Change of Heart by Joan Wolf

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Change of Heart by Joan Wolf
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

Gil Archer was a man of the world—the high-pressure, high-society world of international finance and diplomacy. Cecilia Vargas, his daughter’s riding instructor, was a woman outside that world, but he saw in her the warmth and love his grand estate lacked, and he took it for himself. She had married him for love—he taught her the meaning of ecstasy. But Gil still hadn’t learned that love was not something to be acquired and ignored—and the price of the lesson might be the loss of Cecilia.

I have a new author to add to my “favorite author list”, Joan Wolf.  I don’t usually add an author after only reading just two books by her; Joan Wolf is one of the exceptions.  The first book I read, The Pretenders, received a “Best Book” rating from me.  This book, Change of Heart, is also very good.

I find her writing to be engaging. It’s a deep connection thanks to her superior writing style. It’s more compelling when the scenery she’s describing turns out to be a place that was part of my childhood. Riverside Amusement Park’s last’s season was 1999. That was my go-to place with friends as a teenager.   I was astonished when I read that location in the plot. My dad, uncle and grandfather used to race at Riverside. I believe that there could be a possibility that I knew the hero’s, Gil Archer’s, daughter, Jennifer – that is if she was a real person of course.

It’s a bit early for me to be saying “in typical Joan Wolf fashion” that her writing was spectacular but I can share that her writing was consistent between her two books. It would be rare to read two “Best Books” in a row. It was quite close though, but I actually didn’t love the hero, Gil, enough to be classified as one of my “book boyfriends”.  The heroine, Cecilia, was a bit too much of a “Daddy’s girl” though we need to keep in mind that she was a young lady and Gil was quite a bit older than her. The dynamics of these characters’ relationships were a tad “off” for me and yet, they worked well enough to keep me interested from the beginning to the end of the story.

There are a few other developed characters presented throughout the plot that connected with me. I was pleased to see Cecilia remained strong and didn’t cave in completely to the demands of her father and Gil. Gil had a few things to learn about love and Cecilia was just the person to teach him. There were a few plot curves, though mostly it was predictable, but the quality of writing meant I didn’t really care.

I had high hopes when I started this story. Change of Hearts didn’t exactly hit all my feel good spots like the other book did, but it most definitely hit plenty enough for me to recommend reading this story without any hesitation. I’m considering both looking for Joan Wolf’s back list, and making her an auto buy. I already have another book by Ms. Wolf waiting in the wings, and I can hardly wait to start it!

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