Title: Wesley (The Son Series, #1)
Author: Leanne Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 15th
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
Sometimes being wrong is such a good thing!
I volunteered to read an ARC of Wesley several weeks ago in conjunction with a blog tour. Then I had a meltdown I’d committed myself to reading a whiney, juvenile, coming of age story.
But, I cleared an afternoon and sat down with this read… and didn’t stop reading until I finished it!
It’s not just a solid, captivating read, but it’s intelligent, insightful, snarky… and heartbreaking.
Wesley No-Last-Name considers himself a traveler—living life on his own terms on the road, doing odd jobs here and there to get by. He’s actually a foster kid who’s found life off the grid freer and safer than being continuously victimized by the system meant to protect him.
Wesley isn’t a druggie criminal-type, but to help a friend in need, he crosses a line and subsequently gets caught. Expecting to be arrested and jailed—something the claustrophobic Wesley dreads—he receives a different punishment to atone for his misstep… he becomes part of a family.
Wesley’s POV was difficult to read. He’s never known true kindness and concern, or even minimal consideration. The concept of family is nonexistent to him and he believes those who believe in it are clueless how the real world works. Though he is treated well, Wesley is always waiting for the other shoe to drop and for the humiliation, neglect, and cruelty to arrive.
But that will not happen with Tara Kincaid around.
The café-owner, seeing a lot of her past in Wesley, knows there’s more to him than what he allows others to see and convinces her fish and game enforcement officer hubby to take a chance on the young man who only shares his first name… nothing else.
College-age son, Wyatt, is not so accepting or welcoming and shows it every chance he gets. (For some reason, this guy reminded me of good old Dawson Leery from Dawson’s Creek, with his why is the world conspiring to ruin my perfect existence-attitude.)
Much more accepting is Wyatt’s girlfriend, Dani. She comes to realize Wesley is hiding from… and lying to… himself. She also wonders why she’s more preoccupied with thoughts of him instead of Wyatt.
It’s obvious Tara knows—or hopes—Wesley’s short time with her family will give him pause to change his traveler ways, but I believe none of them were prepared for the changes in themselves.
Besides foster care, Wesley deals with child abuse, sexual molestation, domestic violence, and race… all without being heavy-handed, preachy or beating the reader up. Wesley’s mature content is intended for an adult audience. It’s also a diverse read that doesn’t put its diversity on parade. It’s simply about people living with and relating to each other and proving family is determined by more than blood.
I have no problem admitting I was wrong in prejudging Wesley and recommend it to all readers interested in a compelling story full of complex characters. I hit the preorder button before I finished Wesley’s story… and I preordered book two—Wyatt.
Don’t fall behind, download this one today!
Yeah, I don’t trust them.
Who are they? The family who takes me in after they catch me making a rare mistake. They offer me a deal that allows me to make amends while staying with them and working. I’ve never had a permanent home and I’d long since run away from the foster care system after my last “home” had someone using my back for a cigarette tray. My means of supporting myself? Whatever necessary. That includes anything and everything I needed to do to survive. That’s all my life has been about anyway: survival. And you know what? I’ve done just that. Survived. And thrived while doing so.
Then this strange family decides to rescue me. Though not for a moment do I need rescuing. I’ve made my life something interesting and important while remaining independent. I’m neither homeless, nor a criminal. I’ll do my penance in this small town of Silver Springs, but nothing will make me lose sight of the life waiting for me on the road.
I don’t trust their motives for a second and I’m ready at any moment for it to go wrong. Nothing is going to make me believe in them. Even as I meet Dani Dawson, who is a waitress in the café where I work and is dating the son of the family I’m staying with. She tries to show me a softer side to life. Still, I know that nothing lasts: not food, shelter, parents, friends, brothers, families, and certainly not love. Especially if you’re relying on others for it. I rely on no one but myself. Always have and always will. No matter what. So, I’m ready for it all to go to crap, but until then? Joke’s on all of them and I’ll take advantage of it until the very last moment.