A high-stakes story of star-crossed lovers from Simone Elkeles, the New York Times bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series
To escape his abusive stepdad, bad boy Ryan Hess runs from his tiny Texas border town to Mexico. But his plans to keep his head down and stay out of trouble are shattered the minute he meets the beautiful and totally out of his league Dalila Sandoval.
Dalila Sandoval shouldn’t even know someone like Ryan Hess. The daughter of one of the wealthiest lawyers in Mexico, Dalila is focused on studying and planning for her bright future. Ryan is only a distraction from her dreams, but she’s never felt more alive than when she’s by his side.
Ryan and Dalila are wrong for each other in every way. And yet they can’t resist the sparks that fly when they’re together. But their love is like a flame burning too close to the fuse.
Something is going to explode. Will their love be strong enough to survive? Or will it burn them both?
The latest novel from Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry) treads well-worn territory: hard-talking bad boy Ryan meets aloof, well-dressed rich girl Dalila. In chapters that alternate between the teens' perspectives, plenty of sparks fly, resulting in ample melodrama. The first pages introduce a plethora of outsized details about Ryan: he's been to "juvie," he's an aspiring boxer, his stepfather is the sheriff in their Texas border town, his mother is a "drunk," and he's poor. Dalila's first chapter, which is peppered with Spanish words and phrases, drops a similar wealth of information: Dalila's father is a famous lawyer, her wealthy family lives over the border in Mexico, they love boxing, they live in the shadow of the Mexican cartels, and Dalila is a self-described "tough chica" but with a heart of gold. Elkeles brings her two protagonists together in a forbidden entanglement replete with Shakespearean obstacles. The boxing thread adds a fresh element to the story, while fans hoping to encounter a familiar, romantic Elkeles plot will be pleased to find that she delivers. Ages 14 up. (June)