Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Endangered Hearts by Amanda Lance

Endangered Hearts (Endangered Hearts, #1)
Endangered Hearts by Amanda Lance
(Endangered Hearts #1)
February 20, 2014
283 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
(Contains: fade-to-black sexual references, abuse references)
Source: eARC for Honest review

Emilia Ward is being watched.

And it isn’t just by her mother’s creep of a boyfriend or one of her many employers. Instead, she is certain it something else—someone else. However, in a life with college classes and alcoholic mother to look after, Emilia doesn’t have time to explore her suspicions. She would much rather think about her new job at Iram Manor, and more importantly—its mysterious and alluring owner.

After a lifetime of isolation and trapped in a disfigured body Kasper Zafar thought he knew pain. Confining himself to his work as an architect and the love of his music, he never expects the beautiful Emilia Ward to enter his life. Young and naïve, his new housekeeper does not flinch at the sight of him, and is even so bold as to call him her friend.

Determined to teach her in all worldly things, the opposites grow closer and the role of student and teacher interchange. Yet Emilia’s life outside the manor is not a happy one, and when Kasper’s attempt to watch over her fails, both will discover than love may be the most painful thing of all.
My Review:

I really enjoyed Wanted and Conviction by Amanda Lance, so I was looking forward to trying another book/series from her. Endangered Hearts was enjoyable, but a bit of a mixed review for me.

What worked for me:
* It's got the Beauty and the Beast theme, and I'm totally okay with that. I love a good retelling and am always curious what spin an author is going to put on it, so I was excited to read about Emilia and Kasper.
* Emilia and Kasper are characters I really enjoyed getting to know. Kasper is particularly enigmatic and I wanted to know his story. And he's got a good one. Emilia had her own special circumstances, and I found her perspective interesting.
* There were some twists in there that I didn't expect and I liked that the story, though predictable in some ways, still gave me surprises.
* I had a hard time putting this book down and read through it quickly. It kept me fully engaged and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.

But not so much:
* The writing was choppy in parts and some of the transitions were confusing. I found myself looking back through the pages wondering if I'd missed something.
* I needed more insight into their relationship and their connection. I felt like something was missing.
* The cover is deceptive. Here we have a very sexy cover, yet the sex scenes here are very fade-to-black or referenced to. Outside of kissing scenes, their physical relationship is mostly referred to. Which is fine, except when the cover is very sexual, I think readers looking for more will be disappointed.
* The ending left me wanting with a bit of a cliffhanger. Now there is more to come with their story, but some of the actions in the end were odd and questionable.

Overall, I enjoyed Endangered Hearts, but it didn't quite capture me as I had hoped it would. I would still like to continue the series and see where things for Kasper and Emilia go next, it's just not at the top of my reading list.

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