(Full Tilt Duet Book 2)
Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.
Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.
Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.
I concentrated on the music, pretending to listen and resolutely not looking at Theo. But the damn music was bluesy, sexy… A slow burn of want and longing. It dialed into my already aching body, filling me with a need to be touched.
A shadow fell over me, and I looked up to see Theo standing, his hand outstretched.
“Dance with me.”
It wasn’t a request, and my traitorous body was already rising to its feet before I could think.
Theo took my hand in his and led me to the small dance floor, where a dozen other couples were swaying to the music. Some, driven by the sultry tones of the song and the singer’s smoky voice, were grinding their hips together, thighs intertwined.
Theo slung my arms around his neck, then put his hands on my hips, and began to move.
I’d never stood this close to Theo before. Our bodies pressed tight. Our faces so close, I could smell the sweet heat of his food, the bitterness of beer, the salt of his sweat. His heart beat thick against mine. The ragged exhale of his breath.
“You told me at the wedding you didn’t dance,” I said, every part of my body conscious of touching every part of his.
His mouth shaped the words, “I lied,” but no sound reached me over the music.
I could barely breathe. I was losing myself in him. Our eyes locked. I couldn’t look anywhere but at him. The light brown of his eyes fiery, like a shot of whiskey backlit by a white-hot flame. His hips ground a slow circle against mine, his thigh inching between my legs. One arm slid around my waist, the other came up the middle of my back, holding me close. My arms wound around his neck, my fingers burrowed into his damp hair.
“I like this,” he murmured. His whole body was flush against mine. I could feel its power, the strength of his muscles holding and moving me with the music. The hollow of his neck glistened. I felt my own sweat slide over my collarbone and between my breasts. My blood was on fire in a way that was entirely separate from the Louisiana summer. A heat Theo was building in me with every roll of his pelvis against mine. I felt the stiffness of his jeans against my skin as his hand slipped down to my ass, pressing me tighter against him. Grinding in a dance that felt more like…
Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance novels when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word romantic story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.
She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it's amusing to write about herself in the third person. And if she has a driving force thatfuels her work, it's that love always wins.
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Full Tilt #2
Hello epic book hangover. That's it. I'm done.
This series has captured my heart and wrecked it, yet I can't help and want to start at the beginning right now. I'm in love with the whole lot of main and secondary cast and I just missed them ten minutes after closing the book. I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible but if you haven't read Full Tilt yet...what are you waiting for?
Theo is angry at the world for having his brother taken away. Despite it all, he shoulders the tasks of taking care of his frail mother, going back to school for a business degree and dealing with his father's displeasure about his choice of career. Six months ago he made his brother Jonah a promise. Two weeks later this promise slipped away and he hasn't been able to locate Kacey since, the feeling that he has failed Jonah always present. Until a well-meaning bartender tracks him down and asks him to take care of his late brother's girlfriend.
Kacey's escape from the place with too many memories was silent. She drove all the way down to New Orleans only to play her songs about Jonah at bars. Booze back on the menu she drinks herself into oblivion. Day after day, night after night, not being able to function without being numb. She sees the gaping abyss in front of her but can't pull away. When she sees Theo again after six months the reunion isn't joyful. She is full of shame, guilt and regret but Theo gives her a reality check and she knows she has to get her life back on track.
Teddy finds solace and comfort in his brother's legacy at the exhibit so he ventures there to talk to his brother whenever he feels unsettled. He is the kind of person who tries to carry the weight of everybody's problems, being the rock everybody leans on to.
Theo wasn't only there for Jonah during the worst moments of his life. He was there for a lot of other people, too. Taking their pain, listening to it, deconstructing it. Turning it around and giving it back to them as a piece of art. Uniquely their own, just as pain is unique to the person who bears it.
Where Jonah was light and love, Teddy is something else entirely. He is fierce and passion and not as open. He has walls in place but when they crumble he is magnificent.
Kacey is such an endearing heroine. I adore her. She is sweet, soft, strong and her love for her friends and adopted family beams from the pages. The way she pulls herself out of the black hole with Teddy's help had my emotions all over the place and I admired her so much for it.
"Live in the stars, baby. Okay?" My voice cracked but didn't break, and I smiled through my tears. "You're free. You made me free."
The development of their relationship is stunning, heart-wrenching and devastatingly beautiful. It's a deliciously slow burn and you can't help but root for them. Their dance and their first time together are one of the most erotic scenes I've read.
While you may think at the beginning that their love is unthinkable at some point you will see that these two are perfect for each other. That there was never another choice than for them being together, the love for the person they both lost the common denominator. With their friendship comes acceptance, with their love healing. I know I said Jonah was perfect in my review for Full Tilt. But Teddy? Glorious. Best book boyfriend EVER.
On and on we danced and in the back of my delirium, I knew I'd been right about Theo: if you had him, you had all of him. His kiss was the purest essence of himself: intense, fiery, devoted, entirely in the moment. This close, he was my entire world, with no place for anything else. His body pressed to mine, his hands on my body, his sweat, his mouth...
I think Emma Scott upped the ante with this one. Full Tilt was already amazing but damn. This book did Jonah's story justice if that makes any sense. He was present in every word and thought. His love was shining through the loves of his life and while I thought Jonah's and Kacey's love can't be topped, this author did just that without diminishing it. Kacey and Theo? Utter bliss.
...I love you and that's it. I love you. I love you however you are. No strings or conditions. I love you, and that's it.
Again, the writing is gorgeous, the secondary cast fantastic. At the end there were tears, yes, but they were a mix of a bit sad and a big junk of happiness, enough humor to help you through the sad parts. My emotions are still clogging up my throat. Rarely have I read a story that made me feel so much like the Full Tilt duet, it is hands down one of my top 10 favorites.
Dear Emma Scott, please consider writing novellas about these two. I hate to leave Kacey, Theo and Jonah. They are so deep under my skin and hold a special place in my heart.
"He was right about everything," she said. "We have so much love in us. No end to it."