The Heart Principle By Helen Hoang – Review

“When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.”

Firstly I’d like to say a massive thank you to Atlantic Books and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read the acr of The Heart Principle. I honestly didn’t think I would get approved so I was pleasantly surprised!

Over the last year or so I’ve made it a point to find and read more books by authors who are from different ethnic backgrounds and I’m a sucker when it comes to it. I love a story about someone who is different yet similar to me. Someone who I can relate to but also I can’t. I like looking at life through their lens and living vicariously through them doing things, experiencing things I never would in life. It makes me happy just like this book made me happy.

The Heart Principle is book number three in The Kiss Quotient series but can also be read as a standalone. I myself have not read the first two books just yet but now I most definitely can not wait to get my hands on them. Also if I’m being entirely honest I had no idea who Helen Hoang was until I joined book twitter and saw The Heart Principle everywhere to the point I was like I need to read this book right now!

I am going to try to keep this review shorter than usual just because I have been struggling to come up with the words to explain exactly how this book has made me feel. I don’t want to spoil the plot or give too much away because I really think you should pick up this book and give it a read. If you are 18+ that is. Helen Hoang deals with so many hard and deep rooted issues in this book that you are going to feel every emotion under the sun – that is a given. I cried, I laughed, I even got annoyed and felt as though Hoang had taken a peek into my own life and somehow managed to weave it into this story. This is a romance, a spicy romance but it’s also a slice of life.

Anna and Quan are one of the most realistically portrayed couples I have read in a recent book. Both characters are going through a lot, physically and emotionally. Neither is looking for love, just someone they can overcome a hurdle with and then never have to see again but things never go to plan and somehow these two end up intertwined in each other’s lives finding comfort in one another. They understand each other and because there are no expectations I think they are both more open and vulnerable with the other. Two damaged souls – one a little more broken than another find solace eventually together.

Quan has the exterior of a total bad boy; tattoos, leather jackets and even a motorbike. He looks like the kind of guy your parents tell you to stay the hell away from but he is so swoon worthy looks and personality wise. He is one of the most patient love interests that I have ever come across. He is the ying to Anna’s yang because she is the opposite of him in every way. She is a people pleaser, she never says what’s on her mind and she is so self critical that she is her own worst enemy. She is phenomenal but she is surrounded by people who think they know best for her and don’t support or appericatte or even listen to her.

This story for me is about self discovery and acceptance. Coming to terms with who you are and being okay with it. It’s a story about family and how hard it can be – all the ups and downs that come with expectations and pressure. A story about how meeting the right person can change your life for the better.

I think I am going to wrap up my review here. I think I’ve said a lot but at the same time nothing at all. I have to give this book a 5/5 for exceeding my expectations. I really felt seen reading this book and it got me questioning a lot of things in my own life. That’s what a great book does, it evokes emotions, it stirs up something inside of you. The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang is now available in the UK from all major book retailers so definitely get your hand on it!

The Dating Dare By Jayci Lee – Review

“No serious relationships. This is the one rule Tara Park made for herself and it has been working swimmingly, especially since she’s busy with Weldon Brewery. But when Seth Kim, temptation personified and her best friend’s new brother-in-law walks into her life, Tara might be willing to bend her golden rule . . . but only for four dates, which she agreed to after a few good rounds of beer – and a game of truth or dare.

Seth Kim can’t believe Tara agreed to his dating dare. He’s leaving for a new job in Paris in a month and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice distraction for both . . . But while their dates have a tendency to hit roadblocks, their non-dates and chance meetings are becoming frequent – and heated. What was supposed to be a little fun game is turning into something that neither is ready for.

But sometimes, the best things in life are the ones we never see coming.”

I had so much fun reading this lovely story by Jayci Lee. The Dating Dare is book #2 in the Sweet Mess series. (I need to go and pick up the first book because I loved this one so much) You can read them together or they can be read as stand alone stories so have no fear if you haven’t read Sweet Mess like me. Thank you so much Headline, Net Galley and of course Jayci Lee for this wonderful opportunity to read such a sweet story.

