Title: Defined by Deceit (second edition)
Author: A.E. Via
Publisher: Via Star Wings
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Page Count: 333
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
He tried to drown his demons, only to find they could swim.
Life isn’t always fair. Llewellyn Gardner knows that first hand. He was on the fast track—college dreams, a boyfriend—until one night of extreme passion changed everything. Eight years later and out of prison, he still lives with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns there’s another reminder of the crime people insist he committed, so he runs away to a new town to start over.
For Shane Smith, Jr., owner of Smith Construction, there’s something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes and dark past. Shane sees the good in Llewellyn— it’s why he hired him—and he isn’t going to let the man cut himself off from the world.
Llewellyn isn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he’s worried. What will happen if Shane doesn’t believe the truth about his past?
Oh. My. God.
Words are inadequate to describe this book. My emotions ran the gambit from fear, dismay, anger, and tears to hope, elation, and warm fuzzies.
The plot takes the reader on one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride, so be prepared to read this in one sitting. The story is rough and gritty, leaving the reader wanting to reach through into this world and do…something about the injustice of the situation. This is where Via nails it. This is what incarcerated folks have to endure – the community loathing, being the modern day outcast, the leaper to be avoided, the silent and damning judgement. Via manages to grab the reader like a martini shaker and leave them shaken and stirred.
I have one very small critique of the book – no spoilers! – I was disappointed in the ending. I always thought I would want the perfect resolution, the Ultimate Happy Ever After, but when it came right down to it, I realized I didn’t. I realized I need something left and I didn’t get that something and it left me somewhat tinged with disappointment.
Ultimately, a must read book.