Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jacob Riley is a typical Hollywood former child star with issues. He has already done prison time and at the age of twenty-six has been arrested again.
Ethan Myers is the owner and manager of Macs, an education center providing teaching and learning to local low income families. Losing his partner to cancer leaves him lost and alone and he buries himself in his work to start to mend his broken heart.
Sparks fly when Jacob has to complete his community service at Macs. Their relationship grows against a background of disenfranchised street gang members, arson, the Oscars, and despite their prejudices.
Can Jacob Riley be saved?
RJ Scott has a clear eyed view of addiction and its effects on the person in the center but all of those around them. Moments pulls us into the ugly mindset of Jacob at the beginning of the story, making it clear to the reader what his self destructive life style is costing him and how it is hurting those next to him. Jacob is deep in self denial, easily placing the blame for all his problems everywhere but where it belongs, on himself. Jacob is a dislikable piece of work, and Scott has done her homework on addictions when creating a portrait of a man whose life is spiraling out of control. It is realistic, and absolutely believable. It will take half the story before the reader will start to connect with Jacob but we do and then we start to hope that he will find his way clear.
Scott’s other characters are equally complex and endearing, from Ethan to those secondary characters whose lives are enriched by Mac’s. Scott gives the reader a real feel for the spirit of community that exists in such a situation as well as the dangers that are inherent by locating the center near active gang influences. The author has a number of plot threads in motion in the story, almost too many to fully explore in this length book. I could wish that the gang element had been enlarged, especially considering the importance it plays in the lives of three characters so central to the story. Certain gang members appear, act accordingly as gangs would and then disappear for the rest of the novel. And another surprising element occurs late in the story with no hint that it might occur earlier in the narrative. It would have been nice to have laid a foundation for such actions earlier because for me to have that person act as they did made no sense as far as their personality and character was concerned. Sorry to be vague, but necessary so as not to give away any spoilers.
But those concerns aside, Moments has a terrific story to tell and RJ Scott delivers it concisely, and with great clarity about her subject. I connected with these characters and that kept me by their sides every step of the way to the end. Don’t hesitate to pick this one up!
Cover art by Meredith Russell is nice and works for the character but I would have liked to have more content involved in the design.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2nD5vcE
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nDg1k2
ebook, 3rd edition
Published April 12th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published October 23rd 2010)