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Chris Sinclair fades under a dark cloud after losing his mother
to cancer. On the cusp of adulthood, he doesn’t know where he
should go or how to get there. But watching life pass him by was never the plan, and when he is forced to attend a concert in an attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might have more to offer.

Dante Heron holds the audience between his delicate bow and
the tips of his fingers. He plays the violin as if every heart is his
to command, but the discipline needed to perfect his skills has
left him with nothing to spare. He’s a fire that burns too bright
or not at all—unpredictable and demanding.

When Chris is unexpectedly offered a job to travel around
Europe as Dante’s assistant, or ‘friend’, he surprises himself by
accepting. Their journey barely starts before Chris realizes he’s
in over his head. Every step along the way is fraught with
tension, and the farther they go, the closer they veer to a
breaking point.

Invisible strings are at play, stitched into Dante’s life by those
who should have taught him how to love. Perhaps Chris is right
to be afraid, but sometimes, what you fear the most is what you
can’t afford to lose.

This story has been published previously in another version.
This second edition includes material from the companion
short story, Magnetic, and is extensively rewritten and

213 pages, ebook

First published August 23, 2016

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About the author

Avylinn Winter

6 books72 followers
Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 103 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews13.9k followers
August 15, 2017

★★★★! Volatile (stand-alone, book 1). Watty-award winner; Coming of age m/m between musical prodigy & student!

“This was a side of him I knew existed from the brief times he had let me inside his world, but each time these volatile thoughts of his dispersed, I was left wondering if I had imagined it all.”

Books in Treacherous Chemistry series are stand-alones, but most enjoyed if read in order:
Book 0.5: Oblivious - FREE!
Book 1: Volatile
Book 2: Toxic

Volatile (stand-alone) opens up to student Chris Sinclair attending a concert by violist and musical prodigy Dante Heron. The two hit it off and Dante’s sponsor hires Chris to travel along for their European tour as a companion.

Chris soon discovers there is a volatile side to Dante; mood swings, mixed messages, a parade of one-night stands and groupies in every city. But amidst the turmoil and confusion there is an unlikely kinship and closeness that will set them on a journey of self-reflection and discovery.

“His breathing changed, his eyelids fluttered, and my heart began to pound. He wasn’t meant to wake up while I was staring at him. In a flash, his eyes opened and focused on mine.”

Nine words to describe Dante Heron: charismatic, moody, secretive, gifted, immature, complex, enigmatic, manipulative and volatile.

Seven words to describe Chris Sinclair: Confused, unassuming, reflective, immature, impulsive, conflicted and stubborn.

Volatile, told Chris’ POV, is a lovely m/m coming of age tale about finding one’s sexuality. Story is not explicit, but offers sexual tension overload. The ending leaves them in a good place and I suspect there will be glimpses of them in book 2, Toxic.

Beautifully told! Original plot! Kudos Avylinn!

“He stood close. Close enough for me to imagine his presence touching mine. Somehow the lack of touch made it more intimate.”

Dante’s rating: 4.5 stars
Chris’ rating: 4 stars
Sexual tension rating: 4.5 stars
Sex scenes rating: N/A
Sex scenes frequency: N/A
Plot rating: 4 stars
Dialogue rating: 4 stars
Storytelling rating: 4.5 stars
Story ending rating: 4 stars
Overall rating: 4 stars

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Would I re-read this series: Maybe later.
Would I read future books by this author: Yes.

Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,317 followers
May 3, 2017
**4.5 stars**

Multi-layered and organic, Volatile is a well-written Young Adult story about two beautiful souls, Dante and Chris.

With Dante, we get a complex and tortured violin virtuoso who meets Chris, a 20-yr-old college student, at the after party following one of his concerts. From the moment they set eyes on each other, you can sense the chemistry between them but seeing how young Chris was, I knew we were in for a bumpy and agonizing ride as he clearly lacked the sophistication or maturity needed in dealing with the artistic genius that was Dante.

Chris goes from being a college student who had recently lost a parent to becoming Dante's temporary assistant and almost immediately, he starts to fall in love with him. As we journey across Europe with these two, emotions deepen and yet, the distance between them remains wide which leaves Chris falling into despair. The signals from Dante are mixed but when Dante's very traditional parents join the fray, well, Chris had had enough.

Ms. Winter wrote the characters with such simplicity and their emotions with such fierceness. I walked this journey with Chris and Dante and I wanted them both to get out of their own way and take a chance on each other..

I can't say enough great things about this story. The dialogue was smart, the prose, concise and the premise was interesting and different. There are far too many YA books with the insta-lust/bad boy whore/college campus theme and it's refreshing to see Winters explore an alternate dimension that was utterly captivating.

There are very few books that I have on my read-again list but this one has earned its place on that list.
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,052 reviews598 followers
June 1, 2019
4 Suffering Beyond Death Stars

It was okay to fail if you tried to make things right afterward—if you tried again and made sure to never fail the same thing twice.

