Review: Full Tilt by Emma Scott

Posted July 1, 2016 by Shannon in Blog Tours, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Full Tilt by Emma ScottFull Tilt by Emma Scott
Series: Full Tilt #1
Published by Trillian on June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Musicians, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 292
Buy on Amazon

"I would love you forever, if I only had the chance..."

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge--impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch...

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he's vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

Full Tilt is a story about what it means to love with your whole heart, to sacrifice, to experience terrible grief and soaring joy. To live life with all its beauty, and all its pain, and in the end to be able to smile through tears and know you wouldn’t have changed a thing.

All In (Full Tilt #2) forthcoming...
#nocliffhanger #nocancer #tearjerker




Full tilt (n) (poker): Playing emotionally instead of rationally; making impassioned rather than logical decisions.

Twenty six letters.
There are twenty six letters in the English alphabet that when twisted and turned, shaped and shifted can form an infinite number of possibilities.
Twenty six letters that can produce a piece of work so personal, beautiful, hopeful and brave, that they show the importance of being true to oneself, living for yourself and having no regrets.
Twenty six letters that can prove what real love is.
Emma Scott uses these twenty six letters to create not only a masterpiece, but the most phenomenally well written book that I have ever read.

How can I, Shannon from Toronto, a measly little book reviewer, possibly use the same basic letters that Emma transforms so precisely, to form a review that’s worthy of the perfection known as Full Tilt? I don’t think I’ll be able to, but I’m certainly going to try.

Full tilt

Jonah is a once in a lifetime kind of guy. He’s a real life Prince Charming, but in a completely tangible way. He’s down to earth and genuine, never pretending to be someone else or embellishing who he actually is. He’s not the type of macho, ‘hear me roar’, type of guy but is completely confident in himself; with who he is. And who is he, might you ask? Jonah is one of the most stunning characters that I have ever experienced. No matter what he’s going through in his life, his goal was to stay completely true to himself which was absolutely beautiful. I loved his perspective and outlook. I loved the confidence and strength that he could give the other characters. I loved the peace, joy and happiness that he brought everyone from just existing.

I have a big place in my heart for Kacey. She’s been through a lot but always persevered. When she met Jonah, her world started making sense, she found who she is and he helped her to embrace it. She became such a strong character that I applaud her. Her strength, determination and love were all endless, doing everything for the man she loved.

Full tilt

“I kissed him like a lover—deep and long, and with everything I had. With every ounce of infinite love that dwelt in me.
I kissed Jonah Fletcher with all of my heart, and with every piece of my soul that would love him forever.”

Throughout the entire story, I marvelled at the relationship between Jonah and Kacey. It was balanced and healthy, and not only brought out the best in each other but helped them grow individually. I’m not sure if I believe in the idea of soul mates, but I believe that Jonah and Kacey were meant to find each other, to love each other.

“I kept waiting to find the end of your love and beauty, the end of your generous heart. I never did. I never will. I don’t know how or why you chose me to love, and you did choose. You could’ve walked away and saved yourself. Instead, you chose to stay, and so saved me.”

Going into the book, you know what’s absolutely perfect? You read the synopsis and think, “Oh, just another cancer book, I’ll pass because F@@@ cancer!” (I agree), but then Emma’s like, “hold on! #nocancer #tearjerker #nocliffhanger” so ultimately, all of you that tried to dismiss this because of cancer, you have no excuses! Read it! Read it now and open your hearts and love Jonah and Kacey like I did.

Emma is completely upfront about this story, what you see is what you get. She doesn’t put the couple through crazy twists and turns for plot drama. She doesn’t give you stupid fights or misunderstandings, with characters that storm off before they can resolve the issue. She gives you adults that are living through something they shouldn’t have to. She gives you mature, reasonable characters who are good for each other. I may not believe in soul mates, but I do believe that people come into your life for a reason. I think it was destined for these two to meet, and I’m incredibly grateful that I could take a back row seat and watch.


With a story line like this, it’s easy to get over the top or have dialogue laden with cheesy lines, trust me, I’ve seen it. But of course Emma Scott wouldn’t go there. No, she handles each scene in such a delicate manner, weaving connections with emotional intensity, longing, hope and beauty. I have way too many quotes highlighted so first off, I’m not sure how I’ll pick some for a review, but secondly, I can look back on any given quote, and be pulled right back into the story. My feelings for the characters resurface immediately and I’m right along with them for the ride. This is what makes a true author. Being able to make the reader feel so strongly from even a small passage. Make the reader devour each letter, word, sentence until there’s no more. This author uses the same twenty six letters that I do, but she transforms them into magic.

“Live in the little moments, right? Just like we promised. The little moments. We have so many. Thousands upon thousands.”
“Too many to count,” I said. I sniffed hard as my arms went around her and held her close. As close to me as I could, my lips kissing her hair. “And this right here…The best moment of my life.”

