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Author: Harper Sloan
Publication Date: 12 June 2018
Series: Hearts of Vegas, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, suspense
Age Recommendation: 17 and Up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~
Ari Daniels didn’t count on her whole world tumbling down around her in a mess of shredded promises, broken love, and unbelievable heartbreak. Alone and stricken with grief, she shouldered the blame and eventually closed her heart off, refusing to open it for another. After all, anytime she tried, guilt and regret were waiting in the wings to remind her how painful it was. A bet and one steamy night with a stranger force Ari to confront all she’s been hiding behind. She tries to move on, but he refuses to stand down, wanting what she is terrified to give—herself. This man may very well destroy her in the end, especially when it’s clear he has his own demons. What happens when two broken souls come together, finally allowing themselves to believe in the beauty of love … only to have to fight harder than ever to keep it.
You ever get a book that has been so hyped up, that you are so excited for, that is a wonderful read but just doesn't get there for you? That was me with Unconcious Hearts. That's not to say that I didn't throughly enjoy it, I really did, but I think all the hype and my expectations out weighed the reality in the end and I am almost certain I am the only person that feels this way. I wanted this to be some five start epic romance that I couldn't put away, I couldn't forget about and again, while it was a wonderful story, totally a four star read, it just didn't hit me the way it seems to be hitting everyone else and that's a real bummer.
First let me say I LOVE Harper Sloan's books. I am honestly never disappointed in what she gives the readers. With this even, my disappointment doesn't come from the book itself but my expectations of what the book was going to be due to everyone else's feelings about it. This, this is why I try to stay away from everyone else's reviews, etc, but sometimes its near impossible to, sometimes a book is just everywhere and this is one of those times.
I really enjoyed the story of Ari and Thorn. I am a particular fan of Thorns, I liked how he is straight up who he is, no questions, no apologies. He knows what he wants and he doesn't fail to work for it and in this case it's Ari. I honestly would have liked more Thorn, I would have liked to have gotten deeper into his thoughts and feelings. We know his past and how he got to be where he is but he felt overshadowed by Ari so much of the time and I feel like we didn't get to know him as well as we could have. There is so much more depth to him, I just needed more time, ha.
Ari is a great character but I honestly had a lot of trouble connecting with her. I never felt like she gave us her all. Yes, I know she is closed off, I know why she is the way she is, but I needed her to be less in her head all the time. I wish maybe we could have 'sat' in on one of her therapy sessions so we could have delved into who she really was outside of the person she had to become due to circumstances. She made it easier for me to put the book down and wander off to do other things instead of wanting to be all in, reading in one sitting. I simply just missed the connection to her that I felt like I needed. Even when she accepts that she has to break out of the box she's built around herself I just never felt that she steps all the way out.
I loved the suspense, the side commentary from the antagonist was something I both enjoyed and stumbled over. The way it was written made me have to focus more on exactly what was being said taking me out of my flow with the book. At the same time it was interesting to have that voice, to get to know the voice before you even knew who the antagonist was. I loved the twist at the end, which I won't tell you anything about because you would hate me forever, but it works so well and makes me want even more.
I loved the secondary characters and am really looking forward to their stories and getting to know them better. I think that Piper's story is the one that will catch me and bring me around to the 5 star way of thinking, there is just something there with her that I connected to where I didn't with Ari.
All that said, this is totally a 4 star read for me and I can see why it is a 5 star read for so many. I hope you will pick it up because I am super excited about this new series from Harper and if nothing else, you get Thorn and you get Dwight who is a total arse-cat, but a great addition to the cast, ha.
