Title: A Favor for a Favor
Author: Nat Chelloni
Page Length: 279
Publication Date: Aug. 28, 2020
Synopsis: “Forget favors given; remember those received.” – John Wooden
A time for love can’t be more deadly…
Julia Leonardi thought she put her past behind her. The widow of a mobster, all she wants is to steer clear of the criminal elements. Then she meets Domenico Bonacci…
Dom is handsome, charming, and intense. The world knows him as a prominent businessman, but Julia sees him as everything she fought to escape.
Once the scion of a powerful Mafia family Dom left the world of organized crime after his father’s death. And he swore he would never go back.
No matter how hard she tries, Julia can’t seem to ignore the powerful spark of attraction between them and her growing feelings for him. But when Dom’s shady past catches up with him, the two forbidden lovers find themselves trapped in a deadly game.
Will Dom renege on his vow and lose the woman he loves, or he will manage to break free of his past for once and for all?
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A Favor for a Favor is a gripping romantic suspense that focuses on Julia and Dom, two people who find love amid dangerous intrigue and an unsolved murder that affects them both. The dynamic characters, carefully woven plot, and messages of embracing love, forgiving, and being true to yourself are the highlights of the novel. Plus, the enemies-to-lovers romance between Julia and Dom is fantastic!
Julia is an interesting character. The widow and daughter of a mobster, Julia has worked hard to extricate herself as much as possible from the mob life. However, she can’t help her feelings for Dom, who she knows has mob affiliations. Dom has a reputation for being intense and ruthless, and only his close friends know his true character. Though this is often to his benefit, it doesn’t help him win over Julia.
The romance between Julia and Dom is complicated, explosive, and filled with chemistry. Dom has liked Julia from afar for many years, but because of her marriage and then her loss, he never acted on his feelings. Now, years later, Julia and Dom are both available and attracted to each other. Dom badly muddles their first encounter, which exacerbates Julia’s dislike and distrust, and Dom has to work even harder to prove that he’s the right one for her. It’s interesting to see how the pair resolves their inner doubts and outward obstacles to be together.
I was also drawn to the setting, as it takes place in the same area of the United States where I live. As a life-long Rhode Island resident and Italian, I was intrigued by these references. Rhode Island is often known for its large Italian heritage and mafia affiliations, so this aspect of the story really interested me. Julia and Dom have families that love hard, and they very much resemble the loving, boisterous, supporting, and, at times, overbearing family that I grew up in. Minus the whole mafia component, of course.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Julia’s husband and the murder of Dom’s younger cousin add to the intrigue. Dom is determined to find out what happened to his beloved cousin all those years ago, and the more he uncovers, the more his life is in jeopardy. This doesn’t stop Dom from figuring out what happened and how Julia’s husband is connected, nor does it stop him from seeking revenge.
A Favor for a Favor is a complex and suspenseful story with well-developed characters and a tumultuous romance. I enjoyed this debut novel by Nat Chelloni and look forward to reading more of her books in the future!
This is a great story for readers who like fast-paced romantic suspense with dynamic characters and an intriguing mystery.