My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Warning, there may be a few minor spoilers in this review!
Tallis Carrington was the king of his high school in small town Bay Rock. He ruled the school with his gang of jock friends and the streets of town based on his fathers position of mayor.
Lex Barry was at the bottom of the food chain. Pudgy, poor, gay and his father worked as the janitor of the town hall. Needless to say Tallis and his friends bullied him mercilessly. And made his life hell until scandal hit the Carrington family and they left town.
15 years later the roles have reversed. Lex is now a successful small business owner and Tallis an unemployed waiter down on his luck, broke and moving home to live with grandma.
Tallis does not recognise Lex – but thinks he is seriously hot – and Lex decides to employ him – even if he is not sure about the motivation behind it and besides the fact that he is very attracted to his former child hood bully.
Obviously sparks fly 😉 and the two end up together, but the road there is paved with their past, family, old friends and enemies and a town with a long memory.
There were a lot of things about this book that I really liked. I enjoy the theme of boyhood tormentor becomes adult love interest. And I enjoy small town settings where everybody knows everyone elses business. But there were aspects of it that didn’t ring completely true to me.
Now, I have never been bullied as a child – nor have I bullied others – but the bullying described as what happened to Lex seemed horrid and I would have liked more animosity from Lex and more grovelling from Tallis to have taken place for this relationship to happen.
I liked that down on his luck Tallis was ensnared briefly with the feeling of power of once again being “the king of Bay Rock”, it seemed realistic in the situation. But for it to be completely believable I would have required Brock to be less of an 100 percent ass. There was nothing redeeming about his character, so I find it hard to believe that anyone above the age of 18 could have handled hanging out with him for more than a few minutes at a time.
I would have liked a more thorough explanation for Tallis’ behaviour as a teenager. We get snippets of information about his childhood and home life, but nothing that really explains completely why he would have been such an ass…
And an ass he must have been, because when he returns to town he is met with hatred by the people who remember him. So obviously it was not only the kids who went to high school with him who had been bullied by the king of bay rock and his followers.
In spite of these things, it was however an enjoyable story and I think I might buy the other two in the series as I like the authors way of writing.