Title: Straight from the Heart (Wilde Love: Book One)
Author: Sam Burns
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 207 Pages
At a Glance: Totally recommended if you are looking for a lighthearted little romance with endearing characters and a relatively low angst level.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: On the same night that Alex finds himself disowned and sleeping on his best friend’s couch, he meets Liam, who saves him from being mugged. It’s a strange time for him to be starting a relationship, but everything about being with Liam feels right. When it becomes apparent that Liam isn’t exactly the prince charming he seems to be, Alex has to deal with some hard truths about not just his new boyfriend, but his own history as well.
Liam is just trying to do his job, but everything keeps getting in the way. First he gets assigned to watch some stranger, then somehow, he finds himself dating the guy. Even if it doesn’t offend the boss, Liam knows the wrong thing to do when he does it. He finds himself wondering, though: is his job really the most important thing in his life, or can he walk away from it all for a brand new relationship?
Review: I enjoyed the heck out of this book. Have you ever gone through phases and then get burnt out? That is where I was. I had been reading all these serious, angsty, tension and suspense filled stories (most of which I absolutely liked), and frankly, I was at a point that the idea of jumping into another one was daunting. I really was in a place where a change of pace, something light and fun, was called for, and Straight from the Heart fit the bill. It turned out to be delightful and exactly what I needed. Alex and Liam totally had me along for their journey, and I absolutely adored several of the secondary characters and can’t wait to see what is in store for them.
The romance is super sweet, and Alex is just a darling. He truly is an interesting character, sheltered and naïve, but actually fairly mature in his reactions to the info bombs he received. He didn’t usually make an emotional, knee-jerk reaction; rather, he tended to ponder and analyze before making a full decision and then talking it over. I expected an explosion of angst more than once, but, surprisingly, it didn’t happen.
Liam didn’t fit the mold of his profession either, not at all the gruff, alpha-like personality I had been expecting. He joked and was in line with Alex’s sense of humor, appreciated his open honesty, and that the poor guy was in a crap situation and doing his best to be as honest as possible without giving away too much, which was not an easy feat. The two got along so well that the relationship drama wasn’t there. I found it nice to see a relationship that isn’t constant push/pull drama, drama, drama. Don’t get me wrong, I will still jump into a book that has those elements, but a change in dynamic isn’t a bad thing either.
Usually when the romantic element lacks tension, it’s made up for somewhere else, but that wasn’t the case here. There was this whole plot with mobsters, cops and protective bandmates, but even the majority of the ‘bad guys’ were more likable than I am used to. Since I needed a book that lacked all that angst, I was on board with this direction and appreciated the more lighthearted approach.
Look, we all have pet peeves when reading; the things that bug me don’t bug others, and vice versa, right? So, although I liked the story so much that this didn’t bother me, I would be remiss not to put this out there, especially as I know a couple people this would be a problem for: if you’re a stickler for the investigation procedures being believable and without inaccuracies, be aware there are some unbelievable parts in the process, and in how it all gets wrapped up. I have found this isn’t uncommon in crime category contemporary romances such as this one. Though I tend to pick out the inaccuracies because of my professional background, it is rarely something that will ruin a story for me. My pet peeves lie elsewhere, so not a problem for me, but it could be if it’s something that irritates you.
I don’t think this book will be for the hard-core crime drama lovers who are looking for an in-depth plot with a ton of suspense; you won’t find that here. However, if you are like me, looking for a sweet contemporary with endearing characters and an entertaining little plot, then I say give this one a try! I am ready for book two, because I had such fun with Straight from the Heart.
You can buy Straight from the Heart here: