Book Description (Goodreads):
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers. When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they're determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.
For the first few pages of the book, it's mostly narration of Leah about her life. I'll admit I got a bit bored but I knew I should be patient so I just read through it.
Leah wasn't the typical protagonist. She's the bad girl type who drinks and smokes. She lives in a trailer park with her mother who was never there. They always live near the airport so she became fascinated with airplanes and decided she wanted to become a pilot. She's different when she's flying because that's the only time she feels in control of her life. She had flying lessons with Mr. Hall who has 3 sons, 2 of them are twins, Alec and Grayson.
Alec was the "nice" guy while Grayson was known as the "blacksheep" of the family. Her relationship with both of the guys were casual until Mr. Hall died. Grayson totally changed because of that. He took the responsibility of running Hall Aviation and he needed Leah not just for the business but for another purpose. So he blackmailed Leah for her to do the job. There were a lot of arguments and of course, making out.
I had a hard time rating this one because I had mixed emotions about it. I've been weighing whether to give it a 2 or 3 stars. So I just gave it a 2.5 stars. I've seen high marks and praises about the book so I expected much from it. I'm disappointed that I didn't love it that much.
I liked some parts but that wasn't enough for me to love it. The concept was okay. I expected there'll be a climax and that's good for me. The main characters, Leah and Grayson's relationship development was predictable but acceptable for me.
On the other hand, there were some things that were lacking. First, the closure between Leah and her mom. Yeah, she's a bad mom but her character should've changed a bit. It's like on one part she's there, then she's gone again. Her presence didn't make the story better. I just wish she wasn't a part of the story at all. Second, Leah's relationship with her bestfriend Molly. I just can't understand Molly's character. She's very kind and understanding to Leah. I thought she's the open-minded one but the way she acts and the things she says at times were contradicting to her personality. Then when they fought and made out, there wasn't much explanation. They just hugged and said a few things then they're friends again, that's it. Lastly, I wasn't satisfied with the flow of the story. I just felt that more things should've happened in some scenes but then it jumped to another. It's hard to explain it more clearly so I'm sorry if you can't understand what I'm saying. Haha.
This is my first time to read Jennifer Echols' work. I don't know if I'd give her other books a chance but let's see. If you're really a fan, you should try reading it.