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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
When Selena Hernandez’s mother was arrested by ICE, Selena learned her mother had not been honest with her. Although Selena only knew Tucson, Arizona as her home, she found out she had been born in Mexico. Her mother’s status as an illegal immigrant changed everything for Selena. Selena decided to do the right thing – return to Mexico and obtain a visa to live in the United States legally. She sought advice from a local attorney. When she went to the US Embassy in Mexico City, danger found her. An American employee at the Embassy, Wyatt Demko, became entangled in her treacherous situation, involving perilous drug cartels and the DEA. Wyatt, too, had his own history of abusive parents, leading to a lack of confidence. In Illegal: A Ripped-From-The-Headlines Romantic Suspense, written by K. J. Gillenwater, an intriguing tale evolves.
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is the struggle facing illegal immigrants. Selena was brought to the US by a protective, loving mother escaping a destructive family. Obtaining her own legal documents became an overwhelming struggle. Another fascinating feature is the depiction of life in current-day Mexico – the hustle and bustle of a large city; the jungles, the Yucatan Peninsula with its amazing ruins and many tourists, challenges in the transportation systems, the food, and stiletto heels. The author developed the main characters of Selena and Wyatt skillfully, and a possible romantic relationship was doubtful at times. She also built the suspense to create a pageturner plot. Author K. J. Gillenwater created an engaging and entertaining novel in Illegal. An excellent read!