We all know by now how I’m such a cover girl – give me a cute cover and I will swoon over the book any day. I love both versions of the cover for The Dating Dare, so adorable. (I’ve of course posted the UK version as that is what is available to me)

I can not begin to express how much I enjoyed this story. It is such a feel good book I found myself smiling and swooning throughout and of course there were plenty of moments where I was giggling, even laughing out loud! I love a good romantic comedy and that is exactly what this is.

I love Tara and Seth. They are both so relatable in their own ways so as a reader you feel connected to the characters. But they are also the type of characters that you root for because you just want them to be happy!!!!

So the story goes like this – they both meet at Tara’s best friend’s wedding where Seth just so happens to be the younger brother of the groom. They get to talking (Their banter is impeccable) and end up playing a game of truth or dare, which results in the dating dare. Four dates, no strings attached. Seth is leaving at the end of the month to fly across to Paris anyways. What do they have to lose?

Well we all know from previous experience how these sorts of situations work out, right? This is one of my favorite tropes – “Make sure you don’t fall in love with me.” “No, you try not to fall in love with me.” And then by the end everyone is in love! I just think it works out so beautifully in this story as both characters are scarred from their tragic history with love and find themselves slowly but surely opening up to one another. Yes there are bumps along the way but there is also a whole lot of self discovery and coming to terms with their past and overcoming their fears.

Their chemistry is on fire and the spiciness of their blooming relationship is just on another level, It’s undeniable! There was literally one point in the book where I was like dammnnn where on earth do I find my own Seth! Literally sitting there fanning myself. Honestly this book really made me want to fall in love with the right person and just have all the crazy fun possible.

I adore Jayci Lee and the way that she writes, especially when she is describing food. It’s like hearing someone talk about something that they are so passionate about that they are oozing happiness from the inside. She is so funny and honestly every single character in this story is so relatable. I think I especially like this story because I see a lot of myself in Tara and her experiences so even though I know this is just fiction it allows me to feel as though there is still hope for me out there!

I would like to give this book a 5/5. I know I’ve said I love it multiple times before but it’s true I really do. I know the story is predictable but that’s what makes a romantic comedy so comforting and enjoyable. This was just a quick and easy read, I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Just thinking about Tara and Seth makes me smile (yes I am a weirdo like that) I absolutely recommend this book if you like cute, funny and of course let’s not forget steamy romances.

Silent Pretty Things By O. J. Lovaz – Review

“A small town…a prominent family…a secret. Only two people know the truth, and their silence will have murderous consequences.

Anna Goddard has spent a lifetime being the Good Daughter. Polished and primped into sleek, blond perfection, Anna learned from an early age that being a Goddard meant presenting a flawless façade to the world. But all that changes when Anna stumbles upon a private correspondence that leaves her reeling. With the help of Michael Donovan, a shy but charming local historian, Anna embarks on a journey to find the one thing her family has always denied: The Truth.


Propelled by her mission to protect those she loves, the young woman experiences a tantalizing taste of freedom. But in the process of unearthing the past, Anna and her family will expose a new threat so dangerous it could ruin them all.”

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading this Silent Pretty Things. I knew that it was a mystery/thriller so I went in, without any preconceived notions of what this story could be about. At first it did take a little while for me to get into the book and it started off a tad slow for my liking but like any other story it picked up pace around the halfway mark and well from there on out we were in for a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

The story follows Anna Goodard, a young woman who has recently discovered a secret making her all that more suspicious of her not so loving father. She starts investigating to uncover the truth trying to find evidence to back her assumptions. She ends up meeting Micheal – her love interest, while on her endeavors. Micheal is intelligent and charming. He has Anna smitten from the get go and in all honestly the feelings are mutual. We watch their relationship develop quite quickly through this book. I thought that they were cute and complemented each other really well. Both are smart and witty and they just seem to balance one another out.

