Reviewed by: Ilse Marijke
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
The story of Ozzy takes place in a, I shall call it, a post drug-apocalyptic America, where the division between the haves and the have nots is evident. Ozzy exists in the ‘have not’ part of it called Emporium. That world is ruled by the sale and use of recreational drugs. Ozzy, a student who works forcibly as a male prostitute at a club to pay his pimp, his studies, living expenses and drugs, to cope with his miserable life. He dreams of the day he can finish his studies and move to the west coast, and live the decent life he envisions.
While he’s at work, a teen, overdosing on drugs,is literally dropped at his feet. Jace, the teen, is revived and saved by Ozzy who he takes home. A friendship develops between the two and past events are revealed. After a couple of months of care and intimacy, love blooms between the two. But it also becomes clear that Jace is ill and needs urgent medical care to have a chance at survival. Ozzy wants to take Jace out of Emporium, but the major/pimp won’t let him go. Things go sour between the two, further complicated by territorial drug wars. Ozzy is forced to make life-altering decisions to try and save Jace’s life as well as his own in the deteriorating city they live in.
The author Rowan Massey did an excellent job with the editing of the book, something I am very keen on; because to me it conveys the author’s cares about the product that is presented to the audience. That is much appreciated. I enjoy reading romance novels, fiction, as a form of entertainment. I usually would not choose a story with this content. To be confronted with the many socio-political ills of society, such as poverty, misuse of drugs and oppression, set in a ‘nightmarish worlds. However, that is part of life’s reality and the author handled it well.
This is a well written book, just not my chosen setting, and that’s the reason why it gets four stars from me.