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The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
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The Girl She Used to Be

by David Cristofano

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4534634,716 (3.63)23

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From the book jacket: When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, but the program took Melody’s name, her home, her family, and ultimately her innocence. Now twenty years later … when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in yet another new town, she’s stunned by a man who accosts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to find her, knows her, the real her, and it’s a thrill Melody can’t resist.

My reaction
That last half-sentence from the book jacket should have warned me (that is, if I’d read the jacket in advance). But I’ll get to that later.

On the positive side, Cristofano writes a fast-paced suspense filled story full of twists and turns. Like Melody herself, the reader doesn’t know whom to trust, which story is factual, which person truly has her best interests at heart. I was quickly hooked and turning pages far into the night. But then …

That “thrill” that Melody feels coming from the Don’s son, Jonathan... Sure he buys her nice clothes, corrects himself when tempted to swear in front of her, comes to her defense when a college boy bothers her in a bar, and buys her wonderful meals with fine wine. But he’s hardly a candidate for “best boyfriend.” WHAT is she thinking?! What is HE thinking?! The situation just stretches credulity too far in my opinion.

At the end I’m left just shaking my head and muttering “Huh?” ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 28, 2018 |
Wow!

First novel, fantastic book! Melody Grace and her parents witnessed a brutal murder and were torn from their lives and put into the witness protection program. 20 years later, Melody (aka Sandra, Michelle, May, Shelly, etc.) is found by the son of the Mafia boss her parents testified against. Instead of killing her, as instructed by his father, Jonathan hopes to save her.

Wonderfully written, this book really gives a sense of the complete disconnection felt by someone whose life is uprooted and reshaped every time a whiff of fear is in the air. And the ending was perfect! :) ( )
  debs913 | Apr 2, 2016 |
Similar to Nicholas Sparks' writing style, this is a gentle, entertaining holiday read which will appeal to all the romantics out there. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
When a young six year old girl and her parents witness a murder in a restaurant it leads to years of being in a witness protection program. She is 26 years old when the story begins and still on the run and moved to different locations often and she is tired of never being the person she wants to be. A witty and sometimes funny book and a good read. ( )
  txwildflower | Mar 28, 2014 |
A fun, but insubstantial, read. ( )
  ratastrophe | Oct 30, 2013 |
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All farewells should be sudden, when forever.
—Lord Byron, from Sardanapalus
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For Jana
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Name me.
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Book description
After 20 years in the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC) and eight aliases, Melody Grace McCartney hardly knows who she is. On the run since she and her parents stumbled on a gruesome murder by mobster Tony Bovaro when she was six years old, Grace saw WITSEC’s promised protection fail her mother and father when they were killed 12 years later. Now she feigns personal danger to be relocated just because she’s bored and wants a change. But before her new case officer can move her from suburban Maryland to rural Wisconsin, Tony’s son, Jonathan, tracks her down to present an alternative: protection from his family and a life of more safety and freedom than she has ever known. While federal officials pressure her to stay in WITSEC and show her Jonathan’s violent side, her attraction to him grows, and she must decide a course for the rest of her life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446582220, Hardcover)

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"A woman who has lost her identity to the Witness Protection Program flirts with trusting her life to the Mafioso hired to kill her"--Provided by publisher.

» see all 3 descriptions

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