Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lines in The Sand by Lyn Gala

Lines in the SandLines in the Sand by Lyn Gala

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since Carl walked up to him in prison, all balls and no sense of self-protection, asking for a job, Pete wanted the kid. But he’ll never force himself onto another man. Not even on this man, who ratted him out, who made him flee to Mexico.  Not this man, who showed him a strange kind of loyalty, keeping Pete’s finances a secret from the feds even as he lead them to the graves of Pete’s victims. Which is why Pete can afford a rather comfortable life now, and which is also why Pete felt obliged to save Carl from vengeful mobsters as well as from himself, since the man is obviously too dumb or too stubborn to watch his own back.

With two so flawed heroes, a murderer and a traitor as the main characters - in a romance, of all things - it’s not an easy task to get readers to like those men.  And yet, I couldn’t help doing exactly this.

The author doesn’t make excuses for them, they are what they are, but for all the crimes they committed, they have consciences. Even better, each becomes the other man’s conscience out of care for each other. While their relationship started out on an utter imbalance of powers,  their mutual care makes them equals in the end.

Over the course of almost a year they spend together, they don’t suddenly turn into saints. Nevertheless, the new morals they come to accept for themselves make them fit in with the society they are now a part of.

This society is portrayed in a matter-of-fact, non-judgmental way through well – wrought supportive characters:  Jose, Pete’s best friend and business partner;  Castellan, a federale and Jose’s cousin; Vincente, a cop who attempts to blackmail Pete. They may appear openly corrupt and their values may appear as strange as they’re peculiar, but those people, too, are who they are, trying to make the best of what Fate dealt them by drawing their own lines in the sand.

As much as I loved this book, it had its flaws, the biggest being repetitive writing. Some of the character’s reflections were rehashed so often I eventually felt hit over the head with them.  And unfortunately, there were typos and grammar errors too numerous and too obvious for me to ignore, particularly towards the end.

This aside, I can only recommend this book. The characters grew on me a lot, and I finished their story with a happy smile for them.

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