Congrats & Happy Release Claire Contreras!
Kaleidoscope Hearts is LIVE!
Meet Oliver and Elle in this wonderful stand-alone!
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One of us did.
One of us left.
Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.
This is a standalone.
One thing I know going into a Claire Contreras book – she’s going to create an irresistible man. I’m not sure how she does it, but EVERY DAMN TIME it happens. I’ve already staked part of a claim on Cole Murphy, although some bloggers (you know who you are), aren’t willing to share him. But then Oliver Hart strolls into my life like he owns the place, and quickly joins the list of . . .
steal my breath
hurt my heart
and put it back together
. . .men who have previously dominated Claire’s stories.
This is story of second chances. It’s a story of soulmates, first loves, who just needed to open their eyes and take a chance on each other.
Following the prologue, I was actually confused as to who broke Estelle’s heart. Turns out it was two different men, and for very different reasons. While Estelle (Elle) is recovering the loss of one man, another man from her past, Oliver, reenters her life. There’s a lot of tension between the two based on how things were left between them. And while it is not immediately clear what caused this tension between them, their history is slowly revealed. This story is told from dual POVs. I loved how Elle’s POV in the present and Oliver’s POV in the past, because the story you hear from Elle is very different than that from Oliver. From Elle, you get the impression that Oliver is a selfish bastard who used her like the other women in his life. But that really isn’t the case.
Oliver may have been a player in the past, but I had no doubt in mind what his feelings were for Elle in the present. As he points out in one scene, his job dealing with terminally ill kids gave him perspective that love doesn’t wait for you. You either commit to it or it passes you by. With Wyatt in the picture, he nearly lost his chance and I loved his determination to not let Elle slip through his hands again.
While there was tension in all facets with this couple as they try to figure out how to proceed with each other, one thing they couldn’t control with was the sexual chemistry. Each touch between them was like kerosene on a open flame. Impossible to control. And that touch set these two off anywhere and everywhere. An alley, steps on a beach, a photo shoot, and even Elle’s parents bathroom. I absolutely loved their intensity and lack of control around one another.
But while these two steamed up my kindle, they also wanted me to shake some sense into them. One common thing stand between them in the past and present – Victor, Elle’s brother and Oliver’s best friend. I realize why they were hesitant to express their interests in each other, particularly when Victor warns his friends to stay away from her. However, as the two begin to realize that their connection was more than just some hot sex, I don’t understand why they waited. You can see the drama a mile away, and its sad how it nearly destroys everything.
From the synopsis, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are broken hearts in this book. Elle’s art work of kaleidoscope hearts actually serve as a clever metaphor for the pain one goes through with lost love. Can you put a broken heart back together? Can you take the pieces of a broken heart and put them back together to make something special once again? Maybe even more beautiful?
Ultimately, like her art, Elle finds a way to repair her broken heart. And she creates something that will last a lifetime.
This story is skillfully written, and flows from past to present, capturing the story of two souls who everyone tried to keep apart, but in the end, were always meant to be together.
*Teasers made by YaYa.
**An ARC was received for an honest review.
“Look at me, Elle,” he says, using the deliciously low demanding voice that once made my toes curl and my eyes roll back, and I have no choice but to tilt my head to give him my attention. “Forget those lame guys you’re dating.
Let me take you out.”
My heart, if possible, spikes further in my chest, overriding all warning of the impending chaos that’s sure to come. I try turning my attention to the poster hanging beside me, but the kissing couple makes me look back at him and the deep green eyes that are burning into mine. My stomach does a flip-flop, the way it always does when he looks at me that way and I try to take my hands back because these feelings are too scary for me to deal with right now, but he holds them tighter, bringing them up to his mouth and kissing the tip of my ring finger. Why did he pick that finger to kiss? I pull harder and he finally lets my hand drop.
“I can’t,” I say, my voice coming out hoarse.
A myriad of emotions flash in his eyes before they settle on determination and I’m forced to take a step back, away from his scent, away from his warmth, and into the cold closet behind me.
I sigh, finally looking away, back down to his naked feet. “I just can’t.” He knows why not. He shouldn’t ask me that question. “What’s Vic doing, anyway?”
His body moves into mine so quickly that I don’t have time to react to his large hands clutching my arms or his face dropping until we’re nose to nose. I just stare, wide eyed, waiting for his lips to fall over mine, but they don’t. He just looks at me, breathes on me, lets me breathe on him, and he groans. And that fucking groan travels from his body into mine and crawls into the core of me, draping over every fiber inside of me.
“What do you want, Oliver?” I whisper against his lips. “What do you want from me? You want to kiss me? You want to fuck me? You want to come into my life like the hurricane that you are and tear down everything I’ve rebuilt and disappear just as quickly?”
His lips brush slightly against mine, just a breath of a touch as he stands there, crowding me like he’s about to devour me. But he won’t. He never goes in for the kill. He just lures me, casts me, reels me in and pulls away. His hands drop and his face leaves mine with the same quickness and I feel a pang deep inside me that I wish wasn’t there.
“I’m sorry,” he says quietly, shaking his head in a movement that makes his hair sway back and forth. His eyes are soft on mine now and I can almost hear his thoughts: I should have never kissed her. I should have never—
My brows rise in surprise at the apology, though. There are so many things I can say to him, but the sudden defeated look in his eyes keeps my mouth shut. Finally, I exhale and push off the wall, standing in front of him, with enough distance between us that we can’t reach out and touch each other.
“It’s okay just… don’t do it again. The kiss the other day was a mistake…” I stop talking and walk past him, putting my bra away and sorting through my underwear drawer like it has some sort of hidden treasure or something. This time when I feel him come up behind me, I drop my head and exhale. He really needs to stop sneaking up behind me.
“Oli—“ I start and gasp when I feel his lips on the back of my neck, soft and warm. My heart thunders and my hands begin to shake inside the drawer so I close my eyes and focus on breathing. He drops another kiss right beside that spot. I never knew the back of my neck was so sensitive. The feeling sends a ripple of sensation down my arms and through my body.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” he says in a husky whisper that makes my flesh break out in goose bumps. “You’ve never been a mistake. You want me to tell your brother that I want to take you out? Is that what it would take?”
Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs.
Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.
She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.
Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.
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