What can I say – followers will know how much I do enjoy reading and reviewing in the crime genres. Only recently have I entered the realm of romance. Wow, have I read me some great tales. Well, this isn’t a great tale – it’s a flaming FAN-TASTIC tale!
Alden’s characters are so real, one feels one has met them – the schemer, the sleaze-bag, the jealousy-tainted, the obsessed, the traitor… or wants to – the best friend, the dreamer, the lover. Especially, the lover! Paisley tells her own story during both sections – that which happens when eighteen and that which happens seven years later. She has a most unusual characteristic – mind-reading.
Eighteen year old Paisley is back home after years living on the streets to avoid the ire of her unsympathetic family. She has attended rehab to break the cycle of drugs and alcohol (although she still partakes, unbeknown to her hard-hearted parents). She is terrified by a positive pregnancy test result, not knowing it is a faulty result.
After a night spent with her sister’s drunk fiancé she creates havoc at her elder sister’s wedding, by announcing not only what she and James (the groom) have done, but also adding a rather nasty little bonus lie – “because it felt good” – thus opening her life up to further misery.
Having been abused, manipulated, lied to, lied about, beaten, cheated of her self esteem and thrown out of the family home, she disappears for seven years, making a turnaround of her life as much as she can. At twenty-five, she returns from overseas, with a qualification and steady work experience.
How she uses these new skills in the second part of her story, along with her street smarts – once learned never forgotten – to try to make up for what she has missed and gain back what she has lost, is a gripping tale in itself. Add in Alden’s mastery of the hot and steamy bedroom scenes, and you have a gripping read.
Every character is revealed to us complete with flaws and the background, so I at times wanted to head-butt this man, cuddle that woman, slap this b**ch, castrate that man – and slap some common sense into James. His caution when Paisley re-enters his life by joining his work-life is totally understandable, his overbearing formality is puzzlingly frustrating – a cover for his real fears and feelings.
I felt such empathy for Paisley as she worked through her life problems and turmoils I stuck with the book and read it in one session, so much did I want it all to work out well for her.
Definitely a must-own!
Carina Press, Harlequin Limited