An intriguing story that really keeps the reader guessing. While not quite a mystery we get a peculiar situation that demands answers from us as spectators.
Rebecca is a teen girl recently abandoned by her abusive boyfriend. So, starting in the first chapter, she decides to call herself Caden. Hitching a ride with a boy named Gabriel, she goes to his condo and starts to live with him in return for cooking/cleaning.
Caden only feels comfortable wearing black, an estranged relationship with her mother, and no real friends to call on. So it is easy to take some sympathy with her plight. However, she is apparently an amazing cook. Too good, in my opinion, for a teenager! This girl makes some pretty fancy dishes. I have never known any teenagers to even come close to what she does. She is quickly attracted to Gabriel, despite his crappy attitude. Frankly, I think she is just asking for more trouble. But what kind of story would we have if she left?
Gabriel comes from money and is trying to avoid his parents so he snuck off to a condo they own in another state. He is a bit elusive, hot tempered and has a controlling side. But under that gruff exterior he seems like he MIGHT have a heart. Also underneath everything is a side to him few ever see...
At night Gabriel becomes Tom. While of the same body, the eyes change and Tom is only of the mentality of a young boy. Every night is is locked up in the bedroom, in the dark. Yet with Caden around he has his first friend. Is Tom a split-personality or something more?
Overall I liked this book. Trying to figure out what is going on with Tom/Gabriel kept me riveted to the pages. The manner in which we get the story keeps the reader wanting more and content with the pace. The romance is light to moderate. While there is a fast attraction and desire it is not the insta-love "this is my soul mate" mentality. Such a refreshing change of pace!
The thing that bothers my the most is that I do not see these characters as teenagers. How can Gabriel's parents let him leave on his own each summer? Why isn't Caden's parents doing more to keep her from living with strange men (well her mother does finally step in a little too late)?! They both cook really well and act and think more like they are in their early twenties. Not once did I get a "teen" feel from them.
Caden trying to figure everything out by herself also drives me a bit crazy. from tryng to solve the mystery and "fixing" Gabriel, to a certain situation at the end that really riled me up. What she does there is the closest thing to "teen" possible behavior we get.
The ending is a cliffhanger that really has me with even more questions. So now I must wait impatiently for the next book.
**I received an eArc copy of this book in exchange for a fair/honest review.**