Author: Lindy Zart
When she reached the door at the back of the shop, Reese tried the doorknob, not really sure if she would find it locked or unlocked because she’d never tried it before. It wasn’t locked. She blinked, surprised that her confrontation wouldn’t be delayed. Then she pounded up the steep carpet of stairs and stared at the white door at the top of them.
Out of breath and heart pounding so hard she felt it through her chest, she raised a fist to the door and went to town, banging all of her frustration into the woodwork. It flew open and the air was knocked from her lungs for another reason entirely. Her mouth went dry and she swayed backward, Leo’s quick grab saving her from a fall down the stairs.
He yanked her into the apartment by the front of her shirt and kicked the door shut behind her. Then he crossed his arms and stared. She was staring as well. Reese had never seen him without his shirt on. She couldn’t pretend it wasn’t a notable sight, or that her body didn’t respond to it. His shoulder muscles alone were impressive, but then there were the cuts to his biceps, the chiseled pecs and abs, all covered in black ink.
Reese tried to swallow and couldn’t. She stared intently at the artwork, wanting to decipher it. She decided she’d need her brain functioning better than it presently was to attempt such a thing. Big muscles were not her thing—she was prone to go for lanky, lean frames. That tidbit was forgotten as her eyes went up and down the tattooed body before her. It was impossible not to appreciate the beauty of it.
Leo was the equivalent of a dark warrior on an unending, unknown quest, regardless that other than the ink that stained his upper body, there was nothing dark about his looks. From his light brown hair to his gray eyes to his pale skin, he should be forgettable, but there was more to him, something that made him stand out. It was an inconsistency, like all of him, and all of her. And the two of them. “Better be good,” he growled. “Not even eight in the morning.”
“Funny, I pictured you as a person who got up at the first sign of dawn to not be wasteful of any second of daylight.”
She forced her eyes from his body and up to his light gray eyes instead—the eyes that judged her from the recesses of her mind when she least wanted. She went on the defensive as she remembered why she was here. “I don’t appreciate you having people check up on me. It’s none of your business what I do or don’t do.”
One pale brown eyebrow lifted. “No smoking in the building.” She sputtered for a bit before she could get words out. “I wasn’t smoking in the stupid building! And if that isn’t the most lame ass answer I’ve ever heard of for trying to justify having me hauled from a party! I was drinking. I’m twenty-four. I can drink. Unless there’s a rule against that too?” Reese poked a finger against his hard chest and tried not to get distracted by the smoothness of it. “You may own the apartment building I live in, but you don’t own me. Don’t do that again.”
She spun away from him and reached for the doorknob when he said quietly, “If you can’t be responsible for yourself, then you have no right to be upset when others are.”
Stiffening, Reese digested the fact that he’d spoken a full sentence to her for maybe the first time, and then she mulled his words over. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him he could shove his apartment and this job right up his ass, but then what? Then she would be jobless and homeless once more. Whether she liked it or not, he did have power over her.
Reese’s lips were trembling, but she somehow managed to keep her voice steady as she said, “I’m not your responsibility.”
“Sure about that? Seems like you are.”
In this moment, Reese hated Leo Chavez. My Review Finding the words to say what this story did for me is extremely difficult. I wish I had a better vocabulary to properly express what this story does to the reader. While I think of my own expression, let me start this off with a standard review.
The main character, Reese, living in a world of her own, is on a path that is likely to lead to her own self destruction. Twenty four years old and this woman has had to deal with situations that nobody so young should ever have to deal with. Her innocence stolen by someone who should only keep her safe, she frees herself from a monster and a mother whose only concern is to keep the monster around. Resulting in Reese leaving home at a very young age, she drags herself from one place to another and into more abusive situations. Finally coming to a place where she has to depend on herself, she meets a man who is not who he appears to be. He harbors secrets that can only lead to the ultimate destruction of Reese if she ever finds out what he is up to. Leo, a once lost soul, only wants to keep Reese safe from herself and others who mean to destroy her. Coming from his own miserable younger years, he plunges into a life that could ultimately lead to not only Reese’s destruction but his own as well. Taking Reese under his wing, he does everything he can to save her life and bring her around to the beautiful person he knows she can be. In the process of that, he and Reese clash over situations that may make the reader angry at certain points. Leo, the man who wants to save Reese and Reese fighting every step of the way. It is hard for the reader to decide where the story is going until the very end.
This story touched me in ways I never would have expected. At times hurtful and other times angry, this story was difficult at first to read. I kept going because, there are times when I could see a light at the end of the dark tunnel. I also needed to see how things went for Reese as I was never sure what might happen to her and her destructive ways. The story draws the reader in and makes it hard to put it down. As angry as I got at times, the author found a way to bring me back into the story and continue to see what happens with Reese and her serious ability to get herself into very bad situations. My greatest fear was that she would not survive. As per her usual style, Lindy Zart, has gotten another story well worth taking the time to read. The story flows smoothly and the reader gets to know the characters and their personalities relatively easily. Well described situations and characteristics paints a very clear picture in the readers mind. This story rates 5 stars from me.
Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, Bloody Marys, and pizza.
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