This book introduces us to Rose Strickland, full time waitress and part time student. Rose has a stubborn streak a mile wide. When her parents told her that if she didn't stay at the college of their choosing she would be cut off, she went ahead and is working on forging her own path. That may mean that she lives in a small apartment and some weeks she has to choose gas over food, but Rose is doing it her way.
Rose's parent's are disappointed in and highly critical of Rose's life choices and even her sister, Jacqueline prefers to go along with their parents wishes and not make waves. Rose has formed a group of friends and co-workers that are know and like her for herself. There is Axton - fellow high society disappointment, Roxy - her best friend and coworker, Ma - owner of the diner where she works and Janelle - fellow student. This circle of friends is Rose's support network and surrogate family. When Axton drops off his 'never-goes-anywhere-without-him' backpack to Rose with instructions to keep it safe and then disappears, Rose fears the worst and fights everyone, including Ax's own brother to believe that Ax is in danger.
This was a very enjoyable first in a series book. Rose is a spunky protagonist who will go to the wall for her friends. We all want a friend like Rose. I really liked that while she tries to get along with her family, she refuses to bow to the pressure to become something she is not. Rose doesn't take the easy path, but fights for what she believes in, even and especially when it is hard. That is a lesson we can all learn from. I was a bit surprised throughout the story and the plot twists and turns kept me on my toes. This was a very enjoyable read and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
As a struggling waitress and part-time college student, Rose Strickland's life is stalled in the slow lane. But when her close friend, Axton, disappears, Rose suddenly finds herself serving up more than hot coffee and flapjacks. Now she's hashing it out with sexy bad guys and scrambling to find clues in a race to save Axton before his time runs out. With her anime-loving bestie, her septuagenarian boss, and pair of IT wise men along for the ride, Rose discovers political corruption, illegal gambling, and shady corporations. She's gone from zero to sixty and learns when you're speeding down the fast lane, it's easy to crash and burn.