Title: The Red Heart by Isabelle Rowan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Length: 114 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
An ex-soldier and an urban Goth walk into a desert. It sounds like the start of a joke, but for Sam Collins and Daniel Evans, it is the beginning of their story. Daniel walks to shed his drug-filled past and make himself whole. But Sam, who hides the demons of war behind a smile, needs Daniel more than either man knows. An old stockman’s wisdom sends them on their journey together, a long hard road to find Australia’s sacred Red Heart and—perhaps—each other.
Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.
Isabelle Rowan’s The Red Heart is a beautifully written romance between two very unlikely lovers. Daniel Evans and Sam Collins are emotionally scarred, but they are determined to overcome their respective pasts. Daniel is trying to overcome his drug addiction once and for all while Sam is haunted by his war experiences.
Daniel and Sam are appealing protagonists. Daniel is out of his element in the desert, but he is comfortable with who he is. Daniel is forthcoming about his past and what he is hoping to achieve from his journey. Sam is a bit more of an enigma. He is hiding a lot of pain beneath his outgoing exterior. He gives up little information about himself and at first, Daniel respects his privacy. But with some gentle prodding, Sam finally opens up to Daniel.
All in all, The Red Heart is a delightfully angst free love story that I greatly enjoyed. It is an engaging read with a unique storyline. The characters are fairly well-developed although a little more of their backstories would have given them a little more depth. The setting gives the story an almost mystical feel and Isabelle Rowan’s descriptive prose brings the desert vibrantly to life. The happily for now ending is satisfying and I hope we get the chance to revisit Daniel and Sam again in the future.