Back in December I agreed to read a book. SHOCKING, I know. I’m a slow reader, and I almost didn’t agree to read this because it was a tight deadline, but I couldn’t withstand the pull of two enby characters falling in love on the page.
So, let’s recap. This book releases TODAY! You can buy it NOW, which I think you should do. I did enjoy this book. It’s not without issues, like any book. I’ve yet to find that elusive perfect book. But it was good, it was gripping, and I am still thinking about the characters weeks after finishing it.
After five long years as a slave to the hard, cold streets, Nayvee LaCroix was done selling their soul. Desperately at the end of their rope, Nayvee knew something had to change before they made the grave decision to end it all, permanently. The night Nayvee had given up hope they met a fellow lonely soul who also had been yearning for more in life.
Trystan Diamond, successful entrepreneur with more money than anyone could dream of, was instantly attracted to Nayvee and their chivalrous charm and boy-ish good looks before gaining any knowledge of what Nayvee really was.
Switching on their charm, Nayvee scored the biggest payload of their life that could help get them off the streets, but what Nayvee wasn’t expecting was for the charming and handsome millionaire to fall in love with them. Living life by the rules of the ruthless streets, Nayvee’s defenses were always up, creating a hardened wall for anyone to break past their offense, including Trystan. Little by little, Nayvee’s less than desirable lifestyle mixed and mingled with Trystan’s refined, sophisticated life, slowly chipping away at that wall, letting an astronomical and blinding bright light of love to penetrate Nayvee’s heart.
Just when Nayvee and Trystan slowly find their footing on the shaky ground of their budding romantic relationship, in stepped Rian, a ghost from Nayvee’s past, and partner on the streets, stirring up old emotions in Nayvee and new ones in Trystan.
Rough meets refined in this tale about kindred spirits who don’t conform to the norm and fall head first in love with each other in this modern day Pretty Woman meets Cinderella story.
I give this book 3.5 stars with a bent toward 4 stars (I’m indecisive on this one).
While I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the intrigue, and all the plot, there were a few things that put me off. The first was the instant-love trope. I don’t like this trope to begin with, and had I known fully well going in how much this was going to be a part of the first 30% of the book, I might not have to agreed to read it for an ARC because it does skew my opinion. So, if you don’t like instant-love, steer clear, because it is kind of over the top and throughout the book.
That aside! This is not a typical romance, and I hesitate to call it romance even. I liked Trystan a lot, Nayvee got whiny and annoying in some ways, and I felt had not a whole lot of character development going on. My favorite character, hands down, was Rian, and I was really rooting for the three of them, and this was when I started to super enjoy the book (I’m also perfectly okay with how this resolves because well, it’s my favorite way for characters to…um…happen? not spoiling).
There were parts of this book that felt more like an explanation of what it means to be enby and a bit of a soap box, but I think in some ways, especially for my enby friends, it needs to be there.
This book has a whole love of plot to it, which I loved. At times it felt slightly overwhelming, but it also kept me on my toes with trying to figure out when J would show back up next, although how many times can Nayvee be tortured and not have it massively affect their psyche in some ways. I am slightly disappointed in that it felt that whole story line wasn’t well-resolved and not all the loose ends were tied up.
Overall, this was a good pleasant read. The story moved well, the writing was excellent, the transitions from chapter to chapter were near seamless and always left me wanting to read on. Grab a copy, check it out, and step out of your comfort zone.