First, I want to start off saying that I am a big fan of Emma Scott and I always get a wee bit nervous when reviewing her books. My big fear is having to write a review not really enjoying the book.
I don’t know how the chick does it but damn, damn, damn! She aced it again. Sugar & Gold by Emma Scott was a beautiful read. Thank the goodness for that. But that’s not to say I won’t get messy or petty in my review, I’m only stating that this is a damn good book.
I’m going to keep it pretty with a wee bit of mess here and there.
Let’s start by seeing with a word from the author. . .
Nikolai Alexei Young was born with a special gift…one he’d do anything to lose. The heart and soul of every person he comes into contact with is an open book to his heightened senses. Colorful emotions, whispers of thoughts, the sour tastes of old memories…He feels them all. The sci-fi books would call him an empath. For Nikolai, his ability has made him an exile. He roams the U.S. alone, avoiding the glut of life in big cities, and using his innate talents to win money in underground poker games. Just enough to keep going, one town to the next. He has no hope that his life can be anything else, until he meets her…
At nineteen, Fiona Starling was trapped in an ugly, desperate situation until she freed herself the only way she knew how. Now three years later, living outside Savannah, Georgia, she is rebuilding her life on her own terms; seizing every moment and saving every penny so that she might fulfill her dream of moving to the raw wilderness of Costa Rica. But behind her carefree smile beats the heart of a lonely young woman haunted by her past, until a chance encounter with a tattooed stranger changes everything…
Fiona takes Nikolai under her roof for three sultry nights, waiting out the rain of a summer storm. She grows more and more fascinated by this brooding stranger with whom she shares an intense physical connection—a connection so strong, she wonders if there is something between them beyond lust and passion. Nikolai is shocked to discover that Fiona calms the raging turmoil in his heart. She alone silences the din of other people’s lives, and envelops him in the sweet beauty of her inner self. Every moment he’s with her—every touch of her skin—brings him closer to the peace that’s been eluding him his entire life.
But Fiona harbors secrets that she is too terrified to reveal. After Nikolai confesses his unique ability, she is caught between wanting to believe him and fearing he’ll eventually unearth her own dark past. When the unthinkable happens, Fiona’s plans come crashing down, and Nikolai discovers his hated ability might be the only thing that can save the woman he loves.
Sugar & Gold is a STANDALONE new adult romance with shades of the paranormal. Intended for readers 18 and up.
One night is all Fiona has to give to this sexy stranger who she has fell in lust with.
Just one night.
Or so they say. Because that one night becomes three and that lust becomes something more. But who is this man? This man who has not only given her the best orgasm she has every had, but who also may have taken a piece of her heart that’s been so closed off.
“I have the devil in me.”
“Do you think what you can do – the ken – is wrong?”
“I don’t like it. I don’t want it. Can you make it go away?”
Nikolai is beautiful. Most men don’t like to be called beautiful. It’s not manly enough they say, but to me, there is no better way to describe him. Think about the meaning of the word for a second.
Beautiful – pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically or of a very high standard; excellent.
That’s Nikolai. Don’t get me wrong, the man is sexy as fuck too, but who he is on the inside is even better. He has a gift, which he calls, the ken, that is destroying apart of him every single day. He hates it and it’s heartbreaking. You wonder, “How can a man so beautiful hate this part of himself so much?”
Fiona is astounding. Her journey to rebuild her life and find her self-worth is incredible to read about. She is what every woman should strive to be. I don’t mean that we all should be just like her, I mean we all should learn to value ourselves.
It’s a daily struggle for Fiona to keep her demons away, but one she doesn’t mind fighting. This is why I feel in love with her. Even when others words about her rang loud in her head, she tried to remind herself that those words aren’t true.
I always knew you were a slut. – Fiona’s inner thoughts that she fought against everyday.
We all have those, right? But she was learning how to love herself more and more everyday.
“I deserve better than that, and I’ve worked really hard to get to a place where I can say it: I deserve better than that.“
“Yeah, you do.” – Fiona/Nikolai
As Fiona was finding more and more ways to love herself, Nikolai was doing the opposite. Nik’s ken never turns off, he can’t control it. He’s isolated himself to the outside world. He finds ways that bring him pain in order to lessen the ken anyway he can. He rides around the country on his motorcycle (sexy), he plays poker for money (again, sexy) but he does it all alone (tragic).
But then along comes Fiona, the only person in the world that quiets his ken and allows him find himself. Fiona allows him to find a sense of calm in a world that full of noise and chaos. Plus, she drop dead gorgeous which doesn’t hurt.
Normally, I don’t enjoy books where there is too much self-loathing but it’s impossible not to understand where Nikolai is coming from. I would personally react the same way as he did. Well, maybe not the same way, I would have thrown some drugs and alcohol in there too. I never claimed to be perfect or have everything figured out.
As Nikolai began to realize that he could find a way to live with the ken as long as he could have Fiona, she was only willing to give him so much of herself. He just didn’t know whether or not it was enough for him. He needed more from her but she wouldn’t come easily.
I love a man who is willing to fight for a woman. Hottest thing EVER. Nik was ready and willing to put up the good fight for Fiona because she was worth it. To him, she was worth him finding a better way to live with the ken so he wouldn’t have to live without her.
“I imagined what it would be like if I said no to you. To. . .us. Whatever that might be. And I didn’t like it.” – Fiona
When Fiona decided she was ready to move on and embrace love, it could only be on her terms. I fucking adored that about her. She was my kind of chick!
But wait a hot damn minute! When she does decide to embrace the possibility of love with Nik, he still doesn’t tell her about the ken. Bad move, Nik. Bad fucking move. That choice to keep quiet alters everything! Shit starts to get real, real.
Men and their silly secrets. I swear the world would be so much better if men just kept it honest. What can we do? Nada. They will still be stupid, just saying.
Obviously, there is a paranormal aspect to this book which I really got into. I’m not a big fan of out and out paranormal, but a wee bit here and there works for me. Some authors have the ability to bring that aspect into a story perfectly and some don’t. No big deal, to each their own. Now, Emma Scott, yeah. . .she’s got it down to a science.
I think I did really good here! I wasn’t messy at all! A little toot, toot for me.
TTYL, lovers. . .
Stalk all things messy…