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Every time I start reading a book by Chantal Fernando, my heart starts beating faster, my smile gets wider, and my day becomes brighter. This book was no exception to this rule, and I am convinced that Chantal's books should be on everyone's auto-buy list. I have jumped around in her many series, reading the books that fit best with my personal preferences, and each time I am engrossed in the stories and characters. This author is a master at creating characters with a lot of heart and those who defy stereotypes. Strength does not preclude vulnerability, and compassion does not preclude tenacity. You'll understand more when you read her books.
The youngest of six kids, and the only girl, Sky O'Connor is used to being babied. But growing up in a motorcycle gang and being raised by said gang's president made her strong and determined to live her life the way she wants. When her mom left the gang and the only father Sky has ever known, she felt abandoned and betrayed. They didn't fight for her to stay, and with a mother who looked at her as competition rather than a child to be nurtured, it was a wonder Sky had any compassion left at all. When a letter arrives from her childhood crush, Saint, she is surprised to see the return address is a prison. Intrigued, she writes back, and not long after, they reunite in person. If the fire between them was hot before, it had erupted into an inferno now. Sky and Saint begin a romance that has been years in the making - but life is never simple, and they will have to fight if they want to avoid being separated again.
Sky's character was so powerful for me to read about - she is smart, generous, scarred yet unbroken, and she should be considered a role model for so many women. In a world where people are judged regularly, she saw through that, because she had grown up among men who could be both violent and gentle. Not everyone is as they seem, and I loved how Sky took the good from the bad in her childhood to become an amazing adult. Saint (a.k.a Thorn Benson) was a great counterpart to Sky. He was so supportive of her ambition and wanted to make sure she was safe. Their separation hurt them both, but once they were together again, it was easy to see how perfect they were for each other. While I was a little irked that Saint had a past during the years they were separated (because I always have this naive belief that a couple will stay celibate until they meet again), it was handled beautifully. Sky's compassionate nature was a sight to behold. If ever there was a time I could meet two characters from a book, it would be these two.
As always, brava to Chantal Fernando! I look forward to reading whatever comes next, as it is sure to be amazing.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**