Volatile is a story of two lonely persons. Dante never had a normal life growing up, he was a difficult person, he was volatile, emotional and reluctant to talk about what was wrong and instead, he would leash out. Chris had love-insecurity. He had a void within himself that was consuming him. Love did nothing to him but hurting him. He was carrying his emotion lucked inside a box…

Told in dual POV, 1st person, it’s the first installment in the "Treacherous Chemistry" series and it can be read as a standalone. It’s an emotional read with well-developed characters. It’s angsty and slow-burn, don’t expect hot scenes but there was a good amount of sexual tension. It’s well-written, I liked the writing style, it was beautiful, poetic and magical... My first read by this author but won't be the last! The story contains two parts, I enjoyed the first part more than the second. Overall, it was an enjoyable read for me and hope you like it as well!
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,084 reviews770 followers
May 19, 2020
2.5 it is me not the book, stars

Damn! Took me 5 days to finish a book with 246 pages. Yaap! That happened.

Started out 5 stars then somewhere along the way, it all went haywire.

MCs: Chris and Dante

I liked the characters enough to stick with the story to the end. The story on the other hand dragged and the MCs don't get together until around 80%. The story is told in the POV of Chris, as a narrator Chris was sometimes boring and whiny. i didn't get to know Dante through his eyes. This is one of those rare times that i wished for MC 2 POV.
Profile Image for Karla.
1,023 reviews221 followers
January 5, 2017
4.5 stars!

"Volatile" Chris, is offered a job of a lifetime in assisting the famous violinist Dante, in his European tour. From the moment they meet Chris, feels this connection with Dante that leaves him confused since his never had an attraction to a man. Dante was a mystery through out the book, so aloof but talented in his music even with his hot and cold attitude there was something about him that just drew me in.


The ups and downs between Chris/Dante were so frustrating and amazing at the same time, knowing they were starting to have feelings for each other. When they were in sync it was intense, beautiful, you felt how perfect they were for each other. When those misunderstandings would happen, I wanted to lock them in a room and make them, just talk!


Even though this book is told only in Chris's POV I'm glad we got some background into Dante's family and why he is so closed off. It definitely made me sympathize with him and why he acted like he acted with Chris.


This was such an amazing read, loved all the feels I got from this story. Wonderfully written, I love this author's voice the realness and rawness of her stories and characters. This was my second book by her and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the "treacherous chemistry series" ❤

Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,165 reviews1 follower
May 7, 2017
Reading this was like walking on tiptoe, looking over your shoulder at every corner, stop at every crack on the stairs, waiting....and waiting before opening another door, because.... everything could blow up in your face. I was holding my breath more than once. My heart hammered and not because of suspense but because of anticipation......
Everything was delicate, Chris, Dante, his violin, the atmosphere, the environments, their interactions and even their kisses....

So many words.... never spoken out loud....so many thoughts....pushed away.....so many feelings..... denied.....
A great part of it happened because of the insecurities and the fear of rejection.

"I chose to neglect all the warning signs. I rushed, blindfolded, straight into the deepest part of the labyrinth with no map or compass to guide me back. I was in over my head, falling fast into the clutches of infatuation."

Sentences like this.....just straight to the depth of my poor heart that was knocking at my chest....

It felt like a movie, complex, intense, minimal of words but a lot of focus on details, thoughts and expressions...like I said....intense....in capitals

Beautiful beautiful read....it made my a bit sad......but also hopeful and then not...and then again hopeful. It was intense and very emotional and so beautiful written it made me cry of its beauty....
Sometimes it's just difficult to review because I can't find the right words.... Beautiful it was.....
.....Damn there are the tears again.....

Kindly received a copy for a honest review from the publisher

This review is published on Divine Magazine
Profile Image for Dia.
534 reviews133 followers
August 4, 2019
What started as a 5 stars read for me ended to a 3 stars. Yes, I've read it one sitting and it was good, but somewhere along the way I lost interest. I was SO excited to solve the puzzle that Dante was. I even thought he had some problems growing up, I even thought he might have ADHD or something close to it. He was so hard to read. He just went from super friendly and sweet to super hard to handle in a blink of an eye, mood swings and all.
The slow burn started to become unbearable at some point and I had a hard time deciding if he was just a brat or he was having trouble. I asked myself if he wasn't all there. He had many one night stands and I was afraid he might never change. I hate it when there's miscommunication between the main characters. So much trouble for nothing actually. If they just talked and sort it our it would have been so much better.
Dante changed so much. Too fast for me. At least that is how I felt. He opened up all of the sudden... he stood up to his parents and it just wasn't a believable ending. I wanted so much more.
Again a book with such a high rating wasn't at all what I expected. Just not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Laxmama .
578 reviews
April 14, 2017
I will start by saying this is defínely a YA book, for me YA is hit or miss. I enjoyed the premise and where this story line went, but there were to many issues that irked me.

