July 29, 2013
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central)
Published: July 2, 2013
From the Publisher: Can love save them?
After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is all right. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been—and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.
To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies’ man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his façade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.
Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart forever?
**Some of us received a copy from the publisher
but that did not affect the review. We swear!!**
We are also wicked thrilled to have our friend Sim join in the review
we decided to rate this 1 billion stars,
but the ratings max out at 5…so it’s a 5 star.
And that means top shelf here at The Book Hookup.
Celeste: HOLD. ME. I don’t think I can write a review that will do this book justice. It was so good. I had all the feels from book 1, Charade, but now I have ALL THE FEELS.
Sim: This book!!! It ripped my heart out… Loved it!!!
Ana: This book brought the ugly cry, the heartbreak and the flails…it had it all!
Plot, Pacing and Style:
Celeste: In this installment of the Games series these characters, Delaney and Adrian, are so very broken. And when I say broken, I mean broken. They have had so much tragedy in their lives. I was broken hearted for them. Delaney’s goal was to track down Adrian to find some peace from an incident that changed their lives in the worst way possible. But, Delaney never expected to fall for Adrian. The story of their love was so powerful – I couldn’t help but be moved. The pacing was perfect: slow and steady, which was so realistic. Nyrae Dawn’s writing style, combined with the alternating POVs is so easy to read, I finished the book in nearly one sitting. I will read ANYTHING she writes.
Sim: Delaney went in search to help someone, and maybe help herself, but found love instead. Completely unexpected, but maybe even better than what she set out for. Adrian was running from everything, but mostly himself. The love these two develop for one another is a deep one and the poetry that Adrian uses just intensifies it on so many levels.
my little ghost,
Live inside me,
And scare away my sins
Until there’s nothing left.
Ana: This story felt so real. The characters were so real, so raw, yet so likeable. The pace was perfect. The heart stopping moments were intertwined with the bits of happiness, the confusion was linked to the past and present and the love was explored with kid gloves and trepidation in such a delicious way.
Celeste: Holy damaged goods. I don’t know who had more of a haunted past, Adrian or Delaney. Both are totally hot, they know it, but are still full of self doubt which makes them so real. The story is told in alternating first person POVs, so we got to get in their heads and I can tell you…I adored both of them. They are down and devastated, but still keep going.
Sim: Both have deep intense souls which makes me love them! Throughout all the bad stuff they had to deal with, they fight their own way back at life. You can’t help but understand the decisions they made, even if they were not always the right ones and that’s a great accomplishment of the writer. ‘Her tears rival my rain,’
Ana: I fell head over heels in love with both of these characters very early on. I rooted for them in their struggles and cheered them on in their attempts to save themselves and each other. Their relationship was so intense and their struggles so huge yet, somehow, I was able to connect with them. These two characters needed each other in order to find the strength that was deep down inside each of them. Their struggles were heart wrenching but their story was worth the ugly cry and the tissues.
Celeste: Nyrae Dawn hit this one out of the park. The attraction was undeniable from the word go. It’s not just the physical side of things (which was AMAZING), but the emotional connection was so strong.
“I can’t…. We shouldn’t…” If you knew, you would want to. You’d throw me out.
“I think we can and maybe it doesn’t matter if we should.” His voice is low, sexy. I shiver.
Sim: From a seemingly no-ties hookup, to a deep deep connection that had the sparks flying; loved every second! There’s no teasing or fooling around but an intense connection. And the poetry: omg I loved it!!! The intensity: just wow!!
She’s the rapid pulse in my neck
and the welcomed ache in my chest….
Celeste: Sim, omg. that quote *dies*
Ana: Utter perfection. The chemistry was strong and deep. These two were meant for each other and the intensity of their connection left me breathless!
“She knows my words, which are part of my soul, a part I’ve never willingly let anyone else see, yet I show them to her. I write them for her. She knows those part of me – the only parts of me that aren’t a lie.”
Celeste: Love them both! The title is seriously perfect, and the cover is just right. It’s like they are about to kiss and connect but are still holding back a bit. I feel like I saw another cover of this somewhere and liked that one a bit better, but this is still good.
Sim: This cover fits the book better. It could still use a bit more intensity IMO.
Ana: Easy to see where the title came from since the word was used several times in the book. The title and the cover suit the story well.
Twists and Turns:
Celeste: There was definitely something that came up that I didn’t’ expect and it hurt my heart even more. It was painful, but added so much depth to the story. I loved it. Well done, Nyrae! But you might owe me a box of tissues.
Sim: There was one point in the book that had me blown away and gasping for air. It hurt my heart even more but it explained a lot as well.
Ana: Well, I didn’t see that coming and let me tell you that, from that point on, there was no consoling me…tears, tissues and tweets about how my heart was breaking…yup, that’s what happened!
Celeste: The perfect ending was perfect. It was real. Adrian’s note to Delaney…I don’t even have any words….It’s a fantastic stand alone book, but I hope I see some snippets of them in Maddox’s story next.
Sim: perfect! No butterflies and shiny sunsets but a real ending, fitting in perfectly with the characters.
Ana: Great ending! The author must have known that I was all out of tears and it was time to bring it home…and she did a perfect job.
Celeste: None. Well, maybe the fact that it’s over and I wish there had been a longer epilogue.
Sim: somehow the ending came too soon for me. Other then that: perfect.
Ana: None that I can think of. This book captured my heart, exhausted my tear supply and made me a huge fan of Nyrae Dawn! I’m so looking forward to Maddox’s story!
Final Thoughts/Rec It?
Celeste: A million trillion times YES.
Sim: yup!!! And I can’t wait to find out more about Maddox!!! (Masquerade: coming out January 2014)
Ana: Absolutely no doubt…you must read this book!!