~ HAPPY READING ~
His eyes get hard for a beat before his features smooth back out. “Yeah, beyond sure. No one to pass this shit down to, and even if there was, I wouldn’t be givin’ someone ideas of materialistic bullshit if I did. More to life than all this shit.” “Okay, well, in that case …” I cough, not wanting to fight with him about our views when it comes to expensive wants versus needs. Last time I tried to argue the benefits of learning to care for and value something you work hard to buy, I had a black eye for almost two weeks. “In that case, I’m prepared to offer you a lump sum as a buyout for the whole collection, but I also want to mention, again, that consignment would be a more lucrative approach. Our buyout is just a standard percent of resale value, but consignment would allow us to mark up each to give you a larger profit.” “Told you, babe, want it gone. I don’t give a shit about making it more lucrative. Look around you, hardly hurting.” “Still, it’s my obligation to make sure you’re informed.” “Consider me informed.” “Okay … so I can offer a tentative amount of three million. I would need more time to inspect each item in depth for any defects that could affect the value and also to research a few pieces I feel may be limited editions so that could also affect the value. Meaning that amount could go up or down, but I wouldn’t expect it to be less than two point five or more than four point seven-ish. I wouldn’t need but maybe five days tops, and I can come during the day if that works better for your schedule.” “You get this gone in two days, and I’ll take one mil.” My whole body jerks back as if I had been slapped, staring at him like he was absolutely insane. “That’s absolutely insane,” I tell him, voicing my thoughts. “No, that’s me not giving a shit and wanting it gone so I can get out of this place and sell it and all this shit some hand with care placed around each room. Woulda left this shit in and sold it with the house, but for some reason I’ll never understand, you’re here, and I still just want it gone. You don’t need five days when I’m taking a two mil hit, babe. That would waste your time and mine, and I’m not a huge fan of wasting my time. Way I see it, you win, and I get a cold mil for some shit I didn’t buy nor care about. So you get this shit outta here, and all I need is that.” “Thorn, I can’t in good conscience accept that.” “Then dirty that conscience up and laugh your tight little ass all the way to the bank. Don’t give a shit as long as it’s gone, and I don’t have to do anything to make it that way.” “This is insanity.” “Insanity would be tossing it all at the Goodwill drop-off. I’m making money. You’re making money. Only thing sweeter than making money is doing it while I’m getting my cock wet, and babe, that only happens when my stock rises at the same time my cock does.” He steps closer, and I back into the island, my chest burning as I hold my breath. “Course, never had four mil worth of shit to sell to a woman who makes my cock rise without even trying.” “Thorn,” I whisper, placing my hand against his hard chest with the intention of pushing him back. Only, the second his warmth burns through his shirt and hits my skin, I can’t move an inch. “Ari,” he mocks, his eyes bright. “I, uh, the paperwork …” I close my eyes and focus on my breaths and the words my mouth can’t seem to form. When my heart slows enough that I won’t die of a heart attack right here in heaven, I look back up at him. “You’re breaking my brain, Thorn. Please step back so I can think clearly without my body trying to die on me.” The corners of his eyes crinkle as he continues to gaze down at me, but he does step back. My arm falling down to my side. “As much as I wish I could have this room cleared out for you tomorrow, it will take at least until late Monday. I’ll need to meet with you beforehand to have some legal paperwork signed for the sale due to its size. But my lawyer is an old family friend, so I can have that by tomorrow around dinnertime, if you wouldn’t mind meeting me to take care of that. I won’t be able to get the cashier’s check until after those are signed, so late Monday is the best I can offer you.” “Want this shit gone, but it’s hardly a hardship to wait a few more days if that means I’ve got a few more opportunities to try to make you want me as much as you want this shit around you,” he says, his deep voice thick with desire. “Good heavens, you don’t stop, do you?” “Not unless you beg, babe.” “I think it’s best we went back to keeping things professional, Mr. Evans.” This time, it isn’t a ghost of a smile on his lips. Oh, no. Not this time. If I thought he was handsome before this moment, I was a fool. Because Thorn Evans giving you his full, unhindered smile and a gaze so thick with unspoken promise as it washes over you and creates a fire of the desire you already felt … well, that expression on him turns him from sinfully hot to heart-stopping and irresistible instantly. “It would take me five minutes to get you to beg me for it, Ms. Daniels. Admit it.” Offended at the thought that I’m easy, I narrow my eyes. Finally. At least anger is an emotion I’ve had plenty of practice dealing with. “I’m not sure what kind of women you’re used to, but I promise you, I am not that type of woman.” “Maybe three,” he oddly says, ignoring me. “Three, what?” I snap. “Minutes, sweetness. Three minutes and you’d be begging me for all this shit and my cock.” My mouth flounders, and I gasp. “Though, pretty sure I could get that in less than a minute and get you doin’ all the work while I watch from my back.” My arm is up, palm cracking against his cheek before I have the ability to do anything to stop it. “I think we’re done here.” I walk around him, ready to find my way out and let him find someone else to take all of this off his hands even if it kills a little part of my lux loving soul. When his hand curls around my bicep—not painfully, but firm enough to make me stop—I look over my shoulder with a frown. For a man who was just slapped, he looks almost gleeful. “One minute, Ari. Give me a minute and if you aren’t ready to beg me for it, when those sixty seconds are up, you can take this shit and not give me a penny for it.”Walk away, Ari. Walk. Away. No amount of money is worth being some man’s whore.Spinning away from his hold, I jerk my arm free and step toward him with a roll up to my toes, getting my face as close to his as I can. His scent overwhelms me. The subtle notes of his cologne fog my rational thought, making me drunk with need, and I sway slightly before correcting myself. “Thirty seconds,” I retort, my jaw tight with stubbornness. I’m not sure who I shocked more—him or me. I have my answer, though, when I see victory flash in his eyes. Oh, my God … what have I done? “You’re on,” he agrees, his eyes alight with the promise backed up by his devilish grin. I nod, incapable of anything more. I stand there in shocked silence as he takes my phone, his thick fingers moving quickly over the screen. I vaguely hear a chime from his pocket and before I can so much as blink, he’s handing me my things. “Tomorrow, I’ll text you. Paperwork first, then you beg.” I gulp, jerk my head in what I hope resembles a nod of agreement, and then … I flee.
Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.