Second books in a series rarely satisfy me as they often act merely as plot fillers, but this book not only met all my expectations, it exceeded them. It provided just the right expansion in character development to keep me invested in the storyline and hungry for more. This is a book that kept me glued to its pages, devouring scene after scene, becoming emotionally attached to its characters and their fate. Whatever ‘team’ you end up picking, one thing is certain – you’ll have very strong opinions one way or the other.
Our fragile heroine, Claire, is at a crossroad and each day that passes, her decision becomes more and more difficult to make. Adam has been her saviour, the one who pulled her out of her depression and gave her a new reason to go on, but their romance, as genuine as it appears, is constantly threatened by the remnants of her love for Chris and years of shared memories with him, as well as a new shared cause. Her heart wants to love Adam and only Adam but it cannot help but remember Chris. When she is with Adam, she is certain of her feelings for him, but when she is around Chris, all her defences fail her and she is again that same young girl who fell in love with a boy who wanted to become a rock star.
“I love Chris. Nothing will ever change that. But it’s not the same love we shared a year ago. It’s the kind of love shared between friends who know each other’s deepest secrets. The kind of love shared between friends who’ve forgiven each other’s worst sins.”
There is a huge contrast between the two men in Claire’s life and that only makes her decision harder to make. Adam symbolises a new life for Claire, a new love, a new passion, a clean slate. He does not judge her for any of the her past mistakes, supports her choices and he is constantly focussed on making her smile. His light-heartedness is exactly what Claire craves after years of self-flagellation, guilt and self-doubt. His love is exciting, different from Chris’, new. However, Adam’s own emotional baggage also sets the pace for their budding relationship – he is possessive, jealous, insecure. His volatile temper has a short fuse and his anger management issues are constantly simmering under the surface, forcing Claire to justify her actions whenever they trigger one of his outbursts. His devotion to her is unquestionable but so is his overbearingness.
“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” he whispers in my ear. “I’ll break all the rules to keep you.”
Chris, on the other hand, represents the home that Claire has ached for ever since her mother died when she was a young girl. With so much history shared between them, loving each other comes as second nature to both of them. The sacrifices they have made for each other have marked them deeply, left emotional wounds that will probably never heal properly, but their connection remains strong and there is a certain positivity about it that is hard to ignore. Chris loves Claire unconditionally, it is evident from his every action, every word he speaks or decides to stay silent on. He loves her selflessly and completely, and her wellbeing comes first for him.
“No one knows how to love me like you and no one knows how to hurt me like you.”
The one thing that Claire finds the hardest to do is forgive herself for what she did to Chris and to herself, but Chris is able to put his own pain aside and see her past actions for what they truly were – an act of love.
“How can you still love me after everything I’ve done to you?”
“How can I not? You’re the f*cking love of my life. You don’t stop loving someone just because they’ve hurt you. Yes, what you did hurt me, but I gain nothing if I stay angry with you. But I might gain everything by forgiving you. You’re my everything. I just want you back.”
Claire is torn between her past and her present, between two men who love her and would do anything for her, in their own different ways. I believe that at the end of the day, our heroine will have to decide who would give her the one thing she needs and craves the most – a home.
A deeply emotional and skilfully written story of learning to listen to one’s heart and finding all the missing pieces of oneself within one’s heart, rather than in the love of another person. I am so very anxious to see how this story unfold in Bring Me Home.
“I want to wake up in a time and place where my mother is still alive and she is perfectly healthy and happy. I want to live without the fear that every decision I make will hurt everyone I love. I want to be the person who believes that love and time are truly enough to heal a broken heart.”
“I’ve been dreaming about this all week,” I murmur into his mouth.
His hand slides under my knees and he scoops me up in his arms as he stands from the chair and carries me to my bed. He sets me down gently, our lips never losing contact as I reach for the waistband of his jeans and pull him on top of me. Right away, my body begins to tremble with my need for him.
“Are you okay?” he whispers as he kisses my neck and I nod hastily. “Good ‘cause I’m about to wreck you.”
