June 13, 2017

Title: Sugar & Gold

Author: Emma Scott

Release Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tagline: “I loved you before. I will love you forever.”
Sugar & Gold


“I loved you before. I will love you forever.”

Nikolai Alexei Young was born with a special gift…one he’d do anything to lose. The heart and soul of every person he comes into contact with is an open book to his heightened senses. Colorful emotions, whispers of thoughts, the sour tastes of old memories…He feels them all. The sci-fi books would call him an empath. For Nikolai, his ability has made him an exile. He roams the U.S. alone, avoiding the glut of life in big cities, and using his innate talents to win money in underground poker games. Just enough to keep going, one town to the next. He has no hope that his life can be anything else, until he meets her…

At nineteen, Fiona Starling was trapped in an ugly, desperate situation until she freed herself the only way she knew how. Now three years later, living outside Savannah, Georgia, she is rebuilding her life on her own terms; seizing every moment and saving every penny so that she might fulfill her dream of moving to the raw wilderness of Costa Rica. But behind her carefree smile beats the heart of a lonely young woman haunted by her past, until a chance encounter with a tattooed stranger changes everything… 

Fiona takes Nikolai under her roof for three sultry nights, waiting out the rain of a summer storm. She grows more and more fascinated by this brooding stranger with whom she shares an intense physical connection—a connection so strong, she wonders if there is something between them beyond lust and passion. Nikolai is shocked to discover that Fiona calms the raging turmoil in his heart. She alone silences the din of other people’s lives, and envelops him in the sweet beauty of her inner self. Every moment he’s with her—every touch of her skin—brings him closer to the peace that’s been eluding him his entire life.

But Fiona harbors secrets that she is too terrified to reveal. After Nikolai confesses his unique ability, she is caught between wanting to believe him and fearing he’ll eventually unearth her own dark past. When the unthinkable happens, Fiona’s plans come crashing down, and Nikolai discovers his hated ability might be the only thing that can save the woman he loves. 

Sugar & Gold is a new adult romance with shades of the paranormal and is the second book in the Dreamcatcher novels, a series of interconnected STANDALONES.  

Love and hope.... *sigh then sobs uncontrollably

For those who knew me, knows exactly what tropes or genres of books I am a sucker for. Suffice to say, Sugar and Gold isn't one of them. Paranormal books or just part paranormal isn't my thing. It's not that I am a snob of a bitch but more like I am not just into it and I hated the idea of reading something I know I wont enjoy in the end. So the thing is, right from the very beginning I have no idea about Sugar and Gold. I signed up for the book blind. The thought alone that it's Emma Scott was enough for me to go with it especially with that post on social media the author posted that made me intrigue of her because it just showed how big her heart is. I thought, the book will surely be good because she's got a heart of gold. Have I ever read any of her works? Never! I heard about the buzz that is Emma Scott but never did I ever had the chance to read any of her works until now. I was shocked that this is partly paranormal. I nearly emailed her that I wanted to be ousted on the review but my heart wont let got of it. Just like the hero and heroines of this book always said, Just be... 

And Just be I did...

Now, here I am with a book hangover, puffy eyes and a heart so full I feel like it's gonna burst anytime. I was left SPEECHLESS like utterly speechless and I have nothing else in mind except all those colors.. pink and gold and the emotions that comes with it. I LOVE THIS BOOK BIG TIME!And I couldn't be more happier I rooted for it. Gah! The feels! I can still feel it deep in my bones and it struck right into the center of my heart. I even went to asking a friend to drop evrything and read it with me because I needed someone I can hold on to. This is just wow! As my friend refer to her, Emma Scott is a magician And I concur! Her words are magical I feel like I was cast in a spell and I don't want anyone to uncast it for me. I want to just get lost in the bubble of her brilliant writing together with her perfectly cracted plot and portrayed characters I have loved from beginning until the end. You know why? Because it's so magical in there and I have the best feels I never expected.

