Series: Port Fare, #1
Author: Sherry Gammon
Pages: 307 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Wordpainting Unlimited Inc.
Release Date: January 19, 2011
Port Fare, New York, has fallen into the clutches of true evil. The Dreser brothers have arrived with a scheme to increase drug sales in the area by whatever means possible. Seth Prescott is part of MET (Mobile Enforcement Teams) a branch of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). He's been assigned to work undercover at Port Fare High, and things aren't going very well, until senior Maggie Brown enters the equation. He's harbored a secret crush on her from day one, and now that she is in the center of the case, he's trying to stay clear and objective while walking the line between business and unrequited love.
Maggie is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes, but is she an addict, or is there another reason for her appearance? She struggles with her feelings for Seth, fearing he is just another person who will eventually let her down, as everyone in her life has done thus far.
Maggie has spent her life caring for her alcoholic mother. A task that has left her heavily burdened and alone. Before long, her mother's health takes a turn for the worst, sending Maggie's life into a tale-spin. While Seth works relentlessly to inject fear into the dealers and flush them out into the open, Maggie fights to stay alive as the hunt turns deadly. Seth and Maggie's romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak, and self-discovery.
I had read plenty of rave reviews for this one, and I really like grittier young adult (actually, this one probably fits better into the New Adult category) books, so I decided to give it a try. The preface immediately pulled me in! It was more intense than I was expecting. Unfortunately, it was followed by Chapter 1, which was extremely boring, and the following several chapters weren't much better. It was pretty slow going, since there was nothing that kept me hooked into the story.
This is told in alternating POVs. We have Maggie and Seth, and the occasional chapter from Ben and Allan. I really liked Maggie. Her life is anything but easy, but she makes due. Her mother is an alcoholic, and whenever she's sober enough she's sure to tell Maggie how much she doesn't want her around and how useless she is. Maggie puts on a tough front, but she's definitely hurting. She's such a sweet girl, and tries do her best. Seth, an undercover cop, is a little too perfect. He's intelligent, extremely good looking, considerate, rich, chivalrous. and a master chef. He has no obvious flaws except for his cowboy boots, but he wears them to hide his gun, not because he likes them. Bill and Alan are the sources of the mystery aspect in the novel. They're drug dealers, and one is a murderer of young women. He's also obsessed with Maggie, and they're out for revenge. Not a good combination.
The romance is very sweet, and I loved watching it develop. There's no insta-love here, but Maggie and Seth are extremely into each other! It did overshadow some of the darker elements of the book though, so I was a little disappointed in that regard. I was expecting something more intense, since there's murderers and drug dealers on the loose, but that plot thread kind of fell flat for me. Overall this was a good book, but just different than I was expecting. I do think I'll read the following two, since they're about Cole and Booker, who are fantastic characters. They're both men with hearts too big for their chests, but no one to give them to.