He spreads my legs open and I lift my hips as he grinds into me.
I moan softly. “Please take this off,” I beg as I yank his shirt up.
He chuckles as he pulls his shirt over his head and gazes down at me with that sexy smile that makes me ache for him. His body is so perfectly smooth and muscular. I reach up and touch the tattoo on his chest, the compass filled with waves, and he grabs my hand. He kisses the inside of my wrist then lays my hand down at my side. His hands slide over my belly then under my lower back. He lifts me up so my back is arched and plants a soft kiss just above my belly button. The smile in his eyes as he looks up at me makes my chest heave with anticipation.
His fingers whisper over my skin and I sigh as they land on the button of my jeans. He takes his time undoing the button and I feel body growing hungrier and more impatient by the second.
“What do you want me to do to you?” he asks as he drags the zipper down and lays a soft kiss on abdomen.
I hate when he asks me this. I get so flustered when I talk about this stuff.
I swallow my nerves then answer. “I want you to make me… scream your name.”
I whisper the last three words and he laughs softly. “You’re so f*cking adorable. Do you need a joke to relax?”
He grabs the waistband of my jeans and I lift my hips so he can slide them down, taking my panties with them. “Yes, please.”
“This one’s going to be dirty,” he says as he tosses my jeans and panties onto the floor and kisses my hipbone. “First, take off your shirt. I want to look at you.”
I tear off my shirt and slip out of my bra then lie back as he sits up on his knees to look at me. It’s a testament to how comfortable I feel with Adam that I don’t even flinch at the fact that the lights are on. Adam has never made me feel anything other than completely beautiful.
His eyes take in every inch of me, his gaze skimming over ever valley and curve before landing squarely on my face. “I’ll save the joke for later.”
He slides two fingers inside me and I close my eyes as I hold my breath. His fingers slide in and out of me as his thumb massages my clit.
“Oh, my God,” I breathe as I roll my hips against the motion of his hand.
“Look at me.”
I shake my head as the pleasure builds inside me and he laughs. “Come on, baby. I want to see your eyes.”
I open my eyes and he smiles as he slides his fingers out of me right before I come.
“That’s not fair,” I protest.
He ignores my grumbling as he lies on top of me and kisses me hard. I’m breathless, lost under the weight of his body and the power of his kiss. Then he starts to move down, laying a soft trail of kisses straight down the middle of my torso until he reaches my center.
I gasp as soon as his tongue touches me. “Adam.” He lets out a soft grunt as a reply. “Don’t stop.” I try not to writhe away from him as the warmth builds inside me, spreading out from my core in furious waves. “Adam!”
“Say it louder,” he says, and the sensation of his breath and the vibration of his voice send chills through me.
As the orgasm reverberates through my body, a cry of euphoria explodes from my lips. “Adam!”
I hear a soft chuckle as he finishes me off with another lick and a soft kiss. My body trembles as he kisses each of my breasts then sits up. He takes off his jeans and I attempt to recover as he slides a condom on.
“Sweeter than sugar,” he says, as he lies on top of me, resting his elbows on either side of my head, and kisses me.
I rake my nails softly over his ribs and he twitches between my legs. He kisses me slowly, taking his time, drawing out the moment until I finally clutch fistfuls of his hair and pull his face back. I don’t say anything. He knows what I want from the hunger in my eyes.
He eases himself into me and I wrap my legs around his hips to coax him farther inside. I draw in a sharp breath as he hits my core and a spark of pain ignites the fire inside me.
He watches every change in my face as he moves rhythmically in and out of me. “Are you okay?” I nod and he kisses my forehead then goes back to gazing into my eyes. “I love you, Claire.”
“I love you, Adam.”
He presses his lips to mine and I know, from that one look and the way he’s kissing me so tenderly, that there’s something he’s not telling me.
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I love the Shattered Hearts series, I love Cassia, and her writing, i can’t wait to read Bring Me Home!