Title: “Inner Core” (Stark #2)
Author: Sigal Ehrlich
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Relase Date: 25th January, 2014
When Hayley makes a resolution to take back the control over her life, and declare their relationship R.I.P, it’s all good in theory…
That is until Daniel decides to prove her wrong and get her back.
Together, Hayley and Daniel seem to have it all. But can love ever be enough when two strong personalities collide and while reality takes the lead?
Faced with more obstacles than she could have ever bargain for when it comes to Daniel, struggling to keep her own identity while sharing a life with her man. Buds of doubt start rooting in Hayley’s confidence, making her rethink her decision.
And just when it seems that they might make it together after all, life happens. Bringing a threat that neither Hayley nor Daniel could ever anticipate, a threat that could break them apart forever . . .
Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review
I have, quite literally, been giving myself a good kick in my behind for not having read this book sooner. Yes, I have been very busy lately, but still…Anyway, let me start my review of “Inner Core” by saying that you cannot, under any circumstance, read it without having read the first book in the Stark Series, “Layers”, first (you can find my review here), and I honestly believe that this author needs to get some more attention.
The story begins with Hayley nursing her broken heart home at her parents’ house after Daniel’s rejection, and I might as well confess right now that her unhappiness really made me feel for her. Her feelings of heartache, sadness, and pain come across really well – but there is also a bit of anger mixed in with them, and is that not always the way after a bad break-up? I believe it is.
Nevertheless, Daniel suddenly appears out of the blue, and like the bossy, arrogant and alpha male that he is, he convinces Hayley to give him another chance. It does not take that much to talk her into it, because she loves him more than anything in the world and does not wish to be apart from him again. But the question is: will she be able to trust him? To me, that is one of the key elements of this book. That, and letting go of past grievances, forgiveness, and, ultimately, allowing yourself to live life to the fullest despite the fear of getting hurt.
One of the things that I really love about Hayley is the fact that she is still this feisty, strong woman, but she learns that it is acceptable to show her vulnerable side to the outside world. Furthermore, I like how she seems to grow into a more self-confident woman once she completely lets herself trust Daniel with her heart and mind. We are always the most vulnerable when the lack of trust in a partner eats away at us, filling our heads with doubts and misgivings. But the more we learn to let go of our issues, the easier it becomes to live a happy life. And that is the way it is with Hayley, in my opinion.
As for Daniel…Well, as I stated above, he is still this arrogant, temperamental and, at times, hard-headed male, but we learn so much more about his sensitive side in this book, and that fact alone made me fall in love with him all over again.
“The first time I kissed you,” he pauses, lost for a moment, “…it was like, I don’t know…” His eyes melt into mine. “I felt connected, to…fuck, anything, for the first time.” (Daniel)
Whereas Hayley has to learn to show her true self to him, Daniel must learn patience, and the fact that you cannot be ruthless in a relationship: he has to learn how to compromise – a feat he definitely does not like – and that he, too, needs to let go of the past in order to move forward with Hayley.
I feel that Miss Ehrlich really shows us, the readers, the many facets of the human nature through her very potent writing, and that is why Hayley and Daniel are easy characters to relate to. They are both passionate, temperamental persons and these traits make them clash on more than one occasion. Nevertheless, their love story is not a complete whirlwind of angsty emotions as such – not to me, anyway. They really know how to be sweet to one another, and although I enjoy the ups and downs in a romance novel, I also appreciate the quieter, tender moments between the protagonists. My romantic heart was most definitely satisfied in this regard, and I thank Miss Ehrlich for giving us such complex, yet loveable characters.
“I could cry from the want and longing that were just released. I could cry from how much I want and need this man.” (Hayley)
Once again, I love the banter between Hayley and Daniel, and if you have read my review of the first book, “Layers”, you will also know that I absolutely adore Hayley’s two best friends, Ian and Natasha. They are, as ever, a breath of fresh air, and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. Furthermore, what absolutely makes this a 5 star read for me is the fact that all my questions about Hayley and her past were answered – I understand her thoughts and actions much better now – and I also love how Daniel does not change his alpha male tendencies: he is who is, and he makes no apologies for it (unless he has no other choice, of course *wink*).
I hope that you now want to read the Stark series by this excellent author. It has everything that I could wish for in a romance: tears, laughter, pain, angst, lots of fun, and, naturally, a very satisfying happy-ever-after. I will not spoil anything for you, but the epilogue…? Completely blew my breath away! Yes, this is a romance novel, but it is different from so many others that I have read, which is also also why I give “Inner Core” my highest rating, firmly placing it on My Favourite Books shelf.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By teen age, Sigal already lived in three different continents where she was lucky enough to experience and visit varied places, meet unique people, which only helped fuel her overly developed imagination. Currently, Sigal calls Estonia home where she lives with her husband and three kids.
Not exactly sure where they will end up next…
When she is not hiding in her office, writing, she enjoys music, reading and taking care of her little clan.
With a great believe in “don’t wait for things to happen – make them happen,” she enjoys anything exciting life has to offer.
Interested in the first book in the Stark Series, “Layers”?
Then look below!
Title: “Layers” (Stark #1)
Author: Sigal Ehrlich
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 10th October, 2013
According to Hayley love is a subject of ridicule, a myth created by hopeless romantics.
When Hayley makes a resolution to declare her loose lifestyle era R.I.P, it’s all good in theory…
That is until she meets Daniel Stark, a well-respected, mid-thirties business man who is known for his short temper, lack of steady relationships as well as his strict preserve of his private life.
Opinionated, sharp tongued Hayley accidently steps into his office leaving Daniel resolved to put Hayley in her place and have her in his bed.
Both Hayley and Daniel can’t avoid the immediate instigation of the attraction between them.
In a unanimously agreed upon verdict by Hayley and her two best friends, Ian the gay self-absorbed, aspiring model and Natasha the witty, borderline neurotic soul mate, Daniel Stark is to be Hayley’s pure physical attraction, emotions aside era closure.
Will it indeed be a closure, or a beginning to something neither Hayley nor Daniel ever bargained for…