Wednesday, April 29, 2015

review || THE HANDLER

The Handler
by D.R. Graham

Publisher: Entangled Embrace (4/28/2015)
Series: Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club, book 2
Genre: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Purchase links || amazon | bn || add to goodreads

Rating: ★★★

He promised he would never be an outlaw . . .

While searching for the member of an outlaw motorcycle gang who murdered his dad, Cain Allen is offered a boatload of cash to "handle" the stunning teen popstar Lincoln Todd. Although he doesn't need the headache of a high-maintenance celebrity, getting out of town will help him keep a low profile until he testifies against the other two killers.

Touring Europe with Lincoln proves to be more complicated than Cain anticipated, and despite his efforts, the line between their personal and professional lives blurs. She's sweet, smart, and totally unpredictable. And he loves it.

But Lincoln's association with Cain puts her in more danger than anyone could have imagined. When he joins forces with the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club to protect her, Cain discovers the lengths he's willing to go, and the person he's willing to become to protect the people he loves...

{ review } .

I don't tend to read a lot of young adult books anymore. I'm good with this whole "new adult" movement, but the young adult ones I feel I have certainly grown out of.

While this story deals with the more young adult crowd (we have a seventeen and nineteen year old), there is still a new adult air about it. Jamie "Cain" Allen is the son of a motocycle club man -- Southpaw -- who was killed. When his dad was killed, his mother suffered pretty badly, too. As such, Cain is trying to pay his mother's hospital bills, keep his kid sister safe, and pay for rent. His girlfriend is back home and he's pretty sure she's sleeping around, but he's in love and will just put that on the backburner, something to worry about later. He's been living with the club, in the non-member house, and has missed rent last month and this month.

Before going out for his electrician job, he's given an ultimatum -- two months' rent by Friday or he was out, kid of Southpaw or not.

...and this, my friends, is where things started to be a little too good to be true in my book.

The job is for a music video set for some Lincoln Todd chick, a sixteen year old pop sensation who just left the arms of Disney. But the girl pulling sexual moves in a shower and bed is certainly not someone Cain wants his kid sister to look up to.

Lincoln is actually closer to eighteen than sixteen, but her father felt that she would get more jobs as a younger actress/singer, one who appeared older than she was. Lincoln, who's real name is Tessa, has been nothing but a paycheck for her father, and he's not even around anymore to boss her around -- he hired someone to do that. All Lincoln really wants is a break, a break from the diva attitude, a break from singing, a break from touring.

She's done.

But then she meets the smart mouthed, brutally honest Cain.

Cain is offered ten grand a day to hang out with her and be her handler. Not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, he takes the job, even though his girlfriend isn't exactly thrilled with the prospect of him hanging out with a girl twenty-four seven.

I enjoyed the friendship that these two eventually fell in to, and equally, I loved them more as their feeling grew. While this could story could have easily been filled with sex -- they were the ages and had the backgrounds -- it wasn't, and I rather appreciated it. If gave Tessa and Jamie's feelings more truth to them -- the actions and feelings between the two were about Jamie and Tessa, and not Cain, the handler, and Lincoln, the popstar.

This was an altogether, well-written cute story. I just felt that some of the events were horribly coincidental and unlikely.

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