Bleeding Hearts: The Complete Duet – Bleeding Hearts #1-2 by A. Zavarelli

How far would you go to save someone you love? Would you give up your body? Your mind? Your heart?

I did and it cost me everything.

He says he owns me. And it’s true.

I’ve signed over complete control of my body and life for six months to a man I don’t know. Five years he’s been planning this. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But my blackmailer serves it up white hot. He’s addicted to my innocence, and I’m addicted to him.

He likes to hurt me. I love to let him. He brings me to life. He sets me free. He makes my heart feel things it shouldn’t.

But he also scares me. He holds the fate of my brother’s life in his hands. A life behind bars for crimes I know he didn’t commit. My blackmailer can’t give up his revenge on my family, and I can’t be with him if he doesn’t. But I’m nothing more than a butterfly caught in his net. Do I really have a choice?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36689298-bleeding-hearts)

REVIEW

Brighton is pretty much doomed from birth.  Although she is innocent there is definitely a dark side to her and it takes Ryland to bring that dark side out.

Revenge can be a very dangerous path to take but I can understand Ryland’s need for it.  I think I would probably be after Brayden if  he had done that to me as well.  He is not a nice person!

I liked the connection between Ryland and Brighton even if they did get off to a rough  -pen intended – start , although I felt that with the way the book was written it came to a rather quick end.  I’m not saying it should have been dragged out unnecessarily but for everything they had been through I felt that it needed more from the point of Ryland going missing (easy for me to say, I don’t write books).

An exciting and steamy read, lots of ups and downs in a turbulent ride of emotions for both Brighton and Ryland.

 

Broken Silence – Silence #2 by Natasha Preston

Four years after Oakley left for Australia, the trial is ready to begin. After coming to the decision that she needs to face her abusers to finally be able to move on, Oakley and her family return to England to give evidence in person.

Oakley’s love for Cole never faded, but after four years apart how will Cole react to her being back? Can they put the past behind them in order to get their happy ending?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16117182-broken-silence)

REVIEW

Don’t cry.  Yeah, not happening!

If I thought the first book was emotional it had nothing on this one.

Now aged 21, Oakley is older and wiser and still desperately in love with Cole.  Cole has had 4 years to get over Oakley leaving him, now she is back and he doesn’t know whether to be angry, or sad, or to kiss her and wrap her in his arms so she can never leave again.

A beautifully written story, touching on the pain caused by child abuse.  Slightly more graphic detail in this part than the first as the details come out in the trial, but it is necessary to bring the story to conclusion.

Really enjoyed this series and will be reading more by this author.

Book three in the series focuses on Oakley’s brother, Jasper.

 

 

Silence – Silence #1 by Natasha Preston

For eleven years, Oakley Farrell has been silent. At the age of five, she stopped talking, and no one seems to know why. Refusing to communicate beyond a few physical actions, Oakley remains in her own little world.

Bullied at school, she has just one friend, Cole Benson. Cole stands by her, refusing to believe that she is not perfect the way she is. Over the years, they have developed their own version of a normal friendship. However, will it still work as they start to grow even closer?

When Oakley is forced to face someone from her past, can she hold her secret in any longer?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31676476-silence)

REVIEW

This was one of the most heart-wrenching books I have read in a long time.  The story relates to a young girl who suffers child abuse from a very young age that continues through to teen years.  One of her tormentors is someone very close to her and due to this relationship, Oakley stops talking all together for fear of what she has been told.  The psychological damage caused to Oakley is as bad as the physical and if not for Cole she would never have survived her ordeals.

Cole is a brilliant character.  The way he cares for Oakley and stands by her when everyone thinks she is a freak is beautiful.  They have their up and downs like all friends but through it all their friendship grows stronger and develops.

Oakley’s brother, Jasper, is awesome and I have to say he gets better in the second book.

Tissues are definitely needed for this story.  It is emotionally charged from the very beginning.  A story of true friendship and true love.  This is a two-part series and the second book is a must-read to find out what happens with Oakley and Cole.

 

 

Elements of Chemistry – Hypothesis #1 by Penny Reid

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22607976-elements-of-chemistry

REVIEW

I actually read these as the three separate books but really you might as well just get Elements of Chemistry as a whole as you have to read the whole story.

