Friday, February 16, 2018

Gladly Beyond (Brothers Maledetti #1) by Nichole Van | A Book Review

Gladly Beyond (Brothers Maledettin #1) by Nichole Van | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!


I read book two of the series first. It was called Love's Shadow. I so love the story. I got this book for free on Kindle. I can't remember how. Maybe, I got an email that this book was on sale or whatever. Long story short, I got this for nada. 

For those who don't know, I am a sucker for stories with history thrown into the mix. That's why I love the books of Clive Cussler, Steve Berry and Dan Brown. I love stories that weave connections between the long dead past and the present. How the timelines or people are interconnected between the vastness of time and how the past has a lot to do with the present. I was just so thrilled to find Nichole Van, a female author who specializes also in this genre. Most of the books I read on the same genre were written by men, so I am just so happy to have found a woman who can just do the same. 

So far, these two stories are set in Europe, specifically Italy. This one--Florence. The D' Angelo brothers which are the brothers referred to in the series title are descendants of an Italian Count who was cursed. So, the term "maledetti" which in Italian means "damned or cursed". The curse is actually was asked for by the original D' Angelo. He wished for it from a gypsy woman, which turned out to be too much for him. So the saying, "be careful what you wish for" was probably aimed for the first Conte de Maledetti. This curse gets passed on to all the first born sons, until the present. The only difference now is, there are three of these sons, thus the ability was also fractured into three parts. The brothers Dante, Branwell and Tennyson are triplets who inherited the gift from their father, who got it from his grandfather, which can be traced back up to the first daring D' Angelo. This gift has driven a lot of D' Angelo's to madness and death. Good thing, the triplets had learned more of the ability as it was passed on to them. Now, they are more equipped than their ill-fated ancestors were but still, it doesn't guarantee that they are safe from the consuming madness that came with it or the ever present threat of death.

I realized the order of the books in the series might be based on the order of birth of the brothers. This story is about Dante who's the older twin of Branwell. Ten is the youngest of the three. The second book was about Branwell and the third one is about Chiara their sister and the last book is about Ten. I have book three too. So, I might have to start it soon. 

I have been curious about regression and past lives. Could it be true?  How amazing could it be to be able to know about our past lives and figure out how it's relevant to the current situations. How much of it impacted the you that you are today? Are you living the same life over and over again? Finding the same person over and over, life after life. Making the same mistake across lifetimes like a broken record. That's exactly the theme of this story. The same old song seems to be playing in the present lives of Dante and Claire and it has never changed over the past centuries. Will history repeat itself as it had always done over the past? Is there no escaping the past and how would these two end up?

I feel like I need to go to Italy after reading this book. A lot of beautiful places and tourist spots are mentioned here. I feel like I was there, seeing Claire taking selfies. And yes, gelato. How I would love to eat gelato for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The intrigue and mystery in this story was not lost in all the grandeur and historic places. Who's who and the prominent figures and artists mentioned in the story. Not to mention, again Da Vinci the favorite subject of controversy among many writers. He's in here to. Who could refuse a heady sprinkling of a  Da Vinci mystery, right? Just what I need.

I am not sure which of the two stories so far I liked more. Van has been so consistent. All the elements that are in this book are also in the second one. A haunting past that has a tight hold on the present. A mix of very interesting and suspicious characters. You wouldn't know who's really the bad one. A leading lady who is just as strong as the main man. And of course, the workings of the supernatural. There was no letting go of this book until I was done. Never have I been happier. I could eat the book if I wanted to. Just glorious.

Stories like these are what made me want to just read without stopping. How my heart beats faster in time with Claire and Dante as they try to outrun and outsmart the unknown enemy. How I was helplessly pulled into the story like these two were helplessly thrown back into the past without warning. And how I too made that same audible sigh of relief with the rest of the D' Angelo's as these two came home alive and unharmed to the manor. Ah, I want more. I feel no discontent but I can't get enough of it.

I give this book 5/5 pictures of Florence, Italy. After reading this story, I feel like I should be cautious in taking selfies because someone from a bygone era might appear in my photos. If it's as handsome and as gentle as Dante or any of the D' Angelo brothers, then no problem. As long as it's not some ghost that is out to haunt me. Nichole Van, no doubt you will end up in my favorite author's list. I can't wait. 




Peace washed through me. An ache for this amazing man who would always be my own personal battering ram. Destroying anything that tried to hurt me, sheltering me.

Just make a little Dante-sized hole in the walls around your heart. You're welcome to seal it right back up once I'm inside. But, please, let it happen.

White tennis shoes on the Americans; brown loafers for the Germans; black dress shoes for the Japanese. I swear you can identify nationality by footwear alone.
- Nichole Van, Gladly Beyond- 


Other books in the series:

Love's Shadow (Brothers Maledetti #2)

Lightning Struck (Brothers Maledetti #3)