As a lawyer, Candelario “Candy” Gonzalez has no conscience as he works exclusively for the powerful drug lord, Teirso Flores, and always wins in the courtroom. When Candy was sixteen and looking for a way out of poverty, he became Teirso’s lover and Teirso has owned him ever since. When Candy is tasked with defending a man who killed a child in a drive-by shooting, Candy grows a conscience and walks.
Three years later and Candy is in business with his best friend, Jesse. While dining, he meets Carlos Alvarez, eleven years his junior. There is immediate attraction on both sides and the men circle around each other for months. Carlos reminds Candy of everything he used to be, but Carlos doesn’t want Candy for his money and Candy starts to see a new appreciation for the old neighborhood. But Candy will never be truly free as Teirso resurfaces and maybe Carlos is not as innocent as Candy thought.
There are so many books written about different types of bad boys that Joyfully Jay has a favorites list featuring them. As far as bad boys go here, I am going to label this one as bad boy light. When we meet Candy he is mostly seen as a reformed bad boy, although everyone in the area is still afraid of him and sees him as the baddest of the bad.
It was easy to caught up as this book opened with Candy leaving his position and then meeting Carlos. Everywhere Candy goes people know him and cater to him even though he doesn’t ask for it. When Candy sees Carlos he is absolutely struck by him. There is the physical attraction and then there is almost a nostalgic feeling that Candy has for his younger days. The sexual attraction, intensity, and tension between Candy and Carlos is well written, moves thorough the pages, and compels you to keep reading. We also get clear dual POV, which is always a favorite of mine. There is also a third POV of Candy’s friend Jesse which definitely added to the story.
I enjoyed the author’s style of writing and there was some engaging prose. At the end, however, there were areas that I questioned and other areas that I would have liked to see more of to better complement the story. The attraction and initial dance these guys did around each other was intensely written. When they got together, the intimate scenes were brief and did not have the same intensity to match the attraction that was shown. There were many times that the story would get us just close enough and then would pull back time and again, which broke the emotional connection built. Candy was also supposed to be this lawyer to a big time criminal, yet he was overwhelmed to have this beautiful boy in his bed and was moved to tears easily more than once. So if you are looking for a real bad Alpha guy, he might not be it.
Carlos was an interesting character. He was described as young and sweet and living in the worst part of town, but there is more to his story. It did not seem that Candy was concerned about Teirso at all. He walked away from a dangerous criminal and there was not much blow back. Of course, Teirso resurfaces and for as highly analytical and skilled as a lawyer Candy is played out to be, he becomes careless and blinded by emotion and the complete wrap up of that story line was not offered in detail. Candy’s friend Jesse must also be mentioned as there is a side story involving him, which again took us up to a certain point and then was left open and unfinished.
This book was originally published in 2011 and was recently released again. I am not aware if changes were made from the original version but there were areas that read as dated. Bottom line, I enjoyed the characters and the basic story line but there were areas that were lacking for me and I would have liked more in some areas to pull it all together. Since I did enjoy the overall tone the author set, I would definitely be inclined to check out some of her more recent work.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Favorites List Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of books and swag from Samhain Publishing, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Favorites List Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.