The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
"Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.
Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?"- summary from Amazon
Garcia's contemporary debut is a hell of a ride- extremely gritty with a fiery romance and various familial issues at the center of it. Frankie's journey takes the reader into the world of street racing and gambling, where sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is the best thing to do. Marco is the extremely sexy, funny, caring, and strong romantic lead and I have no doubt readers will fall in love with him as Frankie does. The issue of PTSD and trauma are prominent as well since Frankie watched her previous boyfriend get beat to death by a man she can't remember; the mystery of that and her occasional flashbacks to the night provide a compelling narrative that makes the book hard to put down. I've always been a fan of Garcia and this book shows that she does just as great a job in contemporary as she does with her paranormal novels. Highly recommended.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.