This is my first Eden Butler novel and I had no idea what to expect. What I got was a really well woven mystery/suspense, an agonizing love story and some truly great characters. This was a really good book.
Super fast non-spoiler rewind: Ryan "pinches" Alex for trying to lift some guys wallet. He discovers that she is a familiar face from the past. Together they figure out that they have more in common than a little petty theft. They join forces to keep Alex safe and to try to untangle the mystery surrounding the deaths of their closest family members.
The first thing that got my attention is that the writing of this book is just really good. Some books are good because I love the story and other books are good because they are just really well written. This book was both. I appreciated the description of life in New Orleans and the impact that it had on Alex. There was something about Alex's depiction that I just found painfully good. She was written so well that you could feel her past pulling on her and you could feel her yearning for a different future.
Ryan is also well created and depicted. The thing that I like the most is how Ryan was torn between his constant urge to "save" Alex and his knowledge that "saving" was exactly what she didn't want from him. So Ryan is in a position where he is trying to be what Alex needs without letting her know that's what he's doing and it's beautiful.
The other thing that I liked was the honesty of the characters. Ryan is attracted to Alex pretty quickly and vice versa. Ryan, however, thinks Alex is a "low life" who is off limits despite his yearnings. Alex thinks Ryan is a boy scout who thinks she's a low life. I thoroughly enjoyed both Ryan and Alex's emerging understanding of one another. It's just interesting to see that you can arrive at a true conclusion based on a total misinterpretation of the significant facts.
A criminal boss of sorts named Timber is obsessed with Alex in the book. I found the story of Alex's connection to and history with Timber just really compelling. The description was rich and helped the reader to understand why and who Alex was.
There isn't enough sex for my personal taste but hey what else is new? I'm not holding it against the author because I love mystery and suspense and there was enough of that to sort of make up for the absence of monkey love. I was intrigued by the mystery and was trying to figure out from the beginning how everything tied together. I wouldn't have minded if there was a little more resolution in the end but I was happy and I will be back for more.
I have to note, I wasn't thrilled with the first few pages of the book. I found the sudden reference to Simmon's a little confusing. Trust me, things quickly get right and I'm glad I hung in for the ride. I highly recommend this book.
**ARC provide by As the Pages Turn**