Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

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Two of Hearts
    by: Christina Lee

Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

I am a huge Christina Lee fan, so when I saw she was writing Dakota's story I was super excited. We briefly met her in Whisper to Me, as she is Kai's sister. I had no idea this book would be more of a romantic suspense, and I have to say- I adored that! The romance is weaved into the suspense-filled plot so effortlessly and I found myself completely engaged from start to finish.
This book is really plot heavy on the building tension with the Casino Association. After Dakota's father dies, the casino is left to her and her Dutch mother, which makes some question their devotion to preserving Native American culture. This is a huge slap in the face to these two women, as they have devoted so much of their time and life for the well-being of the casino and ensuring that their heritage is preserved. Even though Dakota's mother doesn't have any Native American blood coursing through her veins, she loves the community and respects their traditions- and has for a long time. With Dakota's father being murdered, U.S. Marshal Shane Garrity, Dakota's former flame, comes back into town for the funeral, but finds himself feeling like there's an imminent danger that goes beyond just Mr. Nakos's murder.
Shane still has strong feelings for Dakota, and she him, but both never could seem to communicate their feelings well enough in the past. Now, Shane refuses to let Dakota shut him out. He is there to help and I love his protectiveness over her and her family. Dakota and Shane have some serious simmering sexual tension and I love how it plays out. There is relatively low angst with these two, which worked really well, considering there was so many other suspenseful factors. Shane takes Dakota's safety very seriously, as he should. There are some very disgruntled people over the fact that Dakota and her mom are not full blooded Native American and some of the other casino board members are pressuring them to sell, along with Dakota's Uncle Elan.
I honestly didn't guess who was beyond the threats until pretty late in the book. I was always wary, but it didn't really click for me until a bit before it was revealed.
Fans of Kai and Rachel from Whisper to Me will be happy to see them make a few appearances in this book. I loved checking in with them and seeing how they were doing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I thought Lee did a brilliant job of creating a suspenseful plot, while still creating a palpable relationship between Dakota and Shane. Their journey isn't an easy one, as they are both afraid they will end up in the same position they were five years ago. Thankfully, they both have grown up since then and have a better idea of what they want... and what they're willing to fight for.

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  1. I love that this kept you guessing. I have been discovering a lot of good new adult and I love romantic suspense. Thank you for reviewing it.

  2. Yay... I really enjoyed this one too! Shane was yummy and I really came to love Dakota and how driven she is. And yes, the suspense angle was great! Great review!

  3. Ooh! I like that this more romantic suspense. I have to read a Christina Lee book. I've heard nothing but amazing things about her writing, Jess.
    I love the sound of the romance and the sexual tension in this one. And I think I'm going to fall hard for Shane!
    Lovely review, Jess! :)

  4. I actually didn't even make the connection that this was Kai's sister! I have this one for review - I need to pick it up very soon!!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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