Thirty nights. Two hearts. One fate.
American Beauty, Book 1
After her parents’ tragic deaths, Elisa Snow wanted nothing more than to escape her past. Eighteen and alone, she fled her quaint English village and moved to the United States. A starving science student by day and an artist’s muse by night, Elisa has slowly built a new life. She never dreamed she would lose everything again.
She’s one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. Given thirty days to leave the country, she must face the one thing she cannot survive again—saying goodbye and leaving her home. Yet within minutes of her world shattering, she meets a man with the power to piece it back together.
After finishing his tour of duty in Iraq, Aiden Hale traded battlefields for boardrooms, becoming one of the most successful venture capitalists in the nation. But all his wealth can’t buy him reprieve from the horrific memories of war. The only thing that gives him peace is a painting of Elisa.
Drawn together by their invisible wounds, they begin a passionate affair as they race against the clock to defy their pasts—and fight for their future.
Earlier versions of this book were posted on the author’s blog under the titles of The Master’s Muse and 30 Nights of Snow, using the pen name Ani Surnois, and has since been extensively edited.
Warning: Contains a blistering exploration of desire, sacrifice and redemption…and love’s power to equalize us in ways laws cannot.
Véleményem a könyvről
Nagyon tetszett ez a könyv! Az elején kicsit meg kellett szokni a stílust, és talán nem volt tökéletes, de egy debütáló szerzőnél azt hiszem ez teljes mértékben megérthető, és mivel ennek ellenére is elvarázsolt, egyszerűen nem adhatok kevesebbet 5 csillagnál. Az írónő két nagyon fontos témához nyúlt hozzá, az migrációhoz és a háborúból visszatérő katonák lelki világához, méghozzá nagyon jó érzékkel.
30 nap (ha úgy tetszik 30 éjszaka). Ennyit kap Elisa, hogy elhagyja Amerikát, miután lejár a diákvízuma és elutasítják a zöldkártya igényét. 30 nap. Ennyi idő alatt kell elbúcsúznia az életétől, amelyet négy évig építgetett, miután szülei tragikus autóbalesete után négy éve elhagyta Angliát, ahol már nem maradt senkije és semmije.
Elisa egy éppen diplomát szerző kémikus, aki szabadidejében egy kis plusz pénzért legjobb barátjának, Javier-nek modellkedik. Javier egy hihetetlenül tehetséges festőművész, azonban más neve alatt kénytelen festeni, ugyanis ő és a családja évekkel ezelőtt illegálisan érkezett Mexikóból Amerikába. Elisa egyik képen sem kivehető, hiszen a diákvízum mellett nem dolgozhat sehol, csak illegálisan. Egy napon egy rejtélyes gazdag férfi jelenik meg a galériában és egyből felvásárolja az Elisáról készült képsorozatot.
A milliomos Aiden Hale nagyon különleges memóriával rendelkezik. Soha nem felejt. Eidetikus memóriája van, így nem tudja elfelejteni, amit valaha látott, ízlelt, szagolt és emlékezik minden érzelemre. Éppen ezért, amikor a sors úgy hozza, hogy ugyanezen a héten ismét kereszteződik az útja Elisával, egyből ráismer a lányra a képeken, csupán a részletekből.
Először nem igazán tudtam megkedvelni Aiden karakterét. Nekem túl erős, túl viharos, túl intenzív volt. Azonban ahogy haladt a történet, egyre több réteg került felfejtésre Aidennel kapcsolatban, és rá kellett döbbennem, hogy az írónő egy hihetetlenül összetett és sokrétű karaktert formált meg. A kapcsolata Isa-val szenvedélyes és közel sem egyszerű, de nagyon tetszett. Őszintén szólva örültem neki, hogy nem a „házasság a zöldkártyáért” oldja meg Elisa problémáját, sőt ez az opció szinte fel sem merült.
Az írásmód már ezen könyv alatt is nagyon-nagyot fejlődött, és az írónőnek végül sikerült igazán szép metaforákat és idézeteket belecsempésznie a történetbe. Egy valami viszont igazán fájt, méghozzá a cliffhanger a könyv végén. 🙂 Főleg, hogy sajnos azt sem tudni mikor jön a következő rész (talán tavasszal). De igazán ajánlom ezt a gyönyörű és szívfájdító történetet, és már nagyon várom a következő kötetet! 🙂
My Review in English
I really loved this book! I had to get used to the writing style at the beginning and maybe it wasn’t perfect, but I think from a debut author it is absolutely understandable and despite all of this it still could enchant me, so I couldn’t give less than 5 stars for this book. The author touched two very important subjects, the immigration and the mental state of the returning solders.
30 days (or 30 nights). Elisa gets this much time to leave the United States after her student visa ends. 30 days. She gets only this time to say goodbye to her life she built up for four years, after her parents died in a tragic car accident and she left England, where she no longer had anyone.
Elisa majored in chemistry at Reed College, and she is only one week from graduation when her visa is unexpectedly denied. In her free time she model for her best friend Javier, who is a highly talented artist but he needs to ghost-paint, because he and his family sneaked across the Mexican border illegally ten years ago, so he is undocumented. Elisa is not recognizable on the paintings, especially because she also has to work under the table, because she is not allowed to work with her student visa.
One day a rich, mysterious man comes to the gallery and buys every single painting of Elisa. The billionaire Aiden Hale has a really special memory. He can never forget. He has eidetic memory so he can’t forget anything he ever saw, taste, smelled and he also remembers every emotion he ever felt. So when – thanks to the faith – Elisa and Aiden meet again the same week, he immediately recognizes her from the paintings just from a few details.
To tell the truth, firstly I couldn’t like Aiden’s character so much. He was too strong, too stormy, too intensive for me. But as the story progressed I realized that he is unfolded in so many layers, and the author created a really complex character. Her relationship with Isa was really passionate and far from easy, but I liked it. But to be honest I was happy because not the “marriage for the green card” was the solution for Elisa’s problem.
I think the writing style already had a huge progress in this book, and the author could sneak in some beautiful metaphors and quotes to the story. But one thing really bothered me: the cliffhanger at the end of the book. 😀 Especially that we don’t know when the next part will come (maybe in spring). Anyway I highly recommend this beautiful and heart-wrenching story and I can’t wait the next one! 🙂
My Favorite Quotes From the Book
“Have you ever wondered how many heartbeats are in an hour? Before you multiply the number of beats per minute by sixty, let me stop you. That’s not the right formula. The first question is what kind of hour. There are hours when your heart beats a lifetime. Hours when you’re so alive that you’re not sure if you’re living this life or the next. I’ve had hours like that in Aiden’s arms.
Then, there are hours when your heart seems not to beat at all. Hours when the only reason you know you’re still alive is a bodiless pain that negates the option of afterlife. This is one of those hours.”
“Because this whole journey was worth it just to meet you. Even if it is only now.”
“Once I love, I love forever.”
“You hear that love is strong, love is kind. But love does not fight wars, does not write laws, does not change them. As to these earthly needs, love is impotent.”
“Every word, every pause, every new, shy inflection in his tone is so close to what I have dreamed that for an instant I wonder whether I’m really awake. But then I see his dimming eyes and the dark circles under them and I know I must be. No matter how much he hurts me, I’ll never want this look of anguish on his face. His rare “please” echoes in the air.
“But all the reasons why you wanted me to leave are still here. What made you change your mind?”
He shakes his head. “I haven’t changed my mind. I capitulated.”
“You learned tango…in one afternoon?” Where is my jaw? It was here somewhere, around the Aeternum.”
“Do you really never kiss on the mouth?” I ask, keeping my lips on his.
He continues to kiss me. “Yes,” he says between each kiss, “just you.”
If he weren’t anchoring me against his body, I’d be the first human to defy gravity and float.
“I told you…I already have to remember sight…sound…smell…touch. I wanted the taste of my own mouth to be mine.”
“But now it’s mine too?”
“When the watch comes off, we don’t stop it. He sets it gently in the dresser next to his Audemars. Then, he looks at me with a pure smile.
“Let the time stand still, Elisa.”
“I want another day like this!”
Aiden frowns, his eyes on my lips as though the words are still hanging there. He puts his hands like a vise around my face, his eyes searching mine relentlessly. I have nothing to hide in this wish so I simply watch him, begging in my head. One more day, please. One more day.
“You want another day of embargo?” he asks, sounding awed.
Is that what I want? No, not exactly. Sometime between his first kiss and this last wish, things changed for me. Instead of wanting to share nothing but the present, I now want to share everything but a part of the future. And that’s a big difference.”
“I shiver again. Isaac Newton was wrong. Not all bodies at rest, stay at rest. There are bodies—torn, ravaged-from-within bodies—that shudder in stillness, perhaps even in death.”
5- Tik-Tok – Stars
Playlist for the Book
About the Author
“I live in the beautiful City of Roses (aka Portland, Oregon). By day, I’m a lawyer, but don’t hold that against me. My job is actually quite fun, except the occasional day when I have to wear a suit and hose. By night, I explore my childhood passion for writing. My first novel, Thirty Nights, is a story about love’s power to guide us even at our darkest moments… and to equalize us in ways laws cannot.
In my “free” time, I like to get lost in Powell’s Bookstore (especially the Russian literature and Jane Austen aisles). I’ve also been known to drool over shoes on any store window (especially Imelda’s), buy ridiculous colors of nail polish, and dance to everything from Beyoncé to Johnny Cash.
But above all, I love spending time with my family, who really believe I’m the world’s best writer, and with my friends, who should ban me from talking about the book for at least two years after the release date.
I’d love to connect with you; find me on Twitter @AniKeating or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thirtynights and https://www.facebook.com/ani.surnois. Please join the blog here, too, so you can be the first to learn about books, projects, and other yummies.
Extras and about Ninety Days (American Beauty, Book 2)
If you also loved Thirty Nights like me, you should visit Ani Keating’s website: http://anikeating.com, where you can find some awesome extras for the book, for example Javier’s gallery, a collection of Elisa’ roses, Aiden’s letters, Elisa’s family tree and the prologue of Ninety Days. If you are a subscriber for the newsletter of the author you can get some extras in the letters too, for example on 24th of December we got Elisa’s letter to Santa and Aiden’s New Year Resolution which I loved! 😀
2 thoughts on “Ani Keating – Thirty Nights (American Beauty #1)”
Thank you so much for this review! I love the insight, feedback, and the fact that you go the extra mile to include extras like the playlist, art, videos, etc. It’s a great approach to reviewing, and I will definitely recommend your blog and services to other authors. Happy Holidays!!
Thank you so much! You are so sweet! <3 I really loved your book, congratulations! And I can't wait to read Ninety Days! If you will have a cover reveal or you will make an ARC sign-up, it would be an honor to participate in it! Happy Holidays for you and your family, too!