This is a sweet but gritty romance. Kellan and Shannon aren’t sweet, innocent people. They’re mobsters. They’ve done bad things. Nor are they former or reformed mobsters. They’re still mobsters. They have killed and tortured people, and will do so again. However, this romance is crazy sweet. But also gritty and real.
Shannon’s wife and one of his sons was killed in a mob war prior to the start of the book. His grief is a huge part of this story. One of the things I liked about this book is that he didn’t magically get better. At the end of the book, even though he’d shaken off the majority of his depression, he still had some bad days, some tough moments, when the grief felt overwhelming. The new relationship with Kellan didn’t magically heal him. It helped, yes, but grief takes time to process and time to heal, and the author showed that.
I liked also that the relationship felt equal. Even though initially Kellan was taking care of Shannon during his extreme grief and his depression, once they moved past the worst of it, the relationship wasn’t one-sided. It wasn’t one of them always taking care of the other, it was a relationship of equals. Five stars.