A VVivacious Review: Change of Heart by KM Neuhold

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

When Easton’s husband dies, he is absolutely devastated. How is he supposed to go on without the love of his life?

Five years later, Easton, still struggling in a world without Paul, comes across a letter written by the recipient of Paul’s heart. For the first time in five years, Easton wonders if River, the guy who got Paul’s heart, is worthy of it.

When Easton and River meet sparks fly. They can’t deny their chemistry which makes