arc · contemporary · review · romance

Hearts and Thorns by Ella Fields

Hearts and Thorns (Magnolia Cove #3)
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★
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Jackson Thorn was my best friend and worst enemy, but that didn’t stop me from wanting him.

From first words to high school halls, our childhood years braided a bond that wove in a direction neither of us could predict or outgrow.

Forbidden became a word we ignored.
It wasn’t that we didn’t care.
It was that we cared too much.

We had it all planned out.
We thought we could make it.
We thought we’d been careful.
But all we managed to do was prolong the inevitable.
Our destruction.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

When childhood innocence transforms into forbidden romance, Ella Fields delivers a bittersweet narrative that touches on more than falling in love with someone you shouldn’t—it’s about family, heartache and forgiveness. Hearts and Thorns, evocative in deliverance and angst-ridden in content, traverses the tumultuous waves of first loves and second chances that will leave your heart tattered and bruised, but the true authentic qualities and the overall deliverance ensures this heart-rending narrative will resonate with readers.

We weren’t an itch we could scratch. We were fire that would never extinguish, and we’d burn anything in our path to keep getting what we wanted.

Destruction was inevitable for Willa and Jackson. Pure, childhood innocence turned into a forbidden connection—an intoxication and exhilaration, albeit dishonest and secretive as they deceived family and friends. It didn’t diminish or minimise their romance though, it only made it more worthwhile because, despite the unavoidable heartache, true love overcomes adversities. Willa and Jackson’s chemistry rendered my emotions exhausted but soaring as they were allowed a second chance to rekindle a distinct bond difficult to dismantle.

“We’ll never be perfect, Jackson.” “I know,” he said. “I know, but there’s no one else I’d rather be imperfect with.”

Hearts and Thorns is raw, full of endless heartache, though full with beloved life experiences of falling unconditionally and irrevocably in love; of bittersweet first loves and second chances in romance; of traversing the treacherous waves unfairly hurled at us, but returning with renewed strength and feeling indestructible. Hearts and Thorns is wonderfully enthralling and without fail, it realistically demonstrates that love isn’t easy—sometimes it is bittersweet, complex beyond recognition, full of heart-aching emotions and frayed around the edges, but tender moments and irreplaceable memories await.

arc · new release · review · romance

Forever and Never by Ella Fields

Forever and Never (Magnolia Cove #2)
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★★
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Lars Bradby was supposed to be my forever.
That was before we found out he would become a father at the tender age of eighteen.

For years, he’d watched me.
For months, he’d wanted me.
For weeks, he’d chased me.

Relentless and infuriating, he turned my stubborn heart into something pliable and weak.
Sly and honest, he worked his way into my life as though he’d always planned to be the focal point of it.

In love and naive, even when our future seemed bleak, I believed in us.
Heartbroken and desperate, I tore my bleeding heart from my chest, wanting only the best for him.

In doing so, our forever wasn’t just interrupted. It was chased away with one irreversible decision after another.
And now, we could no longer see it beneath the heaping piles of debris we’d left in our wake.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

How do you find words accurate enough to describe the intense rush of emotions, or the relentless bombardment of thoughts that you feel finishing a read as evocative as Forever and Never? Heart-rending only scratches that surface. I’ve been shredded, left in tatters to wallow in my wrenched emotions of immense sadness that is as equally fierce as my devastating happiness. Raw and bruised, my heart is exhausted, but also enthralled in irrevocable ways by this bittersweet romance.

“I don’t want to be your boyfriend. I want to be your world.”

I’m in absolute love, truthfully and unconditionally, with Lars Bradby. Beneath his “bad boy”, carefree attitude is someone with numerous, fathomable facets waiting to be discovered—a kind heart and unwavering dedication disclosed through a secretive romantic side. Combined with an unfettered devotion to everyone he adores, Lars ensnared my full attention rendering me totally stunned and enamoured.

