Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book review: Heart Signs, by Cari Quinn

Title: Heart Signs
Author: Cari Quinn
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: February 2012
Genre: Romance
Source: From author for review

Description: Rory Fowler has taken Sam Miller's billboard orders for the last two years, but they aren't to advertise, they're love notes to his wife. Sam's most recent billboard about his wife's passing hits Rory hard. When she calls Sam to offer condolences, it sets off an unexpected chain of events that ends with Rory in Sam's apartment —and his arms.

Reading Sam's love letters tugs Rory into the romance between him and his estranged, now-deceased, wife. Their lives soon intertwine so completely that Rory wonders how she'll ever forget the man who makes poetry out of emotions she's fought to dismiss. And plays her body even more skillfully than he writes love notes.

Consumed by guilt and grief, Sam is shocked by the feelings Rory arouses in him, sexually and otherwise. Now he's not thinking about yesterday as much as he's looking forward to tomorrow. He's just not sure if he's capable of moving on... or if the woman who helped him find the will to really live again will be by his side.

My thoughts: I've read, I think 4 Cari Quinn stories now, including this one, and have really enjoyed them all. This story starts with Rory driving past the most recent billboard sign that Sam's commissioned, and unlike previous times, she wasn't the one who took the booking, so hasn't seen it until now. The fact that it's a memorial for Sam's wife, Dani, really affects Rory, even though she's never met either of them.

The two arrange to meet, but on the way, Rory ends up bumping his car, and they head back to his house to sort out the bump before either of them admits to who they are. Sparks fly almost immediately, and although they get a little carried away, it's not going to work between them right then. Sam hasn't been with a woman for a long time, not since he and his deceased wife separated, and it's going to take a lot to help him work through his feelings for her.

I love the way the relationship between these two develops. Although they feel very attracted to each other, things go slowly. They spend a lot of time just talking to each other, often over the phone, getting to know each other very well. I really liked the fact that it wasn't an 'instant love' thing. Gradually as they share more about themselves they become closer and closer.

I kind of felt like the ending was a bit abrupt, in that I looked up from reading to realise there were about 20 pages left, when I felt like there should be more, but actually it was a fulfilling ending, and I like the direction the two characters are heading. The love letters from Sam to Dani are very touching, and I found myself in tears a few times while reading.

This is a sweet, believable romance from Cari Quinn, who I'm adding to my list of 'favourite contemporary romance writers'. As with her previous stories, it shows a couple in a believable romance with some lovely steamy scenes. I give this one 7 stars.


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