This was a 'just what the doctor ordered' book. I picked it up on recommendation and it grabbed me from page one.
It opens with Troy Brennan, the Fixer, son of a deceased Irish mobster and man on a mission to find out who killed his father and why. He's big. He's dangerous. He's not above breaking laws to settle scores. He also has history with our heroine.
We meet Sparrow Raynes on her wedding day to Troy Brennan. She isn't his type. She has no idea why he wants to marry her and also, she has little choice in the matter.
Her father is an alcoholic and has worked for the Brennans. Her mother is absent. She's training to be a cook, but is the one served up on a platter to Troy Brennan.
Sparrow is from Southie. She is a fighter and has a mouth like a machine-gun. Of course I loved her. If she were real, I'd stalk her until we became best friends.
Troy and Sparrow start their marriage with lies between them. To him, she's a means to an end. To her, he's a monster. He's got so much baggage - it's forming a traffic jam (inside joke).
As links are revealed and secrets uncovered, the two take tentative steps toward one another. But one step forward with these two are also two steps back. Sometimes, I wanted to yell at them.
While their marriage may have started on lies and half-truths - they discover the essential ingredient to any relationship: respect. But will it be enough to overcome what's between them?
This is an unconventional love story. I found myself hoping and cheering for them. I don't do that. Hardly. Ever.
In terms of the story and technical aspects: the writing isn't that sophisticated. But the story is heart felt. By about seventy-five percent, I was wanting the author to just get on with it and drive the story to its conclusion. And... she did.
This is the first book I've read by LJ Shen. It won't be the last. I've now got another 'go-to' author when I need a book that I can plow through and lose myself in for a bit.