BUY: The Heart Wants What It Wants

So, my pride and joy is up and ready for everyone to read!

I have been so excited to share this with my friends and family and those who follow my blog. After years of writing it – and long days and nights of editing it and making sure it was ready to sell – The Heart Wants What It Wants is now up for sale.

By the delicate hand of Vivienne Pintado.

By the delicate hand of Vivienne Pintado.

As more vendors list my book, I will update this post accordingly. It is currently only available in e-book version, but paperback copies may be available to buy at a later date. You can purchase The Heart Wants What It Wants from the following vendors:

Kobo Books
Inktera
Apple (iBooks)

Happy reading!

For Spotify users, please enjoy this unofficial playlist while reading the book. It will definitely set the tone. 

– by Noah La’ulu

Preview: The Heart Wants What It Wants

I have a birthday treat for all of my loyal followers and readers.

It’s my 23rd birthday today, so I thought it was fitting that I pay it forward and give everyone else a little present for following my blog as it goes onto its third birthday.

Yes I am wishing myself a happy birthday on my own website. What of it?

Yes I am wishing myself a happy birthday on my own website. What of it?

For those of you who may not know, for the past two years I have been writing a full-length romance novel and, up until recently, it didn’t have an official name. I had tossed up several titles, including “Jase and Devlin”, “My Best Friend and I” and “Sparks”, but I have settled for its official title: The Heart Wants What It Wants, not to be confused with the Selena Gomez song.

What started as a way to get my creative writing juices flowing into a healthy medium turned out to be a completed novel. I’ve had an editor go through it twice and I have an artist currently designing a sexy cover for it. I’ve decided to go down the self-publishing route for this novel, so my debut book should be available to purchase very soon. As soon as it is, it will be announced on Widow’s Lure.

What is The Heart Wants What It Wants about? Well, I don’t want to give too much away. So I’ll leave you with a few hints:
– It’s a contemporary romance novel, but it isn’t what you’re expecting.
– Set in the fictional city Velvet Springs in New South Wales, Australia, it features two main protagonists: Jase Morgan and Devlin Blackthorn, whom are childhood best friends.
– It is written in first person from the perspective of both Jase and Devlin, so you get to experience both sides of the story.
– Despite being a romance novel, it explores other issues in life, including alcoholism, anxiety, grief and homophobia.
– The most noteworthy point to be made about my novel: it’s not a love story; it’s a story about love.

Just to give you a teaser of my novel – and to also plug it as I encourage you all to BUY IT WHEN IT IS RELEASED – here is the prologue of the story.

Prologue

Devlin Blackthorn

Early 2001…

I always hated the awkward formalities of passing on to a new grade in primary school: you had to be divided into new classes; your new teacher would go over things you’ve heard about a million times before; you’d have to be sat in girl-boy-girl-boy order as if that was a reasonable punishment for friendly chatter; and the new kids that started the year off would have to introduce themselves in front of their new peers, as if coming to a new school wasn’t humiliating enough.

Being in sixth grade – and my final year at Velvet Springs Public School – I was hoping this would be the last boring introduction speech I would have to hear. Ever.

“And we have a new boy joining us from Melbourne, in Victoria!” Mrs. Palmer said excitedly, like the rest of us didn’t know which state Melbourne was in.

From behind the shadows appeared a tall, lean boy with a natural tanned complexion and an interesting caramel-coloured mop of hair that complimented his skin tone. Contrary to the other deathly awkward introductions I was used to, this boy stood up confidently in front of us and waved his hand.

“Hello, I’m Jase,” he said, his voice surprisingly deep for a 12-year-old boy.

“Welcome to Velvet Springs Public, Jase,” Mrs. Palmer squealed in delight. “Can we all give Jase a Velvet welcome?”

“Welcome to Velvet Spriiiings, Jase,” we all sung in boring, monotone unison.

“We have a girl-boy system here,” explained Mrs. Palmer, “but seeing as we have a gender imbalance in this class, you can take the seat next to Devlin Blackthorn in the back corner there.” She effortlessly gestured in my direction and Jase’s gaze immediately pierced me; he politely smiled at me and walked to the back of the classroom as a couple of the girls turned to watch him.

He took the seat next to me and held his hand out to me.

“Nice to meet you, Devlin,” he said.

Despite thinking it was an odd thing to do, I took his hand and shook it.

“Nice to meet you too, Jase.”

I turned back to face the front as Mrs. Palmer began her boring welcome-to-the-new-year speech and completely zoned her out. This would usually take about half an hour, but with someone as chatty as Mrs. Palmer, it would usually take up until recess, and…

DING DING DING!

Like clockwork, Mrs. Palmer apologised for dragging her speech out and stepped aside as a few of the kids ran out of the classroom with their colourful backpacks slung over their shoulders. Having not unpacked a single thing from my bag, I placed the straps over my shoulders and began to walk out, eager to catch up with some friends who had been placed in other classes.

“Hey Devlin,” Jase’s voice rang from behind me, “wait up.”

I looked over my shoulder at the new boy chasing to catch up with me.

“Could I sit with you? I haven’t really met anyone else.”

“Sure,” I said with a smile.

Jase accompanied me onto the oval where a bunch of other boys and girls from sixth grade sat. The girls usually formed a circle and sat down, talking about the latest music videos they watched on the weekend, while the boys opted to toss a ball around.

“Hey Devlin!”

A ball soared through the sky towards me and I caught it with relative ease. I placed my bag on the ground and Jase quickly followed suit.

“Hey guys, I’m Jase,” he introduced himself.

He walked around and shook the hands of all the boys while I stood there and wondered what on earth they put in the water down in Melbourne.

