Heart and Soul, by Shae Connor
Release Date: November 14, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.
Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.
POC/Person of Color
If you’re in the market for a light, heartwarming read, then you usually can’t go wrong with Shae Connor’s works. She has a knack for throwing hot characters into sweet relationships, and Heart & Soul is prime example of this.
I could totally relate to Kellen, who just wants to immerse himself in his music and is wary of change. Terrence, who is the more open and easygoing of the two characters, was a great fit for Kellen, and it was cute watching them get to know each other and hang out. They had great rapport, and I liked how the slow burn ignited into a sizzle as soon as their mutual attraction became evident.
For those of you in the mood for a short and sweet read, the book had practically zero angst. The minor conflict and doubts that arose were easily overcome, and the story instead focused on building a solid foundation for their relationship with no real test. This made the book a bit light on the plot for me, but I still ended the book feeling pretty convinced of their HEA. Family was central to the story, which I think helped ground their relationship, and I particularly loved the scenes which featured Terrence’s family and Kellen’s rambunctious nephew.
Really, the only thing that bothered me (if you could even call it that) was the inadvertent timekeeping in the book. Maybe it was because it was such a short read, but there seemed like there was a lot of “fifteen minutes later” and “a few minutes later” and “2 hours later” throughout. I admit it’s a weird thing to complain about, but the timekeeping almost seemed like a writing tic, and I felt it was unnecessary most of the time.
If you’re like me and tend to look for fluffy, uncomplicated reads to serve as palate cleansers after a an emotionally-draining book, then Heart & Soul is a good bet.
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she works for the government by day and reads and writes about people falling in love by night. She’s been making up stories for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should start writing them down. Now, she usually has far too many stories in progress, but when she does manage to tear herself away from her laptop, she enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and traveling, not necessarily in that order.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.