Source: ebook for review from author
When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.
Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.
Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.
Pitched as a NA contemporary romance, The Space Between deals with same of the darker NA issues, such as racism and class, as well as romance. When Lacey, a singer from Chicago is assigned as a nanny to Darke’s family, she doesn’t expect the ‘children’ to be 19 year old Drake and his teenage sister. Although they come from different backgrounds, their relationship blossoms. Except they have to hide it, for fear of a lawsuit from Drake’s stuck-up parents.
Overall I did enjoy this book. I think the cover is cute, although it doesn’t really say a lot about the book. I did have issues with the subplots; Lacey has a dying mother, her best friend is a drug dealer, her dad is/was an abusive drug user, she has to nanny for Drake’s younger sister, she is also a singer. There just seemed to be a bit too much going on, too much against her to be realistic. For example, when rich boy Drake visits Lacey at her home, a guy shows up who happens to be crushing on Lacey, tells him to get lost and draws a gun. But it’s okay, as Lacey happens to have a gun too. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the scenes were written really well, they just didn’t come across as believable.
I did enjoy the scenes with the rest of Drake’s family. Below is an except of Lacey’s first interaction with his father:
Mr Drake wasn’t shy about his assessing gaze. He studied me under a watchful eye, analyzing me in a way that made me feel completely naked, exposed. And the smaller I felt, the fact that I was being judged became blatantly evident. Eyes finally leaving me, Mr Drake moved his stare to Mrs Drake. “I’m aware you hired someone, but I was not aware they’d be joining me for my meals. I don’t pay these people–” Stopping for a second, he cleared his throat. “The help to eat our food, Madeline.”
I could literally feel the tension, the embarrassment. And yet, even when he is no longer her employer, she doesn’t have the guts to stand up to him. This continued weakness irritated me. One minute she was saying they couldn’t let anyone know about her relationship with Drake, the next they are having sex in the kitchen. Get some balls, girl! The ending sorta verified this for me; she just seemed to back out instead of being firm like I wanted her to be.
Overall the romance was cute, but I think the book had it’s fingers in too many issues for me to enjoy the plot. And while she started out as a strong character, Lacey was too weak for me to like her.
3 sofas from me.
NB- Quote is from an eARC and subject to change in the final copy.