Reluctant Hearts by Linda Griffin

Reluctant Hearts by Linda Griffin
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Four couples, four stories: Darien Francis and Richard Li meet during a bank robbery, but she’s afraid to love again. Shane Kenniston and Beth Parker are reacquainted years after she had a crush on him, but she is a recent widow, and Shane’s life was upended by a false accusation. David Early and Kate Howard meet in the laundromat, but her life is consumed by the needs of her disabled child, and David isn’t ready for the responsibility. Realtor Frank Ellison meets Kayla Barnes at an open house, but a mistaken first impression derails any chance of romance. Can they all overcome the obstacles to love?

Love is full of surprises.

I enjoyed the slow burn romance in “No Regrets.” Darien and Richard were both so busy recovering from their experiences at the bank robbery that it made total sense for them to focus on their friendship while they healed. The more I learned about these characters, the stronger my desire became for them to live happily ever after together. Their personalities complemented each other so nicely, and I loved the way they kept checking in with each other as their relationship progressed. They were both kind and respectful people who would make a wonderful spouse.

To be perfectly honest, I was a little hesitant to read “Probation” because it featured a character who had been falsely accused of rape. The author handled this topic sensitively and fairly, though, and I soon relaxed. It was interesting to see how the community handled this accusation and what Beth’s reaction was when she realized that Shane was deeply ashamed of those rumours and hadn’t actually done anything wrong. I was also intrigued by their blossoming romance and how that might affect both of their reputations as well. If only more time had been spent developing the ending. It felt so abrupt to me after all of the time that had been spent building up to it.

The chemistry between David and Kate in “The Shape of Life” was sweet and convincing. I started rooting for them to end up together soon after I met them. They lived very different lives at first glance, but their shared values made me think they’d be a fabulous match. With that being said, I did pause when I saw how quickly Kate was willing to introduce her daughter to David. She was a cautious mother in other areas of life, so I was surprised by how quickly she trusted someone she’d recently met with her child. If only her reasons for this had been explained in greater detail.

Everyone will start off on the wrong foot with someone eventually. It’s an embarrassing but unavoidable part of life, so I was curious to see how Kayla and Frank handled it when it happened to them. I liked how earnest they both were and how much they worked on their friendship before anything romantic was stirred up between them. That was exactly what they both needed after the misunderstanding of their first meeting.

Reluctant Hearts was romantic and fun.


  1. Thank you for the thoughtful review!

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