Title: Chameleon Soul
Series: Chequered Flag #1
Author: Mia Hoddell
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 2, 2016 Publisher: Limitless Publishing
After one fateful night, Raine Wilkins’ life has never been the same…
Two years into a relationship with Formula 1 driver Teo Coates, Raine walks out of his life without offering an explanation. To shield him from horrifying events that are best kept secret, Raine breaks her own heart and the heart of the man she loves. And left with no choice, Teo is forced to abandon Raine to finish his race season.
However, Teo always wins, and losing Raine’s heart has only made him more determined to reclaim it…
Now, a year later, he’s back, and she’s his only goal. But Raine is no longer the same girl he left behind; she’s broken by the past and struggling to cope with each day. Unbearable memories have her nights plagued with fear, while her days are spent deliberately hiding away to avoid triggering full-blown panic attacks. Therefore, when Teo returns as England’s favourite driver, and demands answers, all of Raine’s careful planning is destroyed.
She is thrown into the one place she never wants to be—the spotlight.
Her newfound fame as Teo’s public girlfriend raises old dangers, and exposes her to a group who will stop at nothing to tear them apart. If Raine and Teo are to be together, they must confront their past. However, only Raine knows the truth behind what happened during that sinister night, and revealing her secrets may cause Teo to leave for good.
“Raine, wait!” Footsteps thundered behind me, forcing me to run faster as my vision began tunnelling. Bouncing off the walls as I rounded corners, I attempted to trace my steps back to the exit through the labyrinth of hallways. I could hear the footsteps growing louder, as if Nadine was right on my heels, but I couldn’t look without losing my rhythm. Abruptly, I was jerked to a stop by a hand on my wrist. I spun at the touch, flinging my back against the wall with a scream. My movements were too fast to take anything in. “What the f*** are you doing here?” The voice that snarled the words was not Nadine’s. Even full of malice I could never forget his tone. Despite that, my brain was no longer thinking logically. I raised my hands instinctively to shield my face, the line between reality and my memories blurring. The brightly lit corridor was too tight and darkness encroached from every corner. I was back in the alley. The rough bricks bit into my spine as I cowered into the building praying I could make myself invisible. “No, not again,” I whimpered, my hands shaking. “Please, not again.” In my mind they were coming at me, closing the distance. No matter how tiny I made myself they could still see me. “Don’t hurt me. Let me go!” White-hot panic rose in my chest, consuming me and fuelling the memory. Everything felt so similar, I wasn’t even seeing what was really in front of me.
*Warning: May contain things you find spoilery. That wasn't intentional, but read on at your own discretion*
I am a zombie. Not four words I'd normally begin a review with, but true nonetheless. Why? Two reasons. Reason One: I am still awake at 3:40am writing my review. Reason Two: Mia Hoddell has ripped my heart out, thus, I must be dead.
Now we've got that established, let's get on to what I thought of the book. I am not sure I have many coherent words to form sentences right now, but let's give it a try.
I am an emotional train wreck. My heart has been torn out of my chest, only to be replaced with the valves the wrong way round, so it isn't working properly. Why? Oh so many reasons.
This book is the kind that pulls your heartstrings from the very first chapter. I didn't know what to expect, with the story twisting and turning, this way and that. I was all bent out of shape by Raine's obvious torment. She's a broken, empty shell of the person she once was. Whereas before, she had a bright future with a wonderful guy, now she is but a shadow of her former self. Nightmares that plague her, dark alleyways that take her back to the night her life changed irreparably, people taunting her and making her life a misery.
Teo was meant to be a race car driver. It was all he wanted. All except Raine, that is. The two loves of his life were his girl and fast cars. Then, one night, his life changed. One phone call put him on a path to near self destruction. The only way to take his mind off things was to sleep with the grid girls in all the different countries he raced in. But they could never full the void in his life where Raine was meant to be. They were an easy lay, a quick fix, but not a permanent one.
Then race season finished and he found himself back on UK soil. What followed was an emotional roller coaster for both him and Raine. Teo didn't know the truth about the past, all he knew was he'd never stopped loving one girl.
Raine was living with Teo's brother, Dustin - who, by the way, is a wonderful character - and it seemed fated that the two would run into each other at some point. After all, upon his return home, Teo would want to see his brother.
What ensued was a beautifully written, heart wrenching tale of love, hurt, loss and redemption.
Mia Hoddell's writing is beautiful in a breath taking way. She has you gripped from the beginning and puts your heart through the wringer until the bitter end.
I was meant to be on the blog tour earlier this week, but life got in the way and I had to reschedule. Then, last night, I said I wouldn't be able to finish the book in time to write a review. I hated myself for it because when I say I'm going to do something, I always see it through. I'd been reading all day and was only at 60%, there was no way I would be finished in time... Or was there? What I didn't know was that I wouldn't be able to put the book back down until I had finished. 3:15am, I finally read the last word, with tears blurring my vision and stinging like hell.
I was an absolute wreck. Both because of staying up so late, and because of all the pain Mia had put me through.
Raine and Teo's journey wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. It wasn't some fantastical tale of boy meets girl, boy keeps girl, they live happily ever after. Instead it was full of heartache and tears. It's the kind of story that brings about a hell of a book hangover.
I'm still typing at 4:00am because I couldn't wait until tomorrow to express how I felt. The tumultuous journey this couple went through is something I won't forget in a hurry.
In summary, Chameleon Soul is a hauntingly brilliant book, that as an author myself makes me want to strive to be better. I want to bring out the emotions in my readers that Mia did with me. It was astoundingly written, with a gripping story arc, brilliant characters that felt tangible and real, there was an instant connection to them and their lives. I am left in awe.
Thank you to the blog tour organiser, Amanda, for giving me access to this remarkable story. My heart may never function properly again, but if I could rewind time, I'd live through it all again because some stories are just worth it. This one was of them.
If you haven't already grabbed yourself a copy of this book, I want to know why not? Are you insane?
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a real love story. Because this story is no fairytale, that's for sure. But when is real love like something out of the movies?! It's about the ups and downs, the highs and lows and making it through the other side.
It's now 4:15am, it's time to stop my rambling and go to sleep, and so I bid you goodnight... I mean, morning... I'm off to dream of Teo.
#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder, Not Enough, and Bet On Me.
Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.