4 brutally honest Stars
I think I highlighted a good 2/3 of this book. When I went back and re-read everything I had highlighted it dawned on me that what spoke to me most about this book was its honesty. Gorgeous, messy, thrilling, no holds barred, not fucking around honesty.
Rook Walsh is a wrecked woman. Thoroughly and utterly wrecked. And I love her for it. Because she’s not running from it, she’s not denying it, she’s living it. Every single day she wakes up, embraces the devastation and keeps breathing. And that? That is the true meaning of strength of character. She’s been torn down to the foundation and even though I think she’d take an easier way if given the chance (who wouldn’t really?) she’s not shirking her responsibility to re-build. She’s taking chances and swinging for the fences – she’s brave and beautiful and so strong.
Ronin Flynn, at first blush, appears to be one of those people who you look at and see their guardian angel before you see them. He’s larger than life – untouched, walking perfection, undeniable. But then we start to get inside him and we see he’s pretty wrecked too. The biggest difference is that he’s been loved through it. He’s had someone there to love him anyway.
Rook and Ronin together? Combustion. Pure and simple. He wants to protect her, put her back together, keep her from further harm. She wants to be loved and seen and she lights him up in a way he’s never known before. They challenge each other in an erotic and authentic way that you just don’t read very often. Because they don’t dance around each other like so many other wrecked characters might. They don’t wait for one of them to make the first move. They dive in together and I found myself just relishing the freedom of that grace.
JA Huss has started something amazing with this book. She’s managed to both barely scratch the surface and plunge me eyeball deep into these characters and their story. On the surface it may appear as though not much happens in this first installment but she manages to open the door to a story so purely sensual that I’m still trying to sort through it all. Huss’ mastery shines through in those scenes that appear to be just another photo shoot but at the end your heart beat has ticked up, your face is a little hot, your tongue can’t sit still in your mouth, your ears are ringing – you’re so full engaged that you’re drunk on the scent of cherry blossoms and the wind in your face as you swing high above the city.
I just can’t wait to keep going and that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?