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Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts - Josh Aterovis The story told in a nutshell:
Killian Kendall is in a phase of his life where one person shifts his world on its axes. When he sees his new friend murdered on the ground and he himself is attacked it is a battle to survive. For Killian there is angst, horror, love and new family to deal with. Nothing stayed the same after the attack, for better or for worse…

My first impression after a chapter:
Talk about an opening line! Aterovis kicks off this story with an attention grabbing paragraph. The desperation is rife in that scene and I wanted to know; who, what and how!

Killian Kendall:
The story is told from Killian’s point of view and the story became stronger for it. His personality put such a mark on how I experienced reading this story. No cardboard characters are to be found in Bleeding Hearts but Killian’s voice brimmed with angst, doubt but also love and courage. I witnessed the changes Killian had to go through, the situations he had to deal with and the choices he had to make. Josh Aterovis really delved the reader into his protags heart mind and soul and in doing so I formed such a strong connection to Killian. I was unable to put Bleeding Hearts down and turned the pages in bated breath.

Asher Davis:
Asher is Killian’s best friend and their relationship is growing in to something different. He is a jock but with a surprising different mentality and at first glance I really liked him. After a while he started to give me mixed signals and it didn’t really get better. He developed that stoplight mentality where the teenage angst-ridden mind got the upper hand; ‘yes, I love you – no, I can’t be your boyfriend.’ ‘Yes, I want you to be my forever – no, I can’t be with you.’ Asher is so riddled with doubt it made me antsy. While it is teenage behavior to the core where he has to find himself, it irked me and I couldn’t completely shake that feeling throughout the story.

The emotional journey:
The tension throughout the story was pounding on my nerves in a fantastic way. The internal angst from Killian as he discovers and accepts he’s gay correlates with the external threats. There are bullies and a murderer on the loose who keep a constant threat level in the main characters lives. Sometimes the emotions where subtle and sometimes it was a volcanic eruption but I couldn’t get enough of what the author was dishing out. The journey for many in Bleeding Hearts is difficult but I connected to them and they took me on the road to a better place. I’m engrossed when the emotional aspect of a story can absorb me and this one did it from start to finish!

The circle of family and friends:
Each one had a significant main or secondary role to play and they added an incredible depth to the world of Killian. Each evoked emotions in me. I hated Killian’s father. I celebrated the strength Killian’s mother possesses. I absolutely emphasized with Adam, Seth’s father, and how he dealt with all the heartache. Kane, Seth’s younger brother, was endearing. Jesse and Zach were bullies I could get angry over. The unsub freaked me out and then there were the Sheridan’s. They are a family who pushed my hot buttons and then some. The layers within that family first made me think “wow, such a Nora Roberts loving family’ but I was infuriated by the end. I was almost breathing fire and so sad at the same time. And then there where the numerous ‘coming out’ moments. I think all in all six young men came out in this story and it was bordering on too much, eating away at the impact of such moments.

The diabolical unsub plotting away:
At the beginning the plot unfolded itself with a bang but then it got low-key, making room for the interpersonal relationships to deepen. The unsub isn’t even that much in to play again until I’m a little over halfway into the story. Yet then Josh Aterovis really amps up the suspense! I was holding my breath as I read the chapters away because while I had my suspicions the author really kept me guessing until the very end. The unsub is twisted in the mind. Since this is a story from the first person point of view I never got to read the unsubs thoughts. Nevertheless, by the end it was all revealed and the shock effect was that much greater!

My synonyms for:
Engaging – in-depth – angst – tension-filled – first love – thrilling and fantastic characters.

My overall reaction:
When Lis pimped this series to me I was instantly intrigued and when I read the first page of Bleeding Hearts I knew it was going to be an incredible reading experience! Killian Kendall is a character who leaped of the pages and straight into my heart. Combine him with a dose of realism, a rich cast of characters and a powerful plot and you have a thrilling story. Bleeding Hearts provoked strong reactions and emotions, and Josh Aterovis struck gold with this series! Aterovis engaged me with the subjects incorporated and the fully developed characters!

4.5 stars

The quotes for you to sample:
The rest of the body came into view. And a nice body it was. I’d never seen him before so he must have been new. He stood about my height, maybe a little taller and slightly more built. He had red-gold hair that seemed to stick up in every direction and elfin features. In fact, he looked amazingly like an elf. Even to his incredibly green eyes. I wondered if they were colored contacts. Then I wondered why I cared. Why was I so intrigued by this guy?