Guarded and stubborn from past experience, Daphne Morris doesn’t know what real love or genuine affection is. Complex and multi-faceted, her heart is fortified by long established, untrodden walls, but when these begin to crumble piece by piece, my whole being ached for the insecurity and weakness that came through her outward appearance of confidence.

You could meet your first love, possibly your soul mate, but there were always conditions for those who didn’t deserve them.

Forever turned into never; love transformed into hate, but that didn’t make me love this less, because love isn’t easy. Sometimes it is bittersweet and filled with unending heartache, but the genuine beauty of this romance is seeing real love endure treacherous waters of terrible decisions and unfortunate circumstances. Nothing is eased in, or written in vague detail—it is raw and brutally honest in every realistic depiction making your emotions soar; leaving your beating heart aching.

I say it all the time: Ella Field’s writing is delightfully poetic, a seamless flow of bittersweet, realistic moments soothed by enchanting sentences that ensnare your attention. It will leave your heart tattered and mismatched, but the true authenticity and deliverance makes this heartrending narrative resonate with readers. Difficult and angst-written, the journey is worthwhile because there’s nothing more charming and endearing than witnessing true love prevail.

arc · review · romance · young adult

Kiss and Break Up by Ella Fields

Kiss and Break Up
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★★
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Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.
He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.
Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.
Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.
You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.
And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.
Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’m so intrigued by this newfound world of Magnolia Cove. Desperate to read more, too. Friends to lovers isn’t my favourite romance trope, but Ella Fields is an excellent wordsmith and brilliant writer—Dashiell Thane and Peggy Newland have carved themselves a home in my heart. Engraved themselves in my psyche. Kiss and Break Up is an all-consuming romance that will captivate your attention with its raw depiction of falling in love with your best friend, leaving your heart aching and your belly fluttering.

“Six ways from Sunday, you’ve fucked me, and I’ve yet to find anything satisfying about it.”

Bad boys and anti-heroes who are non-conforming, defying society’s every expectation, arrogant and conceited have my undying love. And they own every facet of my heart! Dash isn’t an exception, a sweet combination of infuriating and irresistable. Brutally honest and unapologetically passionate, Dash possesses an unwavering devotion to Pegs that made me sigh in frustration and swoon in bliss at his over-protectiveness.

Peggy couldn’t be anymore different to Dash. She’s kind and sweet, yet sassy and fierce; inexperienced with relationships and boyfriends; and full of life, unique eccentricity and realistic authenticity. Despite being Dash’s opposite in almost every way, the complex and multifaceted relationship they have—the connection they have formed—is so endearing!

I’d fallen for my best friend, and she was breaking my fucking heart.

Kiss and Break Up is wonderfully enthralling. When an innocent kiss turns this easy-going friendship into an intense, jealous infested, angst-ridden mess, your emotions will soar and your heart will shatter. Without fail, it realistically demonstrates that love isn’t easy—sometimes it is bittersweet, complicated beyond recognition, full of heart-aching emotions and frayed around the edges, but tender moments and irreplaceable memories await.

If you’re invested in pure innocence, teenage dramatics and first loves, Kiss and Break Up is whole-heartedly recommended, because beyond this friends to lovers narrative is rich story filled with a myriad of emotions and beautifully written characters. I wouldn’t turn away from a standalone featuring Daphne, Lars, Jackson and Willa. I’m very much unready to leave Magnolia Cove!

arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Pretty Venom by Ella Fields

Pretty Venom (Gray Springs University #3)

by Ella Fields

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Callum Welsh perfected the art of hating me when we were two kids who believed we’d be forced into marriage.
He thought I wanted it, but my only wish had been for him to leave me alone.
Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.
Despite all he’d done, everything changed after that.

As the years passed, our hearts thawed, and he no longer hated me.
In fact, he loved me enough to make me his wife.
Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

That hatred returned in the form of cruel words and even crueler deeds.
But we weren’t kids anymore.
I could handle his brand of venom.
He would be mine again, even if it cost me the remains of my heart.

