~New Adult Contemporary Romance — recommended for mature readers~
Girls like me don’t get happy endings.
I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?
But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.
He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.
The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.
This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.
I have debated over whether to rate Shameless with a 4 or a 5, after being a little surprised that I was unable to put the book down after I began. My doubts had nothing to do with Nina Lemay as an author, but because I have been in a dreaded ‘slump’ lately and the books I have been excited about reading have disappointed me.
Shameless is a story which rebels against its genre, a little like its main character, Hannah who is definitely non-conformist! It is a story of forbidden love and usually in those circumstances I would expect to be on the sidelines, cheering for the couple’s happy ending. Yet in Shameless, this would force Hannah to adopt a different persona and I found this an uncomfortable decision.
Hannah is an art student by day and a stripper at night. Although this is not her ideal employment choice, it does mean that she can live independently; paying her bills and supporting herself through college. There is also far more to Hannah and even we are not privilege to all the secrets she hides, making her volatile nature all the more intriguing.
Despite the fact that Emmanuel is resistant towards the job Hannah has been paid to do, the second she dances for him there is a spark between them. However her worlds collide the next day at college when she discovers he is her new professor.
Despite their roles, the passion between them is ignited and they agree to a casual sexual relationship. Only as time progresses this becomes anything but, as they find their emotions become entangled and ‘casual’ is no longer enough for them both.
Nina Lemay takes her reader beyond just this romance as horrendous events occur in Hannah’s life, irrevocably changing the person she is as she fights to gain back control.
At times this is a difficult book to read, but Hannah’s secret was totally one I could sympathise with, and I particularly loved watching her empower herself.
Shameless is a stand-alone, meaning no frustrating cliff-hanger, but I was left wanting to read more by Nina Lemay.
This is a gritty, emotional and awesome read!