Anyways, back to the story. Anna enlists the help of her brother Frank – who really hates his dad and her cousin Diane- who is no longer on speaking terms with her mother to come up with the perfect plan to find out what on earth is really going on. They end up involving their other halves and exposing truths at a family gathering after many complications but not long after the unthinkable happens leaving Anna to do what she thinks will save her family.

Lovas is a great writer – there is no doubt about that. This book is so intense and descriptive that you as reader feel as though if you close your eyes you are right there in the book dancing between the lines. For some reason, I am going to put this down to the tone of the book. I thought that this story was set in England and it wasn’t until I was a few chapters in that I realised, nope we’re in Baltimore. I did however find the dialogue very formal but I guess that’s just how these characters are meant to speak. I also find the the whole trope of not calling the police because you’ll end up in jail annoying, like what even is the point of them if they are just going to blame you without investigating properly but to each their own. I’m not going to spend ages ranting about this because lots of authors do it.

I honestly wish I could say that I loved this book but ultimately it was not for me. I just want to stress that just because I don’t like it doens’t mean that you won’t. It’s impossible for a person to love every single story that they read. It’s full of family drama and secrets and in all honesty I can see so many bookstagrammers and booktokers raving about this book in the near future and rightly so. If you love shows like The Good Wife, Big Little Lies, Mistresses (sorry I can’t think of any books that give me the same vibes) This is the book for you. I will be giving this book a 3/5 because even though I don’t like it subjectively there are some great parts if we look at it objectively.

I just want to say a massive thank you to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read Silent Pretty Things as this has allowed me to experience something out of my usual book bubble and comfort zone! For those of you who do want to get your hands on this book it is now available on amazon.

A Mystery at Lili Villa By Arathi Menon – Review

“Cousins Arj, Tam, and Mira are spending their summer vacation in Elathoor, a little village in Kerala when their family home, Lili Villa, is broken into and some jewelry is stolen. The Terrific Three set out to solve the mystery but soon discover that there is no shortage of suspects.  Is it Pinching Kodavis or Dumdumchecchi, the milking lady? Is it the mean fisherwoman who starves the cat or the retired nurse who owns a luxury car? Or is it Mani with his upside-down Russian secret? Who could the thief possibly be?

In a throwback to unscheduled summer vacations, this cozy mystery will charm young readers with plenty of sibling sparring, some intrepid sleuthing, and an endless parade of mouth-watering snacks”.

I can not express how happy I was  that I got the opportunity to read A Mystery at Lili Villa by Arathi Menon – Massive thank you to Yali Books & Net Galley. 

What a special little book filled with mystery and crime solving fun! I was pleasantly surprised at how lovely this story turned out to be! I grew up reading The Famous Five – all thanks to my mum who grew up in Pakistan watching the tv series. I absolutely loved the adventures the children would go on and I would dream of how I too one day would get up to no good and venture out into the world. 

Arathi Menon has created a magical little world which follows – Tam who is spending her summer with her cousins  Arj and Mira at their family home in Kerala. This story is full of life and so beautifully vibrant, I felt as though I had been transported to India and I was following the trio on their little adventure. Honestly I was reminded of the time I spent abroad with my cousins abroad and all the mischief and mystery solving we would get up to. The stories I could tell… maybe another day. 

This book is not very long (I think it’s the perfect length for the intended audience)  but it definitely packs a lot in. There is not a single dull moment throughout – we meet so many different yet wonderfully full characters throughout – each with a story of their own to tell! I managed to read this book very quickly because of how easy and fast it was to take in. Yes it was a little difficult to begin because I was wondering what some of the words meant but it’s easy to follow and there is a lovely little glossary at the back of the book for food, and Hindi and Malayalam words. 

