Sunday 7 June 2015

Review ~ A Pound of Flesh (A Pound of Flesh #1) by Sophie Jackson

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“The pound of flesh which I demand of him is dearly bought; ‘tis mine and I will have it. - The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1

Well, this was a student/teacher romance with a difference, but at the end of the day it was so much more than that. For a debut novel this book was well written, engaging and once all those plot intricacies were coming together, extremely addictive, I couldn’t put it down.

Kat Lane was an English teacher, but she wanted to give back and she also wanted to confront her fears, fears that stemmed from an incident that happened when she was nine years old. Fears that have kept her awake more or less every night since. She had made a promise to her father so Kat did what she felt would have helped with those fears while upholding the promise she made to her father, she became a teacher in a prison. Kat was a beautiful character inside and out, despite her fear, this girl had balls. She confronted her demons head on, she attacked and everyone loved her for it. She had the respect of the inmates, they thrived under her tutelage and it did help that she was drop dead gorgeous to boot.

Wes Carter was the prison bad boy, a man they all feared and a temper that could flare up at the drop of the hat. It is that temper that is keeping him from parole and he now needs to do everything possible to make his case, including taking English Literature classes. Wes Carter was so misunderstood, underneath the tattoos and the bad boy persona was an extremely intelligent man who was loyal to a fault. He had a heart of gold and would do anything for his friends, even if that meant sacrificing himself, hence his current predicament. He was also a walking testament to the phrase, never judge a book by its cover; the words on the inside are so much more, a lot more.

These two don’t exactly hit it off straight away and Kat has to really pull on her resolve to be able to stand up to Carter in her class room, but there is something about him that makes Kat feel safe, she knows he wouldn’t hurt her. Kat can’t help herself and wants to help him, it is immediately obvious he is intelligent and that nurturing side of her comes out and despite being unwilling in the beginning, Carter gives in, after all, this is his only chance of parole.

“If you can’t pay a debt, you shouldn’t give your word.”

I loved the initial bantering between these two, they were like two wild cats trying to scope the other out and the battle lines were well and truly drawn, but it is when Carter has his eureka moment that the plot really starts to get interesting and this is where I was forever trying to read between the lines and try and work out for myself what really connected these two.

The student/teacher is the forbidden but it is their pasts that really dictate the direction of their relationship. It is blatantly obvious that these two have an intense connection and the author captures this beautifully and as a reader you know it is only a matter of time before the forbidden is forgotten. I loved getting to know these two characters, both are broken, both want to be healed but after so many years would it ever be possible? Maybe these two could heal each other?

“The lines initially drawn between the two of them were now smudges, merging into the ground at Kat’s feet. Now more than ever, she was prepared to cross them, knowing deep within her heart that Carter would be waiting for her on the side.”

I know the term soul mates is a label often used, but I really felt Carter and Kat’s connection, this one runs extremely deep and life events have given these two a connection that could never be broken. I felt their chemistry and I felt their bond. These two were intense, but for these two broken souls this relationship was what they needed, what they had dreamed about and ethics, family and friends be damned, nothing was going to come between them. They fought for themselves, after all, no-one else would.

“You’re everything to me, Peaches. You always have been. Always. You’re the best thing I’ve ever had in my life…you’re my everything.”

These two have a lot of secrets and I am glad that the author did not drag this part of the plot out. In the beginning I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the house of cards to fall, but she dealt with them quite early on so that didn’t become a major thing between them, but there were more plot twists ahead that certainly would.

“You saved my life…don’t ever tell me you’re not good.”

The flow was great and this book was an easy read for me. Even though it was fairly lengthy it didn’t feel that way while reading and although this book is a bit of a slow build it does find a good pace and will keep you sucked in until the end.

Overall this was an extremely enjoyable read and for a debut book I was really impressed. The characters were developed and the plot was intricate and engaging. Even though this is the first in series it could be read as a standalone. I understand that there is a novella coming out about Carter and Kat and there will be a story for his best friend Max. Personally, I cannot wait to read more.

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