Dante Pope is not who I thought he was and I have all the feels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OMG, just OMG.
That’s it, I’m not capable of writing an actual review just yet 🤣
Right, three days later and I think I can about marshall my thoughts into a coherent review.
Dante Pope. Where to start with Dante Pope. At the end of Redemption and I hated him and wanted him to go to Hell in a fiery ball of destruction, even after his one good deed.
But the Dante Pope in this book? OMG he was something else, he’s vulnerable, he’s desperate to find a sense of peace, he’s aching for love because he’s never had it, and he’s so very much deserving of finding a family who is there for him.
He’s complicated, complex and compelling, as a character. And I have so many feelings for and about him it’s unreal.
This isn’t really a redemption story, it’s a story of new beginnings, of finding a new way to live and of discovering that when you find your person, they will love you unconditionally, even through all the hard times.
In comparison to the other two in this series, this one is almost angst free when it comes to the road life, there is little threat because Dante has served four years in prison and he’s kept his head down and his nose clean.
When he’s told he’s been found a placement scheme helping as an assistant gardener on a big country estate, it’s a relief, something he can do and not have to think about anything other than the feel of soil under his hands.
And like the prison gardens he’s been tending inside, his freedom is tied into this growth and development, where he finds more than just the solitude he’s become accustomed to.
He also finds Sid. I have so much empathy for Sid, who isn’t really coping with his life-changing diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. The degenerative nerve disease has caused havoc and left him unable to do his job properly.
The sparks when they meet are instant. They gravitate to each other, even when both are trying to convince themselves it would be a disaster and that they have nothing to offer.
Dante is utterly convinced he’s still an evil man while showing every day that he is actually a gentle soul who was set on his criminal path by the circumstances of life rather than deliberate choice.
Sid is doing everything he can to try and not show the vulnerability his illness has given him, he’s frustrated and thinks his body’s betrayal means he’s not worthy to have a relationship.
This is understandably a slow burn-ish book, but it’s not lacking at all. The connection between the two men is palpable and as they each open up to the other, we see how their lives can adapt and move to accommodate even the hardest of circumstances.
I adored everything about this. Even the arrival of Asa Gerrard, who brings the same sense of menace and yet who also carries the same weakness – of love – as Luis, Benito and now Dante have fallen victim to.
Honestly, I could discuss this book forever, the changes Dante makes to his own life, the way he chooses to make the best of his second chance, the way Sid lives as best as he can with his condition.
if you’ve not picked up this series, please do, it’s absolutely fabulous!
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review