Juan is just getting out of prison and is getting ready to start living life on the outside again. He is staying at a half-way house when he ends up seeing the girl he grew up loving at the women's halfway house next door. He knows that he needs to stay away from Beth and that nothing good can come from them talking again but finds himself looking forward to seeing her as much as he dreads her getting sucked into his life. Juan is no longer the studious boy that Beth remembers, and is now a gang-banger that puts up a facade to keep others out. But Beth sees beneath the mask and knows that the boy she once loved is still in there. Beth is determined to help Juan find himself again and finally have a chance at the relationship that they have both always wanted. But with Juan's gang not willing to just let him walk away, and a secret threat that Juan refuses to tell anyone about things won't be as easy as Beth is imagining. Can Juan and Beth find a way to be together and be free, or will Juan's ties to the gang be too much for them to overcome?
I really liked Juan. I was worried at first that he would be too much of a thug for me to really root for, but he was so much more. I loved that he was into soccer and plants, and that he was able to still be the smart boy he was growing up. He wasn't a total player, and his feelings for Beth were strong and true. He loved her so much, and it was clear that he would do literally anything in order to protect her and keep her safe. She was his top priority, and he never wavered on his feelings for her. Beth was great as well. She was a little naive and didn't seem to really get exactly what Juan's life and decisions entailed. She didn't realize that gangs don't just let you walk away and it took both Juan and her family repeatedly telling her for her to finally see what they were up against. But she was so determined, and like Juan she never gave up. She cared just as much about Juan and was willing to sacrifice and risk just as much as he was for them to be together. I really felt that they had a strong connection despite the years they spent apart, and I loved that they had a history together. It was really great that they were able to find their way back to each other, and I enjoyed seeing them go from being childhood friends and crushes to falling in love with one another. They had great chemistry together, but they also had such a deep and strong love that was undeniable.
Overall, I thought that this was a great book. I loved the story and I was really glad that this one wasn't overly predictable. I felt like the twists and turns were real and believable, and although I had some things figured out there was also a lot that I never would have guessed. Juan and Beth were meant to be together, and that was clear from the beginning. But with everything stacked against them, it was hard to see how everything could possibly work out for them. Beth and Juan were a really great couple, and their story is definitely one that will stick with me. I loved the characters in this book, and it was great to see Joss Jamison from Selena's Lush series as well. I loved how she wove his character in and it could not have been done any better! I am becoming a huge fan of Selena's, and each book I read of hers just proves what a great writer she is. I highly recommend checking her books out if you haven't already, and I would definitely recommend Buried. I can't wait to go back and read the rest of this series, and I look forward to seeing what Selena writes next.
**ARC Provided by Author**
Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |