This books was received as an ARC, to be released May 17.
I’ve taken this book in chapter by chapter, one here and one there, over the past three weeks and the experience was surprisingly not ruined by that. It says something if a story manages to hold my interest when I spread it out over a long period of time. Usually, I like them fast and close together. This book could have easily been a quick read and when I left it behind for a few days I found myself thinking about it.
Also, I found myself in the strange situation of digesting two romances at the same time this month and the experience pretty much turned me into a giggling puddle of girl. Ick.
This is the story of Mallory, a girl who spent the first twelve years of her life in foster care. The family she lived with was abusive and alcoholic. However, she always had a protector in Rider, another foster child who lived with the same family. Rider took many beatings for her and kept her as safe as he could, teaching her to hide in the closet and stay silent until the danger was over.
Now, Mallory is returning to public school for the first time in four years. After she was seriously injured, she was adopted by a pair of doctors who have provided her a safe and stable home. She is still recovering, though, and finds speaking to be particularly difficult after being conditioned to be silent. She’s not quite sure if she is ready for public school but Mallory knows that if she wants to go to college she’s going to have to get used to people and classes and, well, talking. What she doesn’t expect is to run into Rider on the first day of school.
Rider has grown up and he is ridiculously hot. Mallory and him are drawn together by their past and their obvious affection for one another. It’s complicated though. Mallory’s parents don’t approve of Rider for a number of reasons. Rider has a girlfriend and is still in the system. As Mallory realizes the truth about Rider and his life, she must figure out how to be the hero this time around or possibly lose him forever.
I liked this one. Like I said, it made me feel like a puddle of goo at times and it made me tear up a few times too. I probably could have done without the Epilogue as it tied things up too neatly for me but other readers will enjoy the glimpse into “forever.”