I loved the beginning, shook my head at the middle, and am totally perplexed by the ending. Was it well written? Absolutely! Did I like it? Well, I’m unsure. So, so unsure to be honest. There are parts of this book that are brilliant, parts that made my heart hurt, parts that made me smile and parts that I thought what the bloody hell. This book is a conundrum.
If you give it a read, I would love to hear what someone else thinks.
3 out of 5 stars
MOVING. POWERFUL. CAPTIVATING. All caps, bolded, if I could I would put in flashing neon lights. This book is all of these adjectives and so much more. This story pulls you in and holds you till the very end. I cannot do this book justice in a review. All I can say is read it, you will not be disappointed. G. Benson brings you another amazing story. She is truly a remarkable writer.
Carmen Garcia is sixteen, but you wouldn’t know it. The child of a drug addicted mother, Carmen has had to walk a tightrope all of her life. She cannot just be a student, a teen. She doesn’t know how to be those things because that was never an option for her, that is a luxury for her classmates. No, she is the caretaker to her 8-year-old brother, she pays the bills, she keeps her mother’s secrets so her family can survive. She has been a product of the foster care system before, her brother has too. To say that went poorly would be a terribly unjust understatement. It was bad enough that Carmen live on the streets, surviving by the skin of her teeth. Her worst nightmare becomes a reality when a knock at the door in the wee hours of the morning comes from a police officer letting her know her mother has been found dead.
Ollie is our other main character. Ollie has a huge heart. Her kindness is truly an endearing quality. She is an artist who tends to live in her head but is brought back from the clouds by an amazing group of friends and supportive parents. Ollie notices Carmen one day at school and is intrigued, and also totally smitten. She finds a way to “accidentally” bump into the newcomer. That moment bonds these two teens in a way that neither excepted but both so badly need.
I could talk about this story forever, it’s just that good. You don’t need me to do that though. I’ll ruin it for you and what truly is my main point is that you want this book in your life. Get your hands on this one, you will not be sorry. The romance is deliciously sweet. The story is enthralling and so beautifully written. G. Benson gives so many diverse characters a strong voice. This is an easy 5 stars.
5 out of 5 stars
The cover of this book almost made me shy away, but the subject of this book intrigued me enough to give it a go. Was I disappointed, no quite the opposite actually.
DEA Agent Colby Vincent volunteers for her first undercover assignment. Being a veteran of the Armed Forces has given her the edge in landing this assignment. Colby is to take the role as a homeless veteran to uncover a drug smuggling operation in Greensborough. The DEA is convinced that homeless vets are being used to distribute large amounts of prescription drugs on the streets.
Adena Weber part-time lawyer, part-time philanthropist has devoted her life to helping the disadvantaged of her beloved hometown. Her father has just been murdered, and she will stop at nothing to uncover this crime as well as continue his life’s work of running a resource center to help get people off the streets and into jobs.
This book does an excellent job of describing what life could look like on living on the street. You see through Colby’s eyes exactly how hard it is to stay under the radar of the police, the predators and find food and shelter. How life’s basic needs become paramount, and wants are a distant memory. You cannot help but be moved by the misery Colby faces as she hides in parking garages, fells unspeakable hunger and literally fights for survival daily.
When Adena and Colby meet it is that instant attraction, neither can take their eyes off each other but the timing is all wrong. Colby isn’t the successful DEA Agent, no she is on if Adena’s clients, and the timing is off for these two. This attraction must be squashed until the case is solved.
The mystery portion of this book is really good. You are never sure what is going to happen and Powell does a fantastic job of creating the scene and dragging you into this world. I loved seeing and feeling how Colby felt invisible and criminalized because of her being part of the homeless population. You could not help but feel her pain, even though you know it’s temporary. You really felt an understanding of the struggle it must be to be in this dire situation. What I did not feel a connection to was the romance. While I felt like it started to take shape in the beginning, ultimately it fizzled and fell flat. I didn’t feel the love over power these two, and I really did not care much for how they finally came together. It felt very anticlimactic and very rushed. Leaving me kind of on a sour note.
3.75 out of 5 stars
I was given this book by Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley in return for an honest review.
by VK Powell