I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow.
I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away.
But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them.
Bring Down the Stars is an emotional, angst-filled novel of unrequited love by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) It is Book I in the Beautiful Hearts Duet, coming this summer. Book II, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, to be released a few weeks later. #lovetriangle #confusedhearts #notamenage
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I’m an English teacher, so I’m more than familiar with the story of Cyrano de Bergerac and I’ve seen the movie adaptation, Roxanne, a number of times, and every time I’ve read or watched this love triangle play out, I’ve always felt like there was never a question as to whose souls spoke to each other the deepest…whose hearts beat in unison…whose conversations meant the most, and while my observations still seem to apply to Emma Scott’s Bring Down the Stars, the way that Scott presents Autumn, Connor, and Weston’s story greatly complicates my views and makes me question who exactly deserves to win Autumn’s heart because both men have their strengths and their weaknesses and the fact that Connor and Weston are best friends, and, for whatever reason, that Weston believes he owes Connor places Connor in the forefront and Weston in the background, playing a role that he never wanted to play but now is so entwined in it that there is no way to untether himself from the words he strings together that Connor claim as his own because regardless of the fact that Autumn believes they are another man’s confessions, they’re still Weston’s truths, spoken from his heart.
Autumn Caldwell is not a woman who cares about social status or how much money her friends or potential suitors make; she prefers the company of likeminded individuals but she’s also unafraid to share her convictions with those who may disagree and she’s steadfast in expressing herself and her beliefs regardless of the backlash that may come her way. She’s a passionate woman who cares deeply about humanity and wants to help in whatever ways possible to ensure that life is as good as it can be for the world as a whole.
Connor Drake is every girl’s fantasy man; they can’t help but want to be in his presence because he puts people at ease and makes them feel welcomed and protected. But Connor is not good at words; in fact, he seems to overthink things in a way that doesn’t allow him to express himself, so it makes sense that he would look to Weston for help and even though it’s clear to readers that it’s killing Weston to help Connor find his footing with Autumn because we get chapters through Weston’s perspective, but Connor remains oblivious to his best friend’s shattered heart because Weston makes it that way because Weston feels he owes Connor and Connor’s family and willingly pays that debt by allowing Connor to get the girl of his dreams, even if that same girl is who Weston wants as well.
Weston is quite the contradiction…a paradoxical man who wields words like weapons but also as healers amidst the verbal wounds he inflicts on himself and others. There’s a depth to Weston that very few people see, because he doesn’t allow anyone through his carefully constructed barrier. Weston’s professor characterizes Weston best when he describes Weston as “…a young man with deep fires burning within and a cold wall around him.” He continues, “a guy with poetry in his blood…but he keeps his blood from spilling where anyone can see. He sits in the back. Doesn’t talk. All he while, words pile up inside. And to a mind and heart like his, all that emotion is hard to take. It’s too much. Dangerous. It hurts.” This instructor truly SEES Weston but that’s because Weston’s words are showcased in this class and Weston allows his soul to be laid bare because it’s one of the only times he’s honest, open, and real.
There’s nothing more angsty than unrequited love, especially when the heroine is clearly conflicted by her feelings for two very different men, and as Autumn, Connor, and Weston struggle to find their way in life, in friendship, and in love, Emma Scott narrates their path and illustrates just how powerful emotions and words are and why individuals do what they do for those they care for even if it means giving up the very thing or person they want the most.
I’m a fairly new reader to the magical worlds that Emma Scott creates with her powerful and meaningful storytelling, but I have to say that I’ve learned rather quickly that she’s an amazing writer – one who strings together words in order for her readers to understand what’s at stake for her characters and how their decisions and actions can affect all those involved in their lives, and with the events that occur at the end of Bring Down the Stars, the lives and hearts affected heading into the final part of these characters’ story are sure to leave readers breathless while still begging for more.
5 Poison Apples
I took the cement stairs into the library and entered the cool, hushed confines of the main reading room. None of the long mahogany desks with green-shaded lamps were empty. One of the university clubs had taken over two-thirds of the space. The rest of the tables were filled with students like me, trying to get a head start their course load.
I finally found an empty seat at the end of a table, opposite a blond guy engrossed in reading. His open backpack spilled books and papers into what I hoped could be my table territory.
“Excuse me,” I whispered. “Can I…?”
He looked up, his expression vaguely hostile. Piercing blue-green eyes set in a stunningly handsome, if angular, face met mine. High cheekbones, sharp chin and long straight nose. He looked chiseled out of smooth stone at first glance, then his features softened for a moment as his gaze swept over me. Something like recognition lit up his eyes, and I could see the gears of his brain turning as he studied, analyzed, and then came to a conclusion. Not a good one, I guessed, because his expression hardened again.
