“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve crea...more“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve created an impenetrable fortress around your emotions. And once that fortress is built, you camouflage it so well that even you can’t see it anymore.”
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred is a heartbreaking love story between two people who have loved one another since they were children. But due to certain circumstances, Alix and Nick's love for one another was also the reason that eventually tore them apart. Told from the first point of view, Alix first met Nick when she was only eight years old and he was ten years old. Spanning a total of nine years, the first part of the book essentially tells us how their friendship formed.
Coming from two completely different worlds, Alix is a daughter from a well-respected family while Nick is the son of Frank Anderson who is often drunk and owns the salvage yard. While accompanying the Judge, Alix's grandfather, she ends up meeting and befriending Nick with just a tin can of bee balm. The start of their relationship was absolutely beautiful and heartrending once you look at the whole picture. Nick has always believed that Alix deserved someone who was much better than him. But at the same time, the possibility of living a life without her was just not possible. The same would of course be said of Alix.
“There was only one boy I wanted, and I lived for the times when I could be alone with him. It was simple. When I was with Nick, I was happy. When I wasn't, I was restless and miserable.”
As Nick and Alix grew older, their love for one another was undeniable and it was getting harder and harder to resist. I can honestly say that I loved how realistic their relationship was. It wasn't fast-pace or love at first sight. It was a slow progress through the years until finally they both started realize it. But alas, as you know from the synopsis, their is a huge twist in this novel. One in which involves Nick's father being shot dead and Nick leaving Alix for fifteen years. Just thinking about their last scene together brings about tears to my eyes.
“To my surprise, Nick reached under his shirt and pulled out the half-heart pendant. With his gaze fixed on mine, he slid the chain over my head. “No one should have to go through life with only half a heart,” he whispered.”
In my opinion, this is definitely one of the most heartbreaking and sweetest romances that I have read in awhile. Even though there was so much pain and lies between Nick and Alix, their love for one another still shined through. It wasn't perfect, but in the end, everything did work out one way or another. This is what I call true love. Overall, so many tears came out for this book and I can say that they were all worthy tears.(less)
“You can tell me to stay away, if that’s what you want. I can’t promise I will do it, but you can tell me to.”
And that was exactly what she should do. But it was not what she wanted to do. Lily was suddenly weary of doing what she should do. She wanted to cease to be cautious for a moment, to be mischievous and seize life as her siblings did. Even as she knew it would not end well.
I absolutely adored the love story of Lily St. Claire and Aidan Huntington. It was sweet, extremely hot, and just heartbreaking at the same time. Their attraction to one another was just irresistible! One Naughty Night is simply a great start to a wonderful series about the St. Claire family. I can't wait to read Two Sinful Secrets, which features Lily's brother, Dominic St. Claire, and Aidan's cousin, Sophia Huntington next! We do get a glimpse of the start of their relationship in this book as well as a possible romance between Aidan's brother (David, the heir to the Dukedom) and Lily's younger sister (Isabel, the shining star of the Majestic theater). I can't wait! This book had romance, suspense, and plenty of hot scenes between Lily and Aidan.
“I… I have to go,” she whispered. He stood up beside her, not trying to touch her again. His blue eyes glowed in the shadows. “Where can I find you?” he said hoarsely.
She shook her head. He was a dream—and she had to wake up now. She whirled around and ran away from him, lifting her skirts to flee once again. “Wait! Please,” he called after her. But she didn’t dare look back.
Lily St. Claire is the first sibling to get her HEA in the series. Unlike her brothers and sister, Lily was actually adopted by the St. Claire's when she was a little girl... after trying to pick pocket Mr. St. Claire. Her past is her own story to tell, but I'll briefly explain it. Lily's childhood before she got adopted was actually really sad. After her mother's death, she ran away and met Tom Beaumont -- he is one sick, cruel, and disgusting man. Well, soon after she was adopted, he was caught and sent away to Australia and believed that Lily was the reason that this had happened. Which is why now he wants to enact revenge on her and her family.
She started to turn away, but he caught her hand and raised it to his lips for a quick kiss, his mouth hot through her glove. “You won’t escape me that easily, Lily,” he whispered.
Lily grows up to be a beautiful woman, even though she doesn't think so, and ends up meeting Aidan after her failing rendition of Juliet in the St. Claire's opening play of Romeo and Juliet in their theater. Lily has never forgotten about Aidan -- even though she ended up marrying Harry Nichols, but he died two years later. Three years have passed since then and their attraction towards one another is hotter than ever.
Overall, I'm really glad that I decided to read this book. I needed my historical romance fix and this certainly did the job! (less)