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I knew little of Raphael Amado’s history with my family, but when he turned up on our doorstep demanding restitution, my grandfather quickly conceded. That restitution? Me.
Six months later, on my eighteenth birthday, Raphael came for me. He stole me from my home, taking me to his Tuscan estate, where from the crumbling chapel to the burnt-down vineyard, to the cellar that haunted him, the past stalked him like a shadow. It waited for him, hid behind corners for him and trapped him at every turn.
As much as Raphael’s cruelty terrified me, his darkness seduced me. But in the end, it was his tenderness that devastated me.
Sofia came to me like an offering. Like a virgin to be sacrificed at the altar. But truth was, her grandfather betrayed her. I guess we had that in common. He’d screwed me too.
I knew hate. I'd vowed vengeance. This was never supposed to be about anything else. But in the end, her innocence broke me. The very thing I would destroy, destroyed me.
A Complex Anti-Hero on a Quest for Vengeance
This story really kept me captivated and interested from the start. It's definitely darker than my normal read and I wasn't sure I would like it, but I'm so glad that I went for it. Dishonorable was gritty, emotional, and sexy and Raphael Amado is one of the most memorable characters I've encountered in a long time.
Raphael is a complex anti-hero and I went back and forth between hating and loving him throughout the book. He is so broken and angry when we first meet him, but as the story progresses you see how his past and thirst for vengeance has shaped him into the man he is today. In his moments of vulnerability, you can't help but feel compassion for him, but then a minute later, his cruelty and aggression will surface and the reader (and Sofia) are left reeling. I'll be honest, there were parts of this book that were hard for me to get through and I felt like I was going to get whiplash from the back and forth between Raphael and Sofia. Please keep in mind though, that this is not my typical read and so this could totally just be me.
Speaking of Sofia, I was a bit confused by her. Sometimes you can definitely see her immaturity (she is after all only 18), but then at other times, she displayed a maturity way beyond her years. I'm also not sure what to think about her sexual experiences with Raphael. On the one hand they could be viewed as hot and sensual, but on the other, it's degrading and humiliating the way she is treated. I understand that she is quickly seduced by Raphael's darkness and sees the man behind the mask, but I did find her too trusting and her willingness was alarming. I did like her as a character, but I definitely didn't connect with her like I have other heroines.
Dishonorable is a stand alone, but I would actually love to find out more about Lina and Damon, as well as the final Amado sibling, Zach. This is the first book that I have read by this author and though this story was on the darker side for me, it was still an interesting and riveting read.