Friday 23 January 2015

Review ~ Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars

**ARC recieved for honest review** 

“Every second counts. Live in this moment. This is life. This is what matters.”

One of my favourite kinds of reads are second chance romances, throw in brothers best friend and you know that it is going to be interesting, throw in Claire Contreras and you know it will probably be emotional and extremely well written and I have to say that this book lived up to my expectations.

Estelle is in her mid-twenties and is currently trying to come to terms with the loss of her fiancé, it has been nearly a year and she knows that it is time to move on. Estelle is an artist, she owns a gallery and her art has so far kept her going, but even the gallery brings back memories as she set up the gallery with her fiancé. Selling their house seems like the logical next step, so with a heavy heart she leaves her home behind and moves in with her brother Vic until she can find somewhere else to live.

“Tomorrow I’ll be okay, but today I let myself bleed, and that’s okay too.”

Vic is the atypical protective big brother and will do anything and everything to protect his sister. Even from a young age, when she used to hang around with him and his friends, he warned them all to stay away, she was forbidden, she was off-limits, at the end of the day no-one would be good enough for his sister, and especially his mates who he deemed were all players.

Oliver is Vic’s best friend and has been for years. Oliver and Estelle also share a history that no-one else is aware of and goes way beyond just being his token “little sis.” Oliver was torn…Oliver fell in love with his best friend’s sister when he was young, but she was the forbidden. So what do you do? Love or friend? Love or friend? Oliver has a low opinion of himself and he always felt that he was not good enough for Estelle and felt that he had nothing to offer. Oliver was still at University studying to be a doctor and decided that he wouldn't make his move until he could offer her everything. The trouble is with waiting...sometimes you wait too long.

To say I fell in love with Oliver would be a huge understatement. He has his issues, in particular his lack of self-worth and stupidly believing that money and wealth were the ultimate measures. The thing about Oliver was that what he was worth was far more valuable. He was a beautiful person both on the inside and out and threw himself into his residency. The endless hours, time and effort above and beyond his job description that he puts in, especially with cancer stricken children only makes you love him all the more.

Now that Estelle is living with Vic it is inevitable that their paths will cross once again, will Estelle be able to get over their past and her grieving and will Oliver be able to get over his hang-ups? If they can get over their past and present, could they have a future and if they do, what would Vic say?

“I’ve never felt like I’ve had to compete with anybody for someone’s affection, and now, I feel like I’m competing with a ghost, and sometimes memories are better than realities.”

With chapters in both past and present you are brought up to speed on just what Elle and Oliver shared. Elle was sixteen and Oliver was nineteen when he first saw her in a different light, he was her sounding board, he was there for her at her lowest, her comforted her, he shared everything with her, they had fun together, they had so much in common it was a no brainer that the lines between friendship and something else would get blurred. Elle knew that Oliver had broken her heart once, now it had been broken again by the death of her fiancé, she also knew that it couldn’t take being broken again, especially by Oliver, as it still hadn’t healed from the first time.

“What we have isn’t aligned with that part of my life. We live in a galaxy of our own.”

I have to say that Oliver totally stole this book for me, even when they were younger his love for Elle radiated off the page and now the more intense, broody, jealous Oliver brought those emotions and feelings to a whole new level. The scenes between these two both in the past and present grabbed at my heart and you couldn’t help but champion them along and with chapters in Oliver’s POV only making your connection to him all the deeper.

This is a beautiful story, it is about love and loss, moving on, friendships, love and forgiveness, it’s about believing in the present, living for the present, opening yourself up once again, mending your broken heart and believing that once again it can beat and love again.

“Love is beautiful, shattering, moving, haunting. Love is everything.”

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