Forever Bound by J.B. Millhollin

four stars

foreverPart thrilling court drama, part enthralling romance, Forever Bound by J.B. Millhollin follows the complicated story of determined defense attorney, Rosa Norway, as she attempts to juggle the murder trial of Angelo Bonaventura and her messy love life. The story begins before Angelo and Rosa cross paths, with the backstory of the murder that’s led Angelo to be tried by the Nashville District Attorney’s office. Chuck Harris, Angelo’s son-in-law, just so happens to also be his employee at Webber’s Furniture Store. Chuck has figured out a way to grift money from innocent, unsuspecting old ladies, and he’s certain that his menacing father-in-law will remain none the wiser. His assumptions prove fatal, as Angelo has him “taken care of” shortly thereafter. Fast-forward five months to when Rosa’s story begins. Rosa, in a fog post-drunken-night-out, edges her way out of an awkward situation with an ex. From that moment her feet touch the ground, she never quits running around trying to defend indefensible actions and manage multiple dalliances with lovers current and past. Among the key characters in her fascinating trials and tribulations are David, her prickly ex; Stoney, a handsome former lover and current business partner whose misdeeds land him in the worst sort of trouble; John Winstrom, another complicated lover with piercing blue eyes and a magnetic quality that keeps drawing Rosa back for more; and, of course, Angelo Bonaventura, a dangerous felon with a propensity for having bodies mysteriously pile up around him. It takes everything in Rosa’s power to maintain her composure and navigate her way through these murky waters.

Within the first few pages of Forever Bound, the story already explores the greyed out and blurry edges of morality with Chuck Harris’s being set up as the villain in the story—only to have him turn immediately around and wind up as the first victim on a long list of morally ambiguous, slain characters. Fans of true crime will delight in J.B. Millhollin’s adherence to the finest details as well as his engaging style and comfort with dialogue. Rosa’s character, in particular, has a captivating way of speaking and relating with everyone around her. Though it’s written in third-person omniscient, it feels as though the reader gets a unique glimpse into precisely the way Rosa is feeling in every scene. Her body language conveys the command she has of the rooms she enters, and she’s unafraid to confront all of the powerful men in her life—regardless of the consequences. All in all, Forever Bound by J.B. Millhollin paints a vivid and intriguing picture of life as a criminal attorney who has been forced to deal with deadly clients, less-than-trustworthy lovers, and personal matters that will bring her so close to the edge one would assume there’s no way she could come back. A page-turner from beginning to end, Forever Bound takes its reader captive and brings them on a journey with so many twists and turns they’re bound to get the most enjoyable kind of whiplash: the kind that comes from shaking one’s head at the nearly unbelievable events unfolding in the story.

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