Monday, June 2, 2014

Love You to Death by Melissa March

 Rated 4.5 STARS

 Cherry is a street kid who lives in Baltimore and is really down on her luck.  Her mom is dead and her father is in jail for life for doing the deed.  She has no one except for Stewie, a fellow street kid who is developmentally delayed and has an innocent mind.  Cherry does everything she can to help and protect Stewie but one night she takes him to a park and a tragedy occurs.
In the meantime, Cherry has met a police detective who seems to be interested in her welfare and after a bad beginning to their relationship, she and Cass become friends.
She lets herself open up to him a little and she begins to trust him in spite of her initial misgivings.
Thinking that Stewie is dead, Cherry moves in with Cass and becomes the victim of his vicious jealousy and is almost trapped in their home.  As time passes, Cherry (whose real name is Arden) begins to plan her get away but before she can escape, Cass forces her to marry him.
Arden finds out through eavesdropping that Stewie is alive and she sets out to save both of them.  She finds Stewie, but Cass is hot on her trail and tries to shoot Stewie but Arden gets in the way and is shot herself.
She and Stewie manage to escape and find themselves in a horse trailer with two young men.
The two fugitives make a home in Kentucky with the family of the young men and Arden and Gideon fall deeply in love.  Is Arden finally safe?

I loved reading this book.  It is a stand-alone and that was a refreshing change for me.  I like series but I needed a break.  And what a break it was, I loved Cherry.  She made a lot of mistakes but she was only a young girl thrown out in the street so I could understand when she didn’t make a good choice.  I wanted to scream at her not to get involved with Cass and follow her gut.  Her romance with Gideon was sweet.  I loved the descriptions of the horse farm and enjoyed getting to know the Shepherd family.
Cass was among one of the most vicious villains I have read.  He beat Arden senseless and used Stewie as a pawn. 
Stewie was well written and his developmental delay was not overdone or silly.  As a former teacher, I really appreciated that the author respected her character.
The story was action packed and moved along at a fast pace.  I could never wait to find out what would happen next. This book was a real winner.

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