Hope is a dangerous thing. I know that more than most. Everything good I’ve ever had has been stolen from me — my friends, my fiancé, my innocence, some would say even my sanity. All I have left is the cage. Fighting is the only thing that eases the ache inside me even a little. It’s the only thing that keeps the bottle at bay.
I was content to ride out my life alone. I was done dreaming that things could be better. But then I met Grace, and suddenly, all I could do was dream.
She’s battling those same demons, only she’s losing. I don’t want to care, but something about her calls to me. That pain in her eyes is so sharp, so familiar. I know it’s only a matter of time before it pulls her below the surface.
I can help her, and maybe, just maybe, she can help me too. For the first time in what feels like forever, I’ve got hope, and that scares the hell out of me.
This is a full length novel with no cliffhanger. There will be a sequel, but this book resolves all the story elements by the end. It is written with dual perspectives, so both Logan and Grace get their say.
It’s not very often the first thing I do when I close a book is send an author an email. But that is exactly what I did with this book. This book took my breath away. Two amazingly beautiful and flawed characters struggling to make it through each day find hope and strength in one another. It touched my heart and broke me into a hundred pieces all while making me cling to each word in front of me. It put my heart back together and made be believe in the strength in love. This is a powerful story that is steamy and full of love. This is a book that made me want to stop what I was doing and tell twenty people about it instantly. It grabbed me and shook me up and I left me perfectly content in the end.
Grace lost her way. She lost her hope. She lost her future and her career and was one step away from being homeless. But someone was there watching out for her. Trying to help her gain her footing and help her find her place again. But this isn’t going to be an easy road for her. She has felt the greatest of loss. She has felt the strongest of grief. She has lost herself in the bottle. But she has a chance now to make her life whole again. She can’t go back to the way things have been going for her. She has to move forward if she wants to make it through it all.
But the world seems to be against her and it only takes one memory to send her spiraling out of control again. But there is something about him that makes her want to take the step forward. Something… but what it is…
Logan is perfectly content with his life now. He has learned how to deal with the struggles of his past. He has learned to fight past the demons. He was given his second change. But of course that makes life to easy just to get beyond the demons, especially after she walked into the bar. There is something about her that Logan just wants to help, to comfort, to make better. He knows there is so much more to her than that rough exterior. But who is he to help? Every day is a battle for him. A fight to struggle through. Everyday he faces the battle. But what is it about her that makes him want to be that much stronger, to want to fight that much more?
These are two of the most tragically flawed characters and they find so much strength in one another. But could that be their downfall? Could they need each other to survive that much? What happens if something in the universe shifts or is thrown off balance? Would they be able to survive without each other?
There is so much depth in the two main characters in this book. I found myself struggling with them, for them. I wanted them to heal one another. I wanted them to find their strength not only with each other but for each other. I wanted them to have all of their dreams come true. And though that makes me feel a bit like a child wishing for a happily-ever-after, I couldn’t loose hope for them. I didn’t want to. I saw the struggles, the battles they fought within and I wanted nothing more than to seem them become the victors in their story.
This book had me gasping for air, struggling to breath, believing in something so much bigger. This book gave me hope, love and I found myself laughing, crying and struggling right along with the characters. Wanting so much more for them. But it wasn’t just the characters.
This book touched on a few serious issues. Though Logan and Grace had very different circumstances leading them to a common place at the bottom of the bottle, they bought fought their way back. Logan did it with the help of a family friend, Grace did it with the help of Logan. But the big thing is that they found their way back. It wasn’t a traditional route but it was the strength they each needed to get to where they are.
It’s hard for me to tell you this is a light read, because it wasn’t. It will make you take pause and really think about the cards you have been dealt in life. It may make you stand a little taller and prouder or it may make you cower to see some of your bad habits unfold in front of your eyes. But one thing it will do, is touch you. I know it did for me.
Now this seems like this is a super serious review and this book is going to be a depressing read, it’s not. Yes, I admit there are serious issues at play and there are serious incidents that happen in the book, but it is a smoldering hot book too. The sexual tension in this book is amazing. Two people struggling so much with their own issues, they are pushing one another away in the attraction department. But when it all explodes around them…whew!