Right from the very beginning, I was drawn into the story. I was hooked, curious and intrigue and with every lines and words as I flipped from pages to pages, it was undeniably amazing! I hate to admit this but at first, I felt like the book was slow for my liking. I have instant connection with the story, yes , but the pacing bothered me at first only to realize after that it was better written that way. The unhurried pacing, made me savour, devour and ravished the story even more. It made me appreciate the beauty of what is Sugar and Gold, feel deeply the emotions and feel more connected with Nikolai and Fiona. And without giving too much away, not even a summary, I will just say READ THIS BOOK. BREATHE AND INHALE IT.This is Epic! The complexity made it more intriguing and interesting. I could not say anything imperfect out of it because Emma Scott delivered it well. She conveyed all the emotions possible and she made me in awe of her talent because of that. Everything was well written and all the bases were covered. The characters were brilliantly portrayed and their journey was awe inspiring. Their pain and struggles shattered my heart. I was touched. I was moved. I cried a lot. I felt like I was punched in the gut. My heart was in knots I could barely breathe. I was rooting for them and praying for their misery to end and just let them be. Let them find their sunshine..make them whole. And when it did? Gahd! Heart warming feels at it's finest. I felt alive! Lordy! I love it so much that I don't want it to end. Talk about me not into this kind of book, but here I am loving it with all my might. The uniqueness coupled with heart of this book got me. Kudos Emma Scott! And that epilogue, Fuck me sideways, hard! I cried even more!!! 

In the end, I will highly recommend this book. I don't even know if it's just right to say this but “Tʼáá íiyisíí ahéhee,” ... a gratitude greater than Thank you to Emma Scott for delivering this poignant story of two broken souls finding their selves, looking for home. It is powerful and intense, inspiring and deeply moving. It felt so alive. Sugar and Gold is life!

P.S. Emma Scott, just so you know, while reading this book, I was wondering so many things about Fiona. ;) Her character right from the beginning was an enigma to me.

I just popped my Emma Scott cherry with Sugar & Gold, and I'm kicking myself for not giving it up sooner. I have heard nothing but rave reviews from friends about her work, but most of them mentioned how her books made them cry hysterically. Hearing that kind of scared me off, because I am not one of those girls that loves to cry. That's what probably made this the perfect book for me to start with, because while I teared up several times, I never had a full on sob fest which is fine by me! Without even reading the other books that she’s written, I already think I know why they have the effect on people that they do. This author’s writing makes you FEEL above all else, and that is one of the most important things to me in a story. If there is one thing I’ve come away from this book believing, it’s that Emma Scott is one hell of a writer!

 photo pagebreak_zpscaredzya.png

Nikolai has the preternatural ability to see people’s feelings in colors, smells, and tastes. Sometimes, he can even hear their thoughts. He calls it his ken, and this ability has been a source of torment for him almost all his life. His parents don’t have it, and they never understood it. His father left them because of it, and his mother sent him to doctors that tried things like shock therapy to “fix” him. He travels the country gambling his way from one place to the next. The ken allows him to tell when people are bluffing or have a good hand and that makes winning come easy. Sitting through the games can be difficult though, because the ken is overwhelming. When he is around people, he is bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, and thoughts of others. It becomes hard to tell the difference sometimes between his feelings and theirs. The only time he doesn’t have trouble is when he gets tattoos. He is covered in them, because when he feels the pain of the needle, he knows that is all his pain and no one else’s.

Fiona is running from her past, and by that I mean her abusive husband. He never physically harmed her, but he tore her apart with his words. Now that she has escaped him, she is trying to rebuild her self-esteem and live the life that she wants, and she would prefer to do it far away from the man that almost completely destroyed her. Costa Rica is where she feels she can finally be happy and free, and she saves all of her extra money to help fund her dream of living there.

