Heather Cole had an urgent reason for seeking Robert McCrae. But the renowned heart specialist kept distracting her from her purpose with his marvelous bedside manner. In no time they were dating steadily. Every time Heather saw Rob, she felt more vibrantly alive. His devilish smile, his every touch filled her with a wanton hunger. And soon, his kiss was all the medicine Heather needed.
This blurb came from Goodreads.
Straight From the Heart was originally published in 1986 by Harlequin Enterprises in Canada and published in the United states in 1993 as part of their Men Made in America. It was number 98 in the Harlequin Temptation line. St Martin’s Press is releasing several of Ms Delinsky’s classics in e-book form for the first time. I have enjoyed several of her more recent novels so when I found out about upcoming backlist digital releases I eagerly volunteered to take a look. This is the first of two that I am reviewing. The second, Scent of Jasmine, originally titled, Jasmine Sorcery, will go up later this week.
It took me a little bit to adjust to the character styles but once I did I found Straight From the Heart a sweet entertaining read. Heather was extremely innocent and yet independent at the same time. I liked how Ms Delinsky explained that innocence given the time period of the setting. She had dreams/hopes and with the proper incentive would push herself to participate in less sedentary activities. She was also clearly able to take care of herself and not looking for a knight in shining armor to rescue her. Heather’s contradictions made her a much more interesting character then one who was just innocent.
Rob certainly fit the category hero; older, top of a highly respected demanding field, emotionally hurt in the past, controlling but thankfully never went into the brutish hero that some of the category books written in this era contained. I did have a moment or two when I was worried that he would go too far but he was able to step back from the brink and realize what his actions did to their relationship. One thing that kept bothering me was how he failed to realize that Heather had a health issue. Her symptoms were readily evident during their interactions together. While his mental explanation did make sense as he tried to figure out how he missed it himself I still feel that someone at the top of their profession has to make a conscious effort not to view things in that particular light.
I enjoyed seeing Heather and Rob interact together and thought that Rob’s supporting cast added some comic relief. Heather really didn’t develop a supporting cast until much later in the book, part of the effects of her isolated lifestyle. Once she did they were also fun. Watching the two of them grow together was certainly touching and laugh inducing at times. I didn’t quite buy the eager acceptance of Rob’s children for either their father or Heather given their lack of a relationship with him so far.
I think my favorite part of the book dealt with how Heather and Rob both changed after a particular event, (the event is a major spoiler for some of the central conflict so I will not say what it was) and had to find themselves again. They had to re-learn who they were as individuals and within their relationship. I really think that is one of Ms Delinsky’s trademarks is that she addresses what happens after… I don’t mean just as an epilogue although she does use those but the fact that even with a major conflict/crisis solved there are still ripple effects that have to be dealt with. I like that feeling of completeness I get from the continuation of the story.
I give Straight From the Heart a B-
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