Where My Heart Breaks by Ivy Sinclair
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: August 29, 2013
Format: eARC, 182 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
If there were a course in screwing up your life, Kate Spivey would get an A+.
Trust is in short supply for Kate at the start of the summer before her senior year of college. Her parents sentenced her to spend it under the watchful eye of her aunt at the famous Willoughby Inn. It was further proof that she was a prisoner in, and not the decision maker of, her life. Nothing she does is good enough to prove that she learned from the mistakes of her past.
Almost immediately, Kate finds that her new summer home holds another person who understands the unfairness of her situation better than most. Reed Black has had his own share of tragedy and regrets, but instead of trying to fight his reputation, he embraced it.
Sparks fly between Kate and Reed, but his mixed signals remind Kate that she needs to watch her step. He is one temptation she can't afford to indulge in, no matter how strong her attraction to him. If she isn't careful, she'll lose more than her heart.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In Review: My Thoughts
During her junior year of college, Kate made some bad decisions and lost her parents’ trust. She partied too hard, dated the wrong guys and neglected her school work. Once her parents learned she was under academic suspension, they forced her to move home. Call it punishment or just helping out family, Kate gets exiled to small town North Carolina to help her aunt at the famous Willoughby Inn. The Inn’s claim to fame was that an author, Walter Moolen, wrote a famous (and heartbreaking) novel titled Where My Heart Breaks set there. Kate had never read the novel before this summer, but it is featured prominently in this book and is, in some ways, responsible for her own romantic connection.
Kate isn’t in town long before she catches the attention of two of the guys in town: sweet, nice, all around good guy Sam and sexy, enigmatic playboy Reed. Kate *should* be looking for a guy like Sam instead of repeating past mistakes with “bad boys,” but she can’t help being drawn to Reed. He’s attracted to her, but makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t date. Rumors abound in town about him being a “love ’em and leave ’em” kind of guy because of the tragedy that occurred in his past (understandably so when his heartbreaking secret finally comes to light). Sam works with Kate at the Inn and she agrees to hang out with him platonically, but he wants more. Reed and Kate begin to spend a lot of time together, much to the chagrin of not only Sam, but Kate’s aunt Patrice, and they build a friendship that she desperately wants to be more. But with that desire comes the realization that Reed isn’t someone she can just have a fling with and that, even if he was open to the idea of a relationship, it would only end up hurting her in the end. Her aunt and parents have warned her against spending time with a “guy like Reed” and they’ve threatened to cut off her money for tuition if she doesn’t follow their rules.
One of the things that makes this book stand out from the rest of the NA pack for me is the “book within a book” aspect of the plot. I found it incredibly unique and refreshing. It made sense in the context of this story. Not only was Kate learning why her aunt’s inn was so popular, but the book taught her a few things about herself too… mainly that she needed to go after what she wanted because life’s too short. I thought having Reed be an “expert” about the original Where My Heart Breaks was a great tie-in. He and Kate really bonded and explored their own feelings and a relationship as a result of the time spent together visiting the places important to the plot of Moolen’s book.
This is the first of Sinclair’s books that I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from her in the future. The story flowed well and sucked me in immediately. I appreciated her writing style and her characters. From Kate to Reed and Aunt Patricia and to Kate’s best friend Millie, the characters were all complex and well-written. The dialogue was natural and believable, as was the romance in the book. If you’re looking for a sweet (and at times sexy) new adult novel that will leave you with a smile on your face, I can’t recommend this one highly enough.
“It’s nice to meet new people. People who don’t think they know who you are, so they actually take the time to get to know you for real. It’s refreshing, and around here it’s rare.”
“How do you learn to be friends with someone you were instantly attracted to, and then be romantic with someone that initially inspired platonic feelings?”
“Reed Black. He was an enigma. Maybe if I understood him better and what made him tick, I could get this strong need to be with him out of my system. I could get on with my life and find a nice guy, a guy like Sam, to settle down with and live out the rest of my years. That thought was so depressing that it made me want to weep.”
“I see a woman who deserves every happiness. I see a woman who is strong and confident and smart. That woman may have lost her way for a little while, but that doesn’t mean that she’s any less of the person that I think she has always been. It’s just part of growing up.”