SUGAR AND GOLD
Oh my. Where do I even start?
“Love and hope. Love and fucking hope…”
When Nik was a kid he was treated with shock therapy because he claimed that he could see, feel and taste other people’s feelings and thoughts. His own mother thought he had the devil in him.
Today he uses his ability in poker games. He never loses if he doesn’t plan to. Ever. But the constant buzz of other people’s variety of feelings is oppressive. For that reason Nikolai avoids big cities if it can be helped. The tattoo needle gives him reprieve for a short time because that pain is his own and not other people’s. After leaving behind his last poker game in Atlanta Nik sets up camp in a small town just outside of Savannah. He relishes the quiet.
Fiona works at the garden center. The job is a means to an end. Her plan is to move to Costa Rica, away from the past that still haunts her. But before that she intends to do things she has never done before. Like, say, a one night stand? At the local bar a tattooed and pierced guy saves her from an overly enthusiastic dance partner. Fiona allows herself to have one night of sensual bliss. But neither of them seem to keep away from each other and one night becomes three nights.
Nikolai finds peace from the onslaught of human emotions when he is with Fiona. For the first time he feels a resemblance of normalcy but he knows he can’t stay. When Nik finally leaves either of them keeps telling themselves that it’s better this way. Fiona can’t have anyone in her life who keeps her from fulfilling her dream to go to Costa Rica. She lost too much when she left her ex-husband. Especially her ability to trust in her own gut feeling when it comes to people and her self esteem. So how can she trust a stranger?
And beneath the peace, was something clean and pure and simple. I missed her. Her. Fiona.
Emma Scott has an infallible knack for writing lovable and deep characters you can’t help but care about. Nikolai is a beautiful soul, tormented, so much so that his despair drives him to thoughts of ending his life. Not because he doesn’t want to live but his ability is making his life a living hell.
I didn’t want to die but this wasn’t living. I wanted an end.
The person who was supposed to love him unconditionally couldn’t even look at him because of the ability he was born with and which had been more curse than gift. That massive hurt still lingers inside of him. His loneliness slayed me.
The way Nikolai takes care of Fiona, sensing her every mood change and adapting to it, giving her room when she needs it is endearing. He is selfless, giving and generous, has a wicked sense of humor and is a beast in the sack. I love the way Nik sees his girl, shades of pink and gold, her kindness, sweetness and love.
“I want to take you out tomorrow and…talk about it.”
“Okay,” I said slowly. “Sure. If you want to.”
“No, Fiona,” Nik said, his voice low. “If you want to.”
Fiona is this beautiful girl who seems carefree on the outside but her demons still rattle her cage. And living in a cage she does – until she realizes that she can’t outrun the monster in her mind and needs to face her ex-husband, otherwise she will never really be free, because, when has it ever worked to run away from your problems? Fiona doesn’t realize how strong she really is.
“My heart is telling me one thing and my mind is telling me another and I don’t know which to believe. Story of my life.”
She is a sweet, kind young woman with a goodness that radiates from the pages. She gives Nik the appreciation and gentleness his broken soul craves. Nik gives her back the self esteem that was cruelly taken away from her and makes her feel beautiful. Their connection was gorgeous, I felt completely wrapped up in love.
Emma Scott has a successful formula of writing stories that make you feel deeply. She is one of those authors who write their heart out. She bares her soul in every book. They are packed with emotion and will move even the most jaded reader. Every word in it is perfection, there is no room for fillers and she still comes up with 520+ pages that feel like half of that. You just can’t make yourself stop reading, it’s that good.
Ms Scott’s writing style is unbelievably engaging and captivating with a little grit to keep it from getting too sweet. And when she cranks up the feels it’s like a punch to the guts. I hope Emma keeps writing, she has already a very loyal fanbase and I’m sure they will stick with her if she keeps knocking these stories out of the park!
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