Fiona decides to go out one night in search of some much needed affection in the form of a one night stand. She doesn’t see the point in looking for a relationship, because she will be leaving to go to another country soon. As luck would have it, Nikolai needed to go out that night too and winds up at the exact same place as Fiona. One look at her pink hair and willowy figure on the dance floor and he can’t keep his eyes off of her. She notices him too, and as they begin talking, Nikolai realizes that Fiona helps make everything else bearable. Around her, the ken doesn’t drive him mad. With Fiona, he can have peace. When she asks him to go home with her, he jumps at the chance. It’s only supposed to be for one night, but before it’s over, they both know one night isn't going to be enough. 

 photo pagebreak_zpscaredzya.png
Nikolai and Fiona’s story is absolutely beautiful. The writing is perfection, the story is heartwarming, the romance is breathtaking and steamy, and the characters are easy to love. Fiona may be beaten down, but I love that she never gave up on her dream. It would have been easy to especially with Nikolai’s fine ass and everything that happens to her over the course of the book, but she keeps her eye on her goal the whole time. She doesn’t waver, and I loved watching her go from a scared young woman to a fierce one before the story ends. Nikolai broke my heart many times over. His story would pull at anyone’s heart strings. I wanted more than anything for him to finally get the happy ending he deserved. I loved the way he put Fiona’s happiness ahead of his own and tried to give her everything she wanted whether it included him or not. He is most definitely book boyfriend material, and it doesn’t hurt that I heard he was modeled after Stephen James ….and that I want to have ten thousand of that man’s babies! Lol 

Bottom line, Sugar & Gold is a touching romance about two broken individuals that find healing and peace in each other. The only negative I can really give might be that if you like fast paced books, this might not be for you. The book is kind of slow moving which made it hard for me to keep reading sometimes (I'm also in a bit of a book slump), but I think that helped to build the connection between the characters and make the strength of their feelings more believable in the long run. If you don’t normally read paranormal romance, I still think you should give this book a try, because this barely felt like one. My blog sister doesn't read paranormal romance, and she fell head over heels in love with this story! If you love romance that makes your heart feel like it's going to burst and your eyes mist with happy tears, this one’s for you!

Sugar & Gold Excerpt:

 She breathed a genuine laugh and held my gaze. Everything about her was pink; her drink, her hair, the bright halo of glimmering dust that surrounded her.
Kindness, compassion, charity. Those were the feelings I associated with pink.
I hadn’t seen it this strong in anyone in a long time.
Fiona clinked her glass to my bottle. “Thanks for taking care of my over-eager dance partner, Nik. And for the drink.”
She sipped her Cosmo. “Not much of a talker, are you?” Her eyes were impossibly bright, her smile showing a broad mouth and full lips.
“Club’s not a great place for talk,” I said.
“True,” she said, “but here we are.”
Here we are…
A short silence fell.
“Nik,” Fiona mused. “Nik, Nik,” she said again, in a light, sing-song manner. “Short for Nicholas?”
“Nikolai,” I said.
“Oh, I like that.” Her colors warmed and sweetened, like an invitation, drawing me closer. “Are you Russian? You don’t have an accent.”
“My mother is.”
“Do you speak it?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I picked some up.”
She scooted closer on her seat. “Say something in Russian.”
“Like what?”
“I’m not picky. I can’t speak a word so anything is going to sound good.”
I thought for a second and then spoke aloud the only thought I had in my head.
“Ti samaya krasivaya devushka na svete.”
Fiona’s smile widened and the bright wisps of her happiness wrapped around me. I wanted to take in more of it. Which made no sense at all. With other women, their scents were so often cloying and unwanted like the air wasn’t mine to breathe.
What the fuck is wrong with you? Get a grip.
I sucked down a long swig of beer. Fiona watched me, her eyebrows raised, then she laughed. “Um, Nik? You realize you’re supposed to tell me what you said, right?”
I shrugged and my lips twitched. “Don’t remember.”
Fiona laughed again. “Liar.”
We both took a sip from our drinks and let a little silence fall between us. A nice silence.
“That was lovely, your Russian,” Fiona said eventually. “Whatever you said, it sounded…sexy.”
My gaze swung to her eyes. “Yeah?”
She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “Yeah. I was going to say something harmless like ‘unique’ or ‘exotic’, but I’d rather be honest with you, Nikolai. I don’t like playing games.” Her brow furrowed slightly. “I don’t like it at all.”
I sensed a shadow starting to creep over her. Something old and full of pain. Driving it away suddenly became my only goddamn purpose in life.
“I guess you’re not going to like me much then,” I said. “I play games constantly. Every day.”
A smile crept over her lips. “Is that so?”
“Sure,” I said. “Omaha, Texas Hold’em, stud, draw, lowball, high-low split…”
She laughed, flaring pink again, and the shadow around her retreated. “A joke and a smile too. I was beginning to wonder if you ever smiled.”
I shrugged. “It happens.”
“And those games, they’re all poker, right? You play poker every day?”
“Not every day. Most days.”
“For a living?”
“No, I’m a…” I coughed. “I’m a salesman. Motorcycle parts. I travel a lot for the job, and finding poker games in each city is sort of my hobby.”
My standard lie, though I hated laying it on her. I knew plenty of grinders who lived off their poker winnings, but that was for the love of the game. I played because thanks to the ken it was easy to win, and I’d never cared that it was cheating. It was the only way to put my strange ability to use that I knew of, and it allowed me to give a big fuck you to the universe for cursing me with it in the first place.
But lying to Fiona felt dirty. Even when haunted by bad memories she was luminous, while I was tatted and stained, as if the ink on my hands would bleed out and onto the white of her dress if I touched her.
She cocked her head at me, wearing a perplexed little smile. “You don’t look like a salesman.” Her eyes drifted over my tattooed arms and neck, to the talons piercing my ears. “When I think of ‘traveling salesman’ I picture a middle-aged guy in a suit with a suitcase full of encyclopedias.”
“No suitcase,” I said. “Catalogues and order forms.”
“And you travel a lot?”
“Almost non-stop.”
“That sounds lonely.”
“You do something long enough, you get used to it.”
“I know what you mean,” Fiona said, a tinge of darkness around her words—that shadow started to creep back until she buried it. “But the poker makes it fun?”
“Breaks up the monotony of the road.”
“Do you make a lot of money?” she said, then laughed, beautiful in her self-consciousness. “Sorry, I’m not asking for your bank balance, I just meant, are you any good at it?”
“I’m really fucking good at it,” I said.
Her eyebrows shot up and she nudged my arm with a laugh. “If you don’t say so yourself.”
“Maybe I feel like being honest with you too.” I could feel where she touched me, a tingling heat that was slow to fade.
“I like that.” She swirled her cherry around in her drink by its stem. “So are you in town, selling motorcycle parts, for very long?”
“Couple of days.”
“I hope the storm doesn’t put a damper on your business.”
“It won’t.”
“You’re lucky. At my job, we’ve been given the next few days off.”
“You sound bummed about that.”
“Every penny counts.” She met my eye. “I’m moving out of the country very soon and want to save up.”
I took a sip of my beer. I’d known Fiona for five minutes, but the idea of her moving any further away than her seat at the bar filled me with inexplicable dread.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
But it wasn’t what was wrong with me, anymore. It was what was right. The girl exuded a calm that danced along my skin, and when I inhaled, it was like breathing in the scent of something delicious but far away. The thrumming life all around me grew quiet. For the first time, I felt close to peace, and I wanted more.
If I touched her…
“Nikolai?” Her blush matched the color of her drink. She rested her chin in her hand. “Not to sound cheesy but you’re undressing me with your eyes.”
I felt heat creep along my neck and a bumbling apology rose to my mouth. Instead, I held her gaze, leaned closer to her. “You want to know what I said to you in Russian?”
Her eyes were bright and I could feel her draw closer to me. “Yes. Tell me.”
“I said that you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
The deep pink of her darkened to red. Not the ugly red of hate or anger, but the heated red of intense want. Hers matched mine. I wanted that strange sense of peace she exuded, but I wanted to touch her too. To take her hard and lose myself in her completely.
Fiona held my gaze. “I don’t think that’s true, but the way you look at me…I can almost believe it. Like how you watched me on the dance floor. I liked you watching me, Nikolai. It was as if I could feel your eyes on me before I found you.”
You found me...

Author Bio:
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always. 
Where to Find Emma:
Twitter: @EmmaS_writes
Instagram: @EmmaScottWrites

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share link:

Post a Comment