"I was sobbing into my knees, oblivious to everything but the hatred and ugliness that surrounded me. All that was hideous about the home I grew up in washing through my life, the one I’d worked so hard to build, the one I desperately wanted to give Billy and Billie. As ever, all I knew, all I was, all that was contained in the blood flowing through my veins shredding everything good that I worked so hard to have. More fool I that I thought I’d ever get away from it, escape it. Ever"
Mara was really endearing. She had an awful childhood. She escaped her trailer trash family and worked hard to make a life for herself. The problem was that mentally she never escaped. She thought she couldn't escape and has terrible self-esteem, always hiding in fear that people would see her for what she thought she was: worthless. That's why she freaks out when her dreamy neighbour, Mitch Lawson, comes to help her when her washer breaks.
“Make him pizza,” she pushed. “You aren’t pledging your troth. You’re making a nice, handsome guy pizza. So you drop barbeque sauce on your shirt. It wouldn’t be the end of the world.” She squeezed my hand. “What would be the end of the world is if you stuck yourself in that apartment with your candles and music, having LaTanya over for Glee, going over to B and B’s for tarot card nights, coming to my place for action movie marathons and that was it in your life. No risks. No chances. Nothing that made your heart beat faster. Nothing that made your toes curl. Nothing that was exciting. Nothing that gave you a thrill. That, honey…” she gave me another hand squeeze, “would be the end of the world.”
“You know, Detective Mitch Lawson, most normal, sane men would run a mile from women who suddenly find themselves the guardian of two children whose father has the Russian mob after them, has trailer trash for relatives and who you think are cracked, clueless and have their heads up their asses.” “Yeah, lucky for you I think all that’s definitely cute.”
Mitch is a detective & Mara's neighbour. He's tried to find an opening for years but only succeeded in making her blush and run away. Mara's junkie cousin, Bill is arrested and Mara needs to face her fears, face life to provide a home for his kids. Mitch is determined to help her and be a part of her family.
Mara was frustrating at times. She had her little cocoon and it was hard for her to break free. Mitch really had to coax her out in the light. He had to tell her some hard truth. In the end, though, I was really happy for her. I ended up rooting for her and had a " F**** yeah!" moment when she came into her own kicked ass and took names.
I loved seeing Gwen, Elvira, Tess, Brock, Hawk... Tack was there too. Can't wait for his book!
Kristen Ashley writes children so well. She doesn't sugarcoat things, and the kids there had a hard life, but she captures their innocence so well.
Loved the action in this one. Loved seeing Brock, Hawk, Tack & Mitch work together.
Best epilogue ever!
It's so nice to close a book with a contented sigh and a huge smile! Another win for Kristen Ashley.