ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley
4.5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf
I requested this book for review because it is part of the Proper Romance series (standalone clean historical romances) and Blackmoore is also part of that series. Since I loved Blackmoore and I'm desperate for more like it, I hoped A Heart Revealed would be a good bet.
This is one of those sighing books. You know, the kind where you pause in reading over a scene to sigh in happiness. The kind where you clutch it to your chest after turning the final page and sigh in satisfaction. The kind where you think about little scenes after the fact and sigh with joy.
I was hoping for that, and I was very happy to get it.
What I wasn't expecting at all was the non-romantic sub-plot to grab my attention so strongly. Amber has a fall from grace, but I never in a million years would have guessed these circumstances. They were so different and so horrifying and I was completely sucked into Amber's plight.
Her situation also leads to some serious character changes, and I found myself almost rooting for the situation to get worse and worse (and it does) just so I could see Amber triumph over these hurdles. Another surprise for me was how important the friendship relationship became. I was just as invested in Amber's rocky but blossoming friendship as I was with her romance and her personal journey.
As much as I love reading about romance, I don't typically like it when the entire plot revolves around the romance, so I was both surprised and pleased to find A Heart Revealed stands up well in both the romantic and non-romantic parts. If the romance were completely removed, this story would still stand strongly on its own.
But the romance? Definitely swoony. The reading scene and the tea scene, sigh, sigh, sigh. Those were scenes to savor and reread (and I have).
So why not a full 5 out of 5 stars? Well, Amber's transformation was a little unbelievable at times, and this is in part because a lot of her personal journey takes place off stage. I wish that part had been fleshed out a bit more, but clearly it didn't affect my enjoyment much.
I'm now a big fan of the Proper Romance series and very interested in reading more. Each book is a standalone story with totally different characters. I wish they were more easily identified in a list somewhere.
(I'm also now super paranoid about my hair, which will make more sense when you read the book.)