★✩★✩★ 5- Well... COLOR Me Surprised -Stars ★✩★✩★ ~this review may contain minor spoilers~
~in her eyes I can see she exists in the same place I do: a lost place at the edge of the world. Did time stand still? The world fade away? Souls meet across the stars? I should give this snit to Dylan for one of his pathetic love songs. That snit doesn't happen.~
Jem Jones has finally reached his breaking point. After the recent events that had his life spiraling out of control, he is determined that his third stint in rehab will be his last. His focus has been on his sobriety and keeping himself distracted from the things that could cause a relapse. Music is the only healthy addiction left in his life and may be the thing that keeps his head above water but with Blue Phoenix on a break he has to find another way to reach his outlet. Funneling his energy into scouting for bands to open for Blue Phoenix on their next tour is what brings him across the up and coming band 'Ruby Riot' and suddenly he finds his outlet. He makes it his mission to help the band get they attention they deserve and prepare them for the upcoming tour. What he wasn't expecting was the affect the lead singer would have on him. He feels a connection to Ruby he has never experienced before and that is not necessarily a good thing. It's clear she is suffering from her own demons, caught up in an abusive relationship and the last thing Jem needs in his new sober life. He knows he can't try to fix her and helping her will lead him down a path he is not stable enough to handle... but he can't stay away. Can these two broken souls be just what the other needs to heal, or will they end up damaging each other beyond repair? When Jem's past comes back to haunt him in the worst way possible, Ruby decides that maybe she could be the support he needs for once, but Jem can't let anyone get that close to him again, it ALWAYS ends in disaster.
~Tears spring into my eyes, at Jem's life, at the way he's been manipulated, at what he has to fight along with his demons every day. He wants to change, but the world wants to keep him demonized.~
I can admit I was a little nervous to read this book. I have been following this series since the beginning and I have NEVER been a fan of Jem's. It was clear the guy was suffering from some issues, but he came across as nothing more than a drug addicted, always drunk, douche and frankly the guy scared me. I should have know Lisa would never disappoint me. I NEVER expected to fall for Jem and I certainly never expected to feel for him, but the man wormed his way under my skin. His past was responsible for the man we met in 'Summer Sky' and while I might not agree with the direction he took in his life, I at least understand it a whole lot more now than I did. I judged the man and I was put in my place. I now feel bad that he is actually trying to turn his life around but the media just won't let him-they are just waiting for him to fail again and the way he lets this get to him is just heartbreaking. Ruby was also a cause of deep sorrow for me, this girl has suffered unbelievable abuse of all kinds her entire life but she refuses to let in break her-even if it caused some serious damage and forced her to erect a HUGE wall around her heart. These two can't seem to be in the same room for more than five minutes without it turning into a brawl and honestly it became exhausting. I just wanted them to find some peace but the uphill battle appeared to be endless. Out of all the books in this series, this one brought the heaviest emotions outta me. There are some scenes that were difficult to get through and may be a trigger for some people but ultimately it was well worth the read and a fantastic addition to the series. We get to spend a little bit of time with Dylan, Liam, and their ladies, but Jem's go to guy when things get really hard was Bryn so we get to know him a little better-this also seems to set up his book which should be interesting to say the least. Once again, Lisa Swallow has proven why she will always hold a spot on my One-Click-Addiction List. This woman has a way of stealing my sanity that few others can achieve. Her character's and stories drive me absolutely crazy, ticks me off, turns me on, makes me giggle, breaks me and heals me all in a matter of a few hundred pages-and I love every friggin minute of it. Cannot wait to see what this series brings us next.
~I crave her more than anything in my life before, her presence a blinding light pouring into the shadows I'm surrounded by. I need her to stay, to never take her radiance away or leave me lost in the dark again.~