This book is not only well written, but it is a beautiful and passionate story. It is a hot steamy romance full of angst and desire. It was gripping and heartbreakingly beautiful and I just wanted to read more and more of their story. Maya Cross has written such a great story and really touched my heart. Five fabulous stars and I cannot wait for more!
I gave a tiny shake of my head. It felt like a big gesture, one that should have set the earth shaking and the sky falling, but it was strangely liberating at the same time. A moment of clarity in an ocean of confusion. I wanted him. I couldn’t deny that anymore. I wanted everything those absent words implied. His hands on my body, his lips on mine. I knew that given a few days, a few hours, maybe even a few minutes, my pain and self-loathing would resurface and start sabotaging this again, but right now, in that moment, I was free of that.
Before I could talk myself out of it, I lunged towards him. He was so tall that I had to stretch up onto my toes, wrapping my hands around his neck to pull his mouth down to mine. It sent a powerful longing through me, that height, that sheer bulk. I normally hate to be reminded how diminutive I am, but I liked how small he made me feel. There was something strangely comforting about it.
His body stiffened and he mumbled a curse against my lips. For a moment, he barely moved. I could feel the war playing out behind his eyes. But then the fight drained out of him, and his arms enveloped me as he began kissing me back with an urgency strong enough to be almost frightening. Part of me expected it to feel wrong, a betrayal of everything I’d had with Tom, but instead my body simply melted against his like it had always been there, and all other thoughts disappeared.
All my other first kisses had been timid affairs, but this was something else entirely, fierce and hungry; an explosion of everything that was simmering inside us. Though I’d initiated it, Logan quickly seized control. This wasn’t a man who simply stood by and had things happen to him. Leather-rough palms ran amok across my back and shoulders, pulling me against him as though he was afraid I’d be snatched away at any moment. I moaned involuntarily into his mouth as his tongue darted and teased. In some distant part of me I felt ashamed, but it was dwarfed by the fire that was coursing through my veins. I’d never been kissed like that before. Not by Tom. Not by anybody. It felt like a matter of need rather than want. Life or death.
I’d seen him shirtless plenty of times of course, but the sight was different now. Erotic, sensual, and above all, mine. I could barely breathe for how magnificent he looked. Sculpted and tanned and lit with moonlight; a living breathing Greek statue. I wanted to touch all of him, to feel each inch between my fingers, in my mouth, in every part of me. I’d never been so intoxicated by another human being.
My hands took on a mind of their own, dancing hungrily across his bare chest. His muscles were so hard, like his entire body was just skin stretched over stone sculpture. Everything inside me seemed to clench as my fingers took it all in, the perfectly defined grooves between his pecs and his abs, the mountainous curl of his biceps. He was still slick with sweat and hot from the night’s exertion, but that only excited me more. Images played through my head of him in the arena, his body a perfect primal machine leveling all of that power at his opposition.
My lack of control seemed to trigger something in Logan. He reached for my shirt, tugging it over my head, and then his hands turned ravenous, squeezing my breasts, my ass, the curve of my hips. It felt like his fingers were everywhere at once, and my body tingled and burned in response. It was so good to be touched again. I hadn’t realized how long it had been or how much I missed it, but there was something exquisite about it — a tactile euphoria that kept me centered in that perfect moment and scattered all my problems to the wind.
He broke away, breathing heavily, his face twisted into some bizarre combination of pain and desire. Pressing his forehead against mine he locked eyes with me. “Are you sure?” His voice was low, the primordial growl of a man who was just below the cusp where words were no longer relevant.
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Maya Cross is a writer who enjoys making people blush. Growing up with a mother who worked in a book store, she read a lot from a very young age, and soon enough picked up a pen of her own. She’s tried her hands at a whole variety of genres including horror, science fiction, and fantasy, but funnily enough, it was the sexy stuff that stuck. She has now started this pen name as an outlet for her spicier thoughts (they were starting to overflow). She likes her heroes strong but mysterious, her encounters sizzling, and her characters true to life.
She believes in writing familiar narratives told with a twist, so most of her stories will feel comfortable, but hopefully a little unique. Whatever genre she’s writing, finding a fascinating concept is the first, and most important step.
The Alpha Group is her first attempt at erotic romance.
When she’s not writing, she’s playing tennis, trawling her home town of Sydney for new inspiration, and drinking too much coffee.