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A bloody fantastic ghost story.
Jude Coyne, an aging front man to a once popular heavy-metal band, is riding out his life and solo career in peaceful fashion. At 54, he works on his music in his home studio on a farm in upstate New York. He collects dark and twisted trinkets and young, goth girlfriends. He is ignoring the several metaphorical demons that eat at him.
When his personal assistant brings an odd 'ghost for sale' listing to his attention on a little known auction site, Jude doesn't even hesitate, doesn't think, doesn't ponder, he just buys. When the ghost arrives, an old suit packed in a heart shaped box, Jude is forced to face things once past.
This book is gritty, like heavy metal gritty. It's graphic. It's chilling. It's absolutely heartbreaking. It has soul. It has music.
"Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst."
I love that thought. Loved it when I read it on the page and still days later, it's what really sticks with me about this book. True terror comes from reality. This book is a symphony of real life horror coupled with wild imaginings in the darkest of night.
Jude's girlfriend, Georgia, is my favorite - she's irreverent and crass with a vulnerability that made me love her. She and Jude look for desperate answers, running away from a ghost hell-bent on their deaths and I just sat on the edge of my seat hoping that I'd get some sort of happily ever after. And isn't that sort of an unreasonable desire in a horror book? Still, I wanted it, badly.
It's hardest for me to write about books that I love. The problem is three-fold, one part taming of the overactive squee drive, one part unwillingness to spoil the discovery for anyone else, and one part wrench and pull to find the things that resonate with me most and put them in words. Heart-Shaped Box hit all the right notes for me. I think I'm just going to have to leave it at this - I loved it, I couldn't read it fast enough, and I finished it with a satisfying sigh.
Everyone has a story. Memories that are held close to the heart. Dreams keep us going in times of adversity. People or places that have shaped our lives. In Rachel and Patrick's case, a building holds the key to a world of opportunity or a heartbreak unlike any other. Jaclyn Hardy gives readers a front row seat to sentimental. Roping His Heart is a precious journey into love, that uses beautiful descriptive dialogue and breathtaking romance to make it's way into the most secret places of the heart.
It might actually be a 3. Which hurts by heart, because I am a big R.L. Mathewson fan. Neighbors from hell series---love to the moon and back. And I was really digging this.
We had a troubled boy
A sweet girl
An awkward push-pull between troubled man and sweet woman
Dude acting like a douche-check
Chick that stands up and says fuck that noise--check
Some hotness...and then...
So, it was great until about 75% and then it lost me. *shrugs* I will definitely read more from this author, as I said, I'm a big fan, this one...just didn't work out for me in the end.
London fiancée Lark Braithwaite should be dreaming of her beloved and their new life together - not some sultry Irish stranger. But in reality, her betrothed, Charles, is already controlling and less desirable than the stranger in her erotic dreams: a fact that puts the damper on her marriage ideals.
At the Heart of the Stone traces the evolution of her mysterious dreams and how they juxtapose with the difficult realities in her life, bringing her to a slow, simmering reality that what she's experiencing with Charles is less than she might hope for.
As a busy businesswoman, Lark doesn't have time to make her dreams a priority until something changes, and suddenly she's called home to Oregon to attend her father's funeral; there to meet the elusive, passionate man in those dreams, handsome stranger Niall O’Hagan, in person.
Though it should be mentioned that At the Heart of the Stone is filled with graphic sexual scenes, these are part of a greater plot's appeal; not the heart of the story. Forced to confront family relationships and issues of the past, evidence of long-distance infidelity, and the rising need not only for a special, different kind of lover but the kind of lasting relationship that forces her to be more open and honest overall, Lark discovers that everything is changing in her life.
At the Heart of the Stone employs a combination of sexual power and emotional growth to fuel its special brand of intimacy and revelation, following Lark's progression and growth not only sexually and emotionally, but as a more engaged, active participant in life.
Opening her heart to Niall involves more than being exceptionally candid - it requires the kind of maturity Lark never experienced with Charles, and comes with a new set of decisions. Her journey brings readers along for a heady ride into these revised possibilities, creating a story that is high-powered on more than one level.
Sexually erotic, emotionally compelling, and spiced with evolving passion, At the Heart of the Stone is recommended reading for anyone who likes their romance stories steamy and powerful.