Anita's Haven

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CARVED WOODEN HEART by E. H. Newton & Starla Hartless – my review no.65

on 16/09/2016

Having already enjoyed some of Elizabeth Horton-Newton’s writing (the intense thriller Riddle and her fascinating short story Old Habits in Twisted Tales), I was rather intrigued to see how she would handle the genre of romance (with elements of erotica). Starla Hartless remains a mystery to me, but this partnership might prove quite successful in this genre.

Not usually an avid reader of romance/erotica, I read the book with curiosity, comparing at first with other works by E. Horton-Newton. The writing is easy to follow and has a steady flow to it. The timeline and subplots all fit nicely as we follow Dani through her love life and professional growth, sometimes going topsy-turvy in comparison to the traditional romance ways (she both meets and loses the passionate lover in the first part of the book, but read on for more surprises). You will enjoy reading about how she grows as a person, about her friendships and family ties, and of course, the steamy bedroom scenes, if you are a fan (quite hot, though never vulgar). There is passion, lust, skin, heat, but also emotion and tenderness.

However, what I find the greatest value in this book are the characters who evolve over time, following the romance stereotype to a certain point, yet preserving a believable feel to them, which makes you root for them or against them. The contrast between the men in Dani’s life is really interesting to observe, and your preconceptions of them change throughout the book as the subplots entangle and resolve. Dani, the heroine, grows through the story, from the naive young journalist who falls head over heels for a hunk, to the responsible, strong and decisive woman. Jesse is intriguing, too, and I bet romance fans will go crazy over the wild artist that he is. Doug is such a promising man who genuinely loves Dani and saves her in her hardship (not liking the mistakes he made out of that love though;). Brandon will keep the readers’ interest in suspense (avoiding spoilers) and Dylan – he is just a treasure. My absolute favourites are the side characters – Dani’s gynaecologist, Kelly, Milagro, Kathryn, and Dani’s parents who made me smile, chuckle and even tear up by the end of the story. The authors must have had so much fun weaving their scenes into the mix.

I am absolutely certain Carved Wooden Heart will provide romance fans with all the elements they expect, and then some, including the wonderful scenery and amazing dream houses in the wilderness. Your very own jacuzzi house in the mountains, to share with the love of your life? Oh come on, who’d say no to that!?

One response to “CARVED WOODEN HEART by E. H. Newton & Starla Hartless – my review no.65

  1. Lizzi Newton says:

    Thank you so much for your review of “Carved Wooden Heart”. Writing it has been an exciting journey since it not a genre I’ve previously explored. Starla’s Bio is included at the end of the book and I look forward to writing with her again.

    Liked by 1 person

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