Author: Jackie Ashenden
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: After eight years in prison, Levi Rush is finally out and back on the gritty streets of Detroit to claim the future he was owed. A future that includes the one woman he’s wanted for years—his former best friend Rachel. She’s the reason he went inside and if getting her to do what he wants means buying the building that houses her tattoo studio and using it as leverage, then that’s what he’ll do. Because if there’s one thing he’s learned inside it’s that if you want to win, you have to play dirty.
Rachel Hamilton is a tattoo artist and one hell of a tough girl. Detroit is her home, and she’s determined to make it a better place. But her plans are threatened when her old friend Levi reappears and gives her an ultimatum: she gives herself to him body and soul, or else she and her business are out on the street. Levi’s got no room in his heart for anything but anger and the lust he’s been carrying around for so long. But the only thing stronger than the secrets of their shared past is their fiery attraction to each other . . .
Review: This book was filled with emotional connections and misunderstandings. The main male character, Levi, had just been released from prison after serving an eight-year sentence for accidental manslaughter. He’d just been trying to protect his best friend Rachel from a drug dealer who was attacking her. When the guy fell backward and hit his head and died, Levi’s life took an entirely different path than he’d envisioned. And it really affected Rachel as well, leaving her filled with guilt and loss.
Levi was angry when he got out of jail. Not only because he’d wasted all that time. He was angry that his best friend–the person he’d been protecting–she’d never once in those eight long years visited, called, or even sent a letter.
He already had abandonment issues from his alcoholic father. Why did the person closest to his heart betray him?
Rachel felt very very guilty about Levi. She’d known she needed to visit him in jail; that she needed to apologize to him for what had happened and to see how he was. She just couldn’t. The guilt read incredibly poisonous and it paralyzed her. She’d forged a new path for her life and opened a tattoo parlor. She felt really great about her business–but she didn’t feel great about facing Levi. It was going to be even harder to see him and to see how prison had affected him.
There was so much anger and guilt swirling around, and Levi’s attitude didn’t help. Emotional guilt had these two as well as their friends acting out in inappropriate ways until it all comes to a head. I can’t say I followed everything, but for the most part, I really liked it. Sexy, emotionally intense issues were dealt with in this romance that covers all the darker aspects of love and loss as well as the rebounding hope of romantic love. Thanks