Always (Cross & Catherine, #1) by Bethany-Kris
Published by Indie on October 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Mafia, Teen, Young Adult
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A Legacy Novel
A wild boy.
A sly girl.
Cross Donati defines trouble. He does what he wants because he’s never known anything different. He’s unapologetic, and he owns it.
Catherine Marcello is every bit a good girl … on the outside. Her entire world is a legacy, and she lives it. She’s curious, and she’s exploring it.
She chases bad things.
He never learned to be good.
They’re late nights, stolen cars, first times, fist fights, leather jackets, beaches, bloody smiles, and life.
They’re vicious and precious, dangerous and harmless, innocence and sin. They are love.
Love is killing for someone.
Love is living for someone.
Sometimes, you can’t keep saving your heart when it means sacrificing it, too.
Sometimes, you have to learn to save yourself.
Sometimes, love has to fall, crash, and burn.
This is what love is like when you’re a principe and principessa della mafia.
This is what love is like when you’re Cross Donati and Catherine Marcello.
Catherine giggled. Her amusement faded fast. Like the second Hugh grabbed her arm in a tight grip, and stopped her from walking further.
“Last name?” he asked again.
She tugged her arm to free it from his grasp, but he didn’t let go. She looked down at his hand pointedly. “That’s a no.”
“Shit, what’s your problem? I’m just asking who the hell—”
“Let me go,” Catherine said.
She was polite.
It was the only warning he was going to get.
“Tell me your name, then.”
“This isn’t a tit for tat,” Catherine replied. “I said no, and that means—”
Catherine didn’t even see the fist coming before it smashed into Hugh’s face. Hugh let go of Catherine’s arm with a holler, and she almost tripped over her gladiator-style sandals in an effort to jump back.
“Means fucking no,” the guy Catherine had been admiring earlier said, as he stood over a now bleeding Hugh. “Coach said to move your ass, so move, Hugh. Stop bothering girls—didn’t you get enough of that shit last year?”
“Donati!” someone yelled from the field.
“Jesus Christ, Cross,” Liliana muttered.
That was all Hugh got out before he kicked out a leg and dropped Cross to the ground. In full football gear, but for the helmets, the two boys started laying into one another. Each fist smacking into a body or gear made Catherine cringe. She was pretty sure someone was bleeding, too, in between cursing and name calling. The players and coaches on the field started heading their way fast.
“Okay, time to go,” Liliana said, making sure to tug Catherine along.
She kept up with her cousin easily enough.
First day, and already starting fights.
Yeah, she really missed her old school.
“Donati did you a favor there,” Liliana said as they came closer to the school.
“Who?” Catherine asked, peering back over her shoulder.
“Donati. Cross Donati.”
That surname seemed familiar to Catherine, but she couldn’t quite pull out why.
“Hugh is a creep,” Liliana said, oblivious to Catherine’s confusion. “He doesn’t understand the word no, and if you ask the right girls, they’ll all tell you not to leave a drink unattended when he’s around. Seriously, Cross did you a favor.”
She couldn’t help but look back over her shoulder.
Catherine found a pair of dark eyes looking in her direction before they locked onto hers.
His fist crashed down into Hugh’s bloody face one more time before the coach reached the fighting boys, and pulled them apart. He was still staring after Catherine, though.
Cross smiled at her, then, showing off white teeth stained red by his bloody mouth. He didn’t seem a bit bothered by it, really. She smiled back.
Catherine thought, years from then, when people asked …
She would say that was when she fell in love with Cross.
All the while, he smiled at her.
And she smiled back.
That was when she fell in love with Cross Donati.
Even if she hadn’t known it then.
When I read the blurb for Always, I was immediately intrigued. I’m a sucker for mafia so I knew this would be up my alley. I will admit that I was a bit hesitant because coming of age books normally aren’t my thing. So I’m happy that I pushed past that thought and went for it anyway. I actually really enjoyed watching Catherine and Cross grow and foster their love. It’s definitely not always sunshine but at the end of the day, they always love each other.
I enjoyed Bethany-Kris’ writing style and thought that everything tied well but I have to admit that I didn’t fully connect to Catherine and Cross like I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and was happy to see how thew grew over the years and I certainly look forward to what they have in the future. It just took me close to the end to really start to feel a connection to them. The good news is that I’m more invested in them for the next book and can’t wait to see these two get the ending that they deserve.
There are a couple of issues in here that happen to people of all ages but watching a teenager/young adult go through it and the strength it takes for others to help is both sad and beautiful. I’ll just leave it at that.
I enjoyed Always and I look forward two the second part of their story. I’m hoping for a bit more of the mafia side. I already know Catherine and Cross will be together forever. One way or another.