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The First One's Free: the rest you pay for with your life Paperback – April 26, 2016
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While I generally like her books, I will say all of her books follow the same archetype so I know how the characters will react and how the story will flow, but this time around that did not annoy me for two reasons. Usually her side characters are too two demential and are only there to prop the two lead characters, but in this story they were existed outside of the two leads (they had more of a store than the two leads actually). The second reason being connected to the side characters as well. In her other stories the side characters don't matter as much, because their only purpose was to put the leads together, but I actually cared about a couple of them. They still have stories to tell (Candace, Alberta, Dale King, Felicia, and Dana to a lesser extent) outside of the leads and the secondary characters made by this author usually don't. Usually they are mentioned and left to just float because they are used to put the leads together or explain why the leads have a fear of love due to a broken heart. The only one mentioned in passing is Tracey's sister and even her little story was interesting and I lowkey wanted to hear more of her. Both their exes were mentioned but I didn't think they needed more story.
I will say I would've appreciated if the romance between the characters (Remy+Tracey and Dana+Candace) were fleshed out more. It was very Romeo and Juliet in the sense that there was not enough time for the couples to fall in love with each other, but I would have preferred to have the relationship realistically be established and formed. Like for RT having Remy working with Tracey during the time the threats were coming in and 6months later then forming a bond of friendship that turns into love once both their lives are threatened after the house fire. DC could've made contact sooner or took it way slower before it being stated they were in love after meeting 2 days before.
I honestly knew how Pug was going to play out due to him being similar to the antagonist of "Mink Too", but there was less sympathy for Pug.
Also, for anyone reading, there is a rape scene (gay male), this would be the second time that I have come across the author writing such a scene and...this was less intense than the first one I read but still was disturbing. I feel like maybe have a pleasant sex scene for gay male characters because I've only encountered negative for this author (this isn't a shot against the author just an observation).
Tracey was more realistic and more likable than Remy, but I genuinely liked both women and hoped the best for them.
Overall, the secondary characters were given more depth and the main characters were more likable. The kindle version needed a few edits but was good. I think there should be a sequel just due to the fact that there is still more story to tell about Remy and Tracy, Kurtis (Kurtis's mom too), Dana and Candace (their love story), and Alberta. It would be interesting to know how Harper's wife adjusted since the trial and with her son.