A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson
Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, Staten Island.
Wesley James Carter is a troubled man with a long list of crimes on his curriculum.
Handling a dangerous weapon, drug possession, drunk and disorderly conduct…those are just a few.
He’s an inmate and he’ll try anything that will make him eligible for early parole, included following lessons in english literature.
Katherine Lane was barely 9 years old when she witnessed her father’s death after street thugs attacked them on their way home.
That night still hunts her.
She wants to fulfill her father’s wish of “giving back” to society and, using her degree in english literature to teach in prison, is her best way of doing so.
That night 11 years old Wes saved little Kat’s life and even if she doesn’t know it, she’s drawn to this incredibly intelligent man, lost and full of anger.
A forbidden attraction will overcome them both…how, in these circumstances, can they make a relationship work?
My good friend Dilek loved this book and I’m not happy to say I didn’t 😣
I’m grateful for her review that encouraged me to pick up this book (I had it on my shelves for YEARS!), because I enjoyed Carter and Kat as a couple but…
I had major issues with the author’s writing and OTT tendencies.
Sorry Dilek for the long list that follows…I’m glad I picked this up either way💖
► The story offers plenty of possible interesting conflicts/ plot points but doesn’t develop well any of them:
→ Student – teacher relationship?
Nope, no one makes trouble for them because of it, not even the supposedly “bad guy” Austin that could threaten Carter with it but does nothing. They do EVERYTHING a normal couple would do even if she’s risking her career.
→ Rich guy that becomes a criminal and then becomes CEO of the “family” company?
THAT has so much potential as a plot but author takes it all for granted as if such things happen every day.
→ Best friend saved Hero’s life and Hero goes to prison to pay that debt? AWESOME but.. how did they get in that life-threatening situation? How did Hero and Bff’s friendship develop?
→ He doesn’t talk to his father that actually wanted him when his mother wanted to get an abortion….Why is he out of his life?
Your guess is as good as mine!
The reasons behind Carter’s criminal record are NEVER explained.
His “anger issues” are not reason enough and we have no idea how and when he starts with his criminal behavior and the circumstances that lead to his debt to Max.
In my opinion, the author wasn’t able to make Carter circumstances believable.
How does a rich angry kid become a criminal?
How does he end up on the streets?
Why is that same kid alone in the Bronx in the middle on the night, just in time to save 9 years old Kat?
Again…We’ll never know.
► Barely ~40% in Kat says:
… he makes me feel right. He’s made some mistakes, like we all have, but …” Kat’s hand gripped the top of the marble.
“But you have to know that he’s a good man. He’s taken some wrong turns in life and he can drive me absolutely crazy, but there is good there. I just know it.”
She “knows” it because she has feelings for him but…HOW-WHEN-WHY did she see all those things in him? While talking about literature?
The statement is followed by a “dead father’s approval” scene that, given the circumstances, just prompts a big eye-rolling session:
for one split second—the wind disappeared and the clouds parted above her, allowing a sliver of sun to shine through. The momentary warmth hit her back, making her body relax. And as she blinked at the sun she knew, deep in her soul, that her father had given her and Carter his blessing.
It happens not even halfway through the book and, up to that point, the only things she truly knows about Carter are his criminal record, his anger issues and his love for literature.
She doesn’t know anything that goes deeper than that.
► Their first sex scene is dragged on forever and I wanted for them to finish already!
I know…unromantic of me but the way she wrote almost a full chapter of adjectives about their bodies coming together didn’t “do it” for me.
Not only that, often the author adds unnecessary phrases or words.
► Lots of scenes in the plot come across as “random” or unnecessary.
For example here:
Carter’s head snapped toward Paul and Cam, the latter of whom was sitting in a corner of the room with a joint in his hand and a whore on his lap.
Why did the author had to add slutshaming?
It happens only once but still…why?
► I hated Kat’s mother’s vocabulary when talking about Carter:
Eva nodded, still doubtful. “Well, I hope it’s not those … people from that prison, or that creature you spend time with in the library.
I get she’s worried about Kat’s working with dangerous people but come on…”creature”?
So yep, I had issues with this author’s writing and I think the narration in 3rd person didn’t help matters.
The author tells the reader…
“Theirs was a love beyond words, beyond reason, beyond even the two of them. It was indescribable, inexplicable, but unbreakable and unyielding”
…but I wished for more “actions” and less words.
Some times those words worked for me:
He turned his dopey, pillow-creased face toward her, smiling lazily. “Hey.”
“How’s your heart?”
He reached for her hand and placed it on the left side of his chest. “You tell me,” he said, piercing her with an intense stare.
Kat bit her lip. “It’s pounding.”
“It always is when you’re near me.”
Some times they didn’t.
Expecially when they’re supposedly having sex and Carter’s thoughts take on a tangent for PAGES about his feelings for Kat or their intertwined “destinies”.
Come on. Just focus on what you’re doing man!
This story has tons of potential but, in my opinion, there are too many issues with it, as it is.
I loved Carter and Kat coming together.
I loved how the usual “kept secret revealed breaks the MC apart trope” was avoided and they talk about things and clear the air between them.
It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
Carter tried to clear his throat of the huge lump of emotion blocking it while she continued to whisper her apologies. With each one that left her, another piece of the punk-ass wall Carter had built around himself came tumbling down at her feet.
“I don’t need a towel. I need you.” Her body shook against him. “I need you so much.”
Carter’s head collapsed against hers. “Peaches.” His arms wound around her. “You have me.” He gripped the bottom of her shirt in his hands. “You always have.”
In the same way I loved Carter’s resolution when he confronts Kat’s mother.
Those “good points” though were not enough, in my opinion, for a 3 stars rating.
⭐ 2 Stars⭐
A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson is book #1 in the A Pound of Flesh series, STANDALONE
~ My Ratings ~
Writing: 2 /5
Plot: 2 /5
Hero: 2.5 /5 -27 years old
Heroine: 2.5 /5 -25 years old
Secondary Characters: 2 /5
MC’s chemistry: 3.5 /5
Steam: 3 /5
Recommended to: Adult Romance Readers, I wouldn’t recommend it but a lot of my friends loved it.
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