Profile Image for Christian Baines.
Author 8 books104 followers
November 11, 2016
Avylinn Winter doesn't seem overly concerned with hitting the familiar beats of romance genre, which I think is a big part of why I liked this book so much. Chris and Dante are headstrong characters, often distant and difficult to understand, who often take a less than mature route when faced with a problem. In other words, they felt real to me. Messed up in all their insecurities, their character progression takes baby steps, and feels well earned, even if each really just needs to get out of his own way. I understand there are many more books coming in the series, and I highly recommend stepping outside the romance genre box to indulge in a little Treacherous Chemistry.
Profile Image for Daniel.
34 reviews11 followers
April 13, 2017
4 stars.
May contain spoilers.


Ms. Winter knows how to get things done. I've been having a hard time finding a story that could satisfy me and my difficult tastes. Well, this one was a ray of light to me. Like, from the first page. And you know what? Yes, you can tell right away. Great books can be smelled, can be told right from the beginning. What comes in that first page is essential to deduce whether you're going to like the rest of the thing or not. Those first lines had it all: character depth, word flow, intelligent dialogues. The setting? It's not usually relevant to me, but I must say this: if an author can intrigue you writing about nothing and everything at all at the same time, that author deserves praise. Cos, y'know, it's easy to throw elements in there but it's a whole 'nother thing to make sense of them, to make them fit. I was about 60% in and all that was going on were two people interacting with each other, almost as if they were in their own dimension. It was intimate. Their connection was so intimate that I literally smiled at nothing. Because that's how emotions work. They don't need anything else other than themselves to exist. Don't take that for granted.


So why not a higher rating? I'll tell you right away: you can't control emotions, the same way you can't control characters so complex as Chris and Dante. Especially Dante. Mainly because they're very young. They are my age, so I get it. Fact is, the following part to that 60% of the book let me down. There were emotions, right? And out-of-control complex young men? Balance slipped away. Or, how do I put this, it's like that intimate bubble blew up. Ta-dah! Drama. DRAMA. A little bit...


So something went wrong. For me. Because this is how I feel about it but it doesn't necessarily mean it'll be an issue for everyone else. The story still has logic and is coherent to the character's personality. But it all turns into huge misunderstandings, cowardice, uncommunicative dummies and basically teenage drama, the one I really hate because - yes - they're my age and I'm so freakin' mature about everything and I can't accept others to be so unreasonable. Please, read this with the due irony.

I did have my happy ending and it was an interesting journey into human relationships. Communication, in particular, that really is what we should base our society on. Real, sincere, true communication. Not false myths, not lies, not choosing the easy way out of our differences and diversities. It was just awesome overall.

Profile Image for ✵Damjana✵.
428 reviews62 followers
June 20, 2020
4.75 stars

Chris and Dante are two young lonely guys. Somehow lost in this world with a lot of their own problems.
Dante is famous violin player with complex character who lived all his life under parent's expectations and pressure of not being good enough. Chris is college student with his own grief and insecurities and is hired to be Dante's personal assistant on his Europe tour. They have instant connection, but their fears prevent to have proper communication which leads to some of misunderstandings. This is tender story of two guys who fall in love with each other.

Be careful to read 2019 edition. This edition is told in dual POV, when 2016 edition is only Chris telling and than book # 1.5 Magnetic is told by Dante. In 2019's edition both their POV are united in one book. I had 2016 edition on my ereader for years and I found out this fact only at 60% when I was asking myself if I will ever hear Dante voice.
Profile Image for Stephanie   GooglyEyes.
1,159 reviews32 followers
August 25, 2016
This is my first Avilynn Winter book and I have to say I'm highly impressed. Her words are like poetry. The way she describes how when Chris first absorbs Dante's music is beautiful and melodic and a little heartbreaking.

Dante is a tough nut to crack. You never know what he's thinking or if he has some sort of mental issue. I thought maybe he had some kind of depression, or he was just being a temperamental artist. I guess it's really a mix of both.

He and Chris relationship, both personal and professional, are like a roller coaster. One minute they're up and the next they're down, but you can't look away. There were some chest squeezing moments and other moments when you exhale.

My heart broke for Chris. Even though he admits being a coward and can't really talk about feelings out of fear, Dante didn't really help him a long either. They're both at fault, but that doesn't mean I still didn't hurt when he returned home.

"Maybe he was slightly crazy, and maybe we were thoroughly crazed, but it felt perfectly right and perfectly sane."

I will say that their reunion was super vived ((like a scene from a romcom film)) and I thought it to be highly romantic and sweet.

