Monday, June 30, 2014

"rival hearts" by tara randel

About the book: They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter's Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.

Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

My take: Rival Hearts features one of those stories that I could easily see being made into a romantic comedy: co-workers vying for the same promotion are pitted against each other in a competition and soon find themselves incredibly attracted to one another. I don't know that I've seen this exact plot, but I'm sure Hallmark or Hollywood has done something similar. (You've Got MailHow to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Hallmark's A Christmas Song aren't quite the same plot, but they do have some similarities.)

Even though the plot is familiar, it works. Well. From start to finish, Rival Hearts is enjoyable. Ben and Molly are both compelling characters with intriguing back stories. Their chemistry is palpable, and the romance is sweet. Also, I never figured out who would actually win the competition, so kudos to the author for keeping it secret yet realistic.

The dialog does come across a bit stilted at times, especially in the beginning. There's one section where the boss is laying out Ben's and Molly's accomplishments, and it seems to be solely for the reader, as Ben and Molly would both be well aware of everything the boss is saying. Also, the "villain" (not too villainous, but the only person who doesn't seem like a wonderful human being) was very clearly telegraphed, so when conflict between Ben and Molly arose, I had no difficulty figuring out who to blame.

Overall, though, Rival Hearts is a very enjoyable read and an excellent entry in the "Quilts of Love" line.

Content note: While this book contains no objectionable content regarding language or sex, I do need to note that the view of salvation in this book does not line up with my own—it's more "if you believe in God, then you're a Christian" than "saved by grace through faith." As this is romantic fiction and not a theology book, and the religious thread is very light, I don't think it's a major deal, but it is worth noting.

My rating: 4 stars

See what others are saying.
Buy the book.
Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.
Read my other Quilts of Love reviews: A Promise in Pieces, Aloha Rose, Tempest's Course, and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas.

About the author: 
Tara Randel is the author of five romance novels including Lasting Love, Melody of Love, and This Time Love. A member of ACFW, Tara is also the lead author of the new Annie's Mysteries series (see Tara lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Connect with Tara at her website and on Facebook.

About the giveaway: Don’t miss this month’s Quilts of Love book, Rival Hearts, by Tara Randel. A quilt becomes a labor of love for a lonely wife mysteriously separated from her young husband.

Celebrate June's release by entering to win a summer camping kit (grill, tent, and camp chairs) from Quilts of Love.

One winner will receive:
  • A Coleman grill, tent, and camp chairs
  • A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga
  • A Stitch and a Prayer by Eva Gibson
  • Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 13. Winner will be announced on the Quilts of Love blog.

Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

About the series: Quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The Quilts of Love series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family histories. A new book releases each month and features contemporary and historical romances as well as women's fiction and the occasional light mystery. You will be drawn into the endearing characters of this series and be touched by their stories.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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