Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review: "Written on My Heart" (Cole Gibsen)

Six months ago, Ashlyn Daniels lost everything ... all her possessions, her family, any semblance of security or safety or affection, however little she might have had. Now she's working her fingers off to make ends meet, living in a dump with an unpredictable and carefree stripper as a roommate, and trying to manage her recurring panic attacks and nightmares. She doesn't need any more complications.

Of course, she gets them anyway.

First comes a puppy. Then comes an invitation from her coworker that leads her to meet Lane Garrett, a talented tattoo artist who can cover up the tattoo on her arm she got in a moment of impulse and now regrets. He's also off-limits because it's clear he's got his own secrets and issues.

So why does she feel safer with him than with anyone else?

Entangled Publishing's Embrace imprint presents the newly released New Adult romance Written on My Heart by author Cole Gibsen.

Part of what I really love about the New Adult genre and the novels classified as such is the way the authors work to exceed expectations and push the limits. Gibsen's work is an excellent example, featuring "his" and "hers" chapters in the first-person point of view for each of the protagonists. It's a unique experience to get inside the hero's perspective, and one I thoroughly enjoyed, given how realistically Gibsen writes in the male point of view.

Themes explored in the novel include consequences and repercussions (good and bad), faithfulness, betrayal, loss, trust issues, independence, creativity, and many more, expertly intertwined in the lives and desires and quirks of the characters and in the sweet and sexy romance that blooms between them.

Obstacles notwithstanding, Ash in particular is a beautiful young woman, compelling, striking, a little reluctant, a little unsure of herself, but determined to make her own way and keep herself safe. Lane is equally full of surprises and unexpected twists, committed to his work, devoted to his family, and almost certainly horrified, to some degree, by how much Ash affects him.

A worthy pair of opponents, indeed.

The only thing that threw me off, really, were the emotions toward the end of the book, as the story built to a climax. Everything got heightened to the extreme, and almost spilled over into melodrama rather than more believable or genuine connections and character actions. It isn't bad enough to warrant eye-rolling because Gibsen is a gifted author, but the outpouring does, in some places, make for an awkward and discomforting read.

That said, I'm honored to have been able to read the work, and equally honored to recommend it to my readers (especially you who love the romance, coming-of-age, and New Adult genres) for your enjoyment.

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Author: Cole Gibsen
Title: Written on My Heart
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Embrace)
ISBN: 978-1-63375-359-4
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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