I also liked that the ending was more of a HFN than a HEA. They seem to still have so much story to tell and lives to live, seeing as they're both on different paths. I'm also really hoping Chris's new dormmate, Adam, gets a story next. He seems like such a sweet character.
Profile Image for NicoleR.M.M..
512 reviews107 followers
December 7, 2022
Were my expectations too high, maybe? I feel fairly disappointed. The author has a way with words, and the premise of this story is very interesting, but I have issues with the execution. Probably in the minority here, seeing all the raving reviews, but I’ll explain in a more detailed review soon.

So, do you ever have that feeling of a book you anticipate so much that you are somehow reluctant to pick up because you're afraid to be disappointed? That kind of book was Volatile for me. I've had it waiting for me for quite some time and after having read the praising reviews, I couldn't wait to read it, but at the same time I didn't want to. Maybe it has also something to do with the right moment, as I'm usually a mood reader and since I was expecting a book heavy on the feelings, I knew I had to pick my moment.

Last week I was in desperate need for a book that would pull on my heartstrings, a book that would hurt me (in both good and bad ways), a book that would leave me speechless and leave me with the main characters for days after I finished it. Was I asking for too much? Not when I read the blurb and the reviews, I don't think.
It just wasn't that kind of book.
It left me feeling robbed of my anticipation, of my expectations.
It's not that the author doesn't know how to write. They do have a way with words, some sentences were really almost pure poetry. But those were just small moments in a book that has over 300 pages.

In the first part of the book the story is told solely from Chris's point of view and maybe that's where the author made a wrong choice. Because by doing so, Dante keeps at a distance. We never get this much needed look inside his head. Dante is elusive. He acts strange towards Chris, pushing and pulling, keeping his distance and pushing Chris away when he says something he dislikes, but never explaining his reactions, which are sometimes out of proportion. As a reader you feel like he's in a limbo, like he wants something he can't have. He's this unhappy figure, only happy when he plays music. But we get too few information to understand where he comes from. That information is shared with us over the course of the story, but to my opinion it comes too late. When we reach the point where you finally understand, I have already stopped caring, because I just could not relate to him, I couldn't connect with him for lack of that much needed information. Because exactly that was the cause for not getting to know the real Dante.
To me, that's also the reason for not feeling the connection between Chris and Dante, and for not rooting for their romance. I didn't feel Chris's devastation once he left Dante, I didn't feel the reasons for his depressed state of mind, for wanting to be with Dante, who hadn't treated him all that well in the first place. Yes, there had been moments when Dante opened up to (or at least tried to) Chris, but they were too short and too few for me to truly get what he felt.

I understand which story the author meant to tell and I really loved the premise of that. If it would have been executed better, this had the potential of becoming one of my favorite books of the year. But I'm sadly admitting that for now it was mainly a disappointment. I still rate 3 stars, because of the poetic writing and because I have seen that this author really knows how to write. It just didn't turn out to be the story I was expecting and hoping for.

Profile Image for booklover.
1,493 reviews6 followers
April 6, 2017
I've never read anything by this author before but am so glad I have now!
Volatile tells the story of Chris and Dante. They're both lost, both looking for that "SOMETHING" to complete them but don't know what it is....
Dante is quite an enigma, and due to his upbringing finds it hard to communicate with others and let them in to see the REAL Dante, bot the stage persona that everyone thinks he is.
Chris is somewhat of an enigma too but in an entirely different way but for similar reasons.
There were several moments in this book that I wanted to dive into the book and shake both Chris & Dante for their stubbornness and, at times, ignorance, too.
What I absolutely loved about this story was the way is was told made me feel the vulnerabilities and other emotions that Chris and Dante go through.I could feel the way they felt for each other, but also understood why they didn't know how to act on those feelings.
This was such a beautifully written story with characters that will steal your heart!
Absolutely LOVED IT!
Profile Image for iam.
954 reviews127 followers
July 29, 2017
"No moon tonight."
"Maybe it's hiding."
"From what?"
"Us. Maybe it circles the earth to watch over all of us, becoming smaller and smaller every night with each disappointment."
"Then why does it grow?"

This book is far from perfect. The characters have flaws, the story isn't always clear, there are holes in the pacing and plot.
But it still touched me, and had these weirdly and magically beautiful moments that made reading it a wonderful experience that I adored.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,376 reviews417 followers
August 23, 2016
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

Volatile encompasses the feelings of first love mixed in with the emotional aftermath of losing a parent. Chris’ first person POV gives an up close and personal view of his turmoil. Since the death of their mother, Chris has been living with his brother and his brother’s husband. He has a lot to process and staying home all of the time is about the only thing he can do. Until he meets Dante.

Dante is a famous violinist and he can entrance an entire room with his music. Chris falls under his spell and meeting Dante opens up emotions that he hadn’t had a reason to investigate. But Dante can be withdrawn and moody or as is manager calls him, volatile.

