Book & Author Details:
Dodging Trains by Sunniva Dee
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
I was twelve when a stranger at a train station taught me the meaning of ugly. He forced himself on me and threatened to kill my family if I told.
I stayed silent and the ugliness grew.
Now, that word rolls in film clips through my mind. All I’ve done since my best friend, Keyon Arias, left town is cement how ugly I am. Ugly on the inside—deep down to my core. On the outside… I am a Vixen. I flash men a smile and make them moan out pleasure I control.
Not them. Never them.
After five years of being away, my beautiful boy has come back to town for his father’s masquerade ball. He’s different. Hard muscle supersedes the skin and bone of his once boyish frame. One thing hasn’t changed though: the murderous look in his eyes when he slaughters his opponents. In the ring, I see the bullied boy, all grown up, dominating in ways he couldn’t in high school.
He’s the mayor’s son. The rising MMA fighter. The beautiful one.
I’m not the Paislee Cain of before, not the sweet girl he once knew, the one who chased away his bullies. I’m the town slut. The dirty girl whose shame will never fade no matter how many men I use. He’d disown what I’ve become.
Because beautiful can never love ugly.
A pale moon tips backwards on the sky over the beach we’re at a few blocks from Keyon’s house. After our pasta dinner at Markeston’s, we were still in no shape to drive, so he offered us a room at his super-mansion to sleep it off.
“You’ll be back tomorrow morning for your light thing, right?” he asked, eyebrows raised on his forehead when we graciously declined the offer. I’d nodded and explained that we didn’t want poor Simon to be alone at Keyon’s place all night.
Of course Markeston has a long, black, shiny car and a driver with a hat. He insisted, and we accepted. Good thing too, because a taxi back to Tampa would have been expensive.
Keyon is sprawled out on the sand, eyes glittering in the reflection from the moon, and I’m on my side, a cheek in my hand, just staring at him. I brush a finger across his cheekbone. Move it up his temple and circle down over his nose.
“You don’t let anyone hit you in the face, huh?” I murmur. “Too vain?”
He snorts and sends me a side-glance. “Right. That and I’m a momma’s boy. Momma doesn’t want her son’s handsome features ruined.” He trails a crybaby whine after the statement and smirks.
“Naw. Once they hit you in the head, your brain gets shaken and stirred and anything can happen, and I do my best to keep that from happening. If your skull’s been rattled, you’re either fine or not fine, and my favorite techniques make it hard for them to get to my face. They gotta be fast—faster than me. So far so good, but a broken nose and all that jazz? Is in my future, for sure.”
“I’m with your mother on this one,” I say, making him open his eyes fully to watch me. His mouth purses in another small smile.
“You are?” He’s playful, accepting my statement for what it is: wishful thinking.
“Yes, because you’re so pretty.”
His features still into the immobile mask he uses to protect his thoughts. It doesn’t matter that I’m stroking his face—I just lost access to him. Keyon’s pupils are swelling, taking space from his irises.
“Keyon.” I bend over him and kiss his lips. They pucker automatically against mine but don’t open. I’m not insisting. “Did I do something?”
He shakes his head almost imperceptibly on the ground. “Naw, it’s not you, babe. But girls are pretty, not men.”
I have read a few books by this author now,and with every release, I can see her writing style becoming more assured and polished, without losing her unique narrative voice. This book is no exception.
Never one to shy away from a difficult storyline, in this book, the author has given us a female lead who finds her self worth in the arms of others. Who seeks to put the horrors of the past behind her by taking control.
And Keyon has his own issues. Except his self respect is found in the ring.
Underneath all that, Ms Dee has given us the story of two young people, both hurting , both trying to heal from the traumas of their past. Delicate, touching, heartbreaking. An achingly lovely journey of redemption and forgiveness.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.
Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece–Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.
Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it’s contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon’s Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).
This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.