I adore Arj, Mira and Tam. They are honestly the cutest, the smartest and most inquisitive children who ultimately end up outsmarting the adults. The dynamic between the cousins is very very relatable and just so sweet. I love how each child is so determined to solve the mystery and prove that they are capable and mature enough – it’s just so cute! I don’t want to spoil anything so go read this book!  I love this book so much I forgot to mention how adorable the cover is!

I found myself smiling and laughing throughout this book and I just felt so at home (if that makes sense) I love that this book is set in Kerala, India and I love that nothing was skimmed over to make it or detract from the setting or the culture or the people. This is a beautifully written story with the most wonderful representation anyone could ask for. So I’m going to rate this book a 5/5. I wish that I as a child was able to experience this delightful story! I will definitely be picking up a physical of this and sharing it with all the children in my life when they are old enough. I look forward to reading more books by Arathi Menon in the near future.

As Good As Dead By Holly Jackson – Review

“Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by her last investigation. But soon a new case finds her and this time it’s all about Pip. 

She has a stalker, one who keeps asking: Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? 

Pip soon discovers a connection between her stalker and a local serial killer, but the police refuse to act. As the dangerous game plays out it’s clear that if Pip doesn’t find the answers, she’s as good as dead…”

When I say I am the biggest fan of the AGGGTM (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder) series I tell you no lies. I was caught a little off guard when I realised that the release of As Good As Dead was just around the corner and I hadn’t pre ordered it yet so I quickly hopped online and ordered one too many books (don’t worry all different kinds). I devoured this book in no time, I stayed up all night just to finish it, no regrets because what an explosive way to end a series, you know the saying “Go big or go home” – well Holly Jackson pulled out all the stops in this exhilarating thriller.

Long gone are the days of doe eyed cheery Pip trying to uncover truths so justice can prevail. She is damaged, broken, suffering from PTSD and she doesn’t have much faith left in the police or the justice system – they have failed her and those around one time too many times before. I like how Pip’s character developed throughout the series, getting a little darker with each story. I also want to point out how the book covers also reflect her character development as they start off as white moving on to red and this final cover is black- well I think they do anyways.

The first half of the story is a little bit slow but I think that is reflective on how Pip is feeling and how she is dealing with the aftermath of what happened in the previous book. Jackson’s portrayal of Pip suffering from PTSD was very well done and allows the reader to really get into Pip’s head and try to understand what it is that she is going through and why she is behaving the way that she is.

Around the halfway mark the book picks and from there on out it’s just go,go,go and we are holding on to the edge of our seats because this is getting crazy now! Holly Jackson is an evil mastermind who has plotted everything so perfectly – nothing is amiss when it comes back around in a full circle all these wonderful connection that we could’ve never imagined. I love that this series took a turn in a darker direction and ultimately Pip ended up doing exactly what I assumed she would when I first picked up A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, without reading the blurb. So I am ecstatic and in awe of how it all played out.

I did figure out who the culprit was quite early on but I personally think that’s because I’m obsessed with mystery and crime novels that I just find myself dreaming up every single crazy scenario that could ever happen. Holly Jackson is a miracle worker when it comes to this mind blowing series. I am so sad that it has all come to an end but just wow what a brilliant way to go out.

I will alway hold the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series very close to my heart as Pip is just a badass that I would totally be friends with. Her relationship with Ravi is sickeningly cute and her friendships are just the type you ride or die for! I would definitely give this book a 5/5 like how can I not! I am obsessed – I look forward to whatever the future holds for Holly Jackson and can not wait to read whatever she has published next!

Witchy Coffee By Erin Ritch – Review

A fanciful coffee shop run by magical women. A barista that’s still trying to figure herself out. And a small town named Windia where the residents drink coffee and get into everyone’s business.

When a stranger shows up in town and puts her family’s coffee shop in jeopardy, Florence Mackenzie has to step in and do something to protect them, whether that’s an Espresso Off challenge, sabotage, or a good old fashioned banishment spell. But after the Mackenize women try to create a buzz by experimenting with a new blend of coffee beans, the residents of Windia suddenly start falling in love with each other. Florence chalks it up to the spirit of the holiday season, but when she starts falling in love (with the competition, no less) Florence starts to wonder if there’s something more bewitching in the air – or in the coffee?

