Bastard by J.L. Perry
Published by Self-published on September 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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***THIS BOOK IS A STANDALONE AND TOTALLY AWAY FROM THE DESTINY SERIES***
My name is Carter Reynolds. I was born a bastard and I’ll die a bastard. I learnt it at a young age, and nothing and nobody can change that. I’m on a one-way path of destruction, and god help anyone who gets in my way. I hate my life. Actually, I hate pretty much everything.
That’s until I meet the kid next door. Indi-freakin’-ana. My dislike for her is instant. From the moment I lay eyes on her, she ignites something within me. She makes me feel things I thought I was incapable of feeling. I don’t like it, not one bit. When she looks at me with her big, beautiful, haunting, green eyes, it’s like she can see into the depths of my soul. It freaks me the hell out. She’s like sunshine and rainbows in my world of gloom and doom. I hate sunshine and rainbows.
I’m Indiana Montgomery, my friends call me Indi. Despite losing my mum at the age of six, I have a wonderful life and great friends. My dad more than makes up for the fact that I only have one parent. I’m his little girl, the centre of his world. I adore him.
When Carter Reynolds moves in next door, my life takes a turn for the worse. He’s gorgeous—sinfully hot, but that’s where my compliments end. He seems hell bent on making my life miserable. He acts tough, but when I look into his eyes I don’t see it. I see hurt and pain. To me, he seems lost.
I should hate him for the way he treats me, but surprisingly I don’t. If anything, I feel sorry for him. I want to help him find peace. Help him find the light that I know is buried somewhere within his darkness, but, he won’t have a bar of it.
He’s warned me time and time again to stay away, but I can’t. I’m drawn to him for some reason. He’s always referring to himself as a bastard. That may be true, but to me, he’s more like a beautifully, misunderstood bastard. Whether he likes it or not, I refuse to give up on him.
***WARNING This book is recommended for persons over the age of 18 years, due to sexual content and coarse language. (less)
The title, Bastard lead me to believe it would be a story with a fair bit of angst and it was, up until over half way, then it changed into a sweet story. The beginning of the story is set in a high school environment with the main characters dealing with a lot more than their fellow students. It brings all the angst and drama you would expect. Knowing their whole life was ahead of them, hope fueled my reading and I anticipated there would be goodness to behold if they could make it through the tough times to adulthood.
Carter has a tough upbringing with a once and only interaction with his grandfather that had a detrimental effect on his self-esteem. Knowing his own father was willingly absent from the time he was conceived, he learns early on the meaning of the term Bastard.
When Carter’s mother remarries, they move into his step-father’s home which happens to be next door to Indie. Carter does everything he can to avoid her, but his mother suggests that he give her a ride to school. This arrangement ticks both Indie and Carter off and makes life a challenge for both of them.
Indi was a beautiful girl, raised in a very loving environment and it showed. When she meets her new neighbour Carter, she tries to be welcoming but is not prepared for the walls he puts up. Between her and her best friend Megan they begin to slowly wear him down, sometimes deliberately, others unintentionally. Carter doesn’t miss her beauty for one moment, in fact he thinks she will be better off without him.
The character development is handled well through alternate POVs and there’s no doubt as to where each character is at. The sections I struggled with were when the story was based in the present and how the dilemma they were facing was told. It felt rigid and more of an account rather than the style of writing adopted to depict their early years. I get that they were older, but the way Carter interacted with everyone felt so far removed from the 17 year old we got to know so well. There were sections that felt under explored, especially with her employer, their post school years and of course his mother’s story. Maybe they’re to be shared in another book, but reading about the missing years would probably have bridged the changes in Cart’s personality in my opinion.
The first two-thirds had me hooked but after then, I struggled to keep reading. The subject at hand in the second half heavily influenced how it could be told but I still thought I would enjoy the story more as it progressed. I’d invested so much time that it seemed foolish to stop, so I kept going. I’m pleased I did, because I was rewarded with a beautiful ending and many sweet moments in between.
What I loved:
- Indie’s dad and the way he took time to connect with Carter
- Hanging out after dark
- Indie’s upbeat personality
What I struggled with:
- Cart’s lifestyle in the present, wondered how it was possible in such a short time
- Going from angst to chilled, noting there were anxious times in the latter
Lily’s rating: 3 stars
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