Book Review & Giveaway! ESCAPE by: Deana Birch

The only thing she has to give is exactly what they want.

The Covington Heights Crew has a funny way of protecting their own. With rapes from rival gangs and human trafficking riddling their poverty-stricken streets, they’ll keep the girls from their neighborhood safe—for a price. No money? No worries. They have quite creative payment plans.

Messed up? Yeah, they know. They’re criminals.

Twenty-one-year-old Fiona Thompson was happy to stay off the radar of the twisted drug dealers who encourage her mother’s habit. She’s sure that she can work her way out of Covington and find a better life for herself and her baby sister. But then she beeped. Loud.

Second-in-command Leo Ricci is a poser. The web of lies he’s spun for a life unravels every time he’s around Fiona—every day he’s trying to keep her safe and every second he’s avoiding his destiny.

When his missteps challenge the authority to which he’s pledged his allegiance and Fiona’s life is at stake, there’s only one solution—become the man he never wanted to be and leave the place that was saving him from a worse, but unavoidable fate. 

Happy Humpday! So lemme give a probably unnecessary disclaimer with this review. If you’ve seen my list of books, you’ll know that Deana and I coauthored Luca’s Lessons. Obviously she is not an unknown to me writer and I respect her capabilities or else I wouldn’t have written a book with her, now would I? Before you dive into reading this review, keep in mind that yes, Deana is a good friend so loving her work is basically a given.

Let’s talk Covington Heights because Escape is only book one in a brand new series by Ms. Birch that is a sharp deviation from her deliciously sexy contemporary romances. In this series Ms. Birch dives deep into the underbelly of illegal activity and gangs. Rivalries, drugs, threats, and assault are all on the table all the time for the Covington Heights crew.

Escape focuses on Leo and Fiona. She is a poor girl who grew up in the center of a crime-riddled neighborhood, the child of a drug addicted mother. One of the crew’s best clients actually. She has made a vow to work her way out of the seedy corner of the world where she lives and will make a better life for her and her sister. As long as she can make it out alive and with the one thing left intact she has been guarding the closest.

And Leo… well. He pretty much thinks that Covington Heights is as good as he will get. He gets to live in a swanky apartment in the run down building that the leader of the gang, Anton, has renovated to look more like it belongs on 5th avenue than in the middle of the hood, has the respect (and fear, let’s be honest) of the crew he helps Anton run, and he gets to bang whatever hot piece of tail shimmies across his radar.

That is until a girl who has never before piqued his interest runs into the middle of the courtyard where the group sets up shop selling their drugs with a rival gang hot on her heels. One with far less scruples than Covington Heights has. One that will sell her into the trafficking trade they are so fond of… but only once they are done with her themselves.

Now Leo is charged with keeping the other crew at bay and protecting a smart mouth girl who simultaneously needs the safety the Covington Heights crew offers and completely eschews the men and their existence.

But the looming threat closes in and soon even the protection Leo had offered falters and Fiona is left vulnerable, prey to be picked up by the nearest predator.

Enter to win a copy of Escape today by liking this review on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll randomly select a winner Sunday, September 6, 2020 at noon EST. ***9/3/20 Edit: Recently extended deadline***

Where to find Escape

Amazon

Totally Bound

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Goodreads

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