Their love is forbidden. But won’t be denied… Can true love heal the deepest scars?
For Kat Lane, teaching inmates at a New York prison is her way of upholding the legacy of her beloved father, murdered fifteen years ago. But when new student Wes Carter walks into her classroom, she’s shaken by the strength of her attraction to him. Carter is as handsome as he is dangerous, as mysterious as he is quick-witted – and he ensures people keep their distance. Yet vibrant Kat bypasses his defences and challenges him to reveal the real man behind the intimidating reputation. As their emotional barriers crumble, their inescapable but forbidden feelings cannot be ignored. But will Kat’s discovery of Carter’s role on the night her father died force them apart…or bind their hearts for ever?
A Pound of Flesh is a tale of loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds, introducing an irresistible bad boy hero… (Goodreads)
Before I write this review, I have a HUGE apology to make to Sophie Jackson. I am SO sorry for not continuing reading this book when I attempted to read this the first time last year. I do not know why I put this aside, because as you know from my numerous tweets to yourself, when I read this for the second time I was sacrificing sleep in order to finish this book. This, as many of you who follow me on twitter, is high praise for a book. So as you can guess, I loved this book.
So what made this book so addictive that I sacrificed sleep in order to finish this book? Let this review try to explain this better.
Jackson has taken the theme of forbidden love/attraction and tied it nicely together with this sense of fate bringing these two people from the most opposite of backgrounds back together. It is difficult for authors to put their own mark on these very common tropes, but Jackson manages this by giving us two well rounded and interesting characters that you really root for.
Carter and Kate’s introduction is unconventional, with Kate being Carter’s tutor while he is behind bars. Carter, starts off as the romance novel’s poster boy for the proverbial bad boy with a deep seeded good heart. He is short tempered and has a troubled upbringing, though not in a way I had first expected. Jackson fools us poor readers, or at least me, that Wes is really a diamond in the rough and for much of the first part of the book this was no hints to Wes’s family background. I admit, it did surprise me that a convict behind bars could afford to buy Kate a very expensive first edition of her favourite childhood book, but I just brushed this off. This was mainly because I think any guy who buys a book loving gal a book is instantly more likeable.
Anyway, Carter really does come across as decent guy who life has dealt a crappy hand to. You could tell that underneath that hard exterior, beat a good heart and he does prove this time and time again. He even tries his best to fight the attraction to his “Peaches”, knowing that to start anything not only puts his conditions of bail at risk, but also her career. He is an honourable man and every decision he makes, he does so to try to do the right thing.
Kate on the other hand, is out to conquer her fears that surround her since the death of her father many years ago. You can see that she is clearly torn between doing what she loves and what her mother wants. A daughter who is teaching at the local prison with men who her mother thinks are just as responsible for the death of Kate’s father, is not the future she wants for her daughter. Yet, Kate sticks to her guns and see’s it through, even though she is at times scared and apprehensive.
I’ll be honest, I really liked Kate as a character. Yes, she is quiet and a bit reserved, but I rooted for her from the very beginning. I wanted her to get together with Wes as he seemed to bring out the very best in her. You could see something in her healing the more time she spent with him. She is a fighter, whether it’s for her personal life or her career, she will fight for what she believes in, regardless of the pressure she is under
This is what I found most refreshing in the novel; the two leads don’t instantly jump into bed and have a relationship that grows over time. It was also nice to read a store that didn’t rely on the now over done trop of Powerful Businessman meets the meek, quiet naïve female in the story. Both characters, regardless of their backgrounds, do seem more equal and I could buy into these characters to the point of believing that they could be real people. That’s not to say there wasn’t a few steamy scenes in the book, but they seemed to be carefully entered into the narrative to give a natural flow.
Aside from the star crossed lovers, one of the other secondary plot line I was interested in was that of Wes’s best friend, Max. From the get go, I knew that there was more to Wes’s incarceration than was let on and that Max had his own demons to fight. Wes seemed to want to protect him and by the end of the book he has tried to get him the help that he needs. Time will tell if this successful and the fact that the next book An Ounce of Hope is Max’s story makes me think he will get his Happy Ever After.
The only thing that I didn’t find enjoyable or very believable, was the fight Wes had with his mother’s family. I don’t want to go into spoilers, but what happens at the end did have me scratching my head. It wasn’t enough to knock a star off my review, but just dull that last star. Regardless, I really enjoyed the book and have already bought the second one.
For anyone who loves to read a sweet, yet steamy romance, you can’t go wrong with A Pound of Flesh. I really do regret not finishing the book the first time round, because once I started the book I found it difficult to put down. Jackson has created a whole host of characters that you become emotionally invested in, which includes some of the supporting characters. You hope for them to get a happy ending and even in the case of Kate and her mum, you want them to reconcile.
Jackson is an author to watch and I can’t wait to see what she writes next, away from this series. :D. (Though not before I get Riley’s story, because I have a soft spot for that big teddy bear!)
A POUND OF FLESH SERIES IN ORDER
1 A Pound of Flesh
1.5 Love and Always
2 An Ounce of Hope
2.5 Fate and Forever
3 A Measure of Love