Roxie Bailey is an 18-year-old college student hiding a terrible secret—a secret that makes it difficult for her to form relationships, other than her online chats with fellow psychology students, in particular ALEXANDERTHEGR8T. She finds herself in a tricky situation when her Claire, her roommate, insists that she go along with her and her boyfriend, Julio to meet his roommate Hector. Hector develops a liking for her, but she’s reluctant to let it get beyond friendship. Then, she convinces Hector to accompany her as she tracks down the mysterious Masked Man reported to be living near campus.
From this point on, things get complicated. Roxie meets the Masked Man face to face. Alexander, a recluse who has suffered severe burns which have disfigured him, is at first hesitant, but quickly a bond develops between them, a bond that could be severed when Roxie learns that Alexander was maimed when her brother set off a bomb in their high school on the first day of school. Can a victim of the Back to School Bomber deal with the emotions he’s feeling for his assailant’s sister?
The Nines, by Dakota Madison and Sierra Avalon, takes us alternately into the lives, minds, and hearts of Roxie and Alexander as they learn to live with their pain. The suspense is ratcheted up several knots when Claire fails to return to the dorm, and they learn that she’s been killed by members of a secret fraternity near the campus. Claire’s boyfriend wants more than justice, he wants revenge. But, the fraternity members are all rich and well-connected—and basically consider themselves above the law.
As Alexander and Roxie set out to make things right, their relationship grows even stronger.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. The authors write with a level of authority and understanding of human nature and human relationships that will suck you in and keep you reading until the end. Given the recent news stories about fraternity misbehavior around the U.S., this book is more than a complicate love story. It’s a story of the level of dysfunction that exists on too many college campuses, and how two people have chosen to deal with it. It might be fiction, but the way it reads, it’s all too real. A five-star must read!