Respect – An Infidelity Stand-alone Novel
“The making of a man”
Standing at what I believe is the precipice of my life, I, Oren Demetri, was too young to understand that it wasn’t and too old to imagine that it couldn’t be.
The already hefty accumulation of my successes and failures, bravery and fears, and rewards and suffering, had brought me to this point. It was hard to contemplate the things I’d done, and yet, in reality I’d only begun to learn the possibilities.
I suppose that’s how it was for me at twenty-nine years of age on the brink of all I’d ever wanted without fully realizing the price I would pay. Yet in that moment, I knew there would be no cost too great or sacrifice I wouldn’t make. I had no idea how far-reaching that moment of self-discovery would be; because as the congregation’s murmurs quieted, bleeding into silence and allowing the thump of my heart to be the only sound I heard, I was a man filled with love and adoration, emotions in stark contrast to those I needed in the world I’d built or the one I was about to enter.
Angelina Costello was my dream and now my reality. I’d worked diligently to move beyond the actuality of being a dockworker’s son to becoming a self-made, successful entrepreneur, all in an effort to earn the right to call her my own. I’d overcome servitude to others, collecting their paychecks and lowly praises, to being the one who signed the paychecks and offered the accolades when they were rightfully earned.
The world was my oyster and walking toward me on the arm of her uncle was my pearl. I’d found her amongst the empty shells life had offered. There was no need to pry open another possibility. Angelina was all I wanted. Yet my path was uncharted. There was more for me to earn, lose, and willingly give.
The top of that list was respect.
This stand-alone novel may be read without reading the Infidelity series.
From New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a stand-alone novel based from her beloved Infidelity series. With classic Aleatha Romig twists, turns, deceptions, and devotions, this new epic romantic thriller will delve into a world where family takes on new meaning and even the inhabitants are suspicious of the next chapter.
Have you been Aleatha’d?
Angelina Costello was the only woman to ever take my breath away. I couldn’t not speak to her. “I haven’t seen you since NYU.”
“I’ve been living overseas, studying history and architecture in Italy.”
“Italy! Molto bene. And now you’re back?” I asked.
“I believe so.”
“Perhaps we could see one another,” I proposed, all the while hoping that she would say yes and saying a prayer that she would say no.
Her lips curved upward. “I see you now.”
“Si, and I would like to see more.”
With a glint to her gaze, she said, “I never forgot you. I thought at one time…” Her head tilted innocently as her lip momentarily hid behind her teeth. “Are you sure you aren’t still scared of me?”
“Angelina, I’m quite certain that I’m terrified of you.”
Her smile grew. “Bene. Then let me give you my number.”
(Copyright owned by Romig Works LLC)
As I read the final pages of Aleatha Romig’s Infidelity series, it occurred to me just how much I had fallen in love with one of the secondary characters over the course of five novels. His name is Oren Demetri, and what I learned about Oren in the Infidelity series is only the tip of the iceberg! Respect is a spinoff novel of the Infidelity series. It can either be read before or after you read the series, OR it can be read as a novel standing by itself. It’s an epic tale of love that is both courageous and bittersweet.
During his time as a student at NYU, Oren falls in love with Angelina. But when he learns her last name is Costello, Oren walks away. When their paths cross five and half years later in Manhattan, Oren realizes that he’s given a second chance. He’s never forgotten Angelina; the feelings are still there. No matter who her family is, he decides she’s absolutely worth the risk. From the moment Oren asks Carmine Costello for permission to marry his niece, he never looks back.
Aleatha Romig thoroughly fleshed out Oren’s character. He’s multi-dimensional, flawed, and one of the more complex characters that I’ve run across in a contemporary setting. When he marries Angelina, he accepts a lifelong obligation to the Costello family. Inherently a good human being, Oren struggles between wanting to give Angelina her heart’s desires and the need to protect and keep her safe. His attention is constantly tugged in three different directions: his wife (love and devotion), Demetri Enterprises (drive for professional success), and Uncle Carmine (duty to family).
I’m an old pro at reading novels written by Aleatha Romig. Romig tends to write in layers, thereby creating a great sense of mystery for her readers. She laid excellent groundwork for the plot in Respect. Carmine purposefully shelters Oren from the darker Costello family dealings. Because Respect is narrated from Oren’s first person point-of-view, he’s uncertain about much of what is taking place during a very dangerous time for his family. As a reader, I felt his confusion and fear build while being kept in the dark. Those layers and clues? I was able to look back and see clear indications of what had been amiss when Oren is finally told about events that occurred.
I LOVED so many of the secondary characters in Respect – Carmine, Rose, Silvia, Vincent, and Testa, just to name a few. Having read the Infidelity series, it was intriguing for me to catch a glimpse of Lennox Demetri as both a child and teenager. Seeing the relationship develop between Oren and Lennox helped me gain a better understanding of their relationship later on in life. It gave me a whole different outlook on Oren’s actions during the Infidelity series!
Mafia reads are some of my favorites. It was obvious Romig thoroughly researched the mafia/Cosa Nostra before writing this book. She mixed good research with great creative writing. What resulted is a mafia story with the right tone and characters who feel authentic. Respect is mysterious, suspenseful, and Oren held my interest throughout. I’m delighted to give Respect a 5-star rating. It’s also the first book on my list of 2018 favorites!
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!
Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.
In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.
In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.
Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.