Review: Speak from the Heart by L.B. Dunbar (Heart #1)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Wildfire Marketing Solutions.

All of my reads from L.B. Dunbar have comprised of her over-forty romances, i.e. stories which have one or both of the main characters aged forty and above. When I found out that she was relaunching a series of hers, my curiosity was piqued. Since I never had the opportunity to read those books before, I can't tell you if they, or at present, the first book, has been added to or edited. I know the books themselves have gone through some re-branding, what with new covers and titles, including that of the series itself, going from the Sensations collection to the Heart collection. All of that being said, Speak from the Heart, formerly titled Sound Advice, spoke to my heart.

This series starter tells the tale of a single father whose young daughter has been experiencing a form of mutism for the past couple of years and the career-driven woman who returns to the small town her beloved grandmother lives in and becomes the unlikely beacon of hope for father and daughter. Thirty-four-year-old Emily Post (no, not the famous author and etiquette expert) is in Elk Lake City to check on her grandmother, Elizabeth Parrish, who lives alone. Not part of the welcoming committee is Jess Carter. The thirty-six-year-old former engineer turned handyman doesn't appreciate five-year-old Katie becoming attached to this stranger--gorgeous as she may be--from Chicago. Getting close to her is out of the question. After all, Emily isn't staying, and Jess will not allow her to break Katie's--or his--heart.

Oh, how I adored this story! From the tension between the main characters to connection between Katie and her dad, Jess, and Katie and her "fairy" (god)mother, Emily, and then all of the family ties that ran among most of the cast of characters, I was there for all of it and I have no regrets spending three hours devouring this book. This is the sort of romance that I crave--the kind that has angst but with lighthearted moments to balance things out and main characters who are complicated but honest and earnest and don't play silly games with each other when the chips are down. Yes, there were times were I found myself frustrated with both Jess and Emily, but that's what happens when you're THIS emotionally invested! And Katie... Gah! This child was so darn precious, and the truest part of Emily could be seen when she was with Katie. L.B. Dunbar certainly didn't disappoint with this series starter and she's set the bar astronomically high for all the books to follow. 4.5 stars for Speak from the Heart. ♥

Re-release Date: 06 August 2020

Date Read: 06 August 2020

Learn more about L.B. Dunbar.

Purchase Speak from the Heart on Amazon.

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