Thursday, September 10, 2015

~*★Review★*~ Paper Hearts (Hearts #2) by Claire Contreras

Title: Paper Hearts
Author: Claire Contreras
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humor
Series or Standalone: Standalone Series (Hearts #2)
Reviewer: Melyssa

If you’ve read my review for the novella that came before this story (Torn Hearts), you’re aware that I was emotionally invested in this couple. The events of that book both melting my heart and breaking it at the same time. Which for anyone who reads romance knows is a pretty damn good combination. When you feel reading a romance, it’s doing its job, no matter what way it makes you feel.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited to delve into this and because the author happens to be pretty awesome, I was granted access to this book before release in ARC form. (Thank you Claire and all others involved).

Now, for a lot of people that have read Torn Hearts, if you even wanted to pick this one up after the way the last one ended, you’re probably going into it having a serious issue with one of the main characters. But if you’re like me, you’re going into it hoping to God that what did happen at the end of the book gets fixed. That by some stroke of magic, luck or the like, Jensen is able to turn around the events of the past and make the future better and brighter. For him and for Mia.

I stand in a minority in terms of how I felt about Jensen heading into this. I didn’t hate him. I felt that he screwed up sure, but I couldn’t hate him. That boy, even in the short bit I got to read about him got under my skin. And when I did finally interact with him in Paper Hearts, he went from being under my skin to owning me.

Now look, I’m not one of those people that needs their heroes to be perfect. I really don’t. In fact, as a writer and reader I prefer they be flawed. It helps me connect more. Believe in them more. Jensen is the perfect example of what I like. We know he isn’t perfect, but in this book, I’m gonna go on record and say he was as close to it as it gets. It was incredibly hard to hate this guy. Not when from the moment he comes across Mia again, he is relentless in his pursuit of her.

He is relentless in his pursuit to do whatever it takes to rectify the damage of the past. To set things right again at all costs and it was a beautiful thing it witness. Good lord. I can’t say enough good things about this character in this book. From the emotional aspect, to the humorous aspect straight into the serious parental side, he was 50 shades of perfectly imperfect.

I think the reason he worked so well for me throughout was because while others in the past (other books and other characters I mean), make excuses for their behavior, or try and explain the sad shit they do and not really take responsibility for it, he doesn’t. Jensen owned it. He hated what he did to Mia. He hated what he did to what they had (even though they were split at the time) and he never once denied that he’d screwed up. But at the same token, didn’t regret it entirely either because it gave him the joy that is his daughter. And love it or hate it, that was one of the best things he ever did in his life. Their relationship was just as beautiful as Mia and his.

He was the type of father that a kid deserves, even if it didn’t start out the perfect way in the beginning.

Now that I’ve rambled on about Jensen (I knew I would lol) I tackle Mia.

Now before I launch into my thoughts on her and what took place between them here, I will say that in the novella, I felt for her. My heart in the moment he dropped the bomb, was right there with her even though I might not have dealt with it quite the same way she did. I would go on record and say that my heart bled for her. Now fast forward five years and these two coming together again and that’s where things start to become tricky for me.

At times I felt that I was seeing two different Mia’s. The one from the novella and then the one that she became after what she viewed as Jensen’s betrayal. There were times I was there with her, feeling much the way she did and even when I didn’t feel the same, I understood the reasoning, but then there were times where I wanted to take the kindle I was reading the book on and smack her with her. Mainly this occurred every damn time she ran away.

Look, I get it. Her running in the very beginning made perfect sense to me. She was still raw from the past and what took place and she wasn’t sure she could trust him, but when she’s running and running even after she gives in and is with him again, well it starts to tire a person out. You’re not understandable, you’re borderline annoying. Call what you were doing with him “closure” all you want, “having fun” all you want, but you knew even before you said yes that you were gonna end up all in here. So running when things don’t quite go according to plan, or he does something that doesn’t quite make sense, well honey, it makes me wanna smack you.

I sound like such a cow, I know. LOL. But I had a hard time connecting to Mia in this one. Not the way I did in the previous book that came before. I’m not sure why that is, but such is life. You can’t love everyone all the time. It just so happened I was Team Jensen here lol.

Now that being said, I did connect to their love story. I connected to them as a couple. I could see what they saw in each other and could get behind it. I could believe in them moving forward, well, if he planted her feet to the floor lol. I enjoyed the times when they were together and were able to let their hearts guide them. There were some incredibly emotional and riveting moments between them. Memorable lines too. The two of them together moved me.

Case and point, this gem.

"Real love stories never end."

And another Jensen winner.

They say it takes twenty-one days to break a habit. It's been approximately one thousand eight hundred and twenty six since I last held her hand in mine and I'm still waiting for the remains of her to break off of me.

Man that boy was all in. We all need someone that all-in, in our lives, I’m telling you. Mistakes, missteps and other stuff aside, he just worked. It’s been days and I’m still waiting for the remains of him to break off me for crying out loud.

Pacing was good here. It moved at a steady beat and I didn’t feel that at any point it dragged or moved too quickly I couldn’t keep up. Considering that these two books were my first foray into this author (even though I own another one her books I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet), I went in a little worried, but came out incredibly happy in that regard.

This was a fantastic read. It was one ripe with drama, angst and all of the emotionally draining but wonderful elements that make up some pretty powerful storytelling. The only area that it got gray for me was like I said above, Mia. But it wasn’t enough to drag me away completely. I was too damn invested in them and their ending.

Which, for the record, I’m happy with. *claps*

I recommend this for anyone who has read this author before and loves her style of writing, for anyone who is a fan of second chance romances, and anyone who is looking for one hell of an emotionally driven story. I think you’ll really enjoy it, but for the record, Jensen’s mine. ;)

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