I’m not usually one for contemporary romance, but this short, sexy read actually hit the spot for me. Not only was there great sexual tension and hot love scenes, it also featured a hero who’s tattooed and tough on the outside, but with a gentle vulnerability underneath. Win. And win again.
The entire story takes place in less than 24 hours, which immediately avoids one of the pitfalls of so many novellas. It doesn’t try to cram too much story and character progression into a scant number of pages. It all starts when Makenna, a harried forensic accountant steps into an elevator with paramedic Caden Grayson. Neither of them sees the other’s face before the power goes out, stranding them in the elevator between floors in the dark. That would be unnerving enough for anyone, but it’s torture for Caden, who suffers from claustrophobia brought on by a trauma in his past.
Makenna is almost instantly aware of his discomfort and immediately works to sooth his frazzled nerves. They talk at length, getting to know each other in the hours that pass. A connection grows between them. At first it’s just friendly, then it blossoms into attraction. That where that sexual tension comes in. Each of them wants to touch the other, but both struggle with nerves and self doubt. Obviously, they make the leap and the darkness only serves to ratchet up the heat factor between them. They do eventually make it out, but seeing each other brings all their insecurities right back to the surface, leading them to start their dance all over again.
I really liked both characters. Caden has just the right ratio of vulnerable and tough going on. I think I liked Makenna the most for how she treated him, how she soothed him, and saw the man underneath his armor. The two were a great fit and I enjoyed their alternating POVs. I also really liked the ending. A solid HFN is all I need for a story like this and I am so grateful there were no ridiculous proclamations of love after a day. Just right.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Hearts in Darkness
by Laura Kaye
Release Date: May 19, 2013