Title: Dark Hearts
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Series: Light in the Dark #3
Release Date: January 24, 2017
I’ve learned that not everything is what it seems. If you start to look too close, you uncover things people don’t want you to see. It’s why I hide. It’s why no one knows the real me. But he sees me. He sees the darkness in my heart but he’s not afraid, because he’s like me. They say opposites attract, but we’re proof that like-and-like are a far more potent combination.
Novalee Clarke is hiding from a past she wants to leave behind, and Jacen Kensington is running from his.
The thing about hiding and running is eventually the thing you’re trying to escape catches up to you.
And when it does?
It changes everything.
Just when I think I couldn’t love the Light in the Dark series any more, Dark Hearts came along and proved me wrong. Micalea Smeltzer delivers something broken, raw and undeniably genuine with Jace and Nova’s story. Their journey is hesitant, unexpected and hits readers with all of the sassy sweetness and delicious sizzle I’ve come to love from this talented author. Jace and Nova are made for heartache and yet they create something real and untouchable together. I absolutely adored their deep friendship, easy banter and sparkling chemistry. Their insecurities and shared stubbornness led to a push a pull that was utterly addictive. Even beneath the obvious chemistry, something more significant built between Jace and Nova. It was this promising, inexplicable quality that had me so intrigued by this couple and kept me riveted to their story.
“But I think we both know we’re different … damaged … and that makes a relationship impossible. Nothing good can come from something so broken.”
Jace was nothing like I expected. While he certainly had his own personality in the previous books, Micalea Smeltzer completely unraveled this character in Dark Hearts. I absolutely loved seeing Jace in his element as he wrote and performed his music. Paired with his possessive and protective behavior towards Nova and his surprisingly easygoing nature when it came to his friends, I was completely smitten. Micalea Smeltzer did a fantastic job at exploring Jace’s family life, his past and what made him so resistant to a relationship. I loved how effortlessly Nova seemed to break through his walls. Together they grew confident in both their relationship and in who they were as individuals. I loved seeing Jace set in contrast to Cade and Xander. While he definitely seemed to fit within the group, his quirks, personality and distinctive voice made him every bit the individual.
“It’s easy to notice something when it’s like looking in a mirror.”
Nova was Jace’s perfect match in every way. For all of his delicious angst and broody behavior, she appeared mysterious and somewhat emotionally detached. However, this couple seemed to ignite something deep within one another that burned hot and quickly spread, engulfing every other aspect of their lives in its fiery grasp until they were both burning brightly. Nova gave as good as she got and the resultant banter was adorable, entertaining, and laced with sexual tension. Just like Jace, Nova had her own demons to deal with in this book and Micalea Smeltzer had some big surprises in store when it came to her history and personal heartbreak. Although I guessed pretty early on what Nova’s secret was, I still enjoyed watching as her past resurfaced and took both her and Jace on an emotional rollercoaster.
“He kisses me like I’m everything he’s ever wanted and hoped for. It’s a different kind of kiss. One full of fear, and longing, and regret, and passion. I never want it to end.”
Dark Hearts was well paced, exquisitely written and overflowing with emotion. Each addition to this series stands on its own but it also fits within the emotional context of the series as a whole and Dark Hearts was certainly no exception. Micalea Smeltzer expertly rekindles the feeling of family that makes this series so spectacular. We get to see the whole crazy crew together a lot in this novel and it made my heart incredibly happy. Their good-natured teasing, genuine concern, total acceptance and unconditional love for one another was absolutely breathtaking and I’m always a little sad to see it come to an end with the final page of the book. Jace, Nova and the rest of Micalea Smeltzer’s inimitable characters will be back as the series continues but until then, I’ll be holding onto Dark Hearts and all of the things it made me feel.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Light in the Dark series:
Rae of Sunshine (Light in the Dark #1)
When Stars Collide (Light in the Dark #2)
When Constellations Form (Light in the Dark #4)
Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.