Title: Rival Hearts by Tara Randel
Quilts of Love Series
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: 240 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests.Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned?
Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?
Rival Hearts by Tara Randel is a delightfully heartwarming romance in the charming Quilts of Love series. Each novel in the series stands alone but the common theme that ties all of the novels together is the tagline “Every Quilt Has a Story”. In Rival Hearts, a competition for a promotion pits complete opposites Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver against one another as they vie for the position, but quilting figures prominently in this engaging story.
Molly and Ben are senior editor and writers for the same publisher but that’s where their similarities end. Molly’s life takes place indoors and she has turned her passion for quilting into a career. Ben is active outdoorsman who has turned his love of extreme sports into a lucrative career in television and print. Molly is deeply rooted in the local community where she is actively involved in volunteer work and fundraising. Ben has no family or friends and until his recent return to Tampa, he has had no place to call home.
As Molly and Ben rise to the challenges facing them as they compete for the promotion, they begin to see not only one another, but themselves, in a new light. Both are pretty competitive and while it appears that Ben has an edge over Molly, she is stronger than she (or anyone else) thinks. Molly is literally a fish out of water as she learns how to kayak with the help of brother Paul and she not only gains confidence as she masters new skills, but she is delighted at the opportunity to repair their fractured relationship. Ben’s overconfidence falters somewhat when confronted with learning how to quilt, but he is most intimidated by the women in Molly’s quilting group.
What makes Rival Hearts such a wonderful read is what Molly and Ben take from their new experiences. As Ben is beginning to open up and let other people into his life, Molly learns the importance of asking and accepting a helping hand from friends and family. With both of them stepping out of their respective comfort zones, they gain valuable insight about themselves and each other. It is incredibly gratifying watching them embrace the changes that occur in both their professional and personal lives.
With its gentle undercurrent of faith, Rival Hearts is a sweet romance that stresses the importance of faith and forgiveness. The plot is refreshingly unique with issues that are easy to relate to. Tara Randel brings this tender love story vibrantly to life with a lovely cast of characters that are realistic and appealing. An incredibly heartfelt and engaging addition to the Quilts of Love series that old and new fans are going to love.