It’s said you can’t go home again….
The last thing Candelario “Candy” Gonzalez wants is to go back to his roots in the barrio. At sixteen, he grabs a one-way ticket to luxury and comfort as the lover and protégé of powerful drug lord, Teirso Flores.
Flores molds beautiful Candy for his own agenda—to become his exclusive attorney, and Candy’s prowess brings the term criminal defense to a new level.
But life in the very dark, very fast lane comes to a screeching halt when a child is killed by one of Flores’s thugs during a drive-by shooting. Candy walks away from his law practice and away from Flores, determined to live honestly.
Carlos Alvarez stirs both desire and confusion in Candy, because young Carlos symbolizes everything Candy left behind. Inching from his universe of opulence and power and into Carlos’s world, Candy realizes the only happiness he ever knew was in his past. Crossing the boundary isn’t easy though, and Candy’s newfound hope draws out the demons he thought he’d escaped.
Oh my gosh. This book is wonderful. It’s powerful and emotional and so dang amazing. I couldn’t put the book down once I started reading it. Candy comes off as this bad boy that doesn’t give a crap to those in the community. But that’s just a mask he uses so people don’t see who he truly is. There are a handful of people in his life that get to see the true him and he has a hard time letting Carlos in. But Carlos can read him. Carlos can see behind the mask and it so beautiful watching these two find their way together. That twist in the middle where Candy learns something specific about Carlos that coincides with his past coming back to haunt him (I SO WANT TO TELL YOU! But I won’t, you have to read it yourself to see!). Oh man it hurt so much to watch that explosion. I was so scared through those chapters that they weren’t going to make it out together and with their relationship intact. The ending was so perfect. They have their happily ever after and you just know they’re going to make it no matter what life shoves their way. But those two scenes from Jesse’s point of view. Holy moly mind BLOWN! I so didn’t see that coming. My heart hurts for Jesse. I really want a sequel of some kind. I’d love to see more Candy and Carlos. But I also want Jesse to have a story.
Four and a half
Molly: What do you find attractive in a man?
Candy: What a complex question. Sure, looks are an immediate attraction. But, for me, what really attracts me—I mean really attracts me—to a man is the same thing that also makes music stir me. Passion. Sensuality. Gentleness. And that cute bit of cockiness that says he can handle his own but just vulnerable enough that tells me he can love.
Molly: The first thing that went through your head when you saw Carlos:
Candy: I won’t lie. I thought how beautiful he was and, yes, I wanted him. But deep inside me, it was how much he reminded me of my past and everything I had left behind and the life and passion I missed so badly.
Molly: Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?
Candy: Nah. I think I’ve told my story. But, then, hell. Who knows? If I do decide there is more to tell, I’ll sure let her know. And she won’t be able to resist writing it.
Molly: Before you met Carlos, what was your ideal man?
Candy: Aha. My vision of the ideal man had been the man who had been my lover since my teenage years. Powerful. Wealthy. Period. That was how my pitiful mind gauged a relationship. By the advantages they could offer me.
Molly: You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?
Candy: If I’m at La Abuletia’s, my favorite restaurant, it’s her Pork carnitas, tacos de carne guisada.
San Antonio, 2011
SHE PIERCED me with her stare. She willed me dead.
Who could blame her for wishing a bullet would find me, kill me, and send me straight to hell? I couldn’t. I was, after all, the attorney for the man who’d caused the death of her baby. In her eyes and in the eyes of her community, I might as well have killed the child myself.
Still, even though her hatred tried so damn hard to annihilate me through the dense forest of bodies in the courtroom, I wasn’t fazed. I had no conscience. I wasn’t paid to have one of those things—consciences, that is. I was only paid to defend the man who… caused the death of her baby.
Baby. Caused the death of.
Why now, after all these years, had this alien intrusion—this fucking thing called conscience—begun to creep up?
Because deep in her brown eyes—the eyes of this mother whose child had been murdered—I saw something else besides her hate for me. I saw something I recognized and knew intimately. Something that ripped through me and knocked me to my knees.
I saw pain. And helplessness. And I knew, I knew so damn well, what an ungodly hell it was when pain, anger, and hate mingled to create helplessness.
I saw a proud, proud woman whose world had been gunned down. A proud woman who’d surely been the strength of her family, who would now—by my hands, by my legal prowess—be stripped of her pride and confidence.
I saw a woman who had done absolutely nothing to have deserved the hell my client had brought down on her. Nor had she done anything to deserve the even worse hell I was about to send her to.
Right then, as though some ungodly tight mainspring had broken inside me, my soul shattered.
I leaned close to whisper in my smug client’s ear, “I quit.”
And I walked away.
C. Zampa’s earliest stories were not written words, but drawings. Adventures, romances—all drawn in comic book style, complete with dialogue bubbles. Countless hours were spent in her room with her Mead Academie sketch pad and pencils. While the stereo headphones piped the classics into her ears, she feverishly sketched the wonderful characters who lived in her head, creating little vignettes for them.
Even her early drawings reflected romance as she felt it—erotic, sensual, natural, uninhibited.
In her pseudo-hippie days of high school, she began to write. Her teachers encouraged her to take her writing seriously, but to her it was strictly for pleasure. Once entering the working world, she left writing behind; but, a few years ago, overwhelmed by a need to create, she opened a blank document and began to write again and has not stopped since.
Where To Buy:
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6804
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/candy-groots-c-zampa/1122590753?ean=2940150803022
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/C_Zampa_Candy_G_Roots?id=xEB0CgAAQBAJ&hl=en
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