A brutal hitman. A fervent anti-Mafia judge. A far-ranging conspiracy…
Everyone thinks Ruggero Vela is just an assassin, a cold-hearted thug. But a passionate heart beats underneath his granite exterior. When he finally meets the woman of his dreams, she turns out to be Loredana Montisi, a fervent anti-Mafia judge hell-bent on prosecuting his Mafia don boss. The judge has no idea she’s being used as a pawn by much darker forces with a truly frightening agenda.
Hallelujah!!! I got the ending I needed and bonus happiness with Ruggero’s story. With a title like Reckoning, I knew WHO I hoped was going to face their final reckoning. However, Delamar has proven time and time again, that no character within the Blood and Honor series is guaranteed a life and that its members can die at any time, much like the Mafioso as most of understand it to be. So I didn’t rest easy until I read “The End” and knew for sure who survived.
While the main romantic focus of Reckoning is between one of Enrico’s men, Ruggero, and the judge trying Enrico’s case, the battle rages on within the ‘Ndrangheta and Ruggero’s romance plays out well within the conspiracies of that war. Yep! You read that right. My eyes actually bugged out of my head when I realized that Enrico Lucchesi was being arrested, and that only worsened once all the charges were revealed. When this occurred, I worried that Enrico was the only one who was going to face his reckoning day. I have no problem saying that I love Enrico’s character, so for me, the situation he found himself in was extremely distressing – especially what took place in the prison shower, as I found myself trying to read as fast as I could to find out how that scene was going to play out, yet trying not to because I was afraid of what the outcome would be. But that’s what makes this series so intense, the men at the top aren’t always untouchable – even if they’ve fooled themselves into believing it. As Ruggero points out, “hubris had gotten more men killed than caution ever had.” And more than one man learns that lesson in Reckoning – some more permanently than others.
As for the romance between Ruggero and Loredana, it was often beautiful in its painful moments, but always beautiful when they were able to forget who they were in each other’s worlds (the judge and the Mafia soldier) and could just be Ruggero and Loredana – a man and a woman. We do learn a lot more about Ruggero than in previous installments, and it actually made the romance more heartbreaking to me because not only were they on opposite sides of the law, but despite all his confidence in his place within the Lucchesi family, Ruggero felt he was undeserving of love. As for Loredana, her courage and conviction were awe inspiring, but it was her drive for true justice that really impressed me. I really enjoyed the connection and the resulting chemistry between them and it made for some rather hot scenes. But I really, really liked seeing how effectively Ruggero could use ice for good (steamy!) and not so good (absolutely diabolical). The final showdown – The Reckoning – was unreal and full of surprises I wasn’t expecting. I loved the ending that Delamar crafted, even if it appears to be the series end as well. While it does read as though Reckoning is the final book in the Blood and Honor series, I would not be disappointed to see additional installments written. Nope, not one bit. I have loved this series from the first novella, Malavita, to this one and I’m not ready to say goodbye.