“Yeah, sure,” he muttered. He stood up, leaning his tall, slender frame over the table to corral the books back into his pack.
“Thanks,” I said, thinking if he wasn’t a basketball player or a runner, he was a model.
All right, girl, get a grip.
I sat, cracked my textbook and settled in to read. I wasn’t through two pages when the words blurred to nonsensical gibberish and my skin prickled with the sensation of being watched.
I glanced up, straight into the ocean eyes of the guy across from me. A million thoughts swirled in their soft depths before they quickly glanced down. He slouched lower in his chair, disappearing behind his book—the collected poems of Walt Whitman. Part of me wanted to melt. Good lord, a hot guy reading poetry? I was only human.
And this is how you wound up with a broken heart in the first place.
I must’ve been frowning at the book because the guy held it up and said, “Not a fan?”
I blinked back to reality. “No,” I said. “I mean, yes. I love Whitman. And poetry in general. I just… Never mind.”
He regarded me a long moment, then slowly closed Whitman and picked up Atlas Shrugged from his short stack of books.
“Ugh, that’s even worse,” I muttered without thinking, and then shook my head. “God, sorry, I left my filter at home. Don’t listen to me.”
His lip curled. “Is there anything in my collection you approve of?”
A hot, smart asshole, I thought. Game on.
“Sorry,” I said. “I’m not in a good mood today and it’s making me forget my manners. I’ll leave you to read your capitalist propaganda in peace.”
The guy’s eyebrows shot up, disappearing under the blond hair that fell across his brow. “Not a fan of Rand either?” He smirked knowingly. “No, of course you aren’t.”
My blood heated at his flippant tone. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
The guy nodded at my textbook—Global Responsibility and the Third-World Hunger Epidemic—and shrugged, as if that answered everything.
“Oh.” I frowned. “Well… yes. I mean, Rand’s point of view is purely capitalist and mine isn’t. Not by a long shot.”
The student sitting to my right exchanged glances with the girl sitting across from him. Then both packed up their books and left.
“We’re being disruptive,” I said to my across-table neighbor. “We need to stop talking now.”
He leaned back in his chair, his eyes intent on me. “So what’s your point of view?”
“You said your point of view isn’t capitalist.” He raised a brow. “So what is it?”
“Humanist, I suppose. Since you asked. I think everyone, regardless of race, creed, income-level, or sex should be granted the same shot as anyone else.” I raised a brow at him. “But you don’t?”
“Are you asking me or telling me?” he said with a slight chuckle. “Since we’re tossing labels around, I’m a realist.” He held up his book. “And not a fan of Rand either.”
“You’re not?” I leaned back too, crossing my arms. “Are you just messing with me or what?”
“Maybe,” he said. “What do you care what I think anyway?”
My mouth fell slack. “I don’t. Thanks for reminding me.”
“Wow, you’re rude.”
“That’s the word on the street.”
“I can see why.” I lifted my own book up to signal conversation over, but my eyes wouldn’t focus. I could feel the hum of his presence like a field of electrical wires, getting under my skin and infiltrating my thoughts. The buzz went beyond distraction. It felt like a challenge had been laid down.
And I never walked away from a challenge.
I lowered my book to see the guy’s glance hide behind his book again.
“Well?” I demanded.
Why are you watching me?
“Why are you reading Ayn Rand if you don’t like her either?”
“Required reading for an English Lit minor.”
“And your major? Let me guess, pre-law.”
“God, no,” he said.
I raised my eyebrows but he offered nothing more. “Are you going to make me run through Amherst’s list of majors until I guess which one is yours?”
“Yes,” he said. “Alphabetically, please.”
A laugh burst out of me against my will, and the guy almost smiled. Every one of his hard angles softened.
“Economics,” he said. “But I don’t know what I’m doing with it.”
“That feels like the most honest thing you’ve said to me so far,” I said.
“And that’s important to you?”
“Yes,” I said, my laughter dying away as I remembered Mark and that girl, naked in the bed I’d slept in just the night before. “Honesty is very important.”
He lifted one shoulder.
“You don’t agree?” I asked.
“Being honest is sometimes mistaken for being rude.”
“You must be really honest,” I said.
Again, he almost smiled. “Must be.”
Satisfied that I’d held my own against this beautiful but hostile member of the opposite sex, I went back to my book…for eight entire seconds before my skin started prickling again. The electric hum of his attention was impossible to ignore.
When I looked up this time, he didn’t look away but cleared his throat.
“I’m Weston Turner.”
Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy my novels.