Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review - Once Perfect by Cecy Robson

Today, I finished reading, Once Perfect: Shattered Past, by Cecy Robson. This book is of a genre that I have not been familiar with. A romance story under the New Adult label. The description of the book intrigued me.

Mateo Tres Santos is a guy from the rough side of town. He is an underground MMA fighter with a criminal past. Mateo works as a bounder in a club and is well respected by his co-workers. He is a complete badass when you look at him. Having a large build, tattoos, along with his past stint in prison, Mateo is one who's appearance puts fear in Evelyn.

Evelyn is a college student who grew up as the only child in a wealthy family. Her mother died when she was a young child and she was raised by her father. Misdeeds of her father prior to his suicide has caused her the loss of the family wealth. Upon his death, Evelyn was forced to face a life of poverty. Having grown up with wealth, she is completely ill equipped to face this future. Friends and those close to her prior to her father's death are no longer a part of her life. They have turned their backs on her in her time of need.

Evelyn finally finds work at a local club. It is here that she meets Mateo. She steers clear of him out of fear. His criminal record, tattoos, and his badass demeanor at work has her completely unnerved when he is around. That is until the night Mateo surprises her by coming to her aid. Mateo, she learns, is a gentle giant. Being the lead bouncer of the club, he has a tough guy image that he has honed well. In private however, he shows Evelyn that he is someone she will never need to fear.

Both Mateo and Evelyn are tortured souls. Each has a past that threatens to consume their lives. Because of their hidden pasts, each is broken and struggles to get through each day. It is compelling to see their vulnerability and how they face it together. Each try to face their personal demons alone. They finally realize that it is their leaning on each other that makes them strong enough to overcome the demons that haunt them. As they faced their struggles, I found myself wanting to cheer them on as they worked through the baggage that they each brought to their relationship.

There are other characters in this book that I connected with as well. Mateo's two younger sisters were especially strong in their influence on me. I find myself now hoping that Cecy Robson will write their stories as well. The traumas that Mateo deals with are ones that have affected his sisters as well. Each had their own experiences with the antagonist that has had a major influence on how they relate to others. I would love to see the girls each have a story that leads them to finding happiness as well.

The humor in the book is of the snarky sort that you would expect from a person in their 20's. It was refreshing and I found myself laughing often. This book was written in the first person. Typically, I don't like books written in that way, but this one worked for me. It was told from Evelyn's perspective. I love the balance that the author had in her writing. In previous books by other authors, that hasn't always been the case. Some write the first person perspective to the point of being anal. As a reader, I really don't care to have an unfiltered glimpse into the person's thoughts and emotions. While this book does let you know what is going on in Evelyn's mind, it is done in a way that eases you through it. Thank heavens!!! I know that I, for one, have no desire to be a fly on the wall inside a college student's mind. <shudder> LOL

Overall, I highly recommend this book. The struggles that are faced in the story are definitely adult issues that I would not suggest for a young teen or someone who is sensitive to topics of abuse. The abuses mentioned are not done in a graphic way, but some gentle souls may have a hard time with it.

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