Martin is definitely a  ‘jerk-face’ as Kaitlyn likes to call him. If you are anything like me you will constantly be wondering why she is bothering during the first two parts but then I flipped my opinion and actually wondered why he was bothering in the third. I was also pleading with both of them to just tell each other! I did feel that Kaitlyn was kind of hypocritical in her ‘if you love me’ situation, Martin could have said (and should have said) the exact same thing.  Misunderstandings and miss-communication is in abundance but it oddly adds to the connection and chemistry between these two.

Kaitlyn is a very careful girl and shies away from uncomfortable situations. Her calming techniques are often her downfall and if she has been more emotional a lot of her heartbreak could have been avoided.  Martin is her opposite, showing his emotion and passion freely, his only problem is that the passion he employs is often directed in the wrong direction – revenge.

A heartbreaking read but with a happy ending.

 

Sin – Vegas Nights #1 by Emma Hart

Damien Fox lived up to his name.
Cunning, sly, and dangerous, fifty percent of Vegas’ strip clubs were his.
Whatever he wanted, money, attention, women, he got.
And now he wanted to buy my bar, no matter the cost.
I wanted him to go to hell on a first-class ticket.
He played a dirty game, and I followed his rules. I let him think he would win.
Despite our differences, it was clear to see that we were no more than two broken hearts colliding in the darkness.
Closed off, sexy, and holding a pain that would crush a lesser man, he was the ultimate sin.
One I couldn’t deny myself, even though I knew better than to trust a fox…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35161505-sin

REVIEW

Damien Fox has certainly met his match with determined and decisive Dahlia Lloyd.  After becoming the sole owner of ‘The Scarlet Letter’, Dahlia is plagued by Damien’s father to sell him the bar, however when his approaches fail Fox Sr. sends in his charismatic and charming son.  Dahlia sees more in Damien than the influences of his father and together their connection becomes close to sinful.

I love a book with a strong female lead and Dahlia is definitely strong, both in head and heart.  Dahlia has some good friends in her corner who won’t let anyone mess with their girl, unless they think it is for the best!

Damien comes across as the heartless Alpha Male who wants to dominate everything and everyone but behind the rough-tough exterior is a man who just needs a good woman.

This story did leave a few questions unanswered, namely why Fox Sr hated Lloyd Sr so much and who called the hit and why?  These questions will become obvious when you read the book.  Although this is a standalone, I know there is a second in the series and I’m hoping that some of the answers will be explained when I read it.

If you are after a good, contemporary romance, with some sex scenes then you will probably enjoy this book.  I will be reading more from this author in future.

Finding Cinderella – Hopeless #2.5 by Colleen Hoover

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. But Daniel soon realizes that fairytales don’t exist, and unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it. (https://www.amazon.co.uk)

REVIEW

The two best friends from the Hopeless series where bound to come together but to find out that they had previous come together in a dark closet sends heads spinning and secrets to be revealed.

Six has come back from Italy a different girl to the one that left.  Meeting Holder’s best friend for the first time could be classed as love at first sight but Six doesn’t do love.  Daniel’s passed experience proves to him that his heart has never felt this way about anyone before, except maybe the unknown girl in dark.

Tissues at the ready again. Although this is only a short novella it rounds up the series nicely and gives a happy ending to all the characters that we have known and loved throughout the Hopeless series.

Losing Hope – Hopeless #2 by Colleen Hoover

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17340050-losing-hope)

REVIEW

Highly recommend that you read Hopeless before this one as the main story and meeting of the two characters is formed in that book.  This book delves into the thoughts and feelings of Dean Holder, from his past through to his present, unravelling the heartbreaking circumstances that have surrounded him and his sister, Lesslie.

Although some parts of this book are essentially duplicates of the first is it still nice to hear them from Dean’s side, however, there is lots of new information which answers some of the questions about his actions and also with regards to his sister’s suicide – background information and thought processes.   I love the letters, just what I could imagine Dean writing to his twin. This is a beautifully thought out story based around two very delicate areas.

We also meet Dean’s best friend, Daniel, who I mention because he is the lead character in Finding Cinderella.