Title: The Salvation of Vengeance
Series: Wanted Men #2
Author: Nancy Haviland
Format: eBook, 406 pages
Published: March 24th 2015 by Montlake Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Only something as important as her best friend’s wedding to mob boss Gabriel Moretti could allow Nika Paynne a reprieve from captivity. Her abusive husband has kept her under his thumb with footage of her beloved brother, Caleb, killing another man. But the respite from her violent life isn’t the only draw. Vincente Romani—Gabriel’s deadliest guardian—will be one of the best men at the wedding, and Nika has lingering thoughts about the fascinating mobster…covetous thoughts that may put her life in danger.
With the heartbreak he’s suffered and the brutality he effortlessly delivers, Vincente knows he’s the last person who can offer Nika a happily-ever-after. But his vow remains. He will do everything in his power to free his redhead from her violent prison—even if that means losing her forever.
In the second thrilling and passionate Wanted Men book, a dangerous line is drawn between loyalty to the mob and loyalty to one’s heart.
Nika is married to the man of her nightmares but in order to save her brother Caleb, she has to take whatever Kevin, her husband dishes out. When Nika finally has the means to make her move, she takes it but Caleb and the sexy Vincente find out the hard way what Nika had to endure in the last year. Neither is happy with the secrets she was keeping but both are bound and determined to assure no harm will befall her ever again.
Vincente and Nika met in the previous book A Love of Vengeance, they both felt drawn to one another but with Nika's marital status, they've been forced to keep their distance. If you want to be fully cognizant of whom everyone is and everyone's connections, then reading the first in the series is a must (I really liked it and highly recommend). I saw someone else mentioned it and I totally agree, the writing style, set-up, and distribution of story arcs gives the feel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward, without the paranormal elements. As with that series, there are multiple storylines going on with the story displaying multiple povs as each character's story advances bit by bit in each book. The reader can feel pulled in many directions but if you like the multifaceted feel of a tv series, then you will be comfortable. I, personally, liked the layers and think the author does a good job juggling everything and everyone. What I didn't think worked or particularly liked was the couple and relationship this book highlighted.
Vincente and Nika's attraction falls closer to the insta-love side with the two not fully interacting so much as gazing longingly at each other. Vincente gets repetitive with how awful a person he is and how awful his life is and how he would never be good enough for Nika. He also has an inner voice termed "fanboy" that whispers to him to go after Nika. This part of Vincente did not work for me at all, his nickname is the "Reaper" because he is such a cold blooded killer for the mafia and yet he calls his inner voice fanboy? Add that in with all the whining and running away from Nika because he wasn't worthy that lasted for way too long, seriously, Vincente doesn't give in to being with Nika until the last 10-20%, and you have a decidedly non-romance, romance book. Nika was the stronger character of the two; she showed strength and vulnerability in dealing with both Kevin and Vincente. I also felt her frustration in how Vincente would blow so hot and cold. It took a while for our couple to even be in the same room together and when they finally are they still lacked the interaction needed for chemistry to develop. In having Vincente maintain he wasn't good enough for Nika and having it drag on for so long, they never grew the dialogue or interaction needed for a couple to leap off the pages and be felt.
The main storyline of Nika's husband being a psycho and Vincente's crew trying to find him was ok and adequately kept our heroine in danger but again, it was dragged out too long, this story could have been greatly cut/edited down to keep it moving at a good pace and sharp. Kevin's character flirted with being an over-the-top villain a couple times and I'm not sure I fully believed in his vengeance against Nika but it wasn't a chore to go along with. As I mentioned in the beginning, to me, the strength of this novel is in the secondary characters and arcs being set-up. The author does a fantastic job teasing future couples and characters (Caleb the MC vice president and the cop Lore's sister, perhaps?). As with the Black Dagger series, I have a feeling there will be certain couples I won't completely mesh with, such was the case here. I am, however, definitely going to stick around for all the offshoot stories to see where they lead and hopefully connect better with a future couple.