The Collector (Dante Walker, #1) - Victoria Scott I received The Collector from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have heard so much about Dante that I’m not sure why I didn’t pick this book up sooner. (We won’t discuss how long it’s been on my Kindle waiting for me to pick it up.) He has a huge, loyal fan base that is very vocal about their love of this bad boy. So, now that I’ve finished am I jumping on the fan girl train? Well, not exactly. I’m not turning into a blushing, squealing, hyperventilating fan girl over Dante Walker. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t earn my love though. He did, in a very big way… and that came as a huge surprise.At first glance Dante is a jerk. I’m sorry, there’s just no other way to put it. He was beyond self confident… bordering on arrogant. He was self-centered and at times even mean. Then, I got to know him. Talk about your character transformations -(at least in the eyes of the reader – Dante hid his true self well.) This book’s time frame was a little over a week. It was amazing what Victoria Scott packed into that short amount of time.The Collector was not only fast-paced but it was also one of those books that made you think…. a lot. On the surface it was simple. ‘Bad boy thinks he knows everything and carries on as usual… unsuspecting good girl gets trapped in his charm… things turn around and the bad boy is totally transformed.’ Things are never that simple though. The characters in The Collector are more complex than that. Dante is cocky and arrogant, but there is also a vulnerability about him that he keeps well hidden, even from himself. Charlie is sweet and innocent but not naive – at all. There’s also more to her friends than meets the eye and I loved getting to know them all.The characters in The Collector proved that good and bad isn’t black and white. There are shades of gray on both sides. That’s important because no one is perfect. The ‘bad’ boys had compassion and the ‘good’ guys got angry and did things you wouldn’t expect them to do. It kept things interesting and also more real than keeping things strictly right vs wrong or good vs evil.The Collector was an emotion packed ride. And before you ask, yes – there were tears. There was more than one heart breaking moment in this book. Meeting the Dante that readers are introduced to in the beginning of this book may make that hard to believe. It certainly took me by surprise. There are readers that may never identify with Dante, and I guess I can understand why. It may be hard for some to get past that arrogant, self confidence that seems to define him. He started winning me over the moment he defended Charlie though. Which brings me to the true reason why I ultimately fell in love with Dante. It wasn’t the fan girl in me – it was the ‘Mom Gene’ that pulled me in. Sure, I wanted to shake him – sometimes smack him, but more often than not I wanted to hug him.Needless to say I’m glad that I finally picked up The Collector and I now find myself among the rest of Dante’s fans waiting not so patiently for the next book in the series. The Liberator is due to release in August of 2013.