A clean witchy romance set on the enchanting Oregon coastline, Witchy Coffee is filled to the brim with magical hijinks, an authentic enemies-to-lovers romance, and the cozy atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest during the holidays. Settle in with a coffee and slip away to the little town of Windia, where the forest meets the sea and there’s a promise of magic in every corner.

Witchy Coffee – yes! That is the title of this cute and I mean cuuuutteee (just look at it) book. How on earth could I resist and say no when presented with the opportunity to get my hand on an (ebook) advance review copy? I love all things to do with witches in all and every capacity so there I was screaming YES!! I went into to this book kind of blind. I didn’t bother to read the description only because I was already sold on the title and I thought lets just go wherever this story plans on taking me, no expectations.

I just want to point out that the whole time that I reading this book I kept thinking, that it would make the most perfect Hallmark or Lifetime movie. You know those little guilty pleasures that you binge watch around the winter break!! So just like every romantic story ever (I mean this in the best way possible) Florence Mackenzie just got fired from her job and now she’s headed back to her quaint coastal hometown for the holidays. Where she encounters a few surprises – family secrets, a handsome man who is trying to buy out her family business and magical coffee beans.

This story is warm and fuzzy packed with amazingly bold women who will do just about anything to protect what is theirs. It’s full of fun and a little surprises. What makes it even more endearing is the small town relationships and sense of community portrayed throughout. It’s just the perfect amount of subtle witchy goodness with a sprinkle of clean wholesome romance – it kind of makes me want to pack my bags and move! Who knows I might even end up meeting the love of my life.

The story was pretty fast paced and I was able to get through it within a couple of hours but I will also put that down to it being an ebook so It just made a little quicker to read. If you love coffee, romance and magic I would most definitely recommend this book to you! It’s a perfect book to cosy up with and enjoy a hot beverage. I’m going to score Witchy Coffee 4/5 I love how sweet (yep sweet is the perfect word to describe it) this story is. I think for me I wish there was little more magic and just a tad bit more romance but overall I still enjoyed this read. You can pick up your own copy of this book from the 24th August!

YES NO MAYBE SO BY Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed – Review

YES
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

NO
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

MAYBE SO
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely

Let’s talk about this little book, Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed! It’s a young adult contemporary romance so it’s right up my alley. Who is their right mind could so no to a light-hearted cute romance with a dash of politics? You’ve guessed it, not me. As you already know I like to keep it 100% with you all so I’m not going to shy away from telling you that I was on the fence (I can think of so many political jokes and puns but I shall spare you!) about buying this book. On one hand, the blurb really did entice me, pulling me in with the all that talk about canvassing to get people to vote; something that is very near and dear to my heart and well the cover is super cute too. On the other hand, I could not help but think that I might not like this book because if I can be so frank – this story is advertised as a romance between a brown Muslim girl and a white Jewish boy.

To be clear there is nothing wrong with each individual nor is there anything wrong with them being together, I just think as a Muslim woman I’m sick of the trope of Muslim girls falling in love with white men continuously being portrayed in the media and books. It’s getting a tad old and it’s a little overplayed. We want representation, of course, we do but it is tiring to be always paired with a white man whom you end up giving up your principles and morals for. There is so much that I want to say and I want to divulge much deeper into this topic but we won’t do that today. Let’s get back to the book shall we? I just want to add that Maya’s perspective is written by Aisha Saeed who is a Pakistani Muslim so I can kind of forgive the fact that it went down this route… not because I automatically think it is okay if we write about this trope ourselves but because of the internal conflict and questioning that was portrayed by the author, I don’t think it was enough but it was there and it made it all that more real.

