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Dehlia is a young girl growing up in Mexico with her parents and grandma, when tragedy strikes , she finds herself parent-less after a major car crash and left with a grandmother who cannot look after her.
She is sent to live with an Aunt Isobel la who has previously cut herself off from the rest of the family for reasons that become clearer later on in the book and Dehlia finds herself more of a slave to her aunt and cousins of which she has two Edward who is much the same age as her and Sophia who is a spoilt brat.
At this stage I could strangle them all and would have liked Sophia to have gotten a few clouts here and there for her obnoxious behaviour. This I have to say doesn't improve much all the way through the book.
After Dehlia's Aunt comes to claim her Dehlia, (as I have already intimated) finds herself no more than a slave and has to follow certain rules to stay within the Aunt's good side, which isn't very nice either. The only saving grace here is Edward her slightly protective cousin who turns out to be her only alley within the family home.
Because her Aunt now living the high life after marrying well and wanting to keep it that way requires Dehlia to learn English and fast, she is sent to another house the family owns with an overbearing oily character who claims he teaches English.
She is soon to find out that he has other plans for her as he being of dubious character wants her for himself. Dehlia being a pure innocent naive girl is desperate and frightened plans her escape.
Edward after finding out he has a cousin comes to her rescue after which they come to an understanding which Edward tries to implement, he gets Dehlia a better room in the Hacienda and less work and she gets to eat with the family and go to a school.
Making her life marginally better. She still ends up Fighting with Sophia and finding herself spying for her Aunt.
She meets a boy at school called Ignacio and befriends him. Sophia her cousin tries to make Delia's life as miserable as she possibly can. Sophia's boyfriend rapes her and then things start to get more complicated. Here Edward come along to protect her once more and to try and avenge her.
He gets hurt badly and Dehlia is feeling bad about it. Ignacio and his friends take things into their own hands, after Sophia tells all too him and they go in search of Sophia's boyfriend.
Then Ignacio runs off his friends get arrested, Dehlia and Ignacio find themselves running for their lives.
The questions asked are why did Sophia blab? what was the resulting damage she caused? where did Ignacio vanish too? and what did Dehlia do when she could not find Ignacio. Is there a love interest here?
In the meantime Dehlia finds out Grandma is now dead, and she has a small legacy, a promise to marry a local shop keeper and a possible life of drudgery with a rather portly shopkeeper. Does this happen well you would have to read the book. Ignacio vanishes is he dead ? Does he come back into her life? Does Dehlia go back home to her Aunt to face the music?
It is all in the book and well worth the read. I really wanted to Smack some sense into Sophia as her antics really deserved one at least. She was a real antagonist in this book. Edward has his own dark secret which also unfolds as the book goes on. We find out why Isabella, Dehlia's aunt treats her the way she does and how with Edward's help she finds her way around Isabella's overbearing ways.
Does Dehlia find happiness well that also would be telling all I will say is there is a follow on story called Delia's Heart. With that in mind it looks as if this story does like so many others in Virginia Andrews books follows through to a mini series. So even I do not know what comes next. Guess I will just have to keep on reading until I get to the final episode of Dehlia's life. I just hope that the follow on books are as interesting as this one was as I found that once I picked up this book I found it hard to put it down until I had finished it.
As with all Virginia's books I was enthralled by it and it kept my interest to the very end. I think you would also love it if you are also a fan of her style of writing. I have very loosely skipped over the storyline this time as I believe that is what is required here rather than let too much of the plot go. There is a lot of twists and turns in this book and I found it thrilling reading but then I am a huge fan of Virginia's work.
I got this book from my local library but it is also available online and in most bookshops at around £2.99 upwards.