I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally sit down and read this book. Black Hearts, Bullet Wounds and Barrooms is volume one of an anthology written by two ladies whose melancholy matches my own. Each page alternates between the two, yet each piece rolls smoothly into the next. While part of me related to every poem, I found myself drawn to a few, reading them several times, each time feeling something new.

In History, Angeline expertly writes of those people and memories best left tucked away, the once-upon-a-time that will only lead you back to heartbreak. In Salt and Burn, my favorite, she captures such powerful emotion in four short lines.

In Abandon All Hope, Ruby conveys the opposite, giving us hope by reminding us that darkness makes us shine. In Honor, she reminds us there is always someone who believes we are worth the fight.

This isn’t a book for the purely romantic, as they state in the intro. It’s about the pull and push, the looking back and wondering. Both ladies have shared pieces possessed with a haunting ache and those woven with glimpses of love and hope. They are raw and relatable, bittersweet and filled with the weight of emotion that I’ve come to expect from reading them both. I eagerly await the next volume from these talented ladies.

5 stars

Ashley

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