Watchmaker. Car thief. Heartbreaker extraordinaire.
Rooke Blackheath has spent enough time in juvie to know that he really doesn’t want to go to jail. The food sucks, the clothes itch, and there are absolutely no women in sight. Well…none he wants to fuck, anyway.
He should probably stop boosting cars, but the money is stellar and the high is out of this world. And why should he turn his back on something that sets his soul on fire anyway?
The answer to that question comes in an unexpected form—a petite five-foot-three firecracker named Sorcha, who refuses to give him the time of day no matter how thick he lays on the charm.
Rooke’s not easily deterred, though. Just like the watches he builds from scratch, Rooke knows all too well how women tick. Women are a game to him. A game he always wins.
Sasha doesn’t stand a chance.
Sasha Connor’s life has been permanently derailed since her son died five years ago. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, of course. She has a great job, a beautiful house, and caring friends. Every week, she hosts a book club featuring the sexiest, most romantic stories on the planet, and every week she falls for a new fictional knight in shining armor.
Fictional men are perfect. They don’t hurt you. They don’t break your heart. They don’t cheat on you after your child dies, and they rarely ever leave the toilet seat up.
When Rooke Blackheath shows up at Sasha’s workplace, it’s clear he’s nothing like the men who grace the pages of her favorite books. Dangerous, arrogant, sharp-tongued and sarcastic, Rooke’s not the kind of guy she needs in her life. Not to mention the fact that he’s eleven years her junior.
As far as Sasha is concerned, Rooke doesn’t just live in a different world. He lives in a different galaxy altogether. She’d like to keep it that way, but fate appears to have other plans.
When Cinderella lost her shoe, Prince Charming showed up at her door.
When Sasha Connor loses her book, an entirely different kind of rogue comes a-knocking.
Can I just say how much I love the fact that a book is what brings Rooke and Sasha together! And…Sasha’s need to escape from reality by reading and discussing the texts she reads in her Romance Book Club was a brilliant way to connect with readers and illustrate that there’s nothing wrong with escapism, especially when “real life fucking sucks” sometimes!
Readers will undoubtedly grieve with Sasha as soon as the Prologue starts and then continue to be emotionally shredded when Sasha tells us herself just how fractured and hollow her life has been for the last 5 years. What Sasha had to endure and what she continues to have to tackle would bring anyone to their knees, and while it does pulverize Sasha’s mental state, she also is determined to keep moving forward, even when all she wants to do is give in to her need to let it all go.
Rooke is a true Callie Hart anti-hero. He’s a thief and a loner; he’s someone who looks and acts as dangerous as he truly is and his experiences in juvie are not something he wants to repeat, but that doesn’t stall his life of crime or his temper. But for some reason, Sasha Connor speaks to him in a way that no other woman has; it might be due to how haunted she seems by a past he knows very little about or he might see her as a kindred spirit due to the darkness that they’ve both endured and continue to do so, even if it’s due to very different reasons. What I love most about Rooke is that he owns who he is and his intelligence as well as his street smarts provide him with enough sense to know how things work and the steps he needs to take to fix as well as break things when he needs to, which seems to be a whole hell of a lot when he wants to explore what he feels for Sasha.
I’m no stranger to Callie Hart’s dark romances; in fact, her Blood & Roses series is one of my absolute favorites, so heading into Rooke, I knew that her characters would be stripped bare and shown to me in a way that forced me to see beyond who society views them as and what their past has done to their present and future. I also knew that her hero and heroine would come from completely different worlds and struggle to find a common ground, at least at the beginning, and I further knew that regardless of their differences the hero and heroine would become each other’s lifeline…offering rays of light in all the darkness that has surrounded their lives. But even with all of these plot characteristics, I still didn’t anticipate the shitstorm that Callie Hart sends Rooke and Sasha’s way nor was I prepared for just how emotional this book would be due to an event that literally destroyed Sasha’s life and continues to leave her breathless even 5 years later.
Rooke is an intense journey for Rooke and Sasha as well as readers; there are multiple scenes where I truly didn’t know what would happen because there didn’t seem to be a definitive way to act so that everything would be righted again, which forced choices to be made that lead to further complications.
Realistically, Rooke and Sasha’s lives should have never crossed paths, but, then again, there’s nothing ordinary about the lives they live or what they truly need to feel whole and breathe again after what they’ve both gone through, so even though their attraction to each other but not make sense, it’s exactly what gives their lives some purpose in the chaotic mess of this thing called life.
4.5 Poison Apples
Meet Callie Hart
Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and moulding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.
Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.
Callie Hart is the author of the Blood & Roses Series. Zeth & Sloane’s story is now complete, but there are a number of stories still to be released under the Blood & Roses banner. 2015 will see Cade, Michael and Rebel’s stories being released, as well as a number of brand new stories, all of which will be Dark Romance novels.
If you would like to contact Callie, you can do so here.
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