Happiness doesn’t come without a price.
Rosemary Young knows the Lane. It’s where she grew up, raising a brother barely younger than she was. It’s where she served drinks, wearing a gaudy uniform in a low-lit bar to support her mama. It’s where she fell for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Brandon Williams might’ve had a taste for gambling and been headed nowhere fast, but something about him made her almost forget every promise she ever made.
These days when Rosie walks the Lane, it’s on the orders of the man who owns it. The man who owns her—Joshua King. A bet gone wrong ties her to him, serving as the collateral Brandon didn’t have. For Brandon the guilt is a white-hot brand, but Rosie can’t bring herself to regret it completely. The safety of those she loves is worth the sacrifice.
Now King’s called Brandon back to town early and given Rosie one last job to do before they’re free. Nothing—not even King—will keep Brandon from Rosie, not after three years of simply existing without her. And before it’s all over, everything that had been done in darkness will come to light and nothing in their lives will ever be the same again.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
Those who have been following me on Twitter and at the blog here know that I absolutely went crazy over the first book in The Lane series. I loved it, I recommended it to anyone who would listen, and I might Twitter stalk Wyllys now because of my love of that book. When I saw the second book, I couldn’t request it fast enough. I’m kinda disappointed to report that this one just didn’t work for me.
Rosie has lived her whole life on the Lane. She was barely scraping by when she first met Brandon and their romance heated quickly. But when one bad bet put Brandon in a debt he can’t pay, both he and Rosie will have to give up the only life they knew to pay it off.
Now, Rosie has everything she could want, except for her dignity. She is working as the right hand man to the corrupt self-proclaimed King of The Lane, and Rosie finds herself doing things she never imagined she would have to do. But now that Brandon’s back and her years of required service are almost over, Rosie is looking forward to a future that she desperately wants, but might not be able to get.
I’m not sure if my dislike of Rosie and Brandon from the first book colored by view of this one, but I really had a hard time connecting with the characters, the story, and the book overall, especially after the first third of the book or so. I found myself enjoying the fact that Wyllys took the time to really dive deep into Brandon and Rosie’s past, and that we got an in-depth look at what their relationship was like before their world imploded around them. However, once Wyllys jumped forward in time, I really struggled to stay connected with the book and characters.
While I felt a kind of connection to Rosie in the first part of the book, I really lost that connection once she got pulled into the lifestyle she never wanted. It almost seemed as if she closed off the interesting part of herself to the reader as well, and became a shell of a person. I really had a hard time connecting with her because of it. I just couldn’t seem to break through her icy exterior to become invested in her as a heroine.
Likewise, I never really felt like we got a good idea of who Brandon was. Sure, he came across as caring and sweet at times, especially when it came to Rosie. However, his motivations were unclear and despite the sexy times they had together, I never really got the sense that there was a deeper emotional connection between them.
That being said, I think the romance really lacked as well. Again, the sex scenes were hot, but the emotionally bond that I love to read about just wasn’t there. I never really felt like Rosie and Brandon felt anything strong for each other than lust, because they never really made it a point of showing or even talking about their deeper feelings for one another. I felt like the romance wasn’t even close to matching what was given to us in the first book.
All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with the second Lane book. I so desperately wanted to find a way to connect and fall in love with Rosie and Brandon, but it just never happened. There were many times throughout my read where I felt like an outsider who was looking in, never getting the inside jokes or the reasons why people acted the way they did, or said the things they said. It was not a great read for me.
I give Losing Streak a D