So I was killing time in a bookstore a couple weeks ago, waiting for the hubby and the folks to meet up with me when I stumbled across this book called Boyfriend from Hell. Intrigued by the dust jacket blurb and not knowing how long I’d stay waiting, I picked it up and proceeded to read. I was decently enthralled. It isn’t really a “oh my god, can’t put it down” read but a “Ooh, I wonder what happens next!” read.
Jamie Quaid introduces us to Tina Clancy, a physically disabled and very poor law school student. She’s working in the Baltimore harbor area which, according to back story, had suffered an extreme chemical spill by local baddie chemical company…Acme Chemicals. I was worried at this point that we’d be going a bit Loony Toons, but I was willing to look passed this bit of unoriginality for the promising story.
Tina, also called Justine or Justy depending on who is talking, is working for a man named Andre Legrande (he named himself apparently. And no, I’m not joking). Andre owns most of the lucrative businesses in the chemical spill affected area referred to by the locals as The Zone. She does his books for enough money to make rent and goes to law school during the day.
The thing about the Zone is that it’s weird. Gargoyles move and buildings literally glow in the dark. People can do things that normal people can’t do. And they keep it all under wraps so they don’t get taken off up to Acme to be taken apart bit by bit.
Tina is an outsider in the Zone. She wasn’t born there but she chose to live and work there. She wanted a low profile job and living situation, having encountered a little bit of legal difficulty of her own. Tina has a physical disability brought on by a run in with some on the take cops who pushed her down some stairs. She has uneven legs from having them badly broken. We’re introduced to our female lead as a not perfect person, physically and mentally as she has a bit of a temper to her.
But the Zone, or whatever, has decided to make her one of the boys, so to speak. When her boyfriend Max apparently tries to kill her for no apparent reason, she yells out “Damn you to hell!” and off he goes. The next day, she wakes up to reporters and perfect hair. Apparently, her form of vigilante justice gives her gifts, which are currently manifesting as physical changes. We find out a little later that she as been claimed as a “Saturn’s daughter”. This is apparently a person who was born at a particular time under particular astrological events that aren’t really clearly explained because our heroine doesn’t believe in that stuff.
Eventually it comes out that Max wasn’t trying to kill her but was, in fact, the victim himself. So Tina, with help from her fellow Zonies, has to figure out who tried to kill Max and hopefully how to retrieve him from the depths of hell in the process. And she still has to study for her final law exams and figure out just what is happening to herself.
I liked this book enough to pick up the sequel to it and I’m hoping there’s another one. I also like the fact that while there was some sexual tension going on, there wasn’t actual sex. Like I’ve said before, I have no trouble with sex scenes in books but I hate when the sex becomes the central theme of the book. Jamie Quaid did a very good job for what I can only presume is her first book. Rating: B+/A. Give it a shot.