BETRAYAL Christina Dodd
A Bella Terra Deception Novel,
Book 3
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-41320-8
April 2012
Romantic Suspense

California Wine Country Present Day

Nine years ago, Noah Di Luca's world was shattered.

Nine years ago, Penelope Alonso escaped the ghetto of Los Angeles determined to better her lot in life; she came to Bella Terra.

From the moment they first met, the passion between Noah and Penelope was uncontrollable and undeniable.  But Noah harbored a deadly secret, so to protect the girl he loved her sent her away.

Penelope has lost everything, her husband and now her mother.  It's not until after her mother's death that Penelope learns a secret about her past that takes her back to Bella Terra.  She is determined to find the answers she seeks and avoid the man who broke her heart nine years ago.  But the minute she sees Noah again, Penelope realizes that, though the desire for him has not abated, she doesn't trust him not to break her heart all over again.

For nine years Noah has been searching for the "lost" pink diamonds reputed to be in a bottle of vintage wine given to his grandfather.  But his grandfather is dead, and no one knows what happened to the wine.  The clock is ticking, and Noah's past is about to catch up to him.  Danger stalks the entire Di Lucca family, and already his grandmother and older brothers have almost lost their lives to the villains seeking the diamonds.  Noah will do whatever it takes to protect his family even if it means losing his own life.  The last thing Noah needs is the distraction of the one woman he has ever loved and the one woman he can never have.  But from the moment he sees her again, Noah is desperate for a chance to have a life with Penelope, yet he knows it's impossible.

Secrets, stolen diamonds, villains around every corner, OH MY!  BETRAYAL is the third and final chapter in the Bella Terra Deception trilogy.  Having not read the first two books yet (I fully intend to do so immediately), I was a bit uncertain if I could come into the series in the final book and really get into it.  No worries on that account; I was glued to the pages.  I should not have been surprised as I've long been a fan of Christina Dodd's work. Whether historical, paranormal, contemporary, or romantic suspense, Ms. Dodd always delivers a captivating read.

The characters are well developed, and the dialogue and interaction between them are dynamic.  I absolutely adored Noah (and his brothers), his Nonna (grandmother), a very feisty and opinionated lady, and Penelope.  Secondary characters, from the odd folks in the small town to the truly nasty villains, add much to the story and entertainment factor.  The story is fast paced, romantic, suspenseful, and thoroughly enjoyable.  From the first page to the last spine-tingling page, I could not put this book down.  Do yourself a favor; run out and get BETRAYAL, and if you haven't already read the first two books, SECRETS OF BELLA TERRA and REVENGE AT BELLA TERRA, grab those as well.  ( I already did <g>).  For a truly enjoyable reading experience, I highly recommend Christina Dodd's BETRAYAL.

Terrie Figueroa