I have a confession to make. I love to read romance books with a bit of unrequited love element to them. I love it. I know most romance readers aren’t too keen about this trope because really, who wants to read about the hero or heroine being in love with someone other than their one true pair anyway? Apparently, me.
I just love them, okay? Some of my fave books of all time contain this element and I am not ashamed to admit that. Anyway…I have to say that Linda Kage writes two of the more unforgettable ones — The Stillburrow Crush and The Trouble With Tomboys. Both have that unrequited element at the beginning until the hero realizes that it’s truly been the heroine for him all along.
With Every Heartbeat is the fourth book of the Forbidden Men series by Linda Kage. This one features
Zoey Blakeland came to ESU to help out her best friend Cora. There she meets Cora’s boyfriend Quinn Hamilton, a popular jock at the school. Although Quinn is popular, he’s actually also shy. He’s a late bloomer, loyal and just a nice guy all around. Zoey was instantly attracted to him and vice versa but because of Cora, they never acted on their attraction to each other.
It was a bit slow going at first but I didn’t mind because I get to read about Quinn and Zoey moving from essentially strangers to friends and eventually to lovers. I actually preferred the way their relationship progressed. I was able to sense the tension and the pent up desire between them build. Also, I enjoy the unrequited elements of their relationship. However, for readers who don’t like to read about the hero or heroine being with other people for half of the book, then this could be a huge sticking point for you.
But as I have said, I didn’t mind it because although they didn’t get together until halfway through book, they did spend time together as friends and they were able to build a very solid friendship. I wasn’t too crazy with the Cora related family drama near the end. I totally saw that one coming so I wasn’t surprised by the revelation.
But the biggest surprise of this book was Ten. I know he’s not the hero but he totally stole the spotlight in this one. Not only that, I loved his bromance with Quinn. They meshed well together. And despite being total opposites, their friendship and camaraderie was one of the highlights of the book for me.
Overall, an enjoyable read for me. I actually liked the fact that Quinn wasn’t the usual confident alpha male that’s very common in the NA genre. He’s shy and compared to Ten, very innocent when it comes to relationship. I didn’t think he was a weak hero but he needed time to come into his own and he did. 🙂