Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.
Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.
Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.
Part II of the two-part Full Tilt duet
PLEASE NOTE, this novel is NOT a standalone. It is highly recommended one read Full Tilt first to get the entire arc of the story and to avoid spoilers.
Review by Jen Skewes
Wow!! I am not sure where to even start with this review. There are so many emotions going through me. When I read Full Tilt I fell in love with Jonah and Kacey. They were just so good together, but when I got to the end of the book and saw what would be coming next I was so excited. I will admit when a character in a book that you fall head over heels in love with dies, there is a part of me that does not want to see their lover move on. It’s for selfish reasons because usually in my mind I just don’t want to accept them falling in love with someone else. I can’t think of them as having two amazing love stories. I think if you are going to go in that direction you have to truly make it feel real, believable and you have to feel the connection between the characters. And Emma Scott nailed it!!! My God did she do a fantastic job with Kacey and Theo’s story.
All In starts with that moment that you do not want to have to relive again but yet it was so important to do so. I am not going to explain why or what happened but it just makes everything that happened after that point in this book completely ok.
Kacey is trying so hard to get past the pain that the loss of Jonah has left her in. All she wants to do is feel numb and the one way she knows how to do that is with alcohol. She has moved to a new city and just going through the motions of life, drowning herself in the process. When Theo gets a call that Kacey is in a really bad way he is on the next plane out to take care of her. Kacey and Theo both know what the other is going through. They both loved Jonah so much and understand more than anyone how much it hurts. But maybe together they can lean on each other and be able to heal and move on from the grief. And this is where their beautiful story really begins.
Through their love for Jonah and their shared grief they become the best of friends. But their relationship begins to turn into more than just feelings of friendship. They see how much they miss each other when they are not together. Theo awakens something inside of Kacey that has been dead since losing Jonah. There is this amazing connection between the two of them. Despite the feelings they have for each other, there are obstacles in their way. Between the fear of getting close to someone again, and the reactions of their family and friends, can this truly work between the two of them? Is their love strong enough to survive those obstacles?
I loved this book so much. When I read Full Tilt I loved Kacey and Jonah together and honestly I think I would have been content if the story ended there. But at the same time knowing that Kacey and Theo were getting their story just made me happy. For one I felt the love that Theo had for Kacey in the first book. I could see what she did to him even if no one else knew it. I felt that he loved her and knew that he would take care of her after his brother was gone. Theo may seem to be this tough tattoo artist who has many women, but he is so far from that man. The love he has for Kacey knows no bounds. They way he cared for her and loved her but also let her be when he knew she needed it. Oh I just loved that man so much.
What I really loved about this story was the pace of it all. This wasn’t a story where Theo came to the rescue and BAM!!! They were in love. No, Ms. Scott took her time with this beautiful love story. They both had to heal, accept the loss in their life, accept that they needed to move on. But most of all Kacey needed to feel that it was the right time to move on with someone else. She needed her heart to feel it and once she knew it was right that was it. It was beautiful to watch these two become best friends and even more so as lovers. There were so many touching moments between them that I just feel the love and connection between them. I found my self getting choked up on more than one occasion. Everything about the two of them just felt so real. What an absolutely amazing and beautiful story about loss, friendship, love and moving on. This story shows that while the pain of losing someone may slowly go away your love for that person never has to. But more importantly it is ok to move on and love again.
All In Excerpt:
I concentrated on the music, pretending to listen and resolutely not looking at Theo. But the damn music was bluesy, sexy… A slow burn of want and longing. It dialed into my already aching body, filling me with a need to be touched.
A shadow fell over me, and I looked up to see Theo standing, his hand outstretched.
“Dance with me.”
It wasn’t a request, and my traitorous body was already rising to its feet before I could think.
Theo took my hand in his and led me to the small dance floor, where a dozen other couples were swaying to the music. Some, driven by the sultry tones of the song and the singer’s smoky voice, were grinding their hips together, thighs intertwined.
Theo slung my arms around his neck, then put his hands on my hips, and began to move.
I’d never stood this close to Theo before. Our bodies pressed tight. Our faces so close, I could smell the sweet heat of his food, the bitterness of beer, the salt of his sweat. His heart beat thick against mine. The ragged exhale of his breath.
“You told me at the wedding you didn’t dance,” I said, every part of my body conscious of touching every part of his.
His mouth shaped the words, “I lied,” but no sound reached me over the music.
I could barely breathe. I was losing myself in him. Our eyes locked. I couldn’t look anywhere but at him. The light brown of his eyes fiery, like a shot of whiskey backlit by a white-hot flame. His hips ground a slow circle against mine, his thigh inching between my legs. One arm slid around my waist, the other came up the middle of my back, holding me close. My arms wound around his neck, my fingers burrowed into his damp hair.
“I like this,” he murmured. His whole body was flush against mine. I could feel its power, the strength of his muscles holding and moving me with the music. The hollow of his neck glistened. I felt my own sweat slide over my collarbone and between my breasts. My blood was on fire in a way that was entirely separate from the Louisiana summer. A heat Theo was building in me with every roll of his pelvis against mine. I felt the stiffness of his jeans against my skin as his hand slipped down to my ass, pressing me tighter against him. Grinding in a dance that felt more like…
Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance novels when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word romantic story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.
She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it's amusing to write about herself in the third person. And if she has a driving force the fuels her work, it's that love always wins.
Where to find Emma: