#Review — Volatile (Treacherous Chemistry) #1 by Avylinn Winter

Title: Volatile

Series: Treacherous Chemistry

Author: Avylinn Winter

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Publication Date: August 23, 2017

Page Count: 213 Pages

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Blurb: 

Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.

Chris Sinclair fades into a gray world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert, as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.

Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the façade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.

When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea of what awaits him, he’s thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.

They’re a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there's always calm at the heart of the storm.

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about the author

Avylinn Winter

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

You can visit Avylinn's Blog, follow her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her Wattpad page.

 

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Review

 

Chris is struggling to find his footing after losing his mother to cancer. He's fairly young, only twenty, so he's immature in a lot of ways and has a lot of insecurities. Despite his brother's constant interference, he keeps to himself, and underneath his rebellious exterior, he is lonely.

Loneliness. It was a strange emotion—one didn’t have to be alone to be trapped within it. At times, I had felt lonely in the middle of a crowd, even among friends.
— Chris

 

Meeting Dante Heron is the beginning and the end for Chris. As soon as he hears Dante playing the violin, he is lost to the sounds coming from him, from his soul. Chris can tell that Dante has a gift with his music and he is mesmerized, but it's more than just the music, it's also the young man - himself - he can't stop thinking about and that confuses him, most of all. 

When Chris is approached by Dante's manager for a job to travel Europe over the summer to "babysit" Dante he has reservations, but he's also elated to be able to spend more time with the mysterious violinist.

However, handling Dante is far more difficult and stressful than he realized—he can't get a handle on his mood-swings—and when Dante's parents show up...Chris allows his insecurities to become overwrought with frantic thoughts causing him to flee.

Volatile is my first book by Avylinn Winter and the writing is beautifully done. I was completely immersed in the story from start to finish. The anticipation is extremely heavy between these two keeping the reader on a precipice never knowing what's going to happen next. 

Both Chris and Dante are damaged in their own way. They both have similarities drawing them to the other, yet they are different as night and day. Their biggest problems were they never talked, always jumping to false conclusions. They hide their feelings—are less than honest—creating more drama between them than necessary.

Dante is fragile, insecure, but has a hard outer shell, almost brutal, at times. He craves affection, positive attention, love, friendship—things that have never been given to him, unconditionally.

Unfortunately, the attention and praise he does get, plus material things, come at a cost and at his expense leaving him bitter and closed off. He's never been made to feel he's enough, no matter how hard he strives to prove otherwise, so he pulls within living a lonely existence. 

Chris is too immature to read the signs going on with Dante—the signals he gives—almost begging for touch and closeness. He has never had feelings for another man—before Dante—so he is confused as to whether it's real or if he's also just infatuated like the women around Dante. He doesn't want to be another notch on his bedpost. 

Chris has lived a more sheltered life never being exposed to the worldly views and attractions that Dante sees on a daily basis and has grown up around his entire life. He was given no preparation or training for handling the life of a famous musician so he was set up for failure from the get-go.

Add in his confusion and emotional turmoil that Dante subjects him to, he had a lot on his plate to deal with. I blame Lara, Dante's manager, for dumping everything on Chris and expecting him to handle situations she has been dealing with for years and still can't handle. 

Dante was doing things to me that no one else had done before. He made me crazy—he made me forget who I was. With him, I became someone who didn’t know a single thing. He stripped me bare, shaking my very core, and he wasn’t even aware of doing it.
— chris

Volatile is angst-driven, zoning in on the fear of rejection, but also overcoming that fear, growing up, and taking accountability for yourself and what you want. While we only see the progression of Chris's growth it appears that Dante, has matured as well and hopefully, these two will be stronger together versus apart.

The story comes to a close before the reader sees these new developments, however, I feel they were destined to be together from the moment Chris watched Dante's fingers dance across the slender neck of the violin. 

I was torn between the urge to leave and the wish to stay and lose myself in the storm of sounds. It was a useless, exhausting battle, and it didn’t cease until the music faded into the quiet breeze.

—I saw it in his wild eyes and unruly hair. The tresses were black as ink, slightly too long and drenched with sweat. He didn’t belong. He wasn’t one of them.
— Chris

Volatile has great secondary characters that help Chris come to terms with his feelings and were a great support system once he opened up. Toxic, book two, continues with Adam's story, Chris's roommate, and I can't wait to get started. Hopefully, we will get some updates on Chris and Dante, as well. 

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4.5 Stars

* Thank you to the promoter for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review *

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other books in the series

Book two in the Treacherous Chemistry series
 
When true love is a lie and pleasure turns to pain.
Adam Webb spent most of his teenage years in love with his best friend, Gabriel Connor, only to be thrown out of their shared apartment when he finally found the courage to reveal his feelings.
Seven months later, Adam’s effort to save their lost friendship finds him more than he ever asked for. After all, being thrown out has to be better than thrown into a wall. However, Adam isn’t ready to give up. Trapped and isolated in a dangerous relationship, he falls deeper and deeper into Gabriel’s world.
Despite Adam’s attempts to push them away, his friends are determined to help, but the man who fights hardest is Cameron McCain, Adam’s photography teacher—a man who treasures what Gabriel does not.
They say love should conquer all. But when passion breeds fear and love turns toxic, will Adam make the right choice?