The book is a slow burn where the writing is soft and tender, but the emotions are evocative and complicated and for Chris, they are confusing. He gets sent to Europe, but he’s completely out of his depth for the job he’s been hired for. He’s hired only because after just meeting Dante, his manager sees a connection. When he gets tangled up emotionally, he doesn’t do his job and can’t get out of his own way and he can be seen as petulant, but he’s simply ill equipped for the job he was hired to do.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Valen Mesa.
1 review
July 12, 2016
Is a great story! Author's narrative is beyond excellent and each character is attractive in it's own way I couldn't stop reading form the beginning
August 18, 2016
4.5 Stars

Volatile is a really wonderful and emotional read. I loved the characters and the enigma that was Dante Heron. It is not a conventional romance. There are ups and downs and a lot of misunderstanding, angst and more importantly, love.

Chris Sinclair has lost his zeal to enjoy life. After the death of his mother, he has closed himself up emotionally from the outside world while still suffering inside terribly. His overprotective older brother is always there for him but he still feels alone and lost. While attending a concert with his brother and his husband, Chris hears the Devil playing violin, the melody haunting and freeing at the same time. He is introduced to the devil, Dante Heron, a violin prodigy. Chris is offered a job to assist Dante in his Europe tour and he accepts. Dante is difficult and the most ornery person Chris has ever met but the beautiful angel that peeks through his volatile exterior when Dante is playing violin, lures him in no time. Chris is confused about his feelings for his difficult charge but as he spends more and more time with him, hoping from one country to another, he realizes that he is in deep. But loving Dante is not that simple and Chris is not sure if he can recover if he gets his heart broken. Will Chris get his HEA with his angel, Dante??? Read this beautifully written, emotional roller coaster to find out.

Reading this book has been a great experience. The characters were beautifully drawn and the emotions were piled up quite high. The read is very different than any YA M/M romances out there. Dante’s character was unique and very difficult to understand but I did not have any problem connecting with him. Chris completed the picture perfectly. Their romance was not conventional or straight forward but it was sweet and emotional nonetheless.

Dante and Chris had to go through a lot to finally be together. Chris had huge insecurities working against him and Dante’s temperamental and volatile nature didn’t help matters. There was a huge misunderstanding which tears them apart but the time they spend apart was necessary to solidify their relationship.

There are many more twists and turns in Chris and Dante’s relationship which kept me glued to their story. This series has a very apt name. Dante and Chris’s relationship and emotions were treacherous indeed.

The ending left me a little unsatisfied. Chris and Dante’s HEA felt a bit rushed and I would have really loved to see more of them after they express their true feelings for each other. It’s a series so hopefully there will be a continuation to Chris and Dante’s story. I for one would love more of Dante and little more sexy scenes between him and Chris*winks*

All in all, Volatile is a very engaging, unique and beautiful romance. Our heroes finally coming together at the end will leave you all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a marvelous story and I would recommend it to all romance lovers.


*This review has been cross posted at GayBookReviews*
Profile Image for Adam Valmont.
42 reviews8 followers
July 16, 2016
Volatile, I've read this book for free on wattpad, it's so good, I can't wait till it becomes available on amazon.
The noncommercial cover:

The book follows the story of young Chris who hates life and finds everything boring in it. Who believed he had lost the good in everything, that's all till he heard the devil -I should correct and say an angel ♥- playing the violin. That angel in a devil disguise is named Dante. A rather refreshing childish love interest, which I adored.

Dante is a very complex character and Chris was drawn to him quickly like a moth to flames. The poor kid wanted to know more about him, his past, his thoughts, and at one point wanted to know his heart.

I'll not be talking a lot about the plot and story-line for it is for you to learn.

The book is amazing, beautifully done. Actual Flawed Characters that people can actually relate to!

If the book was this good, why did I take one star down?

Well, the reason for that goes to the final quarter of the book. One everything was clear and the main problem is known and we only need a solution... The solution the author has provided was rushed in that it was confusing and so not satisfying. She had told me that she had intended it so, so clearly she didn't see it as a mistake as I did. But again, everyone has their own opinions and you have to judge by yourself,,, so BUY the book.

Also, I am kinda sad, there wasn't a lot of romantic moments and at least one se..ehm... scene.

Profile Image for Avylinn Winter.
Author 6 books72 followers
April 11, 2019
Volatile is a novel dear to my heart, mostly because the characters Chris and Dante wouldn't shut up until I'd finished writing it. Then they refused to shut up anyway, which means they show up in Toxic as well as in the third novel in the series which is still in the works.

I know Dante and Chris are not always the easiest characters to love, so I won't fault you if you curse them to the end of the world and back while reading. My only defense is that they're young and very human. They were never meant to be without flaws.

If you want to learn more about their story after reading, especially if you want to know what the heck Dante was thinking during parts of the novel, you should consider checking out Magnetic. It's a short companion story to Volatile, written from Dante's perspective.

