Title: Connected Hearts
Author: Danice Akiyoshi
Published Date: Mrch 14th 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Long ago, two sisters made a vow to leave behind their dreams of finding “Mr. Right.” The lovely Leigh Cavanaugh hides her body, finding comfort with a dashing older businessman she considers her closest friend. Her sexy sister, Megan Morris, hides her heart, believing a hot lover is the perfect remedy for all of life’s difficulties. Quite by surprise, the two sisters find themselves on a whirlwind journey to romantic love. Leigh starts off slowly, offering coffee and cookies. Megan jumps right in with sexy leather and lace. The future is exciting, and there’s magic in the air. But just when they think they’ve found the men of their dreams, a promise made becomes a promise kept, and true love is put to the test. Risks are taken and emotions run high… Will amazing sexual chemistry and love be enough, or will it take something more to forever link these Connected Hearts? Danice Akiyoshi’s new novel is a sizzling contemporary romance, laced with real emotion-from heartache, sorrow, and longing to true joy.
Overall, the writing is technically good and the formatting is perfect. I appreciated that Ms. Akiyoshi didn’t succumb to the use of slang grammar such as using all capitals or periods in between words to convey the emphasis a character places on his/her statements. It is refreshing to encounter an author who can use adverbs properly. The three “f-bombs” were expertly and meaningfully sprinkled throughout the story; they were poignant punctuation rather than gratuitous cursing.
While the writing quality was five-star, the story telling left me wanting. The characters were fully developed, but I didn’t feel that many of their actions/choices were consistent with the character description. Some of the seemingly out-of-character actions/choices felt like convenient intermediary plot points. For example, widowed and conservative, Leigh Cavenaugh is a well-educated, stuffy professional, however, she coyly leads on an older male patient, Dominic Sutton, by ignoring his obvious crush, calling him by pet names, saying that she loves him, and socializing with him. While she claims to not have blurred any lines, all those actions seem like she took a giant leap over the “professional/ethical” behavior line. Another example of the paradox is when Leigh is rightly indignant at a statement made by Dominic–she doesn’t slap him or storm off, she flashes him in a bar. She further justifies Dominic’s whorish statement by arranging to strip in front of him at a nudist pool/resort that she has invited him for the weekend. While desiring another character, Aaron Vincent, she plays coquettish games like not calling a man first and then using her friendship with Dominic as an excuse to take things slow. Dominic Sutton is portrayed as rich, generous and classy, however, he chases after Leigh, a woman who is young enough to be his daughter. He asks her out, plies her with gifts, and tells her his fervent wish is to see her naked, and in the end bequeaths her much of his estate in appreciation of her companionship. Basically, I found Dominic’s and Leigh’s relationship to be co-dependent and unprofessional . The fact that the character descriptions and actions were diametrically opposed did not work for me at all. I found the characters to be too nice and unrealistically generous. However, I loved that the main characters were mature adults who were old enough to have grown children. That is a refreshing change from the usual love story about twenty-something billionaires and waifs just out of college.
The plot is leisurely paced, and unfortunately, there is not a lot of excitement in the first half of the book—just day to day life as the characters are developed and introduced. The few potential conflicts that arise in the beginning–that could bring some much need tension to the plot–are too rapidly and easily resolved. The two more significant conflicts in the last quarter of the book just didn’t work for me. The premise and resolution were too unrealistic for me. Lastly, the dialogue seemed overly formal and stiff (especially for people who have been acquainted for many years).
My perception of the character disconnects and pace of the plot made the story just okay for me (two-stars). The mathematically averaged overall rating is three-stars. However, I know many romance readers who would love the sweetness of the characters and the zany situations. Romance readers who want to escape from daily life’s grind will love to dive into Danice Akiyoshi’s Connected Hearts.
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