than a few obstacles for the lovebirds and requires a lot of creativity to be together. Timing is critical. One wrong word will cause more than a few headaches they try desperately to avoid.

Francesca’s view sheds a new light on past events, smoothing the blunt decisions of Mateo. She is under no illusion as to his failings, openly acknowledging it’s the fact he is family that allows her to accept rather than forgive his actions. Interestingly, we discover she is a meddler, in a non-aggressive manner, but once she sets her mind on helping there’s no stopping her.

The story covered events that occurred in earlier books,  and as a consequence, the level of suspense I adored earlier in the series wasn’t at the forefront in Family Ties. It was a gently paced story with an emphasis on detail, including descriptive scenes and a long courtship. While I appreciated the fresh insight and spending time with The Morellis, I missed the dark elements from the first three books. That said, I can’t wait to read the next book: Resisting Mateo!

Rating; 3 Charmed Stars


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