Of Blood and Bone
(The Minaldi Legacy, #1)
by Courtney Cole
Release: September 16th
by Lakehouse Press
As a little boy, Luca Minaldi was told he was a monster.
As an adult, he knows it is true.
He lives in Malta, a fairytale-like place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best kept of them all.
Eva Talbot arrives in Malta for the summer to finish up her doctoral dissertation. When she meets Luca, a mysterious and handsome shipping tycoon, there is an instant attraction, a disturbing and beautiful energy that she has never felt before. But she senses the darkness that lives within him. Eva is hired to care for his mother, who suffers from dementia, but it is Luca who Eva will eventually risk everything to save. Her life becomes a swirling chaos of darkness and romance, of secrets and mystery. And the question that emerges will become the most important answer of all.
Can she save Luca from the darkness that plagues him without losing herself?
The answer is a matter of life or death.
I've wanted to read something written by Courtney Cole for a long time, so I was super excited when she and the lovely ladies at Kismet Blog Touring offered me a review copy and the chance to help Courtney promote this new release! I had a good feeling about this book from the first time I heard about it, and I was so right to feel that way! I had big expectations going into it and they were actually exceeded, I was very impressed with Ms. Cole's writing. I loved Of Blood and Bone!
Even from the start, you can tell that Eva is a strong, smart and very ambitious main character, and I liked her and connected with her and her story instantly!
Eva has been studying to become a Psychiatrist and she goes to Malta for the summer to make some research and to finish her dissertation. And that's when she meets Luca (I need to make a side note here to say that I LOVE this name! It's kind of a family obsession, there are 3 or 4 generations of Luca's in my family and they were all tall, dark and handsome, so, yeah... big love for the name choice here ;)). Luca is extremely handsome, rich and elegant, but he's also very mysterious and reserved. Even so, there's a strong, fiery, undeniable connection between them from the moment they meet. Eva is attracted to him, but the doctor in her is also very intrigued by his personality. She needs to find out if her first impression of him was accurate: Rich. Formal. Gentleman. Jaded. Unafraid. Intense. Mercurial. Dangerous.
I’m too interested. And I know that I’m not going to let it go. I need a follow-up meeting with him. His personality is just too interesting. There are too many facets to it that I can’t put my finger on. And the things that I can pinpoint are fascinating. I tell myself that I am only interested in his mind, his personality, and definitely only in the medical sense, but I’m not sure that I believe it.
And the strong attraction works both ways. By the way, I loved that the story was told from both their POVs (you know I'm a sucker for stories told in alternative POVs!), and we got to understand their thoughts and emotions so much better and to see how their relationship developed and how they felt for each other. Win!
I am intrigued by this new woman, by her open and curious face, by her interesting eyes, by her beauty. I want her. This dream was a testament to that. And I haven’t wanted anything for a very long time. The knowledge is startling. I can’t fool myself into thinking that her beauty does not play a part in my fascination. Of course it does. She is breathtaking. But it isn’t just that. She’s smart and confident in a way that I haven’t quite seen before. She’s a very capable person. Except when she’s dealing with a spider.
As they spent time together, Eva realizes that there's so much more to Luca than everyone else can see. And the more she finds out about him, the more she wants to know. There's a hidden, darker side to Luca and he tries to keep her at a safe distance - safe for her, of course. He really thinks he's dangerous.
And his eyes! His eyes draw me to him. They are filled with so many things, dark things, pained things; and the psychiatrist and woman in me wants to discover what has hurt him. Because clearly, even though he is strong and confident on the outside, there is trauma lurking on the inside.
But there's also something sad and vulnerable about him and she wants to do everything she can to help him - despite the fact that he's convinced that no one can help him.
“Evangeline, I need more help than you will ever know. But I’m a lost cause.” “I don’t believe in lost causes, Luca.”
Eva has her own troubled past and problems. She doesn't usually open up to everyone either. And maybe at the beginning she only wanted to be objective about Luca and to solve the puzzle of his personality, but he's starting to get under her skin. There's something strong, emotional, hot and passionate developing between them that can't be ignored.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have felt something besides the dark void that lives within me. Evangeline is a hopeful person, full of light. And being around her is invigorating. The attraction between us is undeniable.
Actually, that's how their relationship becomes: intense, hot and passionate. Until the darkness inside Lucas becomes too dangerous and threatens not only to end their already fragile relationship, but also to consume Lucas for good. The last part of the book is full of raw emotions, secrets, mysteries, passion and despair. There are strong things pulling them together, but even stronger things keeping them apart. The ending was unexpected, but satisfying, even though the final twist seems to lead to more things to happen in the upcoming books with these characters.
I didn't know what to expect from the plot, so I went into this journey of love, darkness, mystery and discovery along with the characters, and I really enjoyed that. There were some very interesting, unexpected twists throughout the story that added an edgy feeling to it.
Also, I loved the setting! And the way Courtney Cole described everything... I could almost feel the sand under my toes, the sun on my skin and the smell of the sea. It was truly beautiful! Not to mention the Minaldi house! *dreamy sigh*
I was quite impressed with the way she approached all the medical stuff. The way the illnesses were described, all the details Eva payed attention to in the other people and how she assessed all the situations - everything was very thorough and at the same time, seemed very natural and realistic. Awesomeness!
There were some events around the 70-80% mark that gave me pause and some things seemed to happen too fast, but overall, I really enjoyed Of Blood and Bone.
There are more things I could say about it, but you'd better discover them for yourselves.;) It's a dark, edgy, emotional, yet beautiful and very sexy (!) story and the writing is absolutely flawless! I'm looking forward to the next story from the Minaldi Legacy! *fingers crossed for more appearances from the Minaldi brothers*
About the author:
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds). Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
*This is not a YA book.
**Review copy provided by the author via Kismet Book Touring. Thank you!:)
P.S. In case you missed it when the book was released, here's the prologue.