This book starts off with a fairly routine YA premise - asixteen year old girl (TJ) finding herself dumped on her estranged father whenthe mother she despises dies. Coming from a wealthy, upmarket life style and aprivate school, she's faced with a new life in an impoverished, dying miningtown where Latinos do what they can to survive. TJ's brother, Tony, the onlyperson who cares about TJ, is a serving soldier due to return to activeservice, leaving her to cope on her own. Before he goes, he makes her promiseto keep away from Roman, a young man working for her father.
It's obvious TJ isn't going to keep away from Roman. Butmany things about this novel are not obvious.
And then there's Roman. He's described as a seventeen yearold juvenile delinquent who is sent to live with Ben as a form ofrehabilitation. From the outset it's obvious he is dark and dangerous. But howdangerous? And who to?
In a way this is the usual YA coming of age story, but it isso much more. There's a thread of dark fantasy - or call it myth - which beginsas a hint, then coalesces in the latter part of the book and brings it to athumping, heart-stopping climax. It's a book about love, acceptance, sacrificeand redemption on many different levels. The characters are all well-developed,real people with pasts and futures and reasons.
The writing is sensual and evocative. This is no skim read.You have to pay attention or you'll miss things. Perhaps that is my onlycriticism. The description is rich and real.
I really enjoyed this book. My YA days are far behind me andit would be sad to imagine that this is just a story for 'teens'. It's not. Igive it *****.
From the Author
Bad Boyfriends: Curling Iron, Pumping Iron, Jerking Iron
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The Crow Creek Series: Ash & Oak, Pulling Leather, Strapping Ash, Sorting Will, Flankman, Mending Fences (contemporary western romance)
The Wrong Side of Right (transgressive, homoerotic literature)
Good Boy Bad (transgressive, homoerotic literature)
The Strigoi Chronicles: Penance, Fane, Michel, Dreu (paranormal, action-adventure)
Acid Jazz Singer (Hunger Hurts), paranormal, dark urban fantasy
Skin (crime-suspense, action-adventure)
Cole in His Stocking (Holiday romance)
Points on a Curve (Sports romance, suspense)
The 90 Day Rule (Sports romance)
The Conference (Contemporary romance, short story)
Roman (Saints and Sinners): Occult & supernatural, romance
The Shadow of This World (Historical romance)