Review: Kele Moon practically ripped my heart out (before putting it back together with duct tape) in part one of THE ENFORCER. I have faith that it will heal properly when part two comes out in a few months; Enforcer’s Revenge (Untamed Hearts #4)
If I thought I was invested in all of the main characters from their first appearance in the BATTERED HEARTS series but I was wrong. This book…took me places. It had me crying, laughing and cheering as Valentino “Tino” Moretti and his siblings did what they had to do to not only survive the abuse they each suffered but to find pockets of joy and love which made life worth living.
I strongly advise that once you’ve gotten your copy of THE ENFORCER, clear your schedule. It. Is. That. Riveting! 🙂
Click below to read the rest of my review, my interview with Kele, an excerpt from THE ENFORCER and a link to the rafflecopter giveaway 🙂
I’m keeping spoilers as general as possible because I want you, my fellow readers, to uncover each layer of Tino and Brianna’s story the same way I did. 🙂
THE ENFORCER starts at the end of THE SLAYER but you can pick up book #3 and not feel like you’re missing out on much because present-day plots are explained without giving away book #2 for those who haven’t read it. Plus the majority of book #3 takes place in the past; we learn just how horrific it was for Nova and Tino growing up as Frankie Moretti’s bastard sons, and in Tino’s case, being used in the vilest ways possible by Frankie’s wife.
Brianna Darcy is the BFF (best friend forever) of Nova and Tino’s half-sister, Carina. On the outside, Brianna seemed to have the perfect life but she too was left with emotional scars from her own family and from her connection to the Morettis.
If my memory is correct, we first learn about Brianna being that ‘someone special’ to Tino in THE SLAYER and when she showed up with Carina in Kentucky; where Tino and Romeo are now based, at the end of Book #2, I was left with *so* many questions about what drove, no, what has kept, them apart for so many years when Tino clearly loves her.
We get a good idea of why by the end of book #3 but it is in book #4; which deals with the present day fall-out from Tino learning of his mafia family’s betrayal regarding Brianna, that the full explanation for their breakup and forced separation will be revealed.
Tino (and his two brothers) have had a very special place in my heart from the BATTERED HEARTS series. Now…words cannot properly express how much I root for Tino and Nova to find their own HEA the way their older (non-Moretti) brother Romeo has.
If it seems like I’m not focused on Tino and Brianna alone, that’s because, in the best way possible, Kele Moon has so skilfully weaved together the story of siblings growing up in the mafia, and first love between one brother and his sister’s best friend, that a review of THE ENFORCER has to include a little of everything 🙂
To me, this is what makes book #3 a great ‘prequel’ to both the BATTERED HEARTS and first two UNTAMED HEARTS books because it sets up the early, teen and young adult years of Nova and Tino, and gives us some more insight into Romeo’s background. You can read his story in STAR CROSSED (Battered Hearts #2).
Previous books in both series included bits and pieces about the Moretti brothers’ childhood while their older brother, Romeo, was serving time in jail but none of that prepared me for the physical and resultant emotional abuse Nova suffered, nor for the much worse, hidden, sexual abuse and psychological damage Tino experienced at the hands of Mary Moretti (Frank’s wife and Carina’s mother).
This book isn’t all ‘dark’. The moment Tino and Brianna first meet is sweet and fun; pre-teens on a trampoline. 🙂 They had an instant connection, one that would grow as they did, evolving into something unbreakable, no matter how much other people, and even Tino and Brianna, may have wanted it to at one point or another.
It’s that connection which I can’t wait to find out more about in book #4 but even as I anticipate this, I dred the awful price they had to pay (and may still have to pay) which led to their unexpected reunion at the end of book #2.
THE ENFORCER also deals with Nova and Carina, siblings so alike, I wonder if that’s why they now can’t stand to be compared to one another. It started off with Nova not trusting Carina and evolved over time to mutual dislike (and caring/love but that’s only been expressed so far when one or both of them was in a very distressed state).
In previous books, Nova comes across as a brilliant strategist with a photographic memory and amazing computer skills but we get to see a vulnerable, unaware, and at times, selfish side to him in THE ENFORCER. Simultaneously, we learn about Tino’s hidden depths and his ability to rival or even ‘out-do’ Nova in certain ways; both of which shock Nova to the core when he learns the truth.
