I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have been reading a lot of scary and action packed books lately, and while I enjoyed each and every one of those books (thankfully), I was definitely in the mood for a sweet romance. I am happy to report that Heart of Onyx delivered the sweet read that I was in need of.
Heart of Onyx is the second book in the Separate Ways series, and I liked it even more than the first book. This book was more polished, humorous, and original. the author seems to be finding her own voice while still incorporating all of the things I enjoy most about Young Adult romance novels. This isn’t the first book that I have read about a normal, yet beautiful, young woman falling in love with someone famous, but I think it’s the best one that revolved around a boy band.
This time our heroine is the snarky but sweet Onyx and she falls head over heels in love with Separate Ways’ resident “bad boy” Darragh.
The relationship between Onyx and Darragh developes very well. Usually in books like this the couple either falls in love instantly or they bicker back and forth for 90% of the book before magically falling in love in the last 10%. Onyx and Darragh do have a sarcastic relationship where they give each other a hard time, but all the teasing is friendly instead of cruel. They challenge each other and usually make each other laugh. I won’t say that they developed of friendship before falling in love, because they don’t. Darragh knows that he wants to be more than friends the day he meets Onyx, and he does everything in his power to get her to give him a chance at being her man. He doesn’t beat around the bush or play games. Onyx was a little bit slower to admit her feelings. Sure she is attracted to him, but she assumes that because of his fame and money, Darragh is a player. She is also unsure as to why someone who has all of those things going for him would be interested in an average high school student. She gets over this pretty quickly though, and learns to trust that he means it when he tells her how much he likes her.
It is no huge spoiler to tell you that they get together because this book is more about their relationship than how they become boyfriend and girlfriend. There isn’t a whole lot of manufactured drama in this story. Onyx and Darragh take their time getting to know one another and they do it without fighting a lot. There are some great secondary characters, like Darragh’s band mates and Onyx’ knew friends, who are very entertaining and each have their own moment to shine so the drama was not missed. I laughed and smiled my way through this book just like I suspected I might.
I won’t say that there was anything here that I haven’t read before, but romance isn’t supposed to be complicated all of the time. I should like the main characters and not want to knock them upside the head while I read. At least I shouldn’t want to knock sense into them the entire time I am reading.
Sure Onyx and Darragh deal with some things, but they deal with them together. His fame and lack of privacy is something that Onyx has a hard time dealing with, but she does it as well as any young woman could. In fact Darragh is the one who has most of the issues when it comes to his fame. He has insecurities that I did not expect but they made sense. He wonders why anyone who had a normal private life would ever willingly open themselves up for the kind of scrutiny that famous people have to deal with, and he had a point. Sure if Onyx was a gold digger or wanted fame of her own, she would have no problem with the paparazzi, but the type of honest, upstanding woman Darragh wanted (and Onyx was) might not be able to handle that lifestyle. This is the main issue that plagues their otherwise flawless relationship throughout the book. I liked that the author chose one realistic problem that they had to contend with as opposed to manufacturing a bunch of issues. That would have been annoying in this type of story.
I did want to grab Darragh by the collar and shake him towards the end of the book. His insecurities get the best of him, but nothing worth having is ever easy. He had some growing up to do, and so does Onyx. The fact that they do face some obstacles makes their “happily ever after” ending all the sweeter. And the fact that they faced their problems together made this book all the more enjoyable to read.
I would recommend Heart of Onyx to all the lovers of sweet romance in the world. This book will put a smile on your face and make you long for the days when your room was plastered wall to wall with posters of your favorite stars. Come on, admit it, we all had at least on star that we wished would meet/fall in love with us one day. Do yourself a favor and feed that fantasy by reading this adorable book.
Because of very mild language, I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up. There is no sexual content whatsoever.