Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Scandalous by HM Ward

January 29, 2013
One kiss could have changed Abby's life, but when it didn't happen, she ran. Jack was everything to her and when he didn't respond, Abby couldn't bear it. Everything about that night--leaning in close to his face, feeling the night breeze teasing her hair, the way his scent filled her head--was burned vividly into her mind, including the moment when Jack pulled away. There was no kiss. Abby was wrong. She was wrong about him, wrong about them. 

Maybe she didn't have to go to college two thousand miles away, but she did. She had to forget about him. Abby threw herself off the grid, disappearing completely from the life she knew. After completing her undergraduate degree, she enrolled in seminary. All contact with her old life was severed and she never looked back, until she was forced to.

When Abby puts idealism into practice, her congregation throws her out. If she can survive a year on her own, they'll take her back, and continue to pay off her student loans--but if she fails, Abby is on her own with enough debt to fund a small town. Seminary wasn't cheap. With no place left to go, Abby returns to New York and her best friend takes her in. 

Desperate to make it on her own and prove she was right, Abby follows a job lead to an art studio on Long Island. It isn't until she hears Jack's voice that she freezes. The hairs on the back of her neck prickle as she turns to see Jack, ten years later, looking even more tempting than before.

Fate is cruel. Abby left this life behind, but she's thrown back into it, head first. It's like someone hit rewind on her life and its ten years earlier. She's the cotton-mouthed girl that she always was around Jack, and now her future relies on the man who rejected her.
This book has such an interesting dynamic. Jack and Abby were best friends in high school but when they almost kissed, but didn't, Abby took off. Now here we are, years later. Abby is a minister. Jack is a painter but his work is definitely borderline pornography, but Abby sees it for the art that it is. When Jack hires Abby to be the "nanny", to ensure he doesn't inappropriately touch any of his models, to protect himself for lawsuits, Abby worries about how her church would feel about it, but ultimately makes the decision to do it. Abby and Jack begin to grow closer again. 
I liked Jack's strong moral code. How he doesn't cross lines, doesn't sleep with his models (even thought they'd love it I'm sure), doesn't want to betray the vows Abby made.  
I found it a little slow. 
"I see it, Jack. Your muse is back. The thing that gave you passion, tormented you, and haunted you is back. You're reeling in ecstasy and dread. It's something you want, but can't ever have. And the one that brings the pain is pure, white as snow... and standing in front of you."

No comments:

Post a Comment