Review of Code of Honor by Missy Johnson

Ever since I've read author J.J. McAvoy's Ruthless trilogy, I had this interest in books involving the mafia or mob. "It's not a very good fascination," I can imagine some of you saying. But I can't really shake it off. When the opportunity to read Code of Honor arose, I jumped on it like a PMS-ing woman would a chocolate cake. So what's the verdict?

Title: Code of Honor (Spontagio Family # 1)
Author: Missy Johnson
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Published by: Loveswept
Source: ARC Given by Publisher and Tour Organizer


In a series debut for fans of Tracy Wolff and Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Missy Johnson asks a burning question: What happens when love is undeniable—and taboo?

Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone, the kind of guy women want and men respect. At twenty-three, he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter.
Raised in Chicago under the spotlight of power and privilege, Lucy Spontiago feels most alive on stage. Determined to become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her.
Pietro could never betray his mentor by sleeping with his only child. But Lucy follows her passions, no matter how forbidden. Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.


Pietro Gustovi experienced one of the most horrible things in the world--witnessing his parents murder. But no matter how much he wanted to seek revenge, he was never consumed by it. He's selfless, trusting, and caring. He's a normal guy trying to get his degree who also happens to be madly in love with a woman he feels he can't have. Despite everything he's been through, he still trusts in love and hope. If only it were enough. 
Lucy Spontagio grew up with everything any young woman could ever ask for. But that's not what she wants. She yearns for freedom and independence; both of which she has been deprived because of her father's business. Dancing has always been her solitude, but when she's given the chance to reach her goal, a chance at love comes along. Will she accept it with open arms or will she choose to follow her dream?


Code of Honor started off really strong for me; with Pietro's parents getting killed and all. I was expecting it to continue at that pace and will present more thrill. I have to say though, I was sort of disappointed. It's still a good book, don't get me wrong. But it was just too sweet and less exciting, in my opinion. I mean obviously the love story between the two main characters is the major player here, but I also thought I would get more action, you know? It's the mafia so I was waiting for more bang bang! 
Focusing on the positive side of the book; the story is actually quite fetching. There's an underlying mystery in the death of Pietro's parents, and it's hard to know who the enemy is. I liked how the author didn't create stereotypical characters. Aside from Giovanni who's pretty textbook, the others were somewhat unpredictable. Pietro isn't your usual tough guy who projects his anger towards the world and his sexual frustrations onto willing women. He's almost the exact opposite actually. It's a given that he wants to be a part of "the business" since "it's in his blood", but he doesn't mind getting his degree in Economics just in case things don't go the way he planned. He also has a group of normal friends, a regular apartment, and he doesn't treat women as his plaything. He's overall a wonderful man. Now, Lucia, I get the need for independence and freedom, especially since her father knows not the meaning of boundaries, but she's taking the danger she may be in too lightly. I don't know, I just figured that as a daughter of a powerful man with dangerous enemies, she'd be more careful and prepared. I have one word for her--sheltered. 
The passion between Pietro and Lucy was quite hot, I admit. They're very good together and I'd love for them to have a happy ending. However, I don't think that'll happen anytime soon. What does that mean? Yep. Cliffhanger!! And a major one at that. 


Whew! Okay, so all in all a good book. I will be keeping tabs on the following installment(s), because I just have to know the truth behind all the secrets. 4 solid stars for Code of Honor, and for Code of Love (did I get that right?) I hope there will be more action and intensity. I'd really like to see Pietro kick some a**. Come check this out, guys. It's a pretty good read.




Missy Johnson is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat who thinks he is a dog . . . you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.


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