Hearts in Darkness

Hearts in DarknessBy Laura Kaye

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: April 20, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Goodreads Summary

I couldn’t improve on the Goodreads blurb if I tried – the book is only 110 pages long and that perfectly describes what happens so I’m leaving it at that and getting to the nitty gritty.

Reading this was like opening a box expecting cornflakes and getting Crunch Berries instead (I love Crunch Berries!). I’ve been in a little bit of a funk and wanted to try something other than paranormals and fantasy. Honestly, I was not impressed with the cover for this though. It almost looks like a paranormal or something but every place I buy things or review that gives me recommendations kept putting this on my lists so I just went ahead and bought it. I’m so glad I did – this is a keeper.

Makenna’s having a rotten day on top of a rotten day. We’ve all been there. You spill your coffee on your shirt, you’re late for work, your boss yells at you for something that isn’t your fault, you break something. Take anything that could go wrong in a week and stick it in one day and that’s where she is when she gets stuck in the elevator with Caden. I thought she was the most “real” character and I loved the way she reacted to the situations. She handled nearly everything exactly the way I could imagine myself doing (well, there are some things mid-book that I would not be doing with a stranger). She was funny, compassionate, had a normal job, normal life – apart from being in an elevator with a screamingly sexy guy, she was written perfectly realistically.

Caden was really the star of the book. He’d had a hugely traumatic event in his childhood that caused his claustrophobia and fear of being confined in the dark but he was trying not to lose it in front of Makenna – not really succeeding, but trying. He gets her to start talking to him to distract him and then they just talk and talk. Caden is utterly charming – he’s sweet and hilarious, doesn’t take himself all that seriously sometimes and is attracted to Makenna but sort of shy about it. When they finally get around to having that first kiss – after all the talking they did before it, it feels like they were on a dozen dates first and it’s really powerful and sexy.

The story only takes place over the span of a bit less than two days, most of it in the elevator in the dark. I thought it was so clever – it didn’t feel unnatural for the characters to learn each other’s life stories at all. They had to talk about something while they were trapped so they traded little anecdotes, just pieces of each other’s pasts and enough that there was a feeling that they got to know each other. Keeping them in the dark also let Caden and Makenna be attracted to each other without making assumptions based on what they looked like. Obviously Caden’s appearance had something to do with his past – he had tattoos that all had meanings related to his life experiences as well as some piercings. Makenna was pretty straight-arrow, even a little insecure.

I think the ending was really perfect for these two and the experience they had in the elevator – and it was exactly as sexy as I knew it would be based on that kiss.

My Summary: I loved finding this and being so pleasantly surprised. This is a sexy and fun little story that is definitely staying on my Kindle and will be reread and I’m going to be checking out more books by this author. Even though I do shamefully occasionally buy books based partially on their great covers, in this case I’m happy I bought one in spite of a mediocre one.

My Rating: A

Barbara

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