Wednesday, 21 August 2019

What The Heart Knows by Regina Puckett

What the Heart Knows by Regina Puckett
Published by Punk And Sissy in May 2014.

How I got this book:
Took advantage of a free offer on Amazon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After escaping a rape attempt, Emily hides away in her old family home until her sister’s best friend fakes a health crises to lure her into visiting him at his country estate. It doesn’t take long for Emily to tell Bill about her fears and the two of them finally admit to loving the other for years. It sounds like a happy ending - but nothing is ever that easy.

Bill and Emily travel from the small towns of Tennessee, to the beautiful beaches of North Carolina and then to the bright lights of New York City, as he tries to protect her from a merciless predator. Emily has it all until she slips up and makes a terrible mistake. Her unfortunate decision tears her and Bill apart. Now she’s left to face her attacker by herself, but more importantly, she has to face a life without Bill’s love. 

This review was first blogged on Stephanie Jane in April 2016.
What The Heart Knows is the third in a series of romance books about the Warren family. I haven't read either of the previous two but, other than a few moments when I wasn't sure who new minor characters were, this didn't have a negative impact on my understanding of the story. At the beginning, our protagonist Emily is being talked about behind her back as her sister tries to drum up help from a family friend, an artist called Bill. Everyone is very concerned because the normally outgoing Emily has rushed to her childhood home, holed herself up in her bedroom and is behaving very strangely. It turns out that she was recently attacked and is suffering both nightmares and trauma as well as shame and embarrassment. Fortunately Bill manages to get her to talk about what happened and her brother, conveniently a policeman, sets wheels in motion to arrest Emily's attacker.

In rediscovering her trust in Bill, Emily also re-ignites her buried love for him. At the same time, Bill begins to admit his love for her and their agonising over whether or not they really are destined to be together makes up most of the book. Most of their thoughts are reported in the third person and I found this getting quite dull as the loops were repeated. Also Puckett has most of her action happen off the page which slows the narrative pace right down. For example, at one point Emily and Bill are shopping for an elegant dress for a gallery event. Turn the page and something huge happened at that party, but we readers are completely in the dark until Emily gives a brief resume to her sister before starting to wonder, at length, if Bill really is the man for her after all - again! This 'missing out' occurs repeatedly at pivotal moments and I found it very annoying. The only real time suspense is when Emily's attacker predictably reappears, but here his dialogue is so over the top, it completely ruins any sense of danger.

I admit am not a fan of romance novels. However, as What The Heart Knows featured Emily's attack so prominently in its synopsis I had hoped this story would be more about a woman overcoming her ordeal and less of a will-they-won't-they tease. Emily and Bill both seem nice enough people, if overly indecisive and lousy communicators(!), but there really wasn't enough depth here to draw me into their lives.

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  1. Ah yes, the failure in communication is one of the crux of a romance conflict. So yeah, this is on par. Lol.

  2. I am actually someone who really loves to read a good romance book. But this is one I will definitely skip. The rubbish communication is what turned me off. It's too lazily used in romance fiction... too often...