Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
Who doesn’t love a good, modern Romeo and Juliet with a healthy dose of magic, mafia and brainwashing? Aria Rose has lost a few months of her memory. She accepts what her parents tell her about what happened, that she had been sneaking around and falling in love with the son of a rival family. She accepts their engagement, even if she can’t remember him and the love they share. After all, how hard would it be to fall madly in love again? Very hard apparently. Especially when a mystic (magic user) captivates Aria and seems familiar in ways she can’t understand …
Hunter, the mystic, is one of those “book boyfriends” I wouldn’t mind having. Though he’s mostly a mystery for a good chunk of the book, he is easy to sympathize with. Same with Aria. With her memory loss, she’s a bit more aware and questioning the things happening. It makes her more than just a simple society girl trying to keep her image up, partying with friends, and staying up to date with current trends. Especially after meeting Hunter and other mystics, Aria learns not to just accept the lies that her family tells, and develops into an admirably strong heroine. She’s by no means perfect. But she’ll do.
There were definitely aspects of this book that could be easily predicted. But it was in the smaller details, the characterizations and the relationships that I was swept away.
This is a solid ParaRom with a solid heroine, a good dose of mystery, and the mafia. (As a Godfather fan, there’s this giant soft spot in my heart for mafia related tales.) A good debut from Lawrence, I can only hope the second book is just as good.
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