In Lindsey’s (Fragile Spirits, 2014, etc.) YA paranormal romance, an attraction heats up between a street-wise teen and a classmate with an affinity for the moon.
When 17-year-old Aaron “Rain” Ryland’s drug-addict mother dies in a Houston homeless shelter, a judge sends him to live with his Aunt Ruby, his mother’s twin, who’s a police officer in New Wurzburg in Texas Hill Country. Tough, optimistic, and full of pluck, Rain has a “sixth sense about danger” that kicks in when he meets pale-blue–eyed, 17-year-old Friederike “Freddie” Burkhart, whom he finds to be “fierce and smart and painfully sexy.” Spellbound, he pursues her, and although she eventually enjoys his kisses, she pushes him away to keep him safe from an unspecified threat. Rain gains the trust of Freddie’s cousins, Thomas, Kurt, and Merrick, all members of the family that runs Haven Winery; he also commits to investigating the mysteries surrounding Freddie—her love of the moon, the danger she’s in, her dad’s murder, and her clan’s mysterious connection to another family in town, the Ericksens. Doing so, however, could mean the end of his life as he knows it. Lindsey develops the characters well; at one point, for example, Aunt Ruby breaks down in tears while gifting Rain with his deceased dad’s motocross bike, and Rain responds to this with the feeling that “he’d finally found a place where he belonged.” As the story’s tension steadily rises, the descriptions feel natural and organic to the action; for example, at a gathering at Aunt Ruby’s, Mrs. Ericksen works on her needlework and watches Rain “over her reading glasses, needle stabbing in and out.” The passion between Rain and Freddie is rendered sublimely (“She all but consumed him, wrapping her arms around his neck and digging her nails into his skin. Hot. Demanding. Perfect”), with actual sex happening offstage.
An exquisitely written tale featuring a noble, hopeful protagonist who finds his true love.