Book review: A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson

Romeo and Juliet they may not be… but star-crossed lovers Wes Carter and Kat Lane share a passion that will sweep you off your feet.
A Pound of Flesh by Sophie JacksonA Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson
A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson

Yes, it’s finally here… and in print! Chorley teacher Sophie Jackson’s red hot fan fiction romance, which clocked up an incredible 4.5 million reads and 22,000 reviews when she posted it online, is hitting the shelves and making headlines this week.

Snapped up in a huge publishing deal, A Pound of Flesh, first book in a sizzling three-part series, is a torrid, tantalising tale of forbidden love behind bars featuring sexy bad boy prisoner Carter and his gorgeous, gutsy English teacher Kat, their past lives inextricably linked and their future together a battle against the odds.

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Brimming with all the perfect ingredients for a heart-stopping romance – a brooding, damaged Adonis from the wrong side of the tracks and a feisty, fiery, well-heeled heroine – what makes A Pound of Flesh stand out from the rest is Jackson’s powerful, elegant storytelling and a love affair so hot that you could get your fingers burned turning the pages.

New Yorker Kat Lane was just nine when she witnessed a ruthless gang beat to death her wealthy senator father in a street attack in the Bronx. She was saved by a mysterious hooded youth who dragged her from the scene and gave her a shoulder to lean on.

That was sixteen years ago and she is still haunted by the trauma of the murder, her sleep plagued by nightmares and with only pills to numb the pain that never disappears.

Kat hides her despair behind a quick wit and a sharp tongue, and now she has taken on a job as a prison tutor, teaching English literature at the medium category Arthur Kill jail in Staten Island, after a vow she made to her father before he died.

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It’s there that she meets serial con and drifter Wes Carter… he’s cynical, arrogant, gives off a ‘dangerous aura’ and he’s only in her class to impress an upcoming parole board that he is seriously reforming his life and should be released.

Carter’s emotional scars are as permanent as the ink on his skin and their worlds couldn’t be further apart, but the attraction is instant, mutual and overpowering. He fills her with an unexpected energy that floods her veins, and his desire for her is so strong that it knocks him perilously off guard.

But a relationship between teacher and student breaks every prison rule, and for Kat’s mother, already disturbed by her daughter’s choice to work in a jail, the situation is intolerable.

Can their forbidden love survive the pressures, and when the truth of the terrible night of her father’s murder is revealed, will Kat still love the only man who ever made her feel truly alive?

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Jackson plays a blinder in this stunning debut, creating a vivid, seductive story that tingles with emotionally-charged tension, weaves in some cleverly worked literary parallels and rounds off with a suitably satisfying surprise in the tail.

And then, of course, there are the two unforgettable soulmates – sexy, edgy Carter, the alluring, haunted Kat, their battle with personal demons and their all-consuming passion.

As Shakespeare so beautifully put it… ‘This is the very ecstasy of love.’

(Headline Eternal, paperback, £8.99)

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