Rating: 4 stars out of 5
With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.
Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.
Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.
This was a story that called to me despite it not being my usual genre. Charlie is definitely a good kid and he wants to make things better for his new foster brother. Leo is a good kid hidden underneath the surface, he has had to have a strong skin and push others away so long but Charlie quietly gets through his barriers and he doesn’t know what to do about it,
Leo has had to live his life in fear of being hurt or protecting his little sister from their father. This has caused him to grow up in ways a kid never should have to. Charlie found his home with the Poultons and hopes that Leo and Lila may be able to also.
This story was wonderfully written and I was able to see the characters feelings and emotions well. It’s heartbreaking to see Leo wanting to reach out to someone but not knowing how to and then feeling that he needs to push others away. I loved Charlie’s nurturing nature and how he uses it to calm Leo’s demons. I loved that Leo was able to confront his past in a way that finally gave him some closure and the strength to start building a new life. I love the HFN ending that gave us a great view of their progress in their relationship with each other and the family.
Cover art by G.D. Leigh is absolutely perfect for this story.
ebook, 200 pages
Published: October 9, 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English