Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen learn that danger comes in all shapes and sizes and often in places you least expect it.
In order to appease an ex friend and covert op whose been hunting Nikolas and Ben, Nikolas heads back to Russia and his past on an errand of mercy, leaving an uncertain Ben behind with Radulf. Left at loose ends and missing Nikolas terribly, Ben lights out on his own, this time to Denmark to learn Nikolas’s language and visit some of the places where Nikolas grew up. Soon Ben settles in, making friends in the small town and become prolific (or so he thinks) in Danish. Alone and certain that Nikolas is in danger in Russia, Ben doesn’t see the enemy that is much closer to home to the peril of them all.
And when the danger explodes, it leaves them all, including Nikolas, permanently scarred and forever changed.
What an amazing series! With Conscious Decisions of the Heart, John Wiltshire manages to give his readers a frightening mystery, a suspenseful drama, a heartbreaking romance and an exploration of the island of Aeroe, in Denmark (an excellent reason to google what is said to be one of the most beautiful spots in Denmark), all these things rolled into one gripping tale of love, passion, and suspense.
That cover alone is a clue this is not a story for the faint of heart. Picking up after Love is a Stranger, both Ben and Nikolas find themselves in uncertain times, their previous lives in shambles and, for the first time, trying to be honest with each other about their feelings and new relationship. But with these two complicated men who have secrets the way other men have tee times, the past is never completely out of the picture. It will cause Nikolas to travel to Russia on their behalf so he and Ben may feel safe as well as to find some measure of closure in a relationship from his past.
Wiltshire does such an excellent job with these characters. Already beautifully fleshed out and believable, he continues to build layers upon layers into each of their personalities and histories, peeling away some traits to reveal others lying just underneath, a pattern that continues with each man’s history and background. Just when you think you might have some idea of how a character will behave or where he comes from, Wiltshire demolishes that bit of certainty with an astonishing new fact or shocking denouement!
And no, I absolutely won’t go into any of that here. Sacrilege, indeed.
Conscious Decisions of the Heart feels like a magician’s act, full of sleight of hand tricks that lull you into thinking you know where the dangers are to be found and that you have a handle on the plot, all while the feature illusion has been forming and explodes with a ferocity you didn’t foresee (and neither do the characters). And there is more than one. It takes your breathe away. And every aspect of this story is so well written and plotted, it just works! I loved all the action and adventure and, yes, shear terror, that the author brings to this story. And some will break your heart. Really, John Wiltshire, how could you do that to….sigh.
But what is equally astonishing is that while all the major elements are in flux, Ben and Nikolas become steadier, more committed to each other and their relationship. You watch the progress, the small and large steps, and your commitment to these men and their story just gets deeper. How I love this series.
I would have given this book a 5 star rating (it deserves it) but it definitely can’t be read on its own. Part of the power (and Wiltshire’s puzzle in the making) comes from reading all parts in the order they were written. Each book continues to build on the previous story and without some of the back knowledge, balancing and understanding all these pieces and personalities becomes problematic. So, if new to the series, run, lope, gallop, whatever, back to Love is a Stranger, then move onto to this story. I am one step ahead and more books (and reviews) will be coming! Join me along the way!
This is seriously addictive stuff here, and one of my highly recommended reads!
Cover Art by Deana Jamroz is terrifying, stark, and absolutely perfect for this story. Be Warned, then continue on!
Published July 3rd 2014 by MLR Press
seriesMore Heat Than the Sun #2
More Heat Than the Sun Series Books in the Order they were written and should be read:
Love is a Stranger (More Heat Than the Sun #1)
Conscious Decisions of the Heart (More Heat Than the Sun #2)
The Bridge of Silver Wings (More Heat Than the Sun, #3)
This Other Country (More Heat Than the Sun, #4)
The Bruise Black Sky (More Heat Than the Sun, #5) coming soon