Beautiful Heart by Cooper McKenzie

Beautiful Heart by Cooper McKenzie
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Mystic’s All Night Café—where the city’s supernatural world meet for the best coffee, tea, and pastries.

Gerri Markham wakes and walks the streets in the wee hours of each morning as physical therapy after a car accident left her a widow. When a pair of street rats try to mug her, a tall, dark man comes to her rescue. Little does she realize he’s going to expand her horizons and completely change her life.

Livingston Daniels, Prince of the city’s vampire coven, has been looking for his mate for nearly two hundred years. He never expected the woman he would spend the rest of his unnatural life with to be the bland woman he saves from two homeless men.

Can Gerri change her life for the vampire Prince? Will Livingston give his mate the time she needs to accept him and his lifestyle? Will Mystic’s predictions come true?

For years now, Gerri had consistently woken up each morning around 2am with recurring nightmares about the car crash which had killed her husband and left her with a permanent limp. With a bit of work, she’d managed to find a route she could – with difficulty – walk safely in these early-morning midnight hours, which helped dispel the memories and thoughts that plagued her. Gerri had never been bothered on these early morning walks, but one evening when two drugged out hoodlums try to change that, Livingston Daniels steps in. Gerri didn’t need the assistance, but she’s happy to allow Livingston to walk with her to Mystic’s All-Night Café, a small but interesting diner Gerri hadn’t known existed. Will both Gerri and Livingston find more than they bargained for together?

This is the second story based around Mystic’s café and I found it really enjoyable. Gerri might be mentally and physically scarred but she’s far from weak or unable to protect herself. She has the sort of stubborn strength only those who have survived can achieve and I found this really interesting to read. I also enjoyed the fact that Livingston was more than he initially appeared to be, being the prince of the local vampire coven. I was pleased that Gerri was exposed to the paranormal element of this book’s world fairly early on – though I will admit I had to completely suspend my disbelief at how readily and easily she jumped on board with the whole “werewolves and vampires are real and hey I’m the Prince of all vampires” thing. While these stories are great to read, I find I really struggle with how readily and easily these kinds of reveals are taken. I think readers will need to disconnect their brains a fair bit and just relax into the story and enjoy it for the fun tale it is – and not expect anything too rational or logical.

That said, I really enjoyed pretty much every other aspect of this story. I thoroughly enjoyed that while Livingston and Gerri had a lot of chemistry and were attracted to each other almost immediately they had a little bit of time getting to know each other before jumping into bed together. I also liked that Gerri continued to ask questions to Livingston and she tried to learn more about the paranormal element to the world she’d never known existed before. I thought the slight plot twist in the middle of the book really helped add some conflict and tension to the story. Readers wanting a very heavily erotic story might find that these other plot elements take up a lot of the story, but personally I found the balance was really well handled and the author did a good job of adding a proper plot along with enough bedroom shenanigans to keep a range of readers satisfied.

I felt this book definitely stood well alone and I don’t feel readers need to read the previous story to thoroughly enjoy this one. Grab a large drink, sit back, relax and just roll with the story – I found this to be a fun and sensual paranormal romance with a few decent intertwining plots and some strong and interesting characters.

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