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The spice rating is in regards to the type of sexual content within the book. Below is a helpful guide (courtesy of Georgia C Leigh)
1= YA romantic, making out, MAYBE a closed door.
2= some on page foreplay and nudity but mostly fade to black.
3= open door, on page vanilla sex.
4= on page sex – hot or with kink.
Without warning, Tara finds herself face to face with her mother, the woman who abandoned her at Whispering Pines Orphanage in Framingham, Massachusetts almost a year ago. Assuring her daughter that she has secured a better life for both of them by remarrying, Corinth whisks Tara south to Millville. During the drive, Corinth explains that her new marriage is built precariously on lies and forewarns Tara to never address her as mother.
When Tara meets her step-father, Rubin Merrill, and his son, Lance, she is thrust into the harsh reality of indentured servitude. With no say in the matter, Tara takes on the duties of a house maid and is forced to live in the cellar. Furthermore, she is forbidden to contact her friends at the orphanage.
Treated as a servant rather than a family member, Tara yearns for both the companionship of her far away friends and the love of her deceased father. Her only relief from the unpleasant daily drudgery is resurrecting the long neglected backyard garden. Worried about her future, Tara hopes to find direction once school resumes. Unfortunately, that is when her true hardship begins.
Ostracized at her new school, Tara’s problems continue to mount at home as she witnesses her mother’s declining mental state. As the weeks go by, the abuse Tara endures grows worse. Suffering from both anxiety and depression, Tara considers desperate measures to escape her tormentors.
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