Author: Andrea Lynn Colt
Publication Date: September 10, 2012
Source: provided by author for review
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
At any rate, I gave Torched a try, and I am ever so glad I did. Want to know just how much I enjoyed this YA whodunnit, with it's fantastic cast of characters and fun and sometimes frivolous plot? So much so that I couldn't even be bothered to jot down any notes while I was reading. That's almost unheard of for me. (It also might have helped me along the way to sort things out so that I might have deduced who the culprit was much sooner, but that's neither here nor there.) I started this book one night and had to put it aside after only a chapter or two because of other obligations, but once I got back to it, I didn't want to put the book down until I knew who was framing Rose.
As determined as Rose was to find out who set her up, I might have been even more so. That might have more to do with the fact that I allowed myself to be misdirected time and again, chasing down every lead and red herring thrown at me. Even worse, I felt like the characters were laughing at me because even they alluded to their own red herring. *sigh* That's okay, though. I had the evil-doer pegged before the ending, and that's enough to satisfy my need to always be right. =)
So, the mystery is fun and challenging...we've established that. The characters, too, are scintillating and fleshed out, each with their own motives or vendettas against the seemingly perfect Rose. Obviously, Rose thinks Paxton's finally gone for the jugular with their pranks and is the one responsible for framing her. But he has an alibi. And then he agrees to help her figure out the mystery, which surprises Rose even more. This leads them both to reevaluate their friendship, their rivalry, and their relationship as a whole...with tantalizing results. ;0)
I'm focusing on Rose and Paxton because after the events leading to Rose's arrest, her friends, her boyfriend, and her family practically abandon her, leaving her to sort out the mess on her own, which says a lot about her relationships and the types of people she allowed in her life to begin with. And about how she got herself into this position in the first place. A lot of people have been hurt by her and her friends' antics over the years, and someone's finally decided to make her pay the price...with a vengeance.
Torched is a lesson in love, understanding, and taking care to follow the Golden Rule. But it's also fun and sexy and perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan/Hundred Oaks series. This sweet contemporary romance is being hailed across the blogosphere and with good reason. Andrea Lynn Cort is an author to watch, and I can't wait to see what fun she concocts next.
"About last weekend," Paxton began. I cut him off.
"Oh, I already know what happened." Did I really sound breezy, or was it in my head?
"Sure. You turn into a werewolf at noon every Sunday, and didn't want me to see." That startled a laugh from Paxton, and I smiled. "That's it, isn't it? I bet it's hairy and gross. So thanks for sparing me."
His room was empty, but I heard the shower running down the hall. I was banging on the bathroom door before I could think twice about it.
Movement inside, and then the door whipped open. "Rose?"
"Way to go, Callaway. You've won first place in the jerkwad awards." Then I realized Paxton was naked but for a blue towel around his waist, held by one hand at his hip. I swallowed. That was a lot of skin. My eyes skimmed the top edge of the towel. Suddenly I felt like I was a sophomore again, noticing Paxton's new football chest for the first time.
Paxton stood there dripping, then swiped water from his face.
"This isn't an emergency, is it?"
"Um." My mouth was open. I shut it.
"Whatever it is, can it wait until I'm done with my shower?" Then Paxton noticed me staring. He grinned. "Unless you wanted to join me."