☆☆➹⁀☆☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
One epic love. Two wounded souls. Three impossible words.
Ripped away from each other by circumstances beyond their control. Reunited in a place they never expected. Separated but never quite apart.
“You’re still the only woman I see. The only woman I need. I know you’re in there somewhere, sweet Caroline. We’re going to find you and we’re going to help you, until you come home to me where you belong. Then we’re going to finish what we started. Together.”
Her confidence shattered, Caroline finally starts to deal with what happened at The Fed. Jack is determined to convince her that she’s more than she thinks she is. That she wasn’t destroyed by her experiences. That their relationship is worth the fight. But will he give up before it’s too late?
Phoenix is the fourth installment in The Bellator Saga. It should be read after the first three novels in the series.
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.
Guest Reviewer Jeannie says:
Phoenix, The Bellator Saga’s fourth installment, was everything I wished for. But you know what they say “Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.” Well, I got my wish – Jack and Caroline in the same room together again – and it’s a continuous gut punch. The title should have clued me in but I was willfully oblivious. I wanted the rebirth of their love – but what I got is the scorched earth that comes before. Honestly, you can’t have one without the other, and God bless Cecilia London for not pulling any punches in the telling of Jack and Caroline’s harrowing journey and having the fortitude to honor the story. If she had gone any other way, and gave us the sweetness we craved, the Jack and Caroline we love would no longer exist and we’d be left with vapid cardboard cut outs.
Phoenix’s focus is on Jack and Caroline trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and souls and finding a way forward. She doesn’t gloss over the guilt and recriminations both Jack and Caroline have carried since they split up that night in the snowy, Pennsylvania woods. They lash out at each other in ways that are brutal and painful (kindle almost met wall on several occasions they were so frustrating). This heartbreaking cycle of misunderstanding is made all the more poignant as we, the reader, become privy to their inner battles as they save the most exquisite mental torture for themselves. In many ways, it’s really Jack’s story. Although his journey to California and position as leader of the rebels remains a mystery, it’s so clear that Jack is just as broken as Caroline. As Jack reveals his secret struggles, my love for him grew as he broke my heart, and then stomped on the pieces. It was the way that he always maintained his outward nobility and dignity in the face of Caroline’s vitriol. Girlfriend needed a taste of her own nasty medicine, to my mind, but he was, mostly, the bigger man.
Phoenix also continues the theme of the power of the memory of love, but in Jack’s case, he gets a taste of the dark side. His memories of love torture him in his dreams, as they morph into nightmares under the weight of his self-loathing, denying him the refuge that they gave Caroline.
Phoenix is an emotionally tough story to read. Even more so than Conscience because the refuge of happy flashbacks has been replaced by bittersweet memories of a past destroyed by the Fed. But like the mythical Phoenix, Jack and Caroline have to suffer the flames to experience their rebirth. I can’t say enough good things about Cecilia London’s style and vision. She takes the classic structure of the hero’s journey and melds it to a playful, sexual, deeply emotional relationship and dystopian politics, creating this mesmerizing story populated with strong, intrepid, “capital R” romantic, relatable characters driven by an epic love. Even as the story turns inward, the tempo never loses its urgency. More often than not, when characters engage in bouts of self-reflection the story bogs down. Here, Ms. London keeps the reader fully immersed. Finally getting to spend some one on one time with Jack as a character rather than through the haze of memory was such a treat for this reader. There are so many layers to this man and he’s made more attractive as his frailty and humanity is revealed. Subtlety like this isn’t something you generally get with “alpha billionaire playboys” (more often than not any vulnerability is the result of whatever childhood trauma is currently popular in indie writing circles). Jack has a sense of normalcy that’s refreshing. I adore this silver fox.
Spend some serious time with Phoenix. Don’t be tempted to skim or skip over the tough parts because that’s where their love is forged into something even stronger. You will be rewarded ten-fold by this achingly beautiful story arc. The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.
Check out Jeannie’s review of The Bellator Saga books 1-3:
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.
Celebrate the release with the author!
Like Cecilia’s Facebook page to join in the fun
May 2nd at 9:00 PM EST
Facebook Group for the Bellator Saga: https://www.facebook.com/bellatorsaga/?fref=ts
✿༻ GOODREADS GIVEAWAY ༺✿
Enter Giveaway Here
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.
About the author: Cecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She’s filled several roles over the course of her adult life – licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.
Tour organizer: The Next Step PR