I really don’t know what to expect when Nova’s book is written but I fully expect to be blown away.
The same goes for Carina, whose book is next after Tino’s if I’m not mistaken. She was one tough yet kind-hearted girl who grew into an equally strong, loyal and loving woman. But don’t get on her bad side. Trust me. I think everyone who has read THE ENFORCER cheered Carina on when she confronted her mother during a pivotal moment, setting the stage for some HFN (happy for now) times for ‘the gang’.
There were funny moments too. Ones that had me cracking up as I pictured them taking place at various locations in New York and New Jersey; that’s how real these characters are to me. There’s one scene in particular where the boys’ grandfather, the Don of the Moretti family, is called into their high school to deal with a situation involving boys from another mafia family. Read it and you’ll see what I mean 😀
THE ENFORCER is also a coming-of-age tale and it gets downright *steamy* when Tino and Brianna finally consummate the physical aspect of their relationship. Their journey to having sex is an erotic tale all by itself but…when they actually ‘go all the way’ for real…Damn!
Put this all together in one book and Kele Moon has earned a CABR Top Pick review for THE ENFORCER. 😀
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Kele Moon (KM)
CABR: What was the most surprising aspect of the relationships in THE ENFORCER? Why?
KM: I found Tino and Nova’s relationship with their Uncle Carlo surprising in a nice way. I wasn’t expecting them to all be as close as they were and it added a really fun and endearing element to the story.
CABR: I know you have song lists for each book. Which is your favourite from THE ENFORCER, why and how’d you find it?
KM: Favourite song? Gah! That’s hard because there were quite a few that applied to different sections of the book. Overall, probably either Fight Song by Rachel Platten or Lost Boy by Ruth B
CABR: Describe one of your favourite moments in THE ENFORCER and tells why it’s so special?
KM: OH! That’s hard without a spoiler. . . Most of the end scenes I really enjoyed! I’d list pretty much all of those as my favorites to write.
Author: Kele Moon
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication date: March 22, 2016
Synopsis: They are the lost boys.
Sons of mafia mistresses expected to keep their fathers’ sins in the shadows. The lucky ones are forgotten.
Unfortunately for Valentino “Tino” Moretti, his brother Nova was too smart to be forgotten, and too valuable to risk when he resists a life of crime. So they punished Tino instead. Forced into the cruel world of the Sicilian Mafia at twelve, Tino was broken before he was old enough to know the man he was supposed to be. Now he’s what the mafia made him.
A trained killer forbidden to love, but he did anyway. He’s loved Brianna all along.
Raw and beautiful, their romance was all consuming and far too dangerous. They were ripped apart a long time ago. It’s not until the borgata puts out a hit on her that Brianna falls back into Tino’s arms, churning up their dark past and unraveling all the Moretti brothers’ closely guarded secrets.
This isn’t the end of the story. It’s only the beginning, and it is brutal.
There’s a reason enforcers are considered too deadly to love.
“We have to be better than them. Stronger. Faster. Smarter. Lost boys have to fly.” ~Carlo Moretti, original lost boy.
Important Note: The epic love story of Valentino Moretti and Brianna Darcy is being told in two books. Enforcer’s Revenge, Book 4 in the Untamed Hearts series is coming soon!
Hello! It is Kele Moon, hopping through the internet to spread the word about my latest book, The Enforcer. Finally, Tino’s book is out. Here is a little snippet from the story.
Thank you to all the blogs hosting the tour! Be sure to enter the rafflecopper and comment on tour posts for a chance to win a chance for one of four $10 Amazon gift certificate or one of two books of Viper. The giveaway starts March 20, 2016 and ends April 2, 2016.
EXCERPT from “The Enforcer”:
Tino dropped his head back against the headrest. “I’m tired, Bri. I’m being an asshole to you because I’m just so tired, and I’m sorry about that.”
“Me too. Very tired,” she whispered into the night, realizing he was the only other person who understood. Tino lolled his head to the side and stared at her for a long time after the confession, long enough to make her uncomfortable. “What?”
“Nothing.” He shrugged, his gaze running over her again, hot and possessive. “You look healthy too.”
