Publication Date: 13 February 2018
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
No one pencils in falling in love.
All work and no play has Autumn Primm in the market for a little excitement. Her Venice Beach coffee shop, The Cat’s Pajamas, is her pride and joy. While she doesn’t mind the long hours, she finds herself staring dreamily out the window, imagining the life she’s yet to lead. The time has come to take off the apron and see what the world has in store.
Kate Carpenter needs to get away. And quick. A small-town firefighter, Kate’s been crowned a local hero for reasons she can’t quite get behind. An open highway and some time off have her fleeing the scene to sunny California to catch her breath and put some distance between herself and the unwanted acclaim. Dreamy Autumn Primm was never supposed to be part of that bargain. What Kate needs is a temporary escape, emphasis on temporary.
Hearts Like Hers is the second book in the Seven Shores series. I have not read the first book but seeing as the main characters were different, I did not think it would matter. It is possible that characters from the first book made some appearances; although, I am not a hundred percent sure. When the novel began, it definitely felt like readers were supposed to know who all of the friends were and were henceforth never introduced. This was, of course, my fault entirely and I am not rating this book poorly because of this reason.
The story is very sweet and light-hearted, with funny antics from Autumn’s close-knit circle of friends. It is a good read if you are not after anything too serious. The romance is easy to follow and had its good moments.
The story uses the trope of instalove, which isn’t such a bad trope in my opinion, but in this case, it made me distracted. One of the girls at one point says, ‘… Unless we have a thing happening. We do, don’t we?’ after talking to her love interest for maybe a combined total of ten minutes. There was never a point where I questioned whether they were going to end up with each other because there was no room for intrigue. They got together so quickly that it made me not really care for their relationship.
The main characters in this story seemed to merge together. Their voices sounded so similar that they could have switched personalities and I wouldn’t have noticed. I did not realise that I was reading from the perspective of two characters until the second chapter. There wasn’t really much that made either of them stand out. One was a firefighter and the other was a cafe owner and that was basically the only way I could tell the difference. I think some more character development could have fixed this.
I thought the dialogue between Autumn and Kate sounded a little stilted and cheesy at times. This is fine if you are looking for a simple, cute romance. There is mystery behind something that happened to Kate, which made her character a little more interesting. Even so, her story from the past did not want to make me keep reading. Autumn was a boring character to me. I liked Kate the most out of both of them.
This book is sweet but ultimately it was too cheesy for me to be able to relax and fully enjoy. Melissa Brayden has written some other great books, so I would check those out before getting to this one.
*Thank you to Bold Strokes Books for the advanced reader copy that I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*