I really like stories with alternate perspectives as it allows you to get inside the head of each character just that little bit more than you usually can. It’s fun to see the main characters through each other’s eyes but it also opens up and gives us a better insight into their surroundings. Both characters are very relatable in their own ways. You’ve got Jamie who is shy and socially awkward and Maya who is more calm and confident. They are so different each with very different goals for their summer but they seem to bring out the best in each other as time passes and it is really nice to watch their relationship blossom.

I love the dynamics of each family, yes one is more vibrant and likeable than the other but they each have an important story to tell of their own. I found it quite refreshing that both families were not portrayed as your typical all American family. Jamie lives with his mum, grandma and sister and then you’ve got Maya, who is struggling to come to terms and adjust with her parents’ separation. Everything about these characters is so down to earth and relatable it very much makes it seem as though they are real teenagers that you could meet at school. I won’t lie my favourite character is definitely Jamie’s Gran and I’m guessing she’ll be your favourite too once you read this book!

Now onto the good stuff! I loved the strong political storyline about the election campaign and canvassing which takes a turn to youth activism so to speak. I personally think that it was beautifully written in a manner that is easy to digest even for those who don’t like politics. Honestly, I wanted to go out canvassing with Jamie and Maya even if it meant third-wheeling. The story made politics approachable and fun and that’s how it should be accessible to all. They even touched on some very important and relevant issues such as antisemitism and islamophobia. These are issues young people should be aware of and informed on even if they aren’t of voting age just yet. It’s very uplifting and makes you want to be involved in your own local community because there is an underlying message that anyone can make a difference be it big or small.

This book is heartwarming and it’s also funny and cute. I found myself smiling like an idiot several times. It’s a very enjoyable summer read. The romance is there but it’s not overbearing. I thoroughly enjoyed the political subplot I think there was so much going on that at times they just missed the mark and honestly, the ending felt a little rushed to me. There was also a point where I was getting pretty frustrated at some of the characters but hey nobody is perfect right? I think that is why I’m going to give this book a score of 3.5/5. I will however be buying books by both Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed in the near future as I enjoyed their writing and I would love to read their individual works and see how they differ from this collaboration.

She’s a killer – extract

If there was one thing Cecilia hated more than life itself, it was a liar. She hated liars, all different kinds of liars. Twisting truths, hurting others to feed their own egos just the thought, disgusted Cecilia to her core.

28th October 2017 was a night that she’d never forget. The cold autumn breeze rushing through her long curly hair, leaves scattered on the pavements. This was her favourite time of year. The only time when being spooky was universally okay. There was just something about carving pumpkins and drinking her latte with an extra dash of cinnamon, eating hot apple pies with a scoop of ice cream while watching the days slowly get shorter. This was the time of year Cecilia believed all things were possible.

Magical. That day was magical. They say love finds you when you least expect it, it surprises you. Cecilia can confirm that is very true. It was a chance encounter two blocks away from her favourite coffee shop. He wasn’t paying too much attention to his surroundings while he seemed to be having an argument on his phone. She was too occupied by the music playing through her headphones, eyes closed bobbing her head to the rhythm without a care in the world. In a fraction of a second, these two strangers collide.

Collided in a way that now their fates were intertwined. It was reckless yet so perfect, so rushed but still so slow. They were missing pieces to each other’s souls. Jamie was the answer to all of Cecilia’s prayers, he was perfection. He bought her flowers and showered her in gifts. He made time for her, he took her out and sometimes they just stayed in. He knew all her secrets she had let him in. He would make her laugh so hard that her jaw hurt from smiling. He was her rock when the waters were rough, her light in darkness he kept her warm through it all.

632 days of perfection. On day 633 Cecilia made her way to his house she was going to surprise him, no need to call ahead. A bag full of groceries for their date night meal she walked up the steps. She unlocked the door and headed straight to the kitchen. She was excited and knew that Jamie won’t be home for another hour. She sets everything down and starts to prep the vegetables and meat. 45 minutes later she is all done; he’ll be back soon so now it’s time to freshen up.

