At nineteen, Noah Di Luca was Bella Terra’s golden boy, handsome, confident, and untouched by the shadows that tormented his brothers…or so everyone believed. Driven by ambition, beautiful teenage Penelope Alonso fought her way out of the ghettos. During one hot summer, they came together in the sweetness of first love…until his past reared its ugly head and Noah walked away from her without a word.
Nine years later, Penelope returns, never imagining she’d see Noah or that one glance would wake their fiery passion. But even as she fights the impulse to love him again, their secrets betray them. As peril builds around them, Penelope has one choice: to survive, she must once again trust the man who betrayed her.
Even with terror stalking through Bella Terra’s streets, love may be the most dangerous choice of all.
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
Ms Dodd is one of those authors that once I discovered her work I have followed her across genres and through several different series. While I might not enjoy each book the same as the others they all deliver an entertaining story. I had read the first two books in the Belle Terra Deception trilogy and I really wanted to know how this was going to end. I highly recommend that you read the first two books before you start this one because they build on each other. As a result I cannot review Betrayal without spoilers for the previous installments.
As the stakes continued to rise for the Di Luca family so did the intensity of their secrets they kept from one another. At the end of the second book, while under a lot of stress, the youngest brother, Noah admitted that he was deeply mixed up in the deadly hunt for the missing pink diamonds and refused to say anything more. The combination of the three brothers’ fear for their grandmother’s safety, the safety of the two women they have come to love anger at Noah for whatever he has done and Noah’s own self-hatred and guilt have created a rather tense family atmosphere. Into this rolling boil of emotions Penelope, the one woman Noah had ever loved, returns to deal with her own painful past hoping to avoid anyone she knew before.
Penelope on her first full day back in town thinks she has unexpectedly found her dream job renovating an old house and then Noah arrives. While dealing with the shock that Noah is the brother-in-law of the woman who owns the house Penelope gets hit with the murder, mayhem, mystery, criminals without scruples and bodily harm that has happened in Bella Terra over the past few months. Like any self-respecting woman she turns down the job plans to leave town once she pays a visit to Noah’s grandmother, but then a rather well-informed old woman decides to interfere. As a result Penelope decided to stay for a little while longer, and needing the money takes the renovation job. Her visit to Noah’s grandmother included a scene that had me laughing so hard people came over to see what was so funny. It starts at Chapter 30 and is one I will go back and re-read a few more times. I really liked the tension between Penelope and Noah. The two of them had spent nine years apart and neither had remained static during that time but when they met they still held the same attraction for each other. That attraction added to the how and why their relationship ended after one summer was absolutely delightful to read.
Ms Dodd did not skimp on the suspense part of this book either. I learned that family can be your best friends, your worse enemies and sometimes a combination of both in one person. This was certainly one of those issues that started generations ago and the people who had to finish it certainly weren’t part of the cause. The bad guys did get what was coming to them in a very satisfying way and I think all Di Luca’s were able to get a few of their own back. I especially loved the resolution of the missing pink diamonds. *looks down* I admit it, since I had a paperback copy I peeked at the end. I knew I would get a HEA but I really wanted to know about that part.
Overall I think this was a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. I don’t know if Ms Dodd plans to set more stories in Bella Terra but if she does she certainly has some interesting characters left.
I give Betrayal a A