Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: Firsts and Forever
AUTHOR: Alexa Land
LENGTH: 34,000 Words
RELEASE DATE: February 15, 2017
Dante Dombruso has always been his family’s armor. It’s his job to keep them safe. But he feels he failed them eighteen months ago, when a mysterious arsonist set a fire intended to wipe the Dombrusos off the map. Now Dante is driven to make things right, yet with each day that passes, the trail grows colder and his frustration increases.
When a lead finally surfaces, Dante’s husband Charlie insists on joining the chase, even though they could be barreling into a potentially lethal situation. Charlie’s nothing like Dante, who spent his life in organized crime. How can Dante do his job if he’s totally focused on protecting the man he loves? And what will Charlie think of him once he sees just how far Dante’s willing to go to keep his family safe? But Charlie isn’t taking no for an answer.
Time is running out. Can Dante find whoever was behind the attack before they strike again? Because next time, the Dombruso family might not make it out alive.
To anyone who has been reading Ms. Land’s Firsts and Forever series, picking up this book is a given. If you, like me, loved Dante and Charlie’s original story, you will be super happy to see we are revisiting them as the main characters in this new novella. It has been eighteen months since the fire where Dante and the entire Dombruso clan were almost killed, and it is eating Dante up not being able to find out who did it. He has his suspicions and his finger is firmly pointed to his cousin Jerry who he removed from the leadership position in the family business when Jerry took a hit out on one of their other cousins. I enjoyed seeing things from Dante’s perspective in this one. Turns out he isn’t completely the confident self-assured man we assumed he was.
There is only one problem, Dante, as I said, suspects Jerry had something to do with the fire, but Jerry is off the radar. He is rumored to be working with a rival family. Could they be the ones behind the fire?
Ms. Land takes us along through a fast-moving story, with some drama and even a car chase in this one. I enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing what comes next. If you enjoyed the other books in her series, you’ll enjoy this one. This one is much shorter than her other books, and deals with just the chase and arson investigation. We did get hints of things to come, and I’m sure there is more coming in the series. I’m not sure there are any more family members who could possibly be gay, since, to keep it honest… there are way to many gay men in one family as it is. There are plenty of side characters that will probably carry the series on. As usual, Nana appeared in the pages, but very briefly. She is by far my favorite.
I recommend this novella to anyone who has read the series. It has too many back references to work as a standalone in my opinion, but I don’t think it was written as one anyway. One final note. Ms. Land’s stories always end in happy endings. Some of the details in the stories might push the impossibility barrier, but they are always so much fun to read. I think of them as one of my guilty pleasures. Keep them coming!