Code of HonorSeries: Spontagio Family #1
by Missy Johnson
Published by Random House, Loveswept on August 25th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone, the kind of guy women want and men respect. At twenty-three, he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter.
Raised in Chicago under the spotlight of power and privilege, Lucy Spontiago feels most alive on stage. Determined to become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her.
Pietro could never betray his mentor by sleeping with his only child. But Lucy follows her passions, no matter how forbidden. Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.
I thought this book had everything going for it. From the synopsis, I was sold on phrases like, “Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone…” and ” Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.” Sounds like red-hot romance, right? In my head, I was comparing it to Kresley Cole’s The Professional. Perhaps that’s where I went wrong because it turned out to have very little in common with its synopsis. Still a fine book, it just didn’t deliver what I was buying.
The story starts out from Pietro’s point of view as he’s moving in with Giovanni, a friend of his father’s. Pietro is fifteen years old and has just come to the United States to live after witnessing his family’s murder. Pietro’s new life mission has become to find those responsible for making him an orphan, and “make them pay”. Promising, right? An emotional fifteen year old with nothing to lose.
Fast forward eight years and we meet Lucy, Giovanni’s daughter whom Pietro grew up with. Her biggest concern is sneaking out from under her father’s goon squad security system to go to a ballet audition in New York City. Her father is concerned for her safety because of his business ties. But Lucy wants desperately to get out into the world.
And that’s where Peitro comes in. He does a favor for Giovanni in exchange for (hopefully) information leading him to his parents’ killer.
For being sold as being a strong, polished, hard as stone guy, Peitro was pretty wishy-washy when it came to getting what he wanted. I didn’t see much in the way of “alpha-ness” coming from him when dealing with Giovanni. He could have demanded the information he wanted but he kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting… and then finally did something on his own. It was frustrating.
I was kind of annoyed by Lucy’s character as well. I guess I don’t do well with women who don’t ultimately stand up for themselves when they are over 18 years of age. I know, these aren’t MY characters. This isn’t MY book. I just wasn’t keen on their traits.
The story itself was okay. The romance was sort of lacking, though. I didn’t get much until well into the story. And then to throw a cliffhanger on the ending! OH to the NOs!!!
With my extreme hatred of cliffhangers in romance (deny me my HEA and fear my wrath!), had I known this book wouldn’t have closure, I would not have taken this book for review. As it was, I was expecting too much from the synopsis.
I’m giving the story a 3 star rating based on the fact that there is no fault in the story – if this is your cup of tea, per se. There are no faults in the dynamics (pacing, structure, etc) of the book. This is just a case of me getting my expectations up too high. I can’t penalize an author for that… hence my rating.
So I recommend this book for those of you that like romances that have lots of ups and downs, arc over multiple books, and have several subplots that sometimes overshadow the romance.