She heads to the stairs and stops to see something unusual, a trail of clothing just laying on the floor. Confused and startled she grabs a knife from the kitchen. Cecilia doesn’t take risks when it comes to her life or the lives of her loved one. She slowly makes her way up the stairs and paces herself at the landing. She scans the area to distinguish any anomalies. The door, Jamie’s door is ajar while the rest are wide open. She takes a few deep breaths in to calm her heart she tiptoes to his room.

Red, a burning fire filled with rage, full of compulsion. She lost all control, she was blinded that through all the commotion the begging, the cries not once did she stop. Blood so much blood, the sheets were filled with blood. Jamie and his lover lay there still covered in sin, motionless, horror painted all over their faces. She walked back to the kitchen and washed the knife clean. She sat down at the table and poured herself some food. Cecilia looked over to the empty plate by her side and laughed to herself. He would be enjoying this delicious dinner too if he hadn’t lied.

That one night (male pov)

Watching clouds until the sky is littered in stars, her hand in mine fingers interlocked, our hearts beating in sync. I knew we were thinking the same – wishing that this summer could last forever. That when the sunrises we wouldn’t have to say goodbye.

Erisah Adams was a breath of fresh air that you didn’t know you needed. Chaotic in all the right ways everything that I am not. Her spirit so free and intoxicating, she could reel you in with just one look. She is magical. How could one not be enamoured by her beauty?

I turned to face her, drinking in every ounce of her perfection. Her hand caressing mine as she speaks about her love of the night sky. How this is exactly where she would want to spend her forever. With me, watching stars on the sandy shores. Our bodies close but not close enough. I think…no I know this is love.

Six weeks that is all it took for her to somehow weasel her way into my heart and now I wasn’t sure I could let go. How was I supposed to go back to normal when all I craved was her. How was I supposed to function when my mind was only on her. Even in her presence, I needed to know her more. To memorise the way her eyes light up when she talks and boy can she talk so passionately just about anything it’s like she cares a little too much, she feels a little too much. How she laughs at the silliest of things, the sound warms my heart. I need to feel her touch so it is engraved into my skin. Her lips on mine so soft, so sweet her taste lingers in my mouth. She is my favourite flavour.

I knew I was in for an adventure when I packed my bag that’s exactly what I had hoped for but a whirlwind romance never could I have imagined, not even in my wildest dreams.

2am thoughts

Nights like these are reckless. Nights like these are not for the faint-hearted. They are tainted in the blood of your demons. The silence is eerie and the darkness is consuming. Your heart rate is racing, faster, faster, faster. You’re no longer tossing and turning trying to find comfort in your bed. The place where you lay to find peace, to find solace, your safe haven. Anywhere, you’d rather be anywhere but there.

You jolt out of bed scrambling in the darkness to find your phone. The very thing you that you spend each waking moment with, clutching to it as though it is your lifeline. The very thing you lock away after 11 pm so that you actually close your eyes instead of mindlessly scrolling torturing your fickle soul into the wee hours of the night.

Finally, you look down at the screen to see it’s 2 am. Only 2 am on a Sunday night. You walk towards your wardrobe and pull out the first pair of joggers you can find, grab a jacket and put on some shoes. You most likely look like you dressed yourself in the dark but that is exactly what you’ve done.

Slowly you tiptoe down your stairs carefully making sure the old wood doesn’t creak loud enough to wake the others. The softer your step funnily enough the louder the creak. You see the door and you’re out. Out in the fresh air, out in the open. The dimly lit street so quiet, so serene almost suddenly you feel at peace and you know exactly where you need to be.

Running, you’re running as fast as your legs can carry. The cold air grazing your skin. The cooling sensation making you feel more alive than you have in a very long time. You stop for a moment to catch your breath, you close your eyes – inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale… A few more steps that’s all it will take and you’re finally there.

Your home away from home, shining under the moonlight.