I downloaded Throwaway (sponsored link) as a freebie (special offer) based on the Amazon synopsis of Jessie Jones, a prostitute under the control of a pimp, Spence, who meets undercover cop, Gabe, who gives her an idea of a different future.
Heather Huffman wrote this book to throw a spotlight on the “Throwaway” teens who are abandoned by the foster care system at 18 to somehow try to make their own way in the world.
I found Jessie to be loveable character – she doesn’t apologise for her profession, feeling that she had no other options, but she’s not bitter, doesn’t make excuses and doesn’t blame anyone else for the beatings and other unpleasantnesses that go with her profession. She’s feisty, caring, plucky, protective of a young prostitute new to the business, and emerges as the heroine of the novel without emasculating the male characters.
I found all the characters interesting – even the detestable pimp! – and the romance was credible, avoiding being too fairytale/Pretty Woman by having it take time & effort to work through the inevitable issues. There was just one romantic scene that didn’t work for me (avoiding specifying as I try never to give spoilers!).
What I really liked about this book was the multiple layers to the plot – romance, intrigue, murder, tragedy, corruption, friendship and family. It kept me glued to the book and I finished it in a day.
If I had one criticism it would be that the final denouement felt a little rushed, and not as well-written as the rest of the book. I think the prostitution and human-trafficking aspects of the storyline are probably somewhat….sanitised….compared to the reality, but thoroughly enjoyed this book & applaud the author for dealing with such gritty subjects that most steer clear of.