Review: Hidden Hearts

cover-hidden heartsTitle: Hidden Hearts
Author: Olivia Dade
Series: Lovestruck Librarians #6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Available: 20th June



Mary Higgs could be the poster girl for the buttoned-up librarian. She follows the rules. Stays ʼtil closing. Her kindness and dedication to her patrons are legendary. But those patrons have no idea what she’s typing to the mysterious shut-in who emailed the library three months ago . . .

A year ago, Miles O’Connor was a gleaming, ab-sational star of the small screen. Then came the accident. Now he’s a wounded recluse with a pizza habit and fears so unshakable that only the thought of losing Mary to an online date could lure him out of his cabin.

Soon their email rapport has turned into weekends on the couch, watching tearjerkers and driving each other insane with red-hot makeout sessions. But as their desire grows and their horizons expand, the life that brought them together might not be enough for either of them . . .

Source: ARC provided by Lyrical Shine (Kensington) via NetGalley

I have a lot of love for this series about librarians finding love in some pretty unexpected ways. Each has been so very different with characters tackling a variety of issues and situations, with plenty of humour, heat and smut, and I’m sad that this is the last one. Having said that, quiet Mary more than delivers in her own tale of tackling loss, self-esteem issues and fledgling confidence, with plenty of appearances from the other librarians to keep the smutty humour high.

I really liked Mary. Throughout the series she’s been the easily shocked conscience of some of the more reckless heroines. She might have seemed a little tame and possibly boring compared to the others, but she’s lovely, kind, helpful and genuinely cares about the people in her life. It’s easy to see why Miles feels so drawn to her purely over email and is willing to push his new limits in order to meet her. Having said that, there were times when her understanding nature seemed to fail both her and Miles and I was a little surprised that she failed to grasp that he was grieving and depressed and probably could have done with some professional help. But her support and kindness work wonders, so there is that.

I really liked Miles too, even if he does keep a lot to himself throughout the whole book. With everything he was dealing with, all that he’d lost and the fact that it hadn’t been all that long since his world fell apart, I really felt for the guy. I also loved seeing him slowly piece himself back together and accept the new challenges he had to face. He’s angry and bitter at times, but it just made him all the more real. He’s not perfect and I still think he should have had some outside help beyond Mary, but I still liked him a lot.

I loved how their relationship gradually progressed from emails to melodramatic movies to more. Both characters have their reasons for hesitating at various moments, but they also support each other through the worst of their fears and insecurities in wonderful ways. They’re great together, especially when Miles began to relax and enjoy himself with her friends.

Of course it’s not all as simple as that and even as Miles progresses it seems like Mary’s own struggles increase. They each have their demons to face, but it stopped the book from feeling lopsided, helped to create conflict and also produced some moving moments. I just wish we’d been given a bit of an epilogue to soften that abrupt ending.

Overall, this was a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable series. It retains the fun and humour of the previous books, while also tackling a couple of difficult issues with particular care when it comes to Miles. I loved the characters, I liked the story and I’m so sad to say farewell to them all – even Pretend Pirate Clarence (and his wedding)! I can’t wait to see what Olivia Dade comes up with next.

Hidden Hearts is out June 20th.
Visit Olivia Dade for more details.


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