What the Heart Thinks by Vivien Dean ~ Review by Leisa

A sweet, lovely romance that you shouldn’t miss …

WhatHeartThinksTitle: What the Heart Thinks

Author: Vivien Dean

PublisherAmber Allure

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

On a scale of one to ten, DJ Joe Salinas considers himself a four, five on a good day. Actor/part-time stripper Fess Kedley is definitely a nine, however, though Joe’s pretty sure that slides into a ten as soon as the clothes come off. So when the outgoing Fess recognizes a shy Joe at a bachelorette party from his midnight radio show and proceeds to ask him out, Joe turns him down, convinced he’s either crazy or stupid.

The only problem is, Fess takes rejection as reason to keep on trying.

The two become unexpected friends, so when the thought of trying a date comes up again, Joe decides to take a chance. Though he doesn’t understand what someone like Fess would see in someone like him, it’s hard to say “no” when everything else feels so right.

My View

What the Heart Thinks is a sweet, lovely romance (Amber Allure classifies it as a Romantic Comedy – While there are a few funny interactions, I would instead classify this story as a true romance). Joe is an almost shy, socially reserved man who hasn’t really dated in years, and his less than stellar dating experience has decimated his self confidence. He spends his days in solitude finishing his doctorate, and works nights as a DJ of a gay radio show where his smooth voice has lured regular listener Fess into many hot fantasies. Fess is an actor who also works parties as a male stripper, and he is immediately taken with Joe when they meet.

Joe’s uncertainty and self deprecating attitude is both realistic and sad. His poor experience with relationships has left his self confidence in ruins, and he’s convinced himself that he’s physically below average at best. He doesn’t understand why beautiful and fun Fess would be attracted to him, and he doubts the sincerity of Fess’s interest. Although Joe is plagued by a low self esteem, he isn’t a pitiable man. Instead, he’s overly cautious for fear of being hurt. Fess is a sincere, kind, and sexy man. He oozes self confidence, and he knows almost immediately that he wants something special with Joe.

I really like how Fess and Joe’s relationship is portrayed. Joe’s hesitation to jump into a relationship with charismatic Fess is understandable. He’s truly been hurt and his self doubt is crippling. Fess’s pursuit of Joe is careful, and he first becomes Joe’s friend after realizing that coming on strong will spook cautious Joe. Their relationship evolves in a natural manner, and their sexual liaisons are very well written – They’re passionate, intimate, loving, and sexy. I just adored that Fess has his own doubts about his sexual performance, and that Joe was way, way sexier than I expected.

What the Heart Thinks is an excellent extended novella that I recommend to anyone who is a romantic at heart!  You won’t be sorry if you spend a few hours with these delightful men as they fall in love.

Buy Links:

Amber Allure

I would like to thank Amber Allure 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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3 thoughts on “What the Heart Thinks by Vivien Dean ~ Review by Leisa

  1. Haven’t read either one of these authors, which is one of the reasons I follow your reviews.
    This one sounds right up my alley, can’t wait for BN or Amazon to pick it up

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