After suffering from book impotency for a few weeks, I have found my literary Viagra. It pains me to say that I nearly missed reading this book, I didn't think that I could suffer through another college-age-coming-of-age Cinderella story. Thankfully this isn't another Cinderella fairy tale.....it's more like Red Riding Hood meets the Big Bad Wolf. What prompted me to read this were the following lines:
"I love you, too. Promise me you'll remember that.
"Good," he says. "Because I"m about to f*** you like I don't."
Karissa may be a college-age girl, but her love interest is no boy, Ignazio "Naz" Vitale is all man. But this is not the typical student being taught by the master; Karissa is teaching Vitale a thing or two. Karissa is embracing college life, she has no other option, because home is basically being tethered to her paranoid mother. Naz is a .....well, I don't know what exactly Naz is in the beginning, but whatever he does, he does it well. The two bump into each other the college campus, and then later at a club. It isn't love or sex at first sight, but Karissa probably should have paid closer the old adage about curiosity killing the cat. The two end up in a relationship, but the story isn't just about the romance, the reader gets a feeling that there is something more going on, and there is....but I don't want to give away any spoilers.
Naz may be leading Karissa down a dark troubled road, but let's just say that she fueled up, bought new tires, and packed snacks for the ride. This story held my attention from the beginning until the last page, it got better with each page turned. The suspense kept building, and it didn't disappoint at the end. The author, J.M. Darhower, keeps Naz cool and dark, unlike many stories where the bad guy turns into a softie once he meets the female, this isn't that story. Naz doesn't lose his dark side when he meets Karissa, because Naz doesn't act cool and dark, Naz IS cool and dark.
Bottom line....this is at the top of my list for my favorite reads in 2014. If you are expecting a sweet HEA, this may not be the book for you.....but if you like a story with a trip on a bumpy and curvy road, doing 95 mph while blindfolded, this might be your book.