The Heart You Need

Diane R.

San Francisco society reporter Adeline Ellsworth is investigating a corrupt prominent citizen when she and Scottish lord, Alec MacCairn, Viscount Peyton, are kidnapped. They quickly escape and discover a powerful, mutual attraction in the process. Adeline, who goes by Linnie, has to decide if she can trust Alec with the complicated facts of the investigation into her cousin’s murder, and the growing bond between them.  Losing her husband and her father at the same time has made her heart wary, and Alec is sure to return to Scotland when his business is concluded.

This book starts right in the action, drawing in the reader, and showing that the relationship between Linnie and Alec is far from conventional. Linnie has an independent, strong personality that is very appealing.  Alec is undeniably attractive, and on the path of evolution from a spoiled lord who gets anything he wants, so it’s good that he has to work to win Linnie’s trust and affection.  Both characters grow in this short book, and their relationship progresses quickly but feels believable. The historical elements could have been better fleshed out, especially with the interesting backdrop of 19th Century San Francisco and Linnie’s profession. Conflict due to Linnie’s dangerous investigation escalates into a satisfying, although abrupt conclusion.  The secondary characters are nicely fleshed out, including Alec’s friend Hawke and his wife, Kara, from a previous book in the series, Linnie’s mother and brother, and a very ruthless villain.  Victorian historical romance fans will enjoy “The Heart You Need.”

Danielle Hill