Heartache and Hope, the first book in Jay McLean’s Heartache Duet is now live
and available in Kindle Unlimited.
They look like fireflies. The way the water falls from the sky, illuminated only by the streetlamps.
I stand in the middle of the road, barefoot and barely breathing, my arms out, face to the sky.
I don’t know how I got here.
When I climbed out of my window, the sun was just setting and now… now I’m surrounded by dark skies and false hope.
I know I should go home. That I should face my fears and tackle them head-on.
My mind travels the right roads at the right time to get me there, but my heart…My heart takes me to Connor.
Outside his bedroom window, mud seeps between my toes, and the frigid air creates goosebumps along my skin. I raise my fist and tap, tap, tap on the glass.
A moment later, a light turns on. And then nothing. I tap again, my heart racing.
The blind lifts and Connor appears, his eyes squinting. It’s clear he’d been asleep, or close to it. Hair a mess, he’s shirtless, the obvious beginnings of bruises mar parts of his torso, and I look down, shame filling every part of me. I bite down on my lip as he slides the window up.
“Jesus Christ, Ava. What the hell are you doing?”
His warm palms meet my soaking wet elbows, and then his entire body is cocooning mine, off my feet and into his bedroom.
My feet land on his soft carpet, and I look down at the mess I’ve made.
“I’m dirty,” I tell him.
Inside and out.
Dirty, dazed and damaged.
*** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***
My heart cracked a little, swooned a lot and loved for tons.
Jay MacLean wrote some heavy emotional Young Adult story about two young people who had to grow up faster than the others. Living far from the realities of teenagers with weights on their shoulders they shouldn’t have for their young age.
Ava and Connor won me over from the first time. That girl who lived to be on bubble, unfriendly and but rude at times and that boy with a heart of gold who pushed all her defenses and broke almost all her walls.
I thought I was ready for the heartbreak coming and the inevitably of their situation. But I wasn’t at all. The author conveyed throughout the main characters such powerful emotions that went straight to the guts. Just young love at its best…The butterflies and the swooning, the rage and happiness, the turmoil of emotions that could felt any teenagers. The pressure to take care of their families and responsibilities they had to handle.
For a moment they met in the middle, a place where they found their peace and happiness. A bubble that might explode at any time, like a ticking bomb. Ava was for a long time the girl apart, who wanted to be alone. Pushing anyone due to the heaviness of her situation. I was in awe of her behavior and strength, of her maturity for that young age. In her attempts not to seek for help and ended trapped into it, she guarded her heart and also friendship to anyone. How could she be a teenager with this family dynamic? One good day, ten other bad days coming. A nightmare on repeat.
Connor was focused on basketball until he met this girl who wanted to be alone, who tried to keep him at bay. The moment he saw her, he was sold, attracted like a moth to a flame, knowing perfectly that trying to crack the code to her heart wouldn’t be easy. A bit perseverance and strong determination was the key. I swooned and sighed so much with him. A boy with so much love and fighting spirit. The words he used to describe his feelings were just… damn my heart.
This was the kind of story that speaks to my heart. The narrative was poignant, raw and rough. The main characters never hide how they felt, in the good and the bad times. In spite of this emotional side, there was such magic in this book, even in the darkness they could find that ray of sunshine when they were together. A chemistry so beautifully written, that made me smile so many times I lost count.
This story was charged emotionally for sure but the author managed to find that balance between the moments of joy and the ones that broke me apart. From the beginning I was rooting for them, not to let it go. Now I have to wait for the second book and I have such hope for them, that they would finally find the ending they deserved, with some obstacles to overcome.
Jay McLean made me a believer. Just heartbreakingly beautiful.