Monday 10 November 2014

Release Blitz ~ Review & Excerpt ~ Starless Nights (Hale Brothers Series #2) by Kathryn Andrews

Book Description:
Beau Hale

She said that she was my best friend and then one day she wasn’t. Every day I live with the visible scars but it’s the invisible ones that hurt the most. They are a constant reminder of everything I’ve lost as well as all the things that I’ll never have. I should be over this by now, it’s been years, but I can’t escape the memories that haunt me. Everyone around me is moving on with their life, so now I need to do the same. Tennis brought me to Columbia University, and I am quickly proving that I will not let anyone defeat me, past or present. I am in control now. Life has taught me the hard way to remember that. But after all this time, I’m still searching for an answer to the one question that is constantly burning in the back of my mind…why?

Leila Starling

He said that he was my best friend, and then one day he wasn’t. It took one moment to change my entire life. What I thought I knew became a lie and nothing was ever the same. Slowly, I picked up the pieces and focused on what I could control…me. I live in New York City and attend one of the world’s most prestigious fashion and design schools. Day after day, I am getting closer and closer to making my dreams come true. I did this all on my own and no one can ever take it from me. I know my future is bright, even if my heart is destined to stay in the dark. The dull ache that still lingers is my daily reminder to rely on no one but myself. Although, after all this time, I still can’t help but wonder…why?

You can get the Prologue of Starless Nights from Kathryn's website here:
Our Review:

**ARC received for honest review**

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.”

This is the second book in the Hale Brothers series and this book centres round Beau Hale. I knew that Beau's story was going to be emotionally brutal and Kathryn Andrews delivered in spades. My heart broke time and time again for our Beau Hale, he truly has suffered, yet he tries to put on such a brave front, but even the strongest men have to have a breakdown at some point. His journal and his inner thoughts brought me to my knees at times but Beau is a fighter and to see him slowly but surely come through was beautiful to watch. It is a hard journey and one fraught with a distinct lack of communication that had me angry at times, but this is the journey that they needed to take and actually I think made them both stronger at the end.

“Every night, I wondered if she was looking at them too. Did they remind her of me? Did she ever think about me?”

Kathryn Andrews destroyed me with Drops of Rain; it was such an emotionally charged book, so much so I already had a deep connection with the characters. We have heard Drew’s story but Beau was always present being the little brother. My first initial thoughts with Beau were that he used his wise ass humour as a distraction, by being funny; he hid the true Beau Hale. The real Beau Hale was empty, a shell, he had very little self-belief, always felt that he wasn’t enough, always living in Drew’s shadow and taking the punishment for it. His home life as we know was non-existent, he suffered immensely but he tries his hardest not to let it determine the man he is today, but sometimes trying just isn’t enough. He needs help. Throughout this book, I wanted to give Beau cuddles, I wanted to protect him, I wanted to give him those pep talks that told him he was a great man, he did deserve happiness and most of all he deserved a shot at life. It is testament to Kathryn Andrew’s writing that she managed to bring out the tigress, who just wanted to protect her cub.

Leila was a great character and was just what Beau Hale needed. She was full of life, vibrant, easy going, yet she was a little pocket rocket. She knew what she wanted in life and was fighting tooth and nail to get it. Professionally she was sorted, she had her path and she was walking it, actually running it, she was determined. Her personal life however was a totally different story. Beau Hale had already left his mark, a scar in fact, she never really understood and in fact had giving up trying to, however, she couldn’t shake her feelings for him. He was a true love for her, but she just couldn’t understand what had gone so horribly wrong.

I must admit, when these two reconnected I was ecstatic, second chance love is one of my favourite reads. However, these two were infuriating at times, as I said in my opening paragraph, these two just did not talk. I admit, circumstances beyond their control had kind of overtaken their lives and people got in the way or just even consider certain things, but once the whole sorry tale is revealed you couldn’t help but mourn the time that they had lost. Misunderstandings a plenty determined the route their lives have taken thus far, but now it is up to them to put it right. Do they both have the inclination to make it work? Are they prepared to fight for what and who they want? Or are they just too emotionally scarred to take that step? These two have a lot to work through and a lot to understand. Most of all they need to open their lines of communication and confide in each other and be there for each other. These two have a lot of emotional baggage and it all needs to be unpacked if they want a future, to even have a chance at a future.

“You were never a responsibility or an obligation. You were mine and I thought I was yours.”

Kathryn Andrews totally engages you throughout this book; from the first to last page I was riveted. As I have come to expect this book was emotional, it was heart-breaking but it was beautiful. This is a book that you will live, experience and breathe; it is that intense pull on your emotions that builds that character connection, to the point where the words fade into images. I found myself looking in as an outsider, I felt as if I was there and I was championing these two along. It may be second chance or even third chance love for these two, but you could tell they were soul mates, you could feel their deep emotional connection, their love for each other radiated off the page, they just needed to work through the past for them to have a chance at a future.

“On bad days when I turn around and see what has become the ugliest part of me, I don’t see the scars, I see the stars.”

To say I have loved this series is an understatement, it is one of my highly recommends and I cannot wait to see what Kathryn Andrews has in store for us next. I love her writing style, fluid and effortless, emotional and all-consuming and I for one cannot wait to read more.
I push through the saloon doors into café and spot the customer sitting in one of the leather chairs up front by the window. My body reacts before my mind does and I freeze mid step. My heart crashes into my chest, my hands start sweating, and I am certain that my eyes are playing a trick on me. There is no way that of all the cafes in the city, he would walk into mine.  It’s just not possible. But there he is looking almost like I remember him.
Ali, my best friend, must have told him that I work here. I’m going to kill her.
            Instead of walking over to greet him, I stare at him. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen him and all of a sudden, all that time diminishes and it feels like it was just yesterday. I didn’t even know that he was here in the city. Ali never told me. I had just assumed that he would be coming up sometime later in July. I feel as if my world has just been thrown on a tilt. I wasn’t prepared to see him.
            The morning sun hasn’t started to rise yet, so the windows behind him only serve as a dark backdrop, and the light shining down from above him has placed him in a spotlight like glow. If I was a photographer, I feel that this could be a beautiful photo. As it is, I have just taken a mental picture and will now forever see him sitting in that chair.

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