“Hey Jase – catch!”

I passed the rugby ball to him over my shoulder, much like an American footballer, and Jase quickly caught it.

“Good throw!” he said.

“I know, I know,” I said, pretending to wave to all of my adoring fans.

Unlike the other boys who didn’t entertain my borderline narcissistic sense of humour, Jase laughed and flashed me a thumbs up. I smiled; I had a feeling that Jase and I were going to be the best of friends.

The Heart Wants What It Wants will be released soon, and you’ll hear it here first.

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: Beautiful Beginning

It’s here. The last installment of Christina Lauren’s oh so sexy Beautiful series.

I didn’t think I’d be ready for this. While I was quite fond of Sara and Max and Hanna and Will, neither of those couples got to me like Bennett and Ryan. I mean, we got to spend time with them in Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Bitch and Beautiful Bombshell, and now for the fourth and final time (sixth book in the series), the Bastard and the Bitch are getting married.

What a blushing bride!

What a blushing bride!

We’ve been down the road Chloe and Bennett have to reach this point, and finally, the erotic fairytale is coming to its beautiful ending. Although it wouldn’t be a Chloe and Bennett story if there wasn’t some sort of twist to it. Bennett wants to make sure that their wedding is perfect, so much that he has sworn celibacy from Chloe for the week leading up to the wedding to guarantee that they have room shaking wedding night se. Of course, Chloe isn’t happy about that. Add that to the stress of planning a wedding, and we have ourselves a Christina Lauren story.

I quite enjoyed this novella, solely because the intense physical attraction Bennett and Chloe have for each other – like it’s actually ridiculous how much they want to go down on each other at the most inpportune times – is still as high as ever, but on top of that, they have a love you can actually feel. While they may shag like rabbits, Bennett and Chloe also love each other, and if any point is to be taken away from this final novella, that would be it.

I felt as if Beautiful Beginning didn’t have a clear purpose other than to marry the two main characters from the series. To me, the storyline seemed to be a bit all over the place and at times I was wondering what on earth was happening, but really that point is moot because the ending we all wanted happened. Chloe became Chloe Ryan and Bennett became Bennett Mills.

Chloe is as feisty as ever, as she is the literary manifestation of a 21st century woman. Bennett is, well, Bennett Ryan. Sa-wooooooon. I can’t say anything more about these two characters than I have before. They are both great in their own right and while they may bonk each other more than I care to see, they are both strong characters and protagonists that readers can really get behind.

I love how the other two stories were also wrapped up in this novella. SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THIS SERIES AND PLAN TO. Sara and Max are expecting a baby – and are also still apparently bonking like rabbits – and Will proposed to Hanna at the most unexpected time. Kudos to both of those couples.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline:
7.4/10
Style of writing: 7.4/10
Overall: 7.4/10

Christina Lauren wrapped up this series in a nice little bow, giving readers the happy ending they wanted. Now, it’s time for Bennett, Chloe, Max, Sara, Will and Hanna to step aside as Christina Lauren venture into other characters’ territories.

– by Noah La’ulu

Edit: Turns out I am wrong. This isn’t the final installment in the series. There is more sexy fun coming your way!

Review: Cartel

A book I picked up willy nilly in a cheap bookstore turned out to be one of the most confronting pieces of literature I have ever read.

I present to you: Cartel by Lili St. Germain, the first in a series of novels that isn’t for the faint-hearted. It is important that I note that this is first novel of St. Germain’s that I have read, and I have not delved into the Gypsy Brother series yet.

Cartel is a dark romance novel that follows a young 19-year-old Colombian girl Mariana Rodriguez who, despite having big plans for herself, is the daughter of a selfish drug lord. After her father loses an expensive shipment of cocaine, Mariana offers herself to his boss as payment for the lost drugs, and Mariana’s life changes dramatically. She expects the worst – forced prostitution, drug trafficking, even death – but what she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the wrong guy, Dornan Ross.

This dark cover reflects the contents of the book. Be warned

This dark cover reflects the contents of the book. Be warned

I like to consider myself as pretty open-minded; you can tell me any extraordinary or odd thing you have done, and I won’t bat an eyelid or judge you. This book, however, was really confronting and I found myself quite scared of the darkness contained in this book. I had even ,contemplated putting it down and not finishing it because of its contents, but alas, I finished it. St. Germain did her research into the world of drug dealing, drug lords and everything drug related, because this novel unfolded as if it was happening right in front of me.

The amount of sexual violence and just general physical violence in this novel made me cringe, not because of the detail in which it was described, but because I know that somewhere out there, this kind of thing is real, while I sit in my double bed in a modest suburban house in east Australia.

The character of Mariana was brave, strong-willed and fearless when it mattered most, but deep down she was afraid and true to her young age. It was because she was fabulously flawed that I really liked her. I liked how her internal, insecure thoughts juxtaposed her strong demeanour, and that in the face of death (literally), she wasn’t scared. While I acknowledge how the character of Dornan Ross could be book boyfriend worthy, the darkness and malice in him turned me off, as it should have. He has some inner demons that he needs to deal with and until he does so, the dark relationship between him and Mariana cannot have a happy ending, which is where this series is heading, I imagine.

St. Germain writes with such a gritty attention to detail that yes, I repeat, I was considering putting this book down. I read this book cover-to-cover in one day because I was so enthralled with the storyline and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, how Mariana and Dornan’s relationship evolved, and whether or not she would survive until the end.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline:
8.2/10
Style of writing: 7.4/10
Overall: 7.8/10

A compelling start to a promising book series, Cartel is a book that you should read, only if you have a strong stomach. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, along with other St. Germain novels.

– by Noah La’ulu