Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Undone by the Ex-Con

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Undone by the Ex-Con (2018) Talia Hibbert

Isaac Montgomery went to jail for murder, and when he got out wrote a book that made him a millionaire. But something is hinky with his publisher, and he needs to know what it is.

Well. Isaac’s soul could never be washed clean. But he was filthy fucking rich and over the course of the last three years, he’d confirmed what he’d always suspected: money could buy happiness. Or safety, at least, which was close enough.

Lizzie Olusegun-Keynes was a dancer and lived for dancing until her body turned traitor. Her diagnosis of diabetes turned out to be something she couldn’t control through strength of will alone, and so she takes a job as a private dance teacher as she tries to rebuild herself.

Mother would be horrified at the appearance of stretch marks on her daughter’s once-tiny hips— but Lizzie found her plumpness… Satisfying. At least she liked something about herself these days, even if it was shallow. How refreshing it felt to let her body exist without conforming to anyone else’s standards— functional or aesthetic.

I started reading this series because I read and loved Work for It, which is Lizzy’s brother’s story. Because the events that lead Olu to that story occurred in this book.

The three girls are the lynchpin for making me like the main characters. Lizzie is rude to Isaac out of the box, and Isaac isn’t a whole lot nicer to her, but both are kind to and protective of the three teens, so we can see through their actions what we miss in their words.

What I liked best was just how much Olu loved Lizzy.

He came to sit beside her, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. “I did Google— you know. Diabetes, and what have you. I’m just not sure I’ve wrapped my head around it yet. But I will!”

“You don’t need to,” she said quietly. “I have everything under control.”

“And I’m your brother,” he said, his voice censorious. “We’re in this together. You know as well as I do that control can be a heavy burden. So you’ll share it, and I’ll help. Okay?”

Not that I didn’t like Isaac, because I did. He is presented as a thug, but the more you learn about him, the more clear it becomes he’s anything but a thug. He has a reputation to keep up, because that’s how he survived where he grew up, but he isn’t a thug–and wasn’t truly ever one.

One thing I especially liked was when Isaac was telling Lizzy about growing up, about how he got into crime in the first place. That’s not the first or even second time I’ve heard those reasons, and they break my heart every time.

The other scene that broke my heard was when Olu and Lizzy went to talk to their parents. It was hard not to cry.

It’s a lovely story.

Publisher: Nixon House
Rating: 8.5/10


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