Laila has big dreams, though she may not reach them in the typical manner -- she works as a stripper to earn extra money. In an effort to escape her life, she finds solace in her new mate, David. Initially, he's caring, sincere and supportive. Abandoned as a child, Laila knows all about survival and loneliness, and David seems to be the cure-all.

When she moves in with him, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. This leads Laila to take a hard look in the mirror and to pull together every fiber of strength she has to make some necessary decisions about her life.

Dow's novel is well-written, though not a traditional romance. Her her pacing is sometimes slow, but Dow focuses on Laila's self-discovery, which adds depth to the story. Colorful characters make the areas that are difficult to get through worth the struggle. Dow plays upon the sympathy of readers, which makes for a fairly intriguing story that compels readers to finish. (Jun., 256 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
T.L. Burton