Review: Look with Your Heart by L.B. Dunbar (Heart #3)
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Wildfire Marketing Solutions.
"You know, I didn't know you as a model. I had no idea who Isabella Vee was. I only know who I thought you were as Ella Vincentia. That's the woman I love. Because I love you, Ella. I look at you with my heart, not my eyes." He pats his chest, arm crossing his body as his voice turns sorrowful and deep.
"Maybe someday, you'll see yourself the same way I see you."
Oh, my. I do think I've just found my favorite L.B. Dunbar book! Look with Your Heart is the third novel in Dunbar's re-launched Heart collection, which was formerly titled the Senses, and it's got hate-to-love feels and then some. Originally published as Taste Test back in August of 2014, this new edition has been made over. Now, I never got to read any of the previous incarnations of the books in this series, but based on everything I've read so far, i.e. the first three books, I'm loving the small-town ambience and stories about family, community, and of course, romance. Each book is a standalone, but hey, if you're like me and you prefer reading books in a series in order, every single one is worthwhile.
Look with Your Heart is the story of thirty-three-year-old Ethan Scott, a trained chef with dreams of opening his own restaurant, although right now, he'd be happy finding and keeping a new job. When a close friend recommends him as a live-in, private chef for a bestselling author, Ethan has no idea that his job entailed more than just cooking meals. His new employer, Jacob Vincentia, wants him to keep an eye on his step-sister, Ella, who turns out to be Isabella Vee, a now-retired model known for her gorgeous looks and striking mane of autumn-colored hair. The soon-to-be thirty-year-old bears a noticeable scar on her face, and that plus the scars that cannot be seen are the ones that have led her to go into hiding in her step-brother's home and lash out at Ethan. Can two lost people find some common ground to live amicably together, and maybe even fall in love?
This book was a story about a couple of flawed individuals who must learn to accept their flaws and those of other people if they have any hope of moving forward with their lives. Were the moments of frustration when I knew that Ethan and Ella were treating each other less than favorably? Definitely, but as their respective back stories unfolded, I had a better understanding of why they had a tendency to act a certain way. It doesn't excuse the bad behavior, but then I don't expect the characters in the books I read to be perfect angels who've never done anything wrong. What was important to me here was to see development in both the story and the characters, and that was what L.B. Dunbar gave me in beautifully flawed fashion, and so I'm giving Look with Your Heart five-plus stars.
Read my reviews for the Heart series:
Speak from the Heart (book one) - 4.5 stars - My Review
Read with Your Heart (book two) - five stars - My Review
Look with Your Heart (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 01 October 2020
Date Read: 30 September 2020
Learn more about L.B. Dunbar.
Purchase Look with Your Heart on Amazon.