Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published on: October 22, 2014
Rating: 3.5 STARS
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The blurb and one of the authors, Skye Warren, were the factors that made me give this book a try. I loved her book “Wanderlust,” so I knew what to expect from her. In addition, the blurb was fantastic. It caught my eye the moment I read it. And since I was in the mood for something edgy, I chose this book. To my surprise, this book was not as dark as I had first expected it to be.
What is it about?
Abigail Winslow is a college student who has been assigned to teach a writing class for a group of felons at the high-security prison, The Kingman Correctional Facility, as part of her undergraduate coursework. She is reluctant and nervous at first and tries to quit because prison makes her uncomfortable, but she then decides to stick to it. From the outside, she seems like a shy, normal girl, but on the inside, she is hiding a dark secret that has made her the way she is now.
It’s not fair that I got the prison inmates. Not when it drags up every bad memory I have. Not when I think I might belong there more than anyone knows. No one can ever know.
Grayson is one of the inmates in the facility who is convicted of murdering a police. When he hears that the final assignment in the writing class will be published in a journal, he decides to join in. He sees it as a way to send a message to his brothers, as a way to get out of the prison. However, during his interaction with his teacher, Miss Winslow, he starts to develop a feeling for her and cannot get her out of his mind.
“She stands there behind her fortress of a briefcase. Books, briefcases, glasses—it all just makes me think about exposing her, stripping her, making her helpless. She’d hate it and love it.”
On the last day of the class, a fight suddenly broke off and she finds herself getting dragged by a guard. She then witnesses one of the inmates is trying to escape. Grayson. Unwilling to risk anything, he then takes her as a captive. A dilemma arises, “What will he do with her when they finally get to his brother’s place?” After all, she is a big threat to their safety.
The conflicted feelings they have for each other and the dangers that come their way make this story forbidden, emotional, and interesting at the same time.
“Some people have a relationship that’s sunshine and roses. Ours is darkness and vengeance.”
I loved the idea of this story. It has a forbidden factor that I love in dark, action romances—the forbidden factor that keeps me on the edge filled with anticipation and made me in an emotional roller coaster. However, as hard as I tried, I didn’t fully experience them. I was captivated at the beginning, got confused in the middle, and lost interest toward the end. Hence, I didn’t connect to the story and with them as a couple. I found three things were the reasons for my lack of connection.
If you don’t want any spoilers, please, skip the following.
First, there was a problem with believability factor. I found that some scenes did not make sense. When an inmate escapes from prison, the news about the escape will quickly spread across the country and his or her face will be everywhere. How could no one, even a police officer, have noticed them when they were on the road? Moreover, how could an inmate manage to break into a police station and get away with it? And on top of it, there were no any explanations as to how those things could happen.
Second, the hero was poorly portrayed. This story was written in dual point of view; we could hear each of the main characters’ thoughts, especially their inner conflicts. Grayson was a bad guy who had a sensitive side in him. He was not an overly crazy hero who had no conscience. He was the kind of hero that looked tough and dangerous on the outside but soft and sensitive on the inside. That was how I saw him from the beginning. However, there were some scenes that took it away from me; he became an entirely different man. His actions on those scenes were not in line with his inner thoughts that I had been experiencing throughout the story. Had he been portrayed as a no moral and conscience kind of man from the very beginning, it would be a different story, but it was not the case at all. Therefore, I found his character confusing and not believable. Was it a consequence of having two authors writing one story? I definitely could see a conflict there.
Third, something was missing in their relationship. Their “captor and captive” to “lovers” relationship progressed a little too rushed. I would have wanted more dialog between them that would explain the insta-love going on in the beginning and the factors that had made them develop deeper feelings for each other. That would have helped me to understand them more and connect with them as a couple.
The bottom line is that this story could have been awesome had it been developed better. However, if you are planning to read this story, don’t let my opinion discourage you from reading this book. Fans of fast-paced, insta-love, not-overly-dark romances may find this book interesting. 🙂