“I’ve been doing CrossFit before the shows. Helps keep me nimble for the more physical scenes.”
A smile quirked at the corner of his mouth. “Do you need help being nimble?”
“There’s always room for improvement,” she reminded him. “You know that.”
“Mmm.” He reached out and caressed her hair, making her shiver against her will when he tucked it behind her ear. “I’m sorry for saying you make bad life choices.”
“Well.” She arched an eyebrow at that. “I did marry a man who tried to kill me. Can’t really fault you for calling it like it is.”
“So cynical.” He sighed. “I’m sorry life’s been mean to you, baby. I would give anything to make it stop hurting you. Not that I’ve had any luck in that department, but if I did, that’d be what I’d wish for.”
“Ditto.” Her voice cracked, betraying her. “I’m sorry I keep running to you to save me. Bad habit.”
“Don’t be sorry for that.” Tino tugged on her hair, forcing her closer. Then he slipped his hand behind her neck and swept his thumb over the fine hairs on her nape. He leaned in and breathed against her mouth. “Never be sorry for that.”
He kissed her like he couldn’t resist, and she eagerly parted to him in an unabashed need she couldn’t hide. She didn’t even see why she should. They both knew this trip could very likely end with one or both of their funerals, but they had this. They always had this.
With a low groan of defeat, he pushed his tongue into her mouth.
God, it felt good.
She had forgotten how much a kiss from Tino could make her ache. The way his tongue brushed against hers. The feel of his fingers tight in her hair. It was like being injected with a liquid pleasure that jolted her awake after what felt like a lifetime of unhappiness.
She wasn’t ashamed of the way she ended up grabbing at the lapels of his jacket, because he was breathless too. His chest rose and fell in sharp, hard pants of need, but he was pulling away too soon with a grunt of denial.
Tino fell back against the seat and rubbed a hand over his face. He opened his mouth, as if he wanted to say something. Then he seemed to think better of it and leaned forward to start the car, leaving Brianna frustrated instead.
Marcos Rivera is a fighter. A gang member. Someone who has seen the dark side of humankind and survived. He has lost family and gained enemies. He has stolen cars and destroyed hearts, stripping one for money and the other for pleasure. His past is haunted and his future is bleak.
Katie Foster is a high school history teacher. Smart, strong, and sexy. She is a woman Marcos shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t touch. Shouldn’t love. He met her in Garnet, a backwards, hick town that’s the last place in the world he wants to be, but he finds himself going back, all for a taste of the forbidden.
Katie represents all that is good in the world, and Marcos knows he’s nothing but trouble for her perfect life. He fights and he screws. He commits crimes and he breaks the rules. He will never change and he will never escape his gang lifestyle.
Or can he?
What happens when two different people from two very different walks of life risk it all by giving into the passion that threatens to consume both of them? Can a woman who only knows how to play it safe give her heart to a man who lives hard and loves harder?
Can she survive The Viper?
Author: Kele Moon
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Synopsis: To Chuito the apartment was a self-imposed prison for a lifetime of sins. To Alaine, the girl next door, it was salvation from her overbearing, religious father.
He was a devil.
She was an angel.
Two people who should’ve never met, let alone become friends, but it’s not until they give into the dangerous passion that’s been simmering under the surface for five years that things go to hell.
On the outside, Chuito ‘The Slayer’ Garcia is on top of the world. He’s successful. He’s wealthy. He’s a champion MMA fighter surrounded by friends who support him, but they don’t know what he was before he came to Garnet.
Now his past is churning up demons he can’t ignore. Chuito knows he needs to go back to Miami to end it, but there’s something holding him back, a single temptation he can’t resist before leaving.
She’s the one drug he can’t give up…even if it destroys them both.
“To me you’re coke. Fine. Smooth. Perfectly white. Very bad for me, but so fucking sexy I don’t give a shit. It’s worth going down for.” – Chuito Garcia
Kele Moon is hosting a tour wide Giveaway of one of four $10 Amazon gift certificates or one of two books of The Viper.
A freckle faced, redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives off pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love.
The only rules she believes in is that, in love there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.
So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who had infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts–They wouldn’t have it any other way.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Sunday, March 20, 2016
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