I have to say, I've had my reservations about The Bookworm Box subscription but so far, of the two boxes I've received, all four books have been over the top great. This book came out of the second box I've received and it was partnered with Kyland. Which was so great. I'll be honest, when I saw my two books revolved around hillbillies and circus folk... I didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, I am pleasantly surprised and absolutely hooked!
Hearts of Fire - L. H. Cosway
My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.
Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.
Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.
I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.
My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.
Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.
I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.
We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.
Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.
The truest love is always the hardest to let in.
Yes, this is book 2 in the Circus Spektakular series, but it's a full stand alone. In fact, I didn't even know this was the second in a series until I checked on Goodreads, that's how good of a job the author does at making this a stand alone. I usually text my good friend Shirley while I'm reading books and she was fully skeptical when I told her this was about carnies, basically. I don't know if she's read the other book I recommended about hillbillies, but she SHOULD. I think she's refusing to acknowledge My Bookworm Box is pretty solid. Immediately, I feel in love with Lille, but even more so with Jack. I was hooked on this book right from the beginning, when Lille spots Jack staring at her from across a restaurant.
Lille lives at home, and though she is 21, her mother is extremely controlling, to the point where she can't even pick what degree she works towards in college. Her mother has her whole life planned out. Secretly, Lille is making a little bucket list for herself and is bursting at the seams to do something for herself. She's approached by Marina, who is the owner of the circus and is offered a job painting faces and basically working with the circus. It's guaranteed adventure and travel, full of opportunities. Jack is abrupt towards her and tries to intimidate her into not coming. She throws all caution to the wind, makes a friend in Lola and joins the circus.
Almost right away she learns that it's not all adventure and fun, it's also dangerous. Thankfully for Lille, though he's abrupt and she doesn't know where she stands with him, Jack often comes to her rescue. The undeniable chemistry between them is almost too much, and as Lille learns more about Jack (far more than anyone else knows about him) she understands his obsession with fire.... basically in every scenario. Because oh yes, there is sex in this book and it is stellar. When you read what Jack's little fetish is, I'll be honest, even I was taken aback a bit. If Matt ever suggested that... I'd have to seriously question is mental stability. I was kind of surprised because although I was taken aback, after a little while I was totally OK with it.
But the romance between Jack and Lille isn't all we're reading about- we also have the unsolved mystery of sexual attacks within the circus, as well as Julie (who is deranged and completely psychotic), and of course, the unresolved situation with Jack's brother.
Overall? I loved this book. I'm so invested in this series I have the others on my to-buy list for payday. You can find this book on Amazon. Seriously, give carnies a change- you'll love it.