On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.
From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.
And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.
So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.
Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.
If there can only be one book you can get this month, heck, even this year, it HAS to be this one. This is going to sound cheesy, but I felt so alive when I was reading this book. It’s a story that evoked visceral reactions, put me in a book frenzy, and made me feel like I was taking caffeine shots. This book was 200% unputdownable for me. I’m a very paranoid and picky reader and unless a book has positive reviews from my friends (because we know each other’s tastes well) I won’t pick it up. However, this book’s synopsis had my attention and for the rest of the day I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I read a sample which was the engrossing prologue that gave me goosebumps and after that I was a goner. Putting down the book just simply wasn’t an option. Pages were flipped, tears were shed, and 2 hours later I was done.
The rest of my review is going to be a bit unconventional. There is SO much in this book so I decided to do a Q&A review. You see, every time I worked on my review, I would get a question, a message, or a comment asking me this and that and it really made me see that my normal review style is just not going to be good enough to cover everything. So the rest consists of questions others have asked me and my thoughts without spoiling anything.
Is there romance and an HEA?
That is the most asked question and my answer is yes to the romance. 100% yes. But I also have to say that if you are a romance only reader, this book may not be for you. As for the HEA part, I can’t emphasize enough that because this book crosses many other genres, we can’t subject it to the same kind of scrutiny as we do for pure romance books. So that HEA question? Hold onto it. It’s not defined and is something every reader has to decide for themselves. But for me personally? It was the best kind of happy ending that stayed true to both the characters and the story.
What genre is this book?
It’s not one specific genre. It crosses over many sub-genres as well and this is what I think the book falls under:
-Historical (referring to the setting)
-Religious (referring to the heroine’s faith)
After mulling it over, I think it was faulty of me to project this book as mainly a biker book first. The heroine’s life does revolve around a motorcycle club but it’s not what defines her. Her age makes this book YA, her kidnapping, attitude, and psyche makes this a psychological thriller, her twisted love for a dangerous man makes this a romance, and the gritty biker life portrayed that has many triggers makes this dark. And speaking of triggers…
Yes, there are triggers in this book!!
Ginny is 15 when she’s taken. It honestly made me uncomfortable to know that our heroine is underage, probably because I have a younger sister close to her age and it makes me sick to think of an abduction like this ever happening to her. I will also be frank and say there is a questionable rape scene present and it was the first time in the book where I cried. The circumstances revolving around this scene is what made my heart break for all parties involved. And violence…yes, there is a good amount of violence, and a few scenes where it’s in explicit detail. But never did I feel like anything was gratuitous. Everything said and done had a purpose.
How historical is this book besides the setting?
Well the story spans from the time Ginny was kidnapped in 1975 to the year 2000 where a monumental trial takes place. 25 years of history packed in this story. I also want to point out that just because this book has a MC background, don’t expect it to be like other ‘modern’ biker books. You really can’t compare a present day MC to one 20-30 years ago. Times are different and people change.
Cheating, love triangle, and sex
With all honesty, I can’t say there was or wasn’t cheating or a love triangle because my opinion is not a fact. My opinion is no, there was no cheating and no love triangle (those needing details will have to message me), but for others even a tiny detail will make the difference in deciding if lines have been crossed. The sex is fade to black. This is not your typical MC where all guys act like manwhores and all girls are skanks. Sex in here is not meant to get you hot and flustered; it’s meant to drive an emotional impact home.
Is this a mindfuck?
200% yes. From the beginning to the very end, I felt like I was smacked upside down with plot twists. This story was so unpredictable, the characters unstable (some even volatile), and the psychological aspect added an extra layer of complexity to it all. Even now, I am still questioning whether the romance in here was more obsession or love. I think it’s both. An obsession turned into love and on the flip side where love for another turns into an obsession. If anything, the latter is confirmed with the revelation near the end of the book.
For me, this aspect was the most compelling. I think there are just some events, some things words are not enough to explain or account for, and the love/obsession is a prime example. You really have to experience it, feel it, to have a point of reference.
Cliffhanger, standalone, and series info
Once again, these topics are all subjective and opinion vs. fact. It is a fact that this is a series and book 2 will focus on these same characters. It is my opinion that this book doesn’t have a cliffhanger but of course I know some will say otherwise. The book has a full beginning, middle, and end and is very much a complete story, but the ending doesn’t resolve all the loose ends. That closure will be seen in the next book. But at the same time, even if there wasn’t a second book I would be completely satisfied with the way this one ended.
So yeah…this book is quite complex and difficult to explain in just a few words. I am still finding it hard to believe this is a debut novel. I can’t remember the last time a debut book has completely blown me away like this one did. I can undoubtedly say that this is a book that has it all.
Rating: 5 stars!!!!!