Warning: contains cheating and an anti-hero who might make you throw your kindle.


You can also read this review on Goodreads!

Ms Ella Fields, if you ever read this review: please never change. Your writing is so lyrical. Poetic. It is captivating and enthralling, the way you use words to draw your reader into your characters’ story. Please don’t stop incorporating difficult subject matter into your stories and showing how your awe-inspiring characters overcome these challenges. And don’t stop putting us readers through the emotional ringer, please, because as hard as it is the journey is always worth it!

One of my favourite things about Ms Fields is that in a world filled with endless romance, she’s created this amazing reputation for herself. She’s an excellent wordsmith, a brilliant writer who writes about flawed characters without hesitation. Her romances explore difficult subject matter (cheating and mental health, for example) that some readers turn away from, but that’s why these stories resonate with me. It is because they’re about real life. And the way she handles these subjects is always done so with care and utmost poise.

We live in a world where hatred is easier than forgiveness. Where we often make mistakes that leave us quietly drowning in immense guilt. Where sometimes our happily ever afters never come, or events don’t unfurl the way we expect it to. Pretty Venom demonstrates a terrifying albeit realistic version of real love, with frayed edges, bruised and tattered surfaces and the heart-aching emotions we undergo.

It was unbearably easy to make someone your enemy, to brush them off and discard them as if they’d never meant a thing to you.

I believed Bittersweet Always owned my heart, but Pretty Venom has stamped its ownership. It is everything. It is so much more than anticipated. It is brutally honest, intense in its emotions, all consuming in its passion and raw in its portrayal.

If you make someone your world, do not complain when the ground crumbles beneath your feet.

Callum and Renee meet at the sweet, tender age of fourteen. But rather than become best friends or easy acquaintances, they share a mutual distaste for each other by swapping insults whenever possible. Until an innocent kiss turns this relationship from intense hatred to passionate romance.

Everything appears to be filled with bliss, but one life altering decision changes the way they perceive each other during college. Callum and Renee’s once seeming perfect relationship starts to crumble, crashing and burning along the way, turning these lovers back into enemies as they become unstoppable forces in hurling insults and hurting each other again.

Even after they’d torn your heart to shreds and used it as a weapon against you, you could still love that same person with a ferocity that bordered on magic. And maybe that was the crux of it. Love was magic. Capable of making you believe the impossible was always possible.

I initially hated Renee, especially in Suddenly Forbidden because her attitude appeared awfully petty and filled with undeserving malice towards someone innocent. But me and her formed this easy going relationship in Bittersweet Always, because that is when Renee unveiled her vulnerability, making her characterization more complex and realistic, rather than remaining toxic and the dreaded bitter ex-girlfriend. Underneath her independence and fierceness is someone hesitant and sometimes emotionally dependent. She clings to Callum, as her experiences with friendships, or rather lack thereof, makes befriending others difficult and her trust towards people virtually nonexistent.

She’s real. Human, making her endearing, an absolute character. Renee is unapologetically herself and she doesn’t turn away from the financial privileges she’s been bestowed. Neither does Callum.

“No.” His chuckle was dark, sinister. “I don’t want you, but I could have you if I did. Isn’t that right?”

Oh Callum Welsh, where to begin? I love asshole characters, especially when they’re written so flawlessly. Imperfections become perfection. Toxicity becomes near attractive. They become someone you’ll love to hate/hate to love. Callum is in his own league.

While Callum’s actions and words are venomous, he has his reasons. It is also difficult to detest someone you’ve loved since the first book.

In true Ms Fields fashion, Pretty Venom will draw you into its centre and never let go. You’ll reach the end, begging to read more. To have more of Gray Springs University. If you enjoy steam filled, angst ridden enemies-to-lovers romance, you will love this. But, really take into consideration the author’s warning because there are parts that will have you screaming and cursing and wanting to throw your Kindle.