This book was recommended by an author I follow in Facebook, and boy, am I glad I read that post. This author’s writing is brilliant, and I will be sure to look up more books written by her! There are so many layers of feelings and love and loss and yearning and angst in this book. It’s one of those book that you read, and after you’re done, you go back to the beginning to re-read because you want to savor and maybe catch some detail you missed in the first reading.
The main character, Vera, was the most complicated character of the two, but Jared was compelling. An ex-bad boy who embraced responsibility but never lost the hotness. Vera and Jared are from opposite sides of society, she’s a rich socialite and he’s a poor mechanic and yet, their relation is explosive, hot chemistry, nuclear love.
Vera lost her mother when she was a little girl. Her mother left her and her father to run after a younger man. Vera was left alone with a workaholic father who delegated her care to nannies and housekeepers. She had everything a little girl could have, all her wishes were met and she was given all she asked for. She thought she was living the life she thought she was destined to live, but she always felt the lack of love and acceptance. Once when she overheard her nanny and the cook discuss her, she realized she’s not seen as the good little girl she thought she was. She grew with a black hole in her soul, always feeling that she lacked something, that she was not good enough. She was the epitome of a poor little rich girl.
When Vera was older, she was living the life she was destined for: rich boyfriend, limitless spending in her credit cards, active social life with airhead socialite girlfriends. Until one day, her boyfriend fed her up and she blew up big time. He left her on the side lane of a highway and a motorcycle rider dressed in black leather picked her up. Convinced he could be a serial killer but without any other choices, she accepts a ride to her apartment building in the good side of town. He was crass and crude but he made her tingle like no other man had.
There was an important man in Vera’s life: the owner of a shabby book store in the poor side of town. She had been going there since she was twelve years old, and she found in this old man the acceptance she didn’t have from her father or the employees who served her family. He was her support system, counsellor and old friend. Whenever she was upset, she would visit “Badger”, as she called him and the musty atmosphere in Badger’s bookstore would calm her upset spirit. One day, after one such visit, she visited a nearby coffee shop and encountered the biker with an attitude. It took several more encounters, more rejection from Vera and more insistence from Jared, plus increased frustration with her empty life, that led Vera to give Jared a try.
From a one-night stand that was supposed to have no future, Vera and Jared clicked. I loved their interactions, they were funny, carnal and tender. Vera can’t help being a rich bitchy girl and Jared was perfect for bringing her down from the heights of bitchiness. He was able to dig into her façade and find the good and kind girl who just wanted love. She loved shopping and clothes, and I got a kick out of the descriptions of her clothes. It had a bit of the Clueless movie flavor. There were also two girlfriends, Ilsa and Cleo, who were airheads, socialites, with a sort of Dumb and Dumber vibe, yet they were loyal and loving friends. They added so much fun flavor to the book.
Of course, when you have an ambitious workaholic father who wants world domination, having a daughter who dumps his choice for a boyfriend and opts for a poor mechanic from the wrong part of town, forces him to make some hard decisions. When said father puts his foot down and forces his demands on his daughter, Vera has to decide what is important and true for her.
Vera and Jared face several hard moments during their relation. Vera was a little stubborn and Jared was too defensive. He had abandonment issues, so his first impulse when faced with relation problems is to strike out and hurt. The second part of this book was fraught with drama and angst and some stubbornness. I loved all the growing up that these two characters went through. They were forged in heat and came out warriors. There are more layers to this book, other side issues that the characters faced and overcame.