4 hard-hitting Stars
It’s taken me quite a while to pick up a book by Scott Hildreth. I’ve known about him as an author almost right from the very moment I stepped into the indie book world. I immediately heard about his books being banned from Amazon and the controversy this was creating. I asked around about him and all I kept hearing was how dark his books were, how crazy they were, all said with a bit of a stammer and stutter as if they were talking about some weapon of mass destruction. So, to be perfectly honest, he fell off my radar. Until now.
Here’s what no one bothered to tell me: he’s a hell of a writer. He has the ability to effortlessly create characters that step off the page, crack their knuckles and then whisper their stories right into your ear. Hildreth’s writing is a perfect balance between understated, precise story telling and a bare-knuckled, in your face, street riot of color, words and images. Every scene is paced so gorgeously that by the end of the book you are both begging for it and utterly satiated. I’m telling you, this man can write.
I’m writing this review backwards from my typical style. I usually start with some central theme as an introduction, move on to characters and then talk about the writing. But I had to flip it this time because I wanted everyone who reads this review to know, immediately, that Scott Hildreth is a brilliant fucking author.
Shane Dekkar is a boxer. He is also a one-man crusader to keep women safe from the assholes they sometimes get attached to. He’s a fairy tale character. The kind of man that woos women simply by breathing on the page because he’s crazy hot, quiet, kind, smart and will do anything to keep you safe. He’s a modern day knight in shining armor all the way through.
Mike Ripton is also a boxer. And he’s larger than life. He glides onto the page already full formed, completely prepared to handle anything and everything you can throw at him. There is never any question to this man’s character, ability or motives. Ripp is exactly who he is, 100% of the time. And he’s another fairytale character for a completely different kind of woman.
Kace could have easily been the damsel in distress in this story. It wouldn’t have been a big leap and might have been an easier story to write. But instead, she is introduced to us as a woman who comes face to face with an asshole daily and still keeps going. She may put her head down and go out of her way not to rile him up, but she never breaks and she never lays down her strength. And while Shane may give her the attention and reinforcement she needs to get herself out of that relationship, the choice and action is all hers. She saves herself and that’s not something you see a lot of in books these days.
Is this book a love story? Yes. Does it have hot sex scenes? God yes. Does it have romance and a happily ever after? Yes and yes. Is it also so much more than that? You bet your ass.
So. Why only 4 stars when I’m all but drooling over this book? Because while this book has me utterly enamored with Hildreth’s writing and ability to create characters, I want him to keep pushing. While he made new choices both with story and character in this book, I know he can go farther. And I want that. I want him to push and keep pushing.
Scott Hildreth’s writing is subtle and restrained. It’s not lightning in a bottle, it’s not watching a 27-car pile up on the 10 in LA. What it is, however, is alive. His writing has its own nervous system that fires and responds to the story as it unfolds. And that life reels you in and makes you part of it.
Do NOT waste one more moment not reading this au