January 19, 2016

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Outside the Lines (On the Run #1)

Outside the Lines (On the Run #1), by Lisa Desrochers
Publish Date:
January 19, 2016
Publisher: InterMix
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(Synopsis) As the oldest son of a Chicago crime lord, Robert Delgado always knew how dangerous life could be. With his mother dead and his father in prison, he’s taking charge of his family’s safety—putting himself and his siblings in witness protection to hide out in a backwater Florida town.

Fourth grade teacher Adri Wilson is worried about the new boy in her class. Sherm is quiet and evasive, especially when he’s around his even cagier older brother. Adri can’t help her attraction to Rob, or the urge to help them both in whatever way she can.

But the Delgados have enemies on two sides of the mob—their father’s former crew and the rival family he helped take down. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds them. And if Rob isn’t careful, Adri could end up in the crossfire...

The Chicago mafia has come to podunk Florida, and it's in the form of hottie Rob Delgado and his siblings. 

After things went sideways with their enemies and Rob's father got carted off to prison, he and his siblings were forced into witness protection and sent to a tiny town in Florida to lay low until they can resurface. It's clear that each of the kids is suffering in different ways. But the youngest, Sherm, has been traumatized the most, and only his 4th grade teacher, Adri Wilson, seems to have the ability to help him. 

Rob spent the book being extremely conflicted - about everything. He doesn't know what to do to help Sherm, and he so desperately wants to. He doesn't know how to fight the attraction to Sherm's teacher. He doesn't know how to make his siblings happy and not hate him anymore. And, he doesn't know how to live any way other than how his father taught him. 

It seemed an impossible situation, you know? Rob is supposed to be hidden and laying low. And yet, if he wants Sherm to get better and come out of his shell, he can't do that. On top of that, how do you change everything you've been raised to be and believe in? Rob was raised the son of a mafia crime lord. He was raised and groomed to follow in his father's footsteps. For 25 years, that was his destiny. So, what does he do now? How does he just turn it off? And, if he can't would Adri still like him? 

For her part, Adri has lived a fairly sheltered life. Living in a tiny town, shielded by her best friend and her chief of police father, she has never really lived, and until she met Rob, it never occurred to her that there was anything wrong with that. But, Rob and Sherm make her question everything. Finally. 

Sherm broke my heart. I felt badly for all the Delgado children - well, except for maybe Grant. He was a total jerk most of the time. But, Sherm's story is the saddest. He witnessed horrible things and just can't bring himself to talk about them. I can't imagine how sad and frustrating that is for all the Delgado siblings. 

In the end, Rob has to make a choice - his old life or his new one. Each has its pros and cons, and for sure, it's a hard decision to make. 

Outside the Lines is told in dual POV. There are times when it is a bit slow. In the middle, after the fleshing out of the backstory and the exciting ending there was a lot of taking Sherm to and home from school - a lot of "will they or won't they" when it came to Rob and Adri. It was a little tiresome at times. 

I'm guessing that the other books in this series will be about the three other siblings - 23-year-old Lee and 21-year-old twins Grant and Ulie. Lee's story was hinted at in Outside the Lines, and I think hers will be a doozy. I hope there's more of Rob and Adri in it. There were still a lot of questions left at the end of Outside the Lines, and I look forward to getting more answers. 

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