Haunted Heart by Susan Laine ~ Review by Caroline


21479433Title: Haunted Heart

Author: Susan Laine

PublisherDreamspinner Press

My Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Duncan Kerr is the art director of Enamored Press, an erotic romance publisher based in Seattle. An open submissions call for new artists yields an imaginative book cover with rich details and bold colors that catches his interest. After a few more samples of work and some e-mails, Duncan is determined to hire the talented young artist on a permanent basis.

But Ruben Winterbottom isn’t an average freelance artist. His agoraphobia leaves him terrified to set foot outside his secluded house in the woods by the Olympic National Park. Living alone, fear is Ruben’s sole companion.

When the two men meet, Ruben has a panic attack and hides away. Although confused, Duncan sees past Ruben’s anxiety to his artistic gifts and beautiful soul. So he sets out to coax the young man out of his shy shell.

Falling in love with a broken boy, however, might be the first draft of heartbreak.

My View

This was a really difficult one for me to rate. I feel like I have read a beautiful story. I absolutely fell in love with Ruben. I didn’t connect with Duncan so much but his heart was definitely in the right place. It just felt a little rushed, perhaps a little contrived in places and we were left with a lot of loose ends.

Ruben lives his life in fear, sometimes paralysing, after a trauma suffered as a teenager. Five years on and his agoraphobia rules his life and he never leaves his house. The artwork he produces is stunning and probably one of the things that keeps him sane. After submitting a piece to an erotic romance publisher for use as a book cover he is left in panic. Yes, they want to use it but they also want to meet with him face to face. The sheer thought of having anyone in his home is enough to induce a panic attack but he invites the man for coffee anyway.

Duncan heads up the art department at Enamoured Press and is floored when he first sees Rubens work. When he heads to Rubens home for a chat about a contract he is left on the doorstep with only a glimpse of a pale, shaking and obviously panicked young man. The door is very firmly shut in Duncans face.

Following weeks of emails between the two men Ruben finally agrees to try and meet Duncan again. There is a lot of talking and touch in this book which is guided totally by Ruben and the parameters he sets. Duncan is totally taken by the young man and after learning about his past begins to feel protective and vows to help.

There is no quick fix for Ruben and the writer does a great job at making you feel his pain and panic in life. Ruben is a complete novice at so many things after dropping out of society for five years that it will leave you heartbroken but Duncan slowly helps him where he will allow.

I would have like to know a little more about his previous lifestyle and had more resolution at the end. I found myself wondering, in reality, whether Duncan would have been able to stay for the long haul with such confines placed on their relationship or whether Ruben would have made more progress than before now that he had love and support

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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