I received my first taste of Annie Arcane’s work when I read her debut novel, HART BROKEN. This was when I first met Cale and Mickey. I fell in love with them as individuals and then as a couple. My connection to them ran so deep I found myself invested in their lives. Therefore, when the opportunity came to read HART OF HIS, I could not resist.
This book follows Mickey and Cales’ lives as a couple trying to cope with the challenges that came with Cale’s disability. The sequence of events in this instalment is told primarily from Cale’s POV, which allowed me to get inside his head. I understood his turmoil, his uncertainties and I empathise with his embarrassments that came with living as a paraplegic. However, unlike in HART BROKEN, I did not connect with him as I expected. He genuinely cares for Mickey. However, because of his shame and fears, he kept pushing her away. During these moments, I found him to be pig-headed and childish. He differed greatly from the person I came to love in the previous book. The confidence he exuded then was missing this time around. This shows that there are times one’s circumstances becomes overwhelming, and it leads to a downward spiral.
I loved Mickey. Why? She loved Cale for the man he was. She saw beyond his disability and even though he kept pushing her away, she never gave up on him. The harder he pushed, the more she stood by him. Mickey’s voice was almost non-existent. I never discerned her feelings regarding Cale’s propensity to keep pushing her away. I could only speculate based on Cale’s inner dialogue.
My experience with this instalment was not what I hoped it would be. Not that the story was not good, but when compared to the previous book, it fell short. My reaction was one of indifference, as I never connected with the story. I was hoping to get an in-depth look into the development of their relationship, but the author only scratched the surface. I figure the length of the story was an impediment in this regard. The ending left me with questions. Introducing a cast member, whose connection to Mickey and Cale, which was not established.
In spite of my issues, I still enjoyed this instalment. I believe my prior experience with the characters assisted greatly in me achieving some level of enjoyment for this book.
Please note that to appreciate the events of this instalment, you will need to read the first book in the series.