Thursday, May 7, 2015

Two of Hearts - Christina Lee [Review + Giveaway]

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love...
Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she's entrusted with the family's casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional --not exactly the best time to see an old lover she's never really gotten over.
Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he's come home for her father's funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he'd lost forever.
Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she's also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She's not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father's shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes
4 Finding Love again Stars
Two of Hearts is a standalone and is not linked to a series. Two of Hearts does have Rachel and Kai and their story can be found in Whisper to Me.  You do not need to read Whisper to Me prior to reading Two of Hearts. 
We briefly met Dakota and Shane in Whisper to me, but now they are all grown up.  Shane and Dakota broke up when Shane left to train as a U.S. Marshal. Now, years later he’s back in town and Dakota doesn’t know how she feels about this.
This is about you and me, angle. We’ve got unfinished business.
Dakota is going through her own issues. Her Native American father dies and with this stirs a lot of issues with his casino. Legally Dakota’s, non-Native American mother owns the casino, but the community questions if the mom should.
I think Christina Lee didn’t link Two of Hearts with the Between Breath series because the pace and tone of Two of Hearts is so different.  Two of Hearts reads a little bit suspenseful and less angsty. A lot of questions are brought up with Dakota’s father’s death and it adds a little mysterious element to the book.
I thought Dakota was a firm and strong character. She kept herself together during a very tragic time. She supported her mother and kept herself at a distance from Shane, even though she has lingering feelings for him.
Dakota has always known that she wanted to stay in once place, but not Shane. Shane wanted to travel the world and it kind of lead to their downfall in the beginning. I liked when Shane and Dakota meet again. It wasn’t this crazy drama filled scene.  It felt very rational, if that’s any way to describe it. Shane is in town to help with her father’s investigation and of course there’s sexual tension, but it’s mild. I liked it.
We ended because I was destined to be here and you were destined to be traveling the country.
I wanted you so … bad. I had the taste of you, the smell of you, the feel of you on my skin for years. Only you. Nobody else even came close.
I liked the Dakota and Shane dynamics. They had issues, but they mostly focused on the father’s death and the threats Dakota is starting to get. As you read, more things are discovered and more secrets are revealed. It kept my interest and I was entertained.
I wanted him to drink me, consume me, make me part of him. I wanted him to tuck my heart in the safe of his soul.
If you are a fan of Christina Lee and want to try something a little different, you will not be disappointed with this one.
An ARC was provided

She closed her eyes on a sharp breath, looking soft and vulnerable.
Because I couldn’t help myself, my fingers left her chair and glided up her arms to her neck. Her breaths released from her lips in short pants and I considered touching my mouth to hers.
Would she let me? Would she want me to?
“Yes,” she whispered, the heat of her breaths warming the tiny sliver of air still lingering between us. “But that’s in the past. We had our chance and I . . . I got over you. So let’s leave it there.”
My stomach completely flipped over. “You got over me?”
I studied her lips edge to edge, and they trembled in response. She was so not over me.
I didn’t know what the hell was driving me. I just knew I didn’t like hearing those words. Not one damn bit.
“You got over me?” I growled as my fingers gripped the nape of her neck.
My lips brushed the line of her jaw and she shivered.
“Shane, don’t. Please,” she mumbled, her hands at my chest. “You’ll just leave again and I can’t . . . I can’t . . .”
She sounded so helpless and sad. For the first time she was allowing me to see exactly what she might have been feeling, might’ve gone through five years ago. She sounded wrecked—as wrecked as I had been.
My lips trailed to her ear. “Angel.”

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys.
She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

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