Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Series: Hearts in Darkness Duet #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 20, 2011
Format: eBook, 102 pages
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Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. 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.
One pitch-black elevator…
To fight fear, they must 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?
Novellas are tricky to pull off well, especially when it’s a standalone story and not part of a series. You wouldn’t know that while reading Hearts in Darkness. It’s definitely one of the best standalone novellas I’ve ever read. I would LOVE more of this story and, rumor has it, that’s coming later this year. I can’t wait.
Character development is so difficult in such a short story – and so important to my enjoyment of a story. Laura did an amazing job of highlighting the depth and complexity of her characters in just a little over 100 pages. I felt like I knew and understood them better after half the book than I do some characters in full-length novels. Makenna and Caden were both wonderful characters.
I’m not sure exactly how to identify the trope, but I’m a big fan of books that put two characters together for a limited time in a place they can’t escape. Trapped in an elevator, locked in a room or even on a road trip. I love watching how relationships develop in such a short period of time under such circumstances. Hearts in Darkness does this brilliantly.
I loved the dynamic between Makenna and Caden. They might have only gotten a mere glimpse of each other before the elevator stopped and the lights went out, but they flourished in the dark. It was like they’d been put in that place at the same time because they each needed someone. They talked about their lives and spilled truths and I was completely enraptured the entire time. I’m pretty sure if you looked up “unputdownable books” in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of this book. Because, seriously, it’s one of the most addicting stories I’ve read in a long time.
Hearts in Darkness was the best of the best when it comes to novellas. I was tripping over my feels while reading it. I loved how well these characters got to know each other in just a short period of time. Hell, I loved how well *I* got to know these characters in a such a short period of time. It had swoony moments and smoking hot sexy time. Love in an elevator, indeed! But, more than that, it had two characters I know I won’t be forgetting about any time soon. I can’t wait for the continuation of their story. Hearts in Darkness can totally stand on its own, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited at the prospect of a companion novel.