The Most Wanted

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Jacquelyn Mitchard

Arley Mowbray is a drop-dead gorgeous 14-year-old, who, with her long, muscular frame and mature, collected manner could easily pass for 18. And pass she does. On a dare from her outspoken best friend, Elena Gutierrez, Arley writes to convict Dillon LeGrande in prison and convinces him she's a college student (though she hasn't made it out of junior high). Therein begins an ill-fated love story that myths are made of and men die for--except that's not what Dillon has in mind. Living in south Texas in a poor Tex-Mex community, Arley dreams of a less provincial life and secretly begins a love affair with Dillon via correspondence, which produces a flurry of poetry and achy-breaky love songs. Against the wishes of family and friends, Arley weds her amour, who promptly fathers her child, breaks out of prison, and mysteriously disappears. Fortunately for Arley, she has found a guardian angel in the form of Annie Singer, a straight-talking public defender from New York. Annie becomes the mother Arley never had, protecting her from Dillon and a love-starved home. Despite the strength of their bond, both underestimate Dillon's determination to get his child, no matter the cost. Jacquelyn Mitchard's first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the first to receive Oprah's benediction, instantly making it a bestseller and thrusting Mitchard into the halls of literary stardom. Oprah's picks tend to stay within the thematic boundaries of overcoming dysfunction, harping on the nitty-gritty details of abuse. However, The Most Wanted boldly strides away from this and examines the many dimensions of motherhood, realistically depicting the ties that bind women, while supporting beyond debate that, yes, good girls do fall for bad boys. --Rebekah Warren

Tags: All Products, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance

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