I had a feeling that I knew what would happen in the ending. I kind of expected it, but then a small part of me made up a completely different scenario just because I could. I trusted Emma completely, but I was concerned. There are two parts to the ending that I’m talking about, and I guessed both. One I was okay with, I expected it early on and came to terms with this. The second however, I was really hoping wouldn’t happen. This idea makes me so uncomfortable, so unsure that I never know how to handle it. I would like to point out that with Full Tilt, when I guessed ahead that this might happen, I was really uncomfortable, just like I usually am. But when I got there, when I read how Emma wrote the ending, I was completely standing behind her. She did it with such grace and poise, that I had no other choice. I believe her. I believe what she did for the characters and I believe how it’ll be best for everyone involved. Thinking about it now, I like this scenario better than some other options that she could’ve chosen. Let me reiterate. This is a situation that I completely dislike, and yet Emma makes me hopeful. She gives peace to my heart and tells me to rest easy, to trust her, that she’ll do the characters justice, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. I trusting you with my heart Emma, because Kacey and Jonah now live there.

I love when a story makes the reader think. I personally don’t read just for an escape or for entertainment. Sure, a lot of times that’s a significant part of it, but I enjoy having my boundaries pushed. Whether it be confronting my values or morals, contemplating how I would react in a certain situation vs how the characters reacted, all of it. How often in your life can you view an issue as a complete outsider? I read to gain perspective that I may not find elsewhere, and Full Tilt delivered in every area.

Full tilt

Random thought alert: that playlist is perfect. There’s a few on there that I would’ve picked out myself as well for this story, so naturally I’m still listening to them on repeat days later. One of my favourite songs right now (completely unrelated to the playlist) has a few lines that I can’t stop thinking about for Kacey and Jonah. It’s called Stay by Mayday Parade. Most of the song doesn’t make sense when referencing Full Tilt, but I really like these few lines.

I’m not strong enough for the both of us
What was I suppose to do?
You know I love you
Please just stay

I don’t know how to accurately describe my feelings for this book, or the emotions that I went through while reading. I don’t know how I can possibly explain how deeply this story effected me, how much of an effect it has had on my heart, how much my chest constricted over my love of these two, or how many tears I cried for them. For those that have either followed my reviews or ever read A Thousand Boy Kisses, you know the sort of feelings I’m talking about. But for Full Tilt? Times that by a hundred. My love for Kacey and Jonah was so strong, it’s a little incomprehensible. Some people may disagree with me (and I am by *NO* way comparing the books, because they are not the same), but while I cried more and longer for ATBK, I cried harder for Full Tilt. This story hit me on such a personal level, it really is now a part of my heart.

“You’ve been a brilliant light in my drab, dark world. But if you let me kiss you again… If we start something right now, time won’t stand still. The end, my end, won’t be some nebulous thing off in the distance. It’ll race toward me, because…”
His voice choked off, and I held his hand tighter, our tears falling together.
“Because why?” I whispered.
“Because, Kace, the days will count down until there’s only one left,” he said through gritted teeth. “The one where I have to say goodbye to you.”

After all of this, I would like to describe the style of writing briefly. Yes, it gave me all of the feels in the world. Yes, it kept me hanging and thinking about this story for days (book hangover anyone?). But you know what else it is? Phenomenal. Exquisite. Eloquent. Astonishing. I feel the need to add a check list, but seriously, it’s incredible. I have never read a book where the writing alone has floored me this much. I don’t even care if Emma’s writing about harder topics, she could write about a dog playing fetch and I would be mesmerized. She has such a way with words and a flow to her sentences, describing it as anything less than phenomenal is an understatement.

“Jonah groaned softly, his hands roamed over every inch of skin available to him: my neck, my shoulder, my face. God, the way he held my face, cupped my chin in his hands… He kissed me as if I were something delicate and precious, something he cherished and held with reverence.
My first kiss. This is my first real kiss.”


To truly get this point across, the only other author I can think of to compare Emma’s writing to is Colleen Hoover. Boom, I said it. Creativeness too. Both are extremely creative and out of the box, bringing new light to different situations that you wouldn’t normally see. I had visceral reactions to both authors, book hangovers, I’ve fallen in love with both of their words but yes, I would without a second hesitation compare Emma to Colleen. And on top of that? I think I like Full Tilt more.

I’m trying not to be overzealous, but even days later, I still think Full Tilt is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I can’t ignore an author that can draw such emotion from their reader in such a beautiful way, so that instantly got this story a place on my favourites shelf. It’s what Emma does after she brings your emotion to the surface that gets this book in my top five. I say top five loosely, because who am I kidding? Jonah and Kacey are the top.

I stared at the canopy of stars overhead, sort of lost myself.
And sort of found.

If I can recommend not even one book, but one author to check out this year, it would be Emma Scott. With her quality of work this high, she is the most underrated author I’ve ever come across, and everyone needs to help me support her excellence.


*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 



Buy it here: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU




About Emma Scott

Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance novels when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word romantic story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.

She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it’s amusing to write about herself in the third person. And if she has a driving force the fuels her work, it’s that love always wins.

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