21 days. What’s that you ask yourself? It’s been 21 days since I set my kindle down, cursed H.Q., some of the characters and pouted. I had finished the book and the roller coaster my emotions were on wasn’t going to relent. I told myself to wait for a few days to write the review or else I’d get all worked up again. HA! Few days? More like 21!
I originally learned of H.Q.’s books one day on facebook, as I scrolled through. If I remember right it was the fan page post that intrigued me. A reader had made an assumption about the “theme” of the book surrounding the fact the interracial couple. When in fact, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. So of course, nosey Shani came out of the book pile she was hiding in and had to get the book. I’m so glad I did! It’s the first I have read from this author and it was quite an impression.
Dom is a man from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s a good guy with a big heart who just wants to do right by his family. His Mom and his brother are his everything. He wants more for his life than where he is at the moment and will do whatever it takes to get out of there. But how hard is it to escape when the very life you’ve fallen into over and over threatens to take everything away for good? Can he escape and achieve his goals? How does he find the drive to do it?
Nyla has made choices in her life that have changed her path dramatically. She isn’t proud of her mistakes, but she’s learning. She has a good head on her shoulders and a father who will do anything for her and support her. When she made the decision to go live with him, she knew it would be different. But the ghetto area she lives in threatens to break down the positives she’s been able to achieve. How can she change it, and is it worth it? How can she stay strong and move on when everything seems to fall apart?
Together Nyla and Dom have to figure out that path. Dom doesn’t think he’s worthy of her attention and love. She knows that regardless, he’s a good man. My favorite quote EVER in the book is when she says, “Everyone deserves to write the pages to their own book.” It takes time, love, faith and guidance to get some of those pages written. It’s going to take more time and patience when some of those pages have to be edited and re written. Their story is so not an easy one. What they face individually and together is real and raw. There is no sugar coating, handing over a magic fix or even sunshine and roses. Both of them have to decide if they will finish their book together, or apart. Can the ones they love tear the pages up? Can they overcome these massively huge obstacles? Better yet, can YOU as the reader handle the rollercoaster?
Creative adoration (positives): For this being the first of H.Q’s books I’ve read, I can honestly say I have a much deeper respect for the creativity that it takes to write this book. I have a deeper appreciation for the emotions that it must have taken in order to even tell their story. Capturing the emotions of your characters and writing them in a way that reaches out and grabs the reader so strongly is not an easy thing to do. I’m a very emotional reader and I’m one of those abibliophobiacs who is an emotional reader. If you can draw out any type of serious emotion, then you have gained a fan forever. I adored Dom and Nyla so much! They are both incredibly strong characters that have so much heart to them. The supporting characters added so many impressive layers to the story and kept you truly guessing. Oh, and did I mention that I love that it takes place in my home state of Washington?
Creative indifference (negatives): I have to say (and yes I say this a lot!), a general blurb of “warning” so to speak in the description of the mature content would have been helpful for me. I know there are those who say, “well it IS romantic suspense”. To that I say, well thank you Captain Obvious! However, it gives someone a bit of a heads up that there might be something in the book that might not settle well with you or could be a trigger of sorts. In my opinion, it doesn’t take away from the story. It adds another layer and earns more of my respect. Now having said that it in no way reflects as a bad thing on the author. It’s more of an “I wish there was….” kind of thing.
Creative appraisal (overall): This was truly an amazing read. As much as I the roller coaster ride took me quickly through the maze, I was able to walk away from it with a bit of thankfulness. The life I live now could be far different had I made some of the choices that they did. I mean I could give away so much about the book and I’m actually refraining from going on and on about it. I know, I know, since when Shani? There are a good amount of twists and turns that are very cleverly hidden until the moment they are stated. Along with the down and dirty reality of their lives, it is equally inspiring, heartbreaking, breathtaking and beautiful. You really need to keep an open mind and remember that it doesn’t all end there! Folks, settle in and get comfortable because you won’t be able to put this one down! You’ll end up yelling, crying, laughing, swooning and repeating all that many more times.
Final thoughts: In all my 30+ years of reading, I have never felt emotionally exhausted after reading a book like this. This one has moved into the #1 spot! A few months back, it was a different one. Even with that, I’ll be following H.Q.’s work and looking forward to more awesome books! It’s so hard for me to not tell you more about them, so I’ll leave you with just one more thing! Open your heart and your eyes and remember that all is not lost! Every page can be edited and redone. You have to find the strength to start over.
My star rating: 5 (million) stars!
Where do I go to find out more about the author?
Author Website: H.Q. Frost
Amazon: H.Q. Frost