Dark Hearts by Micalea Smeltzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Two people broken by their families. Best friends. Neither believes in love, or commitment. Can there be more...together? Novalee Clark hides from her horrible past. She avoids her parents as much as possible, not wanting to be reminded of their hand in her fate. She doesn't ever let anyone know the real her. She has friends, but has only let them in so far. Then there's Jace. She doesn't have to let him in. He already knows her. He sees every side of her, because they're so much alike. Both have secrets, but when they're pasts collide, everything will come out.
Jacen Kensington only sees his father for the obligatory "perfect family" moments he's needed for. He only really needs one person in his life, Nova. She sees him, just as he does her.
I really loved these two, even more together. Once we got into their history, it was understandable why they didn't let anyone in. Who would want their friends to know the secrets they held? Nova feared judgements from even her friends if they found out what she was hiding. She really didn't think it would make a difference they were truly friends. My heart broke for her and what she was forced to go through in her teens. Controlling families sweeping he "problems" under the rug, ripping her heart out. When she moved and met hearts friends at college, she gained people in her life that were loyal to her.
Jace just wanted to be accepted by his dad for who he was. He was never good enough because he didn't want to follow in his dad's footsteps. Blamed for wanting his own future, he leaves it all behind except for those times he needs to put on a front for the sake of his father's political campaign. He's lucky to have his friends, especially his very best friend. They think alike, and have the same outlook on life. You don't need love and marriage to be happy. They just make you week. Right?
I was pulled into this story right from the beginning. I loved watching these two come together and help each other through their roughest times. Both characters were an inspiration that you can overcome your family. This is am amazing series. This is book three and while it can be read as a standalone, I still recommend reading the first two. All books are very well written. Michaela makes you feel like your a part of the group of friends. I enjoyed every bit of laughter, heartache and tears as I read.
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