Pre-order: 18th of July
Early release: 1st of August
General release: 29th of August
Amazon Pride Publishing
Profile Image for Nepolina.
7 reviews
April 28, 2017
A heartfelt 4.5 stars

"As if he heard me, his eyes opened. Lashes flashing, those pale eyes landed on me, and they seemed to see right through me, right into my very core.
I can't do this, I thought, but I couldn't look away, I couldn't blink.
His eyes held me locked in place, and it felt like it was only he and I, alone in the swirling snow. No one else mattered. He played for me, filling my being with the emotions latched onto every note leaving his violin.
Only us, there was only us, no one else."

I remember starting this story on wattpad intrigued by its blurb, waiting for updates, reading chapter after chapter week after week. I remember freaking out when the official book cover was released and when the title changed from Violinist to Volatile. I remember loving it.

Volatile follows our two MCs: Dante Heron and Chris Sinclair.

Dante is our musical prodigy and Chris is a college student. They meet at an after party following one of Dante's shows and their journey starts when Chris is asked to assist him on his European tour.

The story is in first person, in Chris' POV.

Dante is, in short, complex and charismatic and that is what really drew me in. His mother always makes sure to remind him of how much they have sacrificed for him (insert eye roll) and pretty much pushes him to be even better than he already is. Suffice to say, I did not like her. Dante, as a result, practices till the point his fingers bleed (literally).

Chris has recently lost his mother to cancer and staying with his brother. He is a realistic character with his own set of insecurities. He is mostly left confused by Dante's changing behavior towards him and his own growing feelings for the other boy.

The chemistry between Chris and Dante hits you right in the feels, it's intimate and at times you feel like you're interrupting them. But, as any relationship goes, there's misunderstandings as well. But all in all, they get their happy ending which puts me at rest.

It's not your everyday story, and not many will be able to relate to Dante (because not everyone is an enigma) but you sure will feel their struggles as if they're your own.
Profile Image for Daniela.
207 reviews
April 25, 2017
Reading "Volatile" has been an emotional blast from the very moment when Dante touched the ropes of his violin until the last of their kisses. A tornado has taken hold of my heart and now I'm the one mourning xD Mourning the loss of these characters and their stories.
I died about twice while reading, fundamentally due to the deep conversations and moments, expressed in such a simple way. Beautiful, just beautiful.
Profile Image for Mari  Cardenas.
2,025 reviews23 followers
May 3, 2019
Original Review:

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***

Chris Sinclair never expected that attending a violin concert would turn his world upside down.

After losing his mother to cancer, and trying to get by in college, even if nothing really holds his interest, he's offered the chance of a lifetime by becoming Dante Heron's assistant manager and traveling with him around Europe. Dante is a renowned violinist, a prodigy, very temperamental and has a penchant for one-night stands and yet, there's something about him that draws Chris in like a moth to the flame. But is Chris willing to be burned?

The writing in this book is flawless, nearly poetic, with a very elegant prose that just drew me in pretty much as Chris was drawn to Dante. I stayed up until 5:15am last Sunday finishing this book, because I couldn't put it down. For as much as the writing captivated me, I also felt that it was a bit too formal for a twenty-year-old's POV, which was what Chris was, and there wasn't enough dialogue and too much of Chris's introspections, which didn't allow us to learn more than what Chris was thinking and a few tidbits here and there that gave us glimpses as to what was going on with Dante.

I liked Chris, even if there were times when I wasn't too sure if I wanted to cuddle him or slap some sense into him. There was a scene specifically where I would've liked to shake him up a bit, okay, a lot, after he'd made a decision, followed through and once it was time to leave, he nearly backed off again, until someone else forces his hand. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, there are only glimpses of Dante, some are good, some are great and some are not too good, but the story would've been even better if we'd been shown a bit more of him, I think he was a fascinating character that we sort of missed out on.

Overall, this was a very good read, enthralling and intriguing! Recommendable!

Rating: 4 Stars!

2nd Edition Review:

4.5 Stars!

Chris Sinclair never expected that attending a violin concert would turn his world upside down.

After losing his mother to cancer, and trying to get by in college, even if nothing really holds his interest, he's offered the chance of a lifetime by becoming Dante Heron's assistant manager and traveling with him around Europe. Dante is a renowned violinist, a prodigy, very temperamental and has a penchant for one-night stands and yet, there's something about him that draws Chris in like a moth to the flame. But is Chris willing to be burned?

I read a previous version of this book almost three years ago and I really enjoyed it, which is why I jumped to review it when the author said she'd edited Volatile and was republishing it.

For the most part, I stand to my previous review, Ms. Winter's writing in this book is flawless, nearly poetic, with very elegant prose that just drew me in pretty much as Chris was drawn to Dante.

