There are so many things wrong with this book I don’t really know where to begin, but I guess I’ll have to start with the prologue.
At the very beginning of the book we meet Anna Pallino, a 16 year old girl, who works at an ice cream shop in either 1999 or 2000. Anyway, just as she’s closing up her friends, a group of foster brothers, one of whom happens to be her older boyfriend, Dante Renaldi, come in to the store. She serves her friends some ice cream despite it being after hours. She doesn’t even make them pay for the snack! Just before they’re about to leave, Anna decides to go into the creepy back alley, where surprise surprise a man tries to rape her. She fights back because that’s what her dad the cop told her to do in such a situation. Eventually, the guys inside realize that she’s been gone to long and go to find her. Once they do, they immediately beat the ever living crap out of the guy who was attacking her. Alright, I can understand wanting to hurt the guy and I can understand that these guys were all really kids, but the fact that they were 4 teenage guys against one man, who wasn’t able to put up much of a fight is really unbelievable. What is even worse is that Anna decides to ask her daddy to cover up the man’s murder so that none of her friends would get sent to prison, since they all have records–nice kids you’re hanging out with Anna.
We pick up 12 years later, and Dante is back in town for the first time since they murdered a man in cold blood. Hours after coming back, Dante’s foster father is murdered in the same alley that he and his foster brothers killed Anna’s assailant in years earlier–not only was he killed there, but the killer beat him to death just like the boys did. There were also other similarities to the earlier murder. Most people would think, “Gee, maybe I should tell the cops about what really happened that night 12 years ago,” when it appears that there’s a connection, but not Anna or Dante or any of the other guys. Did I mention that Anna and one of the guys are cops now and that Dante worked black ops for the military? These are people who should know better, but obviously all they care about is keep their asses clean.
Another problem with this book is that it is fairly obvious early on who the killer is despite the fact that none of the characters are able to figure it out. It seemed to me that the only way for the killer to know what had happened in the alley was if he was in the alley and since the only people that were there that night were Anna, Dante, and their friends it had to be one of the friends that was the killer. But, no, Anna and Dante can’t see the forest for the trees and go in search of someone else that might have been in the alley. SMH. Do authors really think we’re that stupid?
Also, the cover is very misleading. It makes the book look like it is a hot/sexy read. It isn’t. From what I read there was only one real sex scene and it wasn’t even luke warm.
By the time I was 2/3 of the way through, I had had it with this book and I skimmed to the end to see who the killer was–and it was the exact person I had figured it would be. I guess Jaci Burton is yet another author I will not be checking out further. The only thing worse than a TSTL character is a TSTL author.