Monday 23 November 2015

Review ~ Thirty Nights (American Beauty #1) by Ani Keating

Book Description:

Thirty nights. Two hearts. One fate.

American Beauty, Book 1

After her parents’ tragic deaths, Elisa Snow wanted nothing more than to escape her past. Eighteen and alone, she fled her quaint English village and moved to the United States. A starving science student by day and an artist’s muse by night, Elisa has slowly built a new life. She never dreamed she would lose everything again.

She’s one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. Given thirty days to leave the country, she must face the one thing she cannot survive again—saying goodbye and leaving her home. Yet within minutes of her world shattering, she meets a man with the power to piece it back together.

After finishing his tour of duty in Iraq, Aiden Hale traded battlefields for boardrooms, becoming one of the most successful venture capitalists in the nation. But all his wealth can’t buy him reprieve from the horrific memories of war. The only thing that gives him peace is a painting of Elisa.

Drawn together by their invisible wounds, they begin a passionate affair as they race against the clock to defy their pasts—and fight for their future.

Earlier versions of this book were posted on the author’s blog under the titles of The Master’s Muse and 30 Nights of Snow, using the pen name Ani Surnois, and has since been extensively edited.

Warning: Contains a blistering exploration of desire, sacrifice and redemption…and love’s power to equalize us in ways laws cannot.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies; and all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes.”

Sometimes I trawl Amazon in search of something that just catches my eye and this simplistic cover did just that, however, what was contained within the jacket was definitely not simple. This story got me from the beginning, from the first page I was hooked and on the last page I was devastated…I need book 2 NOW!!!

“I don’t want the fantasy anymore…I want the real girl.”

Elisa was a beautiful character on the inside and out. She was a geek through and through but an adorable geek. She was a protégé in Science, particularly chemistry and was happiest when inventing things and putting her scientific knowledge to good use. She was extremely bright but also extremely sad. Having lost her family four years ago she had fled the UK and transferred her educational scholarship to a University in the US. Now she is due to graduate and the US Government have once again turned down her green card, it seems her escape is coming to an end. With no family in the UK it seems as if Elisa is going to be on her own once again with only her demons and ghosts for company.

“Isaac Newton was wrong. Not all bodies at rest, stay at rest. There are bodies – torn, ravaged-from-within bodies – that shudder in stillness, perhaps even in death.”

Elisa was a woman tormented by her past and her only means of bringing herself down from her panic attacks was reciting the periodic table, another adorable character trait, but she also had a heart of gold. Having come to America knowing no-body an illegal Mexican family had taken her under their wing and this “family unit,” were close, tight and extremely loyal.

“You hear that love is strong, love is kind. But love does not fight wars, does not write laws, does not change them. As to these earthly needs, love is impotent.”

Aiden was an enigma, he was extremely guarded, hesitant and observant. He had that air of mystery around him but also an aura of despondency. There was a lot we didn’t know about him in the beginning other than that he was extremely rich, extremely powerful and a philanthropist. As this book progresses though we are slowly drip fed the real Aiden, it is beautiful, it is tragic and my heart broke for him on more than one occasion. As his character is slowly opened up on every page I loved him all the more, there is nothing more endearing than a broken man and this man is extremely broken, but there is nothing more beautiful than a broken man slowly putting himself back together.

“I like brutes, I’m finding. Seriously misunderstood creatures.”

When Elisa and Aiden’s paths cross it was obvious there was an instant attraction but these two were so different it was hard for them to see it for more than what it was…at first. With Elisa’s impending departure and Aiden’s problems this story was never going to be easy and easy it wasn’t…but endearing it was.

“Love hurts the most when it knows the least.”

This is no cookie cutter romance, this book is so much more and it is this “meat” that makes this book un-put-down-able. While it obviously centres around Elisa and Aiden the added sub plots of immigration, science, poetry and the military really brings this story together and wraps up this book in a totally engaging plot.

“A kiss is a secret told to the mouth.”

I absolutely fell in love with this book and these characters. Elisa and Aiden were perfect for each other; they were truly soul mates. Just being in each other’s company was centring and grounding for both of them, they knew each other’s flaws and they learned how to get round them and deal with them. My heart broke for Aiden, for a man with a heart of gold he had so much to deal with. His sufferance tore at my emotions as did his constant belittling of himself. He couldn’t see the man beneath his issues…thank god Elisa could and was slowly winning him round.

This was Elisa and Aiden versus the world and there was nothing Aiden wouldn’t do to keep her.

“I haven’t changed my mind. I capitulated.”

For a debut book this was one amazing journey and hard to believe was written by a newbie. With character depth and character connection in spades you cannot help but be moved by Elisa and Aiden’s story. As I said above, I need book two now!!

“Once I love, I love forever!”

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