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BOOK REVIEW – All In (Full Tilt #2) by Emma Scott

BOOK REVIEW – All In (Full Tilt #2) by Emma ScottAll In (Full Tilt #2)
by Emma Scott
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

*HUGE SPOILERS FOR THE 1ST BOOK - FULL TILT*

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Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.

Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.

Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.

***HUGE SPOILERS FOR FULL TILT!  You can read my review of the 1st book, Full Tilt → here***

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Review:

All In was an enjoyable conclusion to the Full Tilt trilogy.  Their lives were nicely wrapped up, and we received not one but two epilogues looking into their future.  I fell for both Kacey and Theo in the first book, and I loved the moments that showed us clues Theo was interested in Kacey.  It gave me hope that Kacey would get her happily ever after since it seemed inevitable that Jonah wasn’t going to survive.  So I started this book with my heart in the palm of my hands.  Especially since the Prologue backtracked to when Theo went into Jonah’s hospital room to say goodbye for the very last time. Their conversation brought tears to my eyes, I miss Jonah so unbelievably much!  But I knew Theo would keep the promise he made to his brother.  That Theo would make Jonah more than proud!

Goddammit, Jonah, come back and fix all this because I fucking can’t. – Theo

Fast forward six months after the funeral and Theo is still reeling.  Not only from the loss of his brother, but Kacey has fled and he has no clue where she went.  Watching Theo’s interactions with his parents, friends and co-workers was devastating.  He tried to put on a good show, but he was so stilted from all of the pain weighing him down.  And when he was alone, the amount of suffering he radiated was monumental.

My chest constricted and tears burned behind my closed eyes. After six months, I should’ve been used to the way he snuck up on me. Little bits of conversation. Little slivers of memory.
Little moments.
Jonah
. – Kacey

Kacey is in an even darker place than Theo.  She is drowning herself in alcohol to numb the pain.  Being drunk 24/7 allows her to continue on with her life and her music.  Even if she knows she’s teetering on the edge of killing herself.  While Kacey continued to spiral hard out of control, I held out faith that Theo would rescue her.  Much like how Jonah rescued her in Full Tilt.

But as the story progressed, I found myself struggling here and there.  At times I couldn’t fully connect to the characters.  It was like what I went through while reading the second half of How To Save A Life.  Which shocked me, because Full Tilt was a solid 5 Stars and I loved these characters.  While I more than loved how the story played out, I constantly found myself being pulled away from being emotionally connected.  I’m not sure if it’s because I was still hung up on the epicness of Full Tilt or if in fact parts of this book just honestly fell flat.  So I’m going to try and pick this book back up again down the road.  These characters more than deserve that and I’m going to hold out hope that I fall just as madly for this story as I did for Full Tilt!

*ARC kindly provided by author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
full-tilt-emma-scott
Full Tilt #1
Reviews:
Jen
all-in-emma-scott
Full Tilt #2
Reviews:
Jen

 

BOOK REVIEW – Full Tilt (Full Tilt #1) by Emma Scott

BOOK REVIEW – Full Tilt (Full Tilt #1) by Emma ScottFull Tilt (Full Tilt #1)
by Emma Scott
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

"I would love you forever, if I only had the chance..."

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge--impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch...

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he's vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Review:

Full Tilt was an emotional powerhouse that kept me on a wonderfully vicious cycle.  I found myself smiling, then laughing, then swooning and then crying.  And I would repeat that time and again.  I completely loved this book, even when I didn’t want to.  Even when I was scared out of my mind, right alongside Kacey, that Jonah wouldn’t make it. *shuddering breath*  So I must advise you to step into this story at your own risk, because your heart will definitely be on the line and put through the wringer.  But it’s worth it.  I swear.  It’s more than worth it.

I kissed Jonah Fletcher with all of my heart, and with every piece of my soul that would love him forever.

Kacey and Jonah met in the most different of situations.  You see Kacey was an up and coming rock star.  She was in a band that was on the brink of huge stardom.  She drank herself into blackouts to avoid the world and her reality.  And those that surround her sure as hell weren’t going to help pull her out of that cycle.  Jonah on the other hand kept to his strict schedule, since receiving a heart transplant.  He didn’t drink or smoke, ate crazy healthy and he had his days and life planned out for him.  Then one night, Jonah was Kacey‘s limo driver. Kacey was in one of her blackouts and Jonah being the good guy that he is, took her home.  So she could be safe.  He rescued her in a sense, and Kacey realized it.

“Every time I see you, I think, This is it. She cannot possibly look more beautiful than she does right now. And then I see you the next time.”

While they seemed worlds apart, they were both desperately looking for a connection.  For someone who they could confess their deepest, darkest secrets and fears to.  A friend that would always be there.  No matter what.  And after spending not even five minutes together, you could just tell that they were going to be something spectacular.  You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just know they’re going to be your best friend in the world?  Well that’s how their interaction felt like.  While there was an underlying simmering of sexual tension, what stood out was their connection.  How they pulled out the best from one another.  How they were able to feel comfortable just being around each other.  I loved watching their friendship unfold.

“So, the whiskey bottles ,” I said, nodding at the lights. “Are you repurposing my bad habits?”
He smiled. “No, just a friendly reminder.”
“Of what?”
“That you can find beauty everywhere, even in the things that scare you the most.”

I became invested in hoping that Kacey would get her act together and I became terrified of how Jonah’s healing after his transplant panned out.  And as the pages passed, I can’t even put into words how alive and real they felt to me.  How they became insanely important to my happiness.  The more I learned about them, the more they interacted, the more I fell for this book.  I loved how much I smiled, laughed and even had tears in my eyes.  Full Tilt was filled to the brim with characters whose emotions were pounding against my heart to feel what they felt.

You don’t give up,” I shrieked, making him flinch. Making me flinch at the hysteria that was lurking just below the surface.

As the clues unfolded, I had a good idea where this book was headed.  Especially when it became.. View Spoiler »  I don’t want to say whether I’m elated or devastated, because I don’t want to give away the ending.  But know that I am most definitely looking forward to diving right into the second book in this duology!  I can’t wait to see what happens, even though this book doesn’t have a cliffhanger!  While How To Save A Life and I didn’t mesh all the way, I completely fell in love with Full Tilt.  Full Tilt was beautifully heart wrenching and I can’t wait to read more of her books!

*ARC kindly provided by author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)
full-tilt-emma-scott
Full Tilt #1
Reviews:
Jen
all-in-emma-scott
Full Tilt #2
Reviews:
Jen

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