I liked Chris, even if there were times when I wasn't too sure if I wanted to cuddle him or slap some sense into him. There was a scene specifically where I would've liked to shake him up a bit, okay, a lot, after he'd made a decision, followed through and once it was time to leave, he nearly backed off again, until someone else forces his hand. And don't get me started on him feeling guilty over the whole damn thing when Dante and he had a fallout, because I really wanted to kick him (and everyone else) there. I got that Lara was protective of Dante, but really, she knew the guy, why didn't she give Chris the benefit of the doubt? *sighs*

I was glad we got more of Dante's POV this time around. While I still wasn't happy with how he treated Chris, at least he apologized and made up for being a twat to Chris, plus we got to know him better than before.

Dante and Chris had amazing chemistry and I just loved them together, especially in that second part, which made me think that despite their youth, they may have what it takes to make it on the long run.

Overall, this was a very good read, enthralling and intriguing! Very recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
Profile Image for VVivacious.
852 reviews36 followers
May 4, 2017
A ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Review. This review can also be found here.

4.5 Stars

Ever since his mother’s death, Chris has forgotten every reason to live when the sound of a violin breaks through his every barrier. Chris finds himself enchanted with Dante, the black haired violinist, but little does he know that the few words he exchanges with this enigmatic musician are going to give him a reason to live.

Chris finds himself on tour with Dante. He finds himself drawn to the enigma that is Dante but when every moment they share is inexplicable it’s hard to know what they really share. Are these moments the basis of something more or are they just something that can be forgotten in the blink of an eye?

This story is excellently written because if you get rid of the writing style this is a story we have heard a million times but what makes it a story worth reading is the fact that the way this story is written, makes even the simplest story, that you have read a million times in one form or the other, a piece of art.

It really boggles my mind how much I like this book because if you come down to the crux of this story, the turning point is a misconception. And personally I hate books were misconceptions are long drawn out and don’t have a quick resolution for one reason only, it has been done a million times before and I am sure it will done a million times after as well, but what makes it such an effective ploy is that one book that takes this plot ploy and manages to still find another unexplored corner of it.

I mean this book turned my pet peeves into something marvellous there are misconceptions and miscommunication or no communication, things I hate but this story just infuses the words with so much richness that I felt like I could understand just exactly how Dante and Chris’s relationship worked out.

Dante and Chris wowed me it felt like the pages featuring them just dripped with so much feeling. You know sometimes books fail to express non-verbal communication as well as verbal communication so most of the times when two characters don’t talk in a book everything they share becomes a bit ridiculous because something in the back of your head is like they don’t even know each other that well. But the author has this amazing command on the language because I got every cue that passed between Dante and Chris and most of them were non-verbal. In a startling moment this book opened my eyes to this fallacy of books by doing the exact opposite. I feel in anyone else’s hand this book would crash because I truly believe this book only works as it is written and I feel like one word out of place could make it fall apart.

It is amazing, the love story is inexplicable in the truest sense but once you read the book you will believe me when I say it truly works.

Also I loved how well the author portrayed Adam and Chris’ relationship, because it really got me excited about the fact that we get Adam’s book next.

I know this book isn’t perfect but I would be hard-pressed to find a mistake.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh. The cover doesn’t do justice to the story but I think little could.
Profile Image for Helena Stone.
Author 31 books120 followers
August 25, 2016
This is going to be a hard review for me to write. Volatile is a wonderful book and flawlessly written, it just wasn’t a book for me. But, I have absolutely no doubt that my reasons for finding this a harder story to read will be the main reasons others are going to adore it.

But, let me start with everything that was wonderful about this book before I get to my very personal reasons for having a hard time with it. This is a very well written story. The words and descriptions hooked me from the moment I started reading. I really felt as if I was in Chris’s head, I could feel his gloom, I shared his fears and excitement, and his pain tore through me.

Because we experience everything that happens through Chris’s eyes and thoughts, and Chris is ‘only’ twenty years old and therefore not yet very world wise, Dante remained almost as much of an enigma to me as he was for Chris. But, and this was done very well, I did have a better understanding of what might be going on with the talented violinist than Chris had. But, to be fair, Chris was still fighting a few demons of his own, which made it harder for him to recognise Dante’s.

That’s what this story is about; two troubled and fragile young men trying to find and keep their footing in a world that appears to expect them to live, act, and perform in a manner well beyond their age. I think my heart started breaking about two paragraphs into the story, and it didn’t stop until I had almost finished the book.

And that, in a nutshell, is my personal issue with this book. I don’t do angst. I don’t deal with it very well and avoid it in my reading when I can. And there’s angst a plenty in Volatile and it is very well done. While a lot of the angst is the result of Chris and Dante just not communicating with each other—one of my pet peeves— it made perfect sense in this story. In fact, if they had talked about all their issues with each other, it would have been completely out of character. Given who they are, their ages, and individual histories, their relationship couldn’t have developed in any other way. But, knowing all of that, did not make it easier for me to read.

