Given my current mood, this book is exactly what I needed. It was DARK, BRUTAL and REAL. I didn't know what to expect and with every chapter, I was taken with a mild shock. The first few chapters really shook me to the core. It was as engrossing as it was disturbing. A rare but perfect condition. I loved how brutally it was written, without skimming any details and diluting anything. And when I mean anything - I mean the whole setup of the 'escort/prostitute business. The author didn't shy away from painting a very honest, realistic and dire picture about how hard the struggle of being penniless is.
This is the story of Charlie, who is accompanied by Jayden as they run away from their foster care home and fight for their livelihood in Vegas. Like I mentioned earlier, the first part of this book totally steals the show and it left behind a profound effect. It was spine chilling and yet kept me intrigued. It showcased how, why and under what circumstances they get pulled or fooled into the business of prostitution. That part was very compelling and I could totally understand their situation and empathize with their helplessness. At parts it really broke me into tears. I was sold with the plot and the characters, especially with Landon interjecting at parts without saying or giving too much away. But, it took a pretty steep turn once the dynamics changed between her and Landon changed and she she started to work for the Blackwells. It was like I was reading a different story with the same characters. Not that it was bad, but somehow it lacked the dark edge the first part had. It became a lot predictable in the latter half, and somehow everything fell into place a little too conveniently. And it also had a 'Cinderella' sort of fairytale ending. It was good, but I had really hoped for this story to be darker and m0re heartbreaking.
I liked Landon and Charlie as individuals, but together not that much. Jayden continues to be my fav character and I would love to read her story and how she handles Roman. What didn't impress me much in this book is Charlie's past being dragged into this. I felt it was forced and too coincidental. It did lead to some suspense and drama, but whole reveal fell flat and the story didn't take off much after that. Some of the characters like Mike and Tara were just thrown into this mess, without being explored or given a chance to grow. As good as the first part was, the second part of the book was disappointing. So, overall, I would go with 4 stars.