In Sweet and Vicious, acclaimed author David Schickler treats readers to a magical, mystical tale of star-crossed lovers who develop an electrifying bond while trying to evade the nagging ghosts of their respective pasts. In what can be described as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde meets Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Schickler invites readers into a world of crime, passion, shame, fury, and ultimately awe-inspiring love.
Henry Dante is a Chicago enforcer who, after a work call takes an ugly turn, hits the road with a briefcase containing the Planets, the seven diamonds he was supposed to deliver to his boss, legendary gangster Honey Pobrinkis. While stopping for gas in a small Wisconsin town, Henry encounters Grace McGlone, an ethereal beauty who walks through a car wash to meet the man she instantly recognizes as "the one." Tucked in between miles of endless highways, campgrounds, and quickies in the back of a pickup truck, Schickler offers readers the backstories of these two unlikely heroes. Henry "muscles" for Honey as a way to "chew up the clock," while Grace is "trying for heaven" as a way to absolve herself from a shameful encounter with a famous evangelist at the age of fifteen. Yet what proves most striking about this unlikely couple is the immediate intensity of their relationship, and Schickler's ability to sustain that coup de foudre sensation throughout the novel's somewhat bumpy ride. In fact, it is only when Schickler strays too far from this explosive couple that the story begins to drag, and readers may find themselves skipping ahead to the more exhilarating aspects of the book.
Kissing in Manhattan, Schickler's widely praised debut, gave readers a delicious taste of this richly imaginative and refreshing literary voice. Sweet and Vicious will certainly take fans to the next level of author appreciation. As Henry says, "There are bold moments sometimes, moments that scare you and call to you all at once." Readers who heed the call are sure to be rewarded with a thrilling adventure. --Gisele Toueg [via]