Long story short; if you enjoy very well written stories, featuring two fascinating young men building a troubled relationship, and a liberal dose of angst, this is THE book for you. Go read it and enjoy while I try to figure out whether or not I want to read the next book when it comes out. Because on the one hand, Avylinn Winter is a wonderful writer and storyteller, but on the other hand, my heart can only take so much angst.
Profile Image for Carra.
1,672 reviews25 followers
August 27, 2016
Talk about your high-angst stories...Volatile is steeped in it, and the story actually had my stress levels pretty high through most of the book. Between Dante's unpredictable moods and personality, the growing feelings Chris is experiencing, and the blossoming-and-then-not relationship between the two--it's enough to have you strung out almost the entire time you're reading it.

Chris comes across as slightly depressed and still unable to fully move past his mother's passing. He's unsure of himself and wavers back and forth on how he should handle things with Dante. I really felt for Chris, he seemed so lost for much of the story until he realized exactly what his feelings for Dante truly are. Dante is a lot like what you'd expect from a temperamental, supremely talented musician. He has his own difficulties thanks to his parents and the undue pressure they place upon him along with the added pressure of being in the spotlight as the prodigy he is.

There's a bit of a lack of communication between Chris and Dante, and that along with the high tension surrounding their relationship (whether professional, friends, or more) puts a lot of strain on them both. It makes for a read that borders slightly on the darker end, but still with the spark of hope that things will eventually work out. While reading this story did have me on edge through most of it, that certainly held my rapt attention and I didn't want to put it down at all.

Volatile was a tense but very satisfying 4.5-star read for me, and I recommend this for M/M romance fans who prefer a more angsty read. I'm excited to read more in this series, especially the story of Chris' brother Ayden and his husband Callum, as well as Chris' roommate Adam's tale. Looking forward to more from this very talented author in the future!
Profile Image for E Low the.
68 reviews27 followers
August 25, 2016
Wow..just wow. It's been awhile since a book really hit me in the heart like this one. Chris is a young guy who's still trying to cope with the death of his mother and is dragged to a concert by his brother Aiden, and his brothers husband Cal. He is instantly moved by the music, and more so by the violinist, Dante. After meeting Dante only briefly that night, Dante's mentor, Lara feels like Chris is the person that is needed to accompany him to Europe as his assistant.

Their relationship is like a freaking roller-coaster. Chris is young and is somewhat confused, and Dante is definitely a little hard to figure out and neither of them know how to communicate to say the least. And because of the lack of communication, Chris leaves the tour early and goes home.

There are some very sweet and touching times in this book and there are a few that will rip your heart out. The last few chapters had me crying happy, sweet tears. That has got to be one of the sweetest, most romantic reunions I've read in a long time.

This is the first book that I have read by Avylinn but I can say it won't be my last. I could feel every emotion written and hear each note that Dante played. I actually had goosebumps a few times. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us for the rest of this series!

Profile Image for Alphas Do It Better Book Blog .
3,088 reviews84 followers
September 1, 2016
If you love crying, and laughing and feeling like you are partially in high school again this book is for you. Now, it is m/m but it's not too descriptive on the sexy parts so if you don't like to get too descriptive this is definitely for you. Dante is a violinist with some serious baggage, and Chris is a college student, who on losing his mother lost his sense of self. Now, Chris and Dante are both as far as they know straight as an arrow, but they can't both explain their pull to each other. Dante's parents are basically the most terrible humans on the planet, and Chris' parents are not in the picture, very sporadically talking to his dad and a deceased mom. Chris is offered an opportunity to travel as Dante's assistant and with nothing left to lose, he takes off. And in trying to flee, he finds himself. And in trying to hide, Dante finds the love that he never thought he could feel or that someone could feel for him. They are as gorgeous as the music that Dante plays, and I cannot wait for you guys to read this amazingly rad book!

Review by Laura
Profile Image for Calila.
1,155 reviews82 followers
August 4, 2019
Volatile is the perfect title for this couple. They're all up and down and lack of communication. I'm still not sure how much I like this overall, there were moments that made me roll my eyes because if they just SPOKE in the midst of all their angst everything could've been avoided but at the same time I did get caught up in the romance and even teared up at one point. So it wasn't bad. The strum and drang served it's purpose. I got invested. I really liked the past bit, once they commit and are solid. I'm not typically a fan of grand public displays but I found this one sweet and the spur of the moment of it spoke to me. Hmmm I feel like maybe the ending bits made up for the irksome middle bits so as I'm typing I think I liked it more than I thought. Huh.
Profile Image for Deanna.
2,547 reviews62 followers
September 30, 2016
Touches the heart

This is the first book by this author that I have read. It will not be the last. The writing was beautiful. The story touching. The characters complex. I want more of these two MCs.
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