Reviewed by Karin
A different romance
Not exactly a romance; almost a character study of the two main characters; yet a romance. This is a thinking man's (or woman's) romance.
I have to admit I started with the last chapter, then read the next to last, etc. for a few chapters, then reread from the beginning. I had to know how it ended before I began.
The story: Melody Grace McCartney has been a lot of different people over her 26 year lifetime. When she was 6, she and her parents witnessed a horrific mob hit by the Bovaro family. Since then, they have been on the move in the witness protection program, though her parents were later murdered. Their testimony didn't matter in the the case against Tony Bovaro, because the elder Bovaro got off. Seemingly it did matter in a lot of peripheral cases, though that doesn't hold any significance for Melody.
She contacts the program again, claiming she has been found, simply because she is bored.
And now as she is being moved again, the younger Bovaro shows up with orders to kill her, but he has other ideas. He has the crazy idea that he can set her free to find her own self, when she doesn't even know who she is. Will his plan work?
In the meantime, she is pulled back by the witness protection program who finally offers her an offer that might mean something. They treat criminals in the program better than they do innocent witnesses. Which will she choose?
Jonathan Bovaro is already in love with her, with the real her, with the her that has been so many different people. He knows them all. And their two lives are not so very different in many ways.
The math: She's a mathematician and in her most recent life, the program set her up to teach math. (Never mind she has no real credentials.) How she grades her average class is a sweet revelation. The sense of certainty that is math pervades a lot of the book and how she reasons.
I thought it was clever to start each chapter heading with an algebraic equation. I thought they might be a title for the chapter, some cryptic thing, but once I figured out chapter 2 and chapter 5, I had a pretty good idea, then I had to figure out what some of the symbols meant, because I have long ago forgotten them, though I used to love algebra.
At one point she is bothered by three young men. Her put down of the young man that comes over to her sounds like a mathematician -- and is surely one for the books.
My take: This book is well written. There is much to like about the book!!! My only reservation is that Jonathan is a kind of loose cannon, with a short trigger. He has no problem with violence, but he has never killed before. I wondered how little it might take for him to turn against her and how far that violence would then go. I'm guessing RL might go that way, but this is a book.
I understand there is a sequel. The Exceptions.