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 “We only stoke that which already exists in you. It’s up to you to resist us. To fight back with your power that far exceeds ours if you only believed it.”

The Muse by Emma Scott is book two in her Angels and Demons series yet can be read as a standalone, however, we highly recommend reading The Sinner first as this fantasy paranormal series from this Author is just that good! The Sinner is an M/F romance with Cas and Lucy, which we absolutely loved, and The Muse is an M/M romance with Ambri and Cole and was an easy and our first 5-star read for 2023! Lucy and Cas feature in The Muse, however, they are not integral to this storyline.

I’m not going to survive this. But I have to. I have a command to obey or else spend the next millennium in unknowable pain.’

The Muse is an extremely special story of sacrifice, second chances, redemption, and ultimately a beautiful and honest soul-searing love. The emotion is profound, the sentiments so very poignant, the metaphors and inferences are highly evoking, and the passion all-consuming. We cannot express how deeply we felt this story and how so much of it resonated with us. We were brought to tears and our hearts soared with love. We felt seen and understood. We were compelled and fell in love. Paranormal fantasy is one of our ultimate loves and Emma Scott writes it so perfectly.

“Do you know what I see when I look at your demon, Cole? I see hope and light. I see love trapped in darkness with the potential for its liberation held within it like a precious seed. It might languish in the dark and die. Or it might be nourished and thus be reborn into something beautiful.”

At any one stage, we’ve all felt one or all of the following; grief, loneliness, inadequacy, despair, feeling lost, or like we’re impostors in life. No matter how strong we believe ourselves to be or inherently are, and no matter the trials sent our way, we can never fully know how we will feel, react or cope. Life equals learning and every step we take is a new one. Sometimes we are strong enough at any given time to silence the voices, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes doubt speaks the loudest and other times we can turn the other cheek. Sometimes we make decisions or take actions that can be at odds with who we truly are, and a split-second decision made, with the best of intentions or as self-preservation, can have complicated or unforeseen consequences.

‘…I know in that instant I would suffer a thousand tortures to preserve his happiness.’

Redemption is not just for the pure in blanket circumstances, souls are complex and undefinable. Love is one of the most intense feelings of the heart, it often wars with the head and can at times be likened to sheer madness…if lost. In The Muse, weaved into a fantasy story of demons and romance, we felt this intrinsic essence of humanity and hope, human suffering and overcoming conflict and tragedy with kindness, love, and compassion. Of reconciling our past to find our healing light and hope in our future. It was a compelling journey that we felt deep in our hearts.

‘He is honest and good, and I’m going to lose him before he was ever mine.’

Ambrosius Edward Meade-Finch suffered greatly as a human, experiencing trauma and excruciating pain throughout his life. Upon his last breath, he’s enticed to the underworld as a demon, feeding on human desires and lust. We found the gorgeous Ambri to have a wicked and dry sense of humour as well as an enticing cockiness about him.  When having to prove himself as loyal to the other side takes an unexpected turn, all hell breaks loose – literally- as Ambri was not meant to fall in love with the pure artist soul destined to be sacrificed, Cole Matheson.

“Don’t say what you’re going to say.”
“How do you know what I’m going to say?”
“Because every beautiful thought that crosses your heart emerges on your face before you speak it, and I cant. I can’t and I … I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve you.”

How do you bring on the downfall of a man that inspires all that is decent, all that is kind, and all that is selfless? How do you willingly hurt the man who makes you feel loved for the first time in your life? A love felt in your heart, thawing out and obliterating all that is dark and twisted. Ambri is faced with the biggest moment in his existence and must find the path so naturally lead by his heart. We found Cole to be such a beautiful man, inside and out. He’s the sunshine to Ambri’s darkness, their slow-burn relationship, their banter, and their intense connection, was a wonderful sight to behold as this Author allowed us to experience everything in The Muse, every step of the way.

“Tonight was so perfect, I fear it’s a lie. Or I’ll wake up to find this was a dream. Except I can’t dream.”
“Then it must be real.”

Synopsis

From USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Emma Scott, comes an emotional, paranormal love story of sacrifice, redemption, and the power of love over darkness.

Cole Matheson didn’t think the road to being a successful painter would be paved in gold, but he hoped there’d be a few less potholes. Insidious self-doubt that whispers that he’s no good, talentless, hopeless has him on the brink of despair. Maybe it would be better to just give up.

A midnight visitation by a beautiful creature of darkness changes everything…

Ambrosius Edward Meade-Finch surrendered to darkness centuries ago after knowing only pain and suffering during his short life. Now, Ambri makes humans dance on his strings, feeding on their desire for his own pleasure. But his liege lord questions his loyalty and commands him to bring a human soul into their dark realm.

Cole Matheson seems like an easy mark, but Ambri didn’t count on his goodness, or the depth of his generous soul that wants Ambri just as he is. And Cole never expected to find in Ambri a muse who unlocks his talent and might also be who his lonely heart has been searching for. Something fragile yet powerful grows between them, and the possibility of soul-deep love hangs in the balance, if only they have the courage to reach for it.

But fairy tale endings don’t come without a price. The dark forces Ambri answers to have been promised a soul, and they’re coming to collect…

The Muse is book 2 in the Angels and Demons series but can be read as a complete standalone.

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COLLEEN HOOVER captured our hearts back in 2011 with her unique, warm, funny, sweet, and utterly captivating stories. Our love affair with this incredibly talented author has never waned. Colleen is one in a million!

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