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First in a Duet. Does not stand alone. Contemporary Romance.
It had been a bit since I sat down and completely gobbled up a book in one sitting, but when I got my copy of The Outskirts by T.M. Frazier , I dropped everything I needed to do and was completely consumed. It was almost strange how I was so transported into this sleepy, abandoned swamp town in Florida, that I felt like I watched a movie, it was so visual. I don’t think I have ever felt the need to pull photos for a book before, but I found myself looking for the visuals to match what I read when I finished. I suppose I just didn’t want to leave The Outskirts. This one will be a re-read for sure.
(Photo on my blog, Ana's Attic Book Blog)
Sawyer grew up in the church. Her father was a very strict, religious zealot and women were completely subservient to men. She and her mother were regularly beaten. She was home schooled and completely sheltered. Women were not to show skin or have any type of relations outside of marriage. But when her mother took the easy way out, 21 year old Sawyer was left alone with her father. Until she came upon a secret gift from her mother; an escape. And she grabbed it an ran off to an abandoned old swamp town in Florida.
She quickly found out that the land she was settling on was right next to an angry, drunk, but gorgeous recluse who did not want her there AT.ALL. Luckily, the town’s sheriff stepped in to help the innocent girl out. A beautiful black woman named Josh, I freaking LOVED the sheriff! But she wasn’t able to stop the angry Finn from continually trying to intimidate Sawyer into leaving.
"The land. The town. The people. Everything was new to me. But angry men weren’t, and I refused to be intimidated. Not by my own fears. Not by the church. Not by my father. Not by anyone. Not ANYMORE."
There was certainly tension between the neighbors.
“I was thinking that I didn’t know a naked man could be so beautiful.”
As I said, Sawyer was VERY sheltered. Wearing long skirts and long-sleeved shirts in the Florida heat because she grew up not able to show skin, Sawyer had a whole new world opening to her.
“If I was wrong, and it turned out that kissing was punishable by an eternity at the devil’s side, then kissing Finn might just be worth the risk.”
Finn used to be the town hero, the popular boy. But a tragedy he blamed himself for drove the guy into the swamp, seen around town so rarely he was like a swamp yeti. Meanwhile, Sawyer got a job in town and got really friendly with Josh (the sheriff), so if Finn was really into her, he may have to leave his swamp shack a bit.
I have so many amazing quotes that I pulled for this review. I am dying to share them, but I’m afraid to give too much away, and I also realized that all the quotes I pulled were super sweet and romantic. While this story itself is way lighter and sweeter than T.M. Frazier’s other books, there are secrets and twists that may change that in the next book, and a grittiness that only T.M. can pen.
The town itself was like another character. It came so completely alive for me. It is a Florida town that originally built a water park at the edge of The Everglades. Housing communities were started, stores were built, but the project was abandoned and the water park, town and even the exit was getting lost back into the swamp. T.M. Frazier is great at writing these sleepy Florida towns, and being a Floridian I may be more able to envision them than most, but I doubt it, because her attention to detail can transport anyone there.
•I was sucked in and read it in one sitting.
•The vivid descriptions of the town.
•While I usually can’t stand waiting on edge for a second in a duet, I am so glad there is more!
•The end was a surprise.
•I absolutely loved the side characters.
•Sawyer was strong and vulnerable at the same time.
•Finn, despite being an angry and mean drunk at first was ♥♥♥
•Together the couple was completely magnetic.
•I felt like Sawyer sometimes seemed a little more worldly than she should have, given her upbringing.
•Sometimes I had trouble with all the unisexual names. Sawyer, Finn and Josh (a girl) can all go the other way, and I had to re-read a few passages because I confused the characters.
The Down and Dirty:
Though this isn’t the violent, gritty, depraved world of The King Series, T.M. Frazier managed to inject that grittiness into a new town where the characters have their own demons and secrets that I look forward to uncovering in the next book, The Outliers. There is something so uniquely compelling about The Outskirts. The forgotten, swampy Florida town and its characters came completely alive for an unputdownable one-sitting read. I can't wait to go back in The Outliers.
Rating: 5 Stars, 4 Heat
I loved,this one just like I loved all her books can't wait to hear the rest of it.
Totally addictive reading. You know from the off that this is only part of the story so when you reach the end you don't feel cheated like when some authors break up one story, with abrupt and incomplete ends, just to make multiple books off the one book.
From the off I was intrigued, wasn't sure at first but once you get deeper in it's completely enthralling. The ending of this part is brilliant and dramatic. Really great cliff hanging end. Would highly recommend. Can't wait for next book to find out what happens next.