“You want one?” he asked, cupping his hand to shade his match from the slight breeze.
“I don’t smoke. It’s a disgusting habit.” I smiled, letting him know I was flirting more than anything. Trying to wind him up.
He stared at me, throwing the burnt-out match into the ashtray. Already, I’d noticed Alex had this intense way of making me feel as if nothing else mattered. That I was the only interesting thing in the room—or in this case, the street.
“You’re one of those, then,” he said.
“One of what?”
“A crusader.” He inhaled deeply, then let the smoke drift out of his lips. Even I had to admit he looked sexy.
His words made me grin. I was anything but; smoking rarely bothered me at all. “I don’t kiss boys who smoke,” I said.
The corner of his lip twitched up. He leaned forward, still staring intently. “That’s good. I don’t want you kissing them.”
“You’re a boy who smokes,” I pointed out.
This time a full-on smirk broke out on his face. “I’m the exception that proves the rule, sweetheart.”
The way he said it made my heart hammer against my chest. There was something about Alex Cartwright that made me feel breathless. I wasn’t used to boys like him, ones who oozed sexuality out of every pore. Until then my boyfriends had been more friend than boy. Low key, almost feminine
Alex didn’t have a feminine bone in his body.
“What makes you think I want to kiss you, anyway?”
“You’re the one who brought up kissing, not me.” Another cocky response. “Not to mention the fact you keep looking at my mouth and licking your lips. I can tell you want to eat me for breakfast.”
The image his words conjured up made me choke on my coffee. I spluttered the hot liquid out. Alex started to laugh.
“Kissing. I was still talking about kissing.”
Carrie Elks writes with a powerful, edgy realism to her work that makes her stories a compelling and gripping read. Broken Chords is the second book I’ve read by Ms Elks and I went into it with high expectations. The story deals with that wonderful and terrible time of adjustment a couple go through with the birth of their first child. In this case, we have Lara battling with that new sense of who she is, and her beloved, sexy husband, Alex who is trying to launch his music career. About halfway through this book I was no longer speaking to my husband, as Ms Elks recreated that period in my life with such startling and heartbreaking clarity. You feel for these characters, ache for their happy ending and share their pain. By the end, I was emotional wrung out, but uplifted. Ms Elks will take you right into the depth of these characters and their struggle, and sweep you up in a happy ending that leaves you truly satisfied. I highly, highly recommend.
I was thrilled to receive an ARC is exchange for an honest review.