American Beauty, Book 1
Thirty nights. Two hearts. One fate.
After her parents’ tragic deaths, Elisa Snow wanted nothing more than to escape her past. Eighteen and alone, she fled her quaint English village and moved to the United States. A starving science student by day and an artist’s muse by night, Elisa has slowly built a new life. She never dreamed she would lose everything again.
She is one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. Given thirty days to leave the country, she must face the one thing she cannot survive again—saying goodbye and leaving her home. Yet within minutes of her world shattering, she meets a man with the power to piece it back together.
After finishing his tour of duty in Iraq, Aiden Hale traded battlefields for boardrooms, becoming one of the most successful venture capitalists in the nation. But all his wealth can’t buy him reprieve from the horrific memories of war. The only thing that gives him peace is a painting of Elisa.
Drawn together by their invisible wounds, they begin a passionate affair as they race against the clock to defy their pasts—and fight for their future.
Warning: Contains a blistering exploration of desire, sacrifice, and redemption…and love’s power to equalize us in ways laws cannot.
(request submitted by author for an honest critique)
Wow, what an emotional story. As you read it, you’ll want to laugh, cry, curse, and repeat process more times than I can count.
Aiden was… intense. He did nothing halfway. Case in point: the hundreds upon hundreds of roses (Aeternum romantica) in crystal vases as a surprise for Elisa or the depths he went to keep her in the U.S. with him. Actions truly do speak volumes when it comes to love.
Elisa, I found her quite charming. Her quirky coping mechanism of reciting the periodic table was adorable. Her passion for her work impressed me on a geeky level but her struggles to protect her extended family and stay with the love of her life was what kept me reading.
Oh, and just wait until you read the PTSD scenes. Like I said, this was one emotional tale.
Warning: this book ends on a cliffhanger; one which had me screaming, “No, I want one more chapter. Please!”
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5
I live in the beautiful City of Roses (aka Portland, Oregon). By day, I’m a lawyer, but don’t hold that against me. My job is actually quite fun, except the occasional day when I have to wear a suit and hose. By night, I explore my childhood passion for writing. My first novel, Thirty Nights, is a story about love’s power to guide us even at our darkest moments… and to equalize us in ways laws cannot.
In my “free” time, I like to get lost in Powell’s Bookstore (especially the Russian literature and Jane Austen aisles). I’ve also been known to drool over shoes on any store window (especially Imelda’s), buy ridiculous colors of nail polish, and dance to everything from Beyoncé to Johnny Cash.
But above all, I love spending time with my family, who really believe I’m the world’s best writer, and with my friends, who should ban me from talking about the book for at least two years after the release date.
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