I love the idea of a competition evolving into a friendship or romance, and Rival Hearts promised to be an intriguing blend of both. I found Molly easy to relate to since she was constantly trying to please everyone around heroften at the expense of what she wanted to do. I find myself doing the same thing at times! What I didn't really understand was the dynamic between Molly and the rest of her family. It never really made sense to me, and I would have loved for this aspect of the book to be more thoroughly explored. Ben was an interesting character. Initially, I was annoyed by him, but as the book progressed, I liked him much better. He ended up being very sweet and misunderstood.
However, as much as I wanted to get totally caught up in this story, I just couldn't. I felt like there was a lot of "telling" at times rather than showing through the story. Rival Hearts was a good "one time" read for me, and many will enjoy it, I'm sure. [3 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Another wonderful edition to the Quilts Of Love series. I have come to enjoy each of the books in the series and this one was no exception. Rival Hearts is a humorous and thoughtful tale of rivalry, love, and forgiveness.
I absolutely loved the idea for the quilt that is such an integral part of Rival Hearts. When you read the story you will quickly understand just why the quilt means so much to Molly. Kinda made me think/wish about making one with a similar idea.
Tara Randel has penned a perfect story for spending an afternoon curled up under your own quilt to reading. Whether you are a quilter, love them, or just love a good book, you are in for a treat with Rival Hearts.
Rival Hearts, part of the Quilts of Love series, is a fairly quick and easy read, but with an interesting premise. Molly and Ben are invited to leave their comfort zones in order to compete for the same job - for Molly, that involves learning to kayak; for Ben, learning to quilt. Their boss, Mr. Masterson, informs them: "You both have a knack for finding in-depth human-interest stories to touch your particular readers. . . . You'll be given a chance to shine as an editor as well as moving up in the company."
Molly felt that she had been proving herself all her life, that her accomplishments were
always secondary compared to a brother who excelled at everything. Ben had grown tired of traveling and was looking for a sense of permanence by putting down roots. My favorite parts were Nora and her quilting circle, a group of older women that had become Mollys second family, and also the way Molly and her brother reconnected.
And of course I love the quilts, which are the foundation of this series. Molly explains: "Every year I make a quilt and auction it off at the local Charity Expo. I got an idea to have my readers send in a piece of fabric holding emotional significance to them, along with the story to go with it."
But for some reason, I couldn't get emotionally caught up in this story. Molly wasn't a character I enjoyed, although I did admire her commitment and work with Second Chances. Ben comes across as over confident and arrogant at first, but his character improved as the story progressed. What I really wanted to see, though, was his spiritual journey, and that was lacking.
Many fans of the Quilts of Love series will probably enjoy this story, although it was a weaker addition for me.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver are both magazine editors for the same company, both up for the same promotion to launch a new magazine. Their boss plans to make the decision based on a friendly competition between the two, in which Molly has to learn to kayak, and Ben has to learn to quilt (Rival Hearts is from Abingdon's Quilts of Love series. There has to be a quilt).
I had trouble getting in to Rival Hearts. I found Molly annoying from the beginning, with her view that she should get the promotion based on seniority (what about based on performance? Or who is actually a better fit for the new magazine?). Yes, I get that part of her personal character arc was the transition from the sedate can't-do-much introvert with best friends are twice her age, to the "I can do anything" woman who is prepared to take some risks in life and love. And I get that her mother has been a huge influence in shaping her personality and beliefsâ€”a largely negative influence. But I just didn't like Molly, and it's hard to enjoy a romance novel when I don't like the heroine.
The beginning felt like we were being told a lot about Molly (such as her volunteering, her health issues, her relationship with her brother, how she got into quilting _) and not shown or told much about Ben. What little we did see showed him as overconfident to the point of arrogance. While he improved as a character as the novel progressed, I still would have liked to have seen him develop a bit more depth. I would also have liked to have seen more of his spiritual journey than a couple of offhand references.
The plot held few surprises (I guessed the ending at about the halfway point), the characters didn't inspire me, and the writing didn't shine. It read more like a Harlequin than Quilts of Love, and it certainly didn't have any mystery (as claimed in her author tagline, â€˜Where Mystery and Romance are Everywhere'). On the plus side, I thought the Christian aspects were handled well, and I very much liked Nora and her quilting circle, Molly's second family.
I'm sure many readers will love this, but I didn't, which is a disappointment as I look forward to reading the Quilts of Love stories and discovering exciting new authors.
Thanks to Litfuse and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Tara Randel in her new book, "Rival Hearts" Book Nineteen in the Quilts of Love Series published by Abingdon Press brings us into the lives of Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver.
From the back cover: They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter's Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.
Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?
This book is the kind of movie that Hollywood used to make back in the 40â€²s and 50â€²s. You can almost see Barbara Stanwyck as Molly, possibly Clark Gable as Ben. Molly and Ben are competitors. They each have made their own little niche in the world by the quality of the magazine they edit. Now they are being given the chance at a new magazine but only if they switch places for a month. This is the set-up for a great deal of humor and also the chance for much stretching outside individual comfort zones. Both Molly and Ben learn about themselves as well as others while learning about the barriers they put up to keep from being bruised emotionally. All of the characters are terrific and the plot is very enjoyable as well as being interesting and exciting as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."