ARC Review: Sugar & Gold by Emma Scott

Title: Sugar & Gold
Author: Emma Scott
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone Book 2 of Dreamcatcher series
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: Jun 13, 2017


Nikolai Alexei Young was born with a special gift…one he’d do anything to lose. The heart and soul of every person he comes into contact with is an open book to his heightened senses. Colorful emotions, whispers of thoughts, the sour tastes of old memories…He feels them all. The sci-fi books would call him an empath. For Nikolai, his ability has made him an exile. He roams the U.S. alone, avoiding the glut of life in big cities, and using his innate talents to win money in underground poker games. Just enough to keep going, one town to the next. He has no hope that his life can be anything else, until he meets her…

At nineteen, Fiona Starling was trapped in an ugly, desperate situation until she freed herself the only way she knew how. Now three years later, living outside Savannah, Georgia, she is rebuilding her life on her own terms; seizing every moment and saving every penny so that she might fulfill her dream of moving to the raw wilderness of Costa Rica. But behind her carefree smile beats the heart of a lonely young woman haunted by her past, until a chance encounter with a tattooed stranger changes everything…

Fiona takes Nikolai under her roof for three sultry nights, waiting out the rain of a summer storm. She grows more and more fascinated by this brooding stranger with whom she shares an intense physical connection—a connection so strong, she wonders if there is something between them beyond lust and passion. Nikolai is shocked to discover that Fiona calms the raging turmoil in his heart. She alone silences the din of other people’s lives, and envelops him in the sweet beauty of her inner self. Every moment he’s with her—every touch of her skin—brings him closer to the peace that’s been eluding him his entire life.

But Fiona harbors secrets that she is too terrified to reveal. After Nikolai confesses his unique ability, she is caught between wanting to believe him and fearing he’ll eventually unearth her own dark past. When the unthinkable happens, Fiona’s plans come crashing down, and Nikolai discovers his hated ability might be the only thing that can save the woman he loves.

Sugar & Gold is a new adult romance with shades of the paranormal and is the second book in the Dreamcatcher novels, a series of interconnected STANDALONES. It is NOT necessary to have read How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher #1) first in order to follow the story, but characters will appear across all novels. Intended for readers 18 and up.


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ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

For a few years Fiona Starling lived a terrorized life. Two years after escaping that life, she still wasn’t living other than working and surviving in order to achieve her end goal. But everything changed when she encountered a handsome tattooed stranger.

Nikolai (Nik) Alexei Young had a burden to carry since he was very young. With an innate ability to read people, he was often overwhelmed, forcing him to live an isolated life. He never knew calm until her presence soothed him. However, the secrets they both carried could end up pushing them apart.

I was already too addicted to the inexplicable peace this woman brought me. The last thing I needed was to get close to her, to feel anything more than lust, though part of me wondered if I were too late.

I really like Nik right from the beginning. I could fee the strain of his life and how much he wanted it to go away. And I like how the bits and pieces of his past helped shed the light on his plight.

Everything about her was pink; her drink, her hair, the bright halo of glimmering dust that surrounded her. Kindness, compassion, charity. Those were the feelings I associated with pink.

As someone who has been traumatized, Fiona was understandably cautious. She needed to protect herself from making the same mistake. She did show some spontaneity, but I’d like to see more of that especially towards the end.

They screamed their lives at me in a riot of colors, and filled my mouth with the bitter taste of their bad memories.

What I like the most about the author’s work is how each of her books centered around characters’ life/situation that are not overly used in the over saturated market of romance genre. It made them stand out among (what I call) the “normal” books.

I like how both characters balanced each other’s turmoil. They had good chemistry together and this book is the sexiest of the author’s work I’ve read so far. However, the earlier part of the book was slower than I like. It took more than half the book for it to pick up, but once it did it certainly added more layers to the story.

But the longing I felt to be with Fiona had nothing to do with what she gave me and everything to do with who she was.

Sugar & Gold revolves around a couple who have to learn to adapt to the life they were thrown into. It would appeal to readers looking for a contemporary romance with a little something extra.

Final Verdict:

This review is also available on Goodreads.


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Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance novels when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word romantic story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.

She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it’s amusing to write about herself in the third person. And if she has a driving force the fuels her work, it’s that love always wins.

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