Thursday, 6 October 2011
Once Wild, by Carol Gambill:
The sins of Shaun MacGregor’s youth are far from forgotten when he is released from prison and returns to his home town in Ashland, Pennsylvania. We learn that he went wild in his youth for a reason: rebellion sparked by years of physical abuse. When he wasn’t being bullied by his father, he was being victimized by others. He’s already served eight years for killing his friend, but there are some in the town who still won’t forget – or forgive. Shaun is a marked man from the moment news is out that he’s back in town. When Maria Bellicia literally runs into him, their status couldn’t be more different, poles apart in the eyes of society. However, it’s a case of opposites attracting; they can’t help falling in love with each other. What follows is a steamy mix of guilt, passion, sex, hatred and violence. This is the first book in the Breaking Out series, and it’s a great read that reminded me of classic noir, steamy, pot-boiler thrillers like James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. I liked the setting and the characters. The pace is steady and the tension builds very well. I believed in Shaun’s struggle to find acceptance and redemption, along with Shaun and Maria’s struggle to stay together in the face of adversity. A love story with a hard edge.