Based on the title and cover of this book I probably would have passed; it just screams cheesy to me. But – I’d read some good reviews for Markinson’s other books and I was looking for something light to distract me from another book I was struggling to complete. I figured, it’s a Kindle Unlimited and I’m probably not using that subscription enough, so I’ll give it a try. Imagine my surprise – I really enjoyed this book.
Reservations of the Heart is a fun, well-paced romance between a divorced 40 something doctor and a 29 year old woman who is filling in as temporary scheduler at the medical school. From the start, both are pretty much set in their belief that they don’t need a relationship to be fulfilled. With a strong attraction and chemistry that expands outside the bedroom, the reader clues in pretty fast that both characters are in denial and its a race to figure out who’s going to admit their feelings first. There’s a lot I really liked in this one (characters, plot, limited angst, realistic obstacles and concerns, smart banter and great chemistry) and they all added up to a fun read. I particularly enjoyed the characters in this book – both the main characters as well as the surprising number of supporting characters – they are well developed, even if they are in a supporting role, and feel real and three dimensional. I’m a sucker for smart and witty banter, and Markinson’s characters are fun and sassy with some really amusing and intelligent dialogue.
Dr. Stella Gilbert’s got just enough social awkwardness that she’s rather adorkable. Smart, successful, but endearingly out of her element with Aurora at times. On the other side of the coin, Aurora Shirley is more gregarious and outgoing – definitely one to make the first move and keep Stella on her toes. In spite of the snappy dialogue and teasing, both characters have a underlying vulnerability and fear of being hurt which keeps them both from taking the chance at admitting that their relationship is a relationship.
The romance works really well – there’s an attraction as they meet, but they interact and build on that in a natural progression, with the back and forth banter and flirting really making the chemistry stand out. Although their relationship begins with a mutual agreement that neither wants a relationship, it builds as they spend more time together and obvious to the reader that both are much more invested than they are willing to admit to the other. Of course this sets up a bit of a communication breakdown as they each think the other isn’t interested in more, but are afraid to come out and admit that they do want more. There is a bit of an age gap, which Stella seems more concerned about, but the characters mesh so well it presents very little angst.
I really enjoyed this one – a smart, funny and sweet romance.