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Release Date: March 13th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: anxiety, self-harm, addiction, death via addiction, death, alcohol, drugs, trauma, theft, the death of a parent, death of a sibling, jail
Genre: contemporary, romance, adult
A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?
“Mia Hopkins is an imaginative author who doesn’t take the easy road to a formulaic book.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.
Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.
I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.
The Rosas brothers will return in Trashed!
R E V I E W
Thank you to my friend Taryn for recommending this book to me (she did it several times before I picked it up, but I eventually got here).
Thirsty was a book that shocked me. I’ve said that phrase a lot and I think it’s because I never expect a lot out of romance novels. That’s on my own stigma and me, I’m slowly getting over it since I can’t stop reading romance. This book was highly erotic but also managed to pack a punch that left me slightly breathless at the rawness of the characters. Mia Hopkins crafted the world of gangs and betrayal in a way that left me speechless. No one who has had an addiction to drugs is shamed either, it seems as though the characters in this book acknowledge that addiction is an illness, not a choice, which was definitely interesting to see.
What is Thirsty about? First off, this particular book is told from only the male leads perspective. I haven’t seen this done often, nor is it done well typically, but I feel that Mia Hopkins did a great job of this. Salvador, the main character, has left prison six months ago. He was in for five years and now that he’s out he’s been trying to make an honest living so he can support his brother when he’s out. Only that’s hard when you’ve just been kicked out of the place you’re staying due to your friend being a cheating turd burger. That’s how Sal ends up staying with Vanessa, her daughter and her grandma. Vanessa’s plans of going away to be a big fancy college ended when she became a teen mum, which only got worse when she became a widow.
Vanessa and Sal don’t need each other, they’re both doing pretty okay without one another and simply trying to do the best for the people around them but when they come together it’s pretty damn electric and the interactions are also amusing. Seeing such a strong single mother like Vanessa is always empowering as a single mother raised me.
However, as the gang tries to bring Sal back in he has to decide what to do to protect his future and Vanessa.
I’ll jump into the likes and dislikes I had for Thirsty or else this review is going to get way too long.
L I K E S
✗ CLEANING JOB IS RESPECTED
This was something I really enjoyed. So many times in real life I’ve heard people slam cleaning as a profession. Someone has to do it though. Both my sister and mum are currently cleaners and I have such immense respect for the both of them. They’re so damn hardworking and they come home exhausted every day.
Sal doing not one but two cleaning jobs in order to be able to give his younger brother a safe place when he’s out was just beautiful honestly. That family connection is very clear in the fact that Sal was working for what I presume was under minimum wage for over eight hours a night.
✗ ROMANCE WAS GREAT
It really was. It was steamy and it was like BAM. I wasn’t even expecting it to appear when it did but I wasn’t made. Both Sal and Vanessa were such strong individuals that it had me a little breathless during the sex scenes.
✗ SINGLE MUMS ARE BADASS
Vanessa has been a single mum since her daughter was born, with the help of her grandmother who raised her she’s been doing an awesome job. Add on to the fact that she’s studying to be an accountant in order to give a better life to both her grandmother and daughter. The connection was so kind and I think it felt even more special to me because my great nanny and mum helped raise me, my mum’s mum is a bit of a pest and likes to interfere and the relationship between Vanessa and her grandmother reminded me of my childhood.
Overall though, Vanessa is just kickass. Being a single mum is hard and studying on top of that is even harder. I didn’t know how I’d feel about children in romance, this is my first time reading one of them featured, but I definitely wasn’t mad.
D I S L I K E S
✗ MISCOMMUNICATION WILL KILL ME
This was my biggest problem. Sal refused to tell Vanessa a lot and it did make the story a bit clunky at times I wanted to slam the man against the wall and scream at him to tell her what he was hiding. He never really explained it either; it was pretty brushed over and kind of rushed honestly. It was the classic break up with a small percentage of the book left and gets back together in order to push the book to its conclusion.
Seriously though, miscommunication is so damn dumb. Just talk to people, especially if it may hurt them.
✗ CASUAL DRUG REFERENCES
This is something that may only be a bother to me. I grew up in not a great environment that involved drugs. It’s not the best place to be and it has given me a prejudice towards drugs. I hate it but I can’t get over it. This book features a lot of casual drug references due to the gang involvement. It got a bit tough for me to read at points, especially since no one cared about it. It just felt strange to me, but I’m probably alone on this.
Overall, Thirsty was a bloody good book. The characters were well crafted and Mia Hopkins managed to create the tone of a male’s voice excellently throughout the book. This can 100% be read as a standalone but there is a cliffhanger ending that has me screeching. If you’re looking for a bad boy goes good story featuring a diverse cast, this may just be the one for you.
Oh I also forgot to mention, there is a lot of mental health references in regards to Sal. It was interesting to see; especially since an anxiety attack was described so bloody well. However, I feel it was forgotten and occasionally thrown in for a gasp factor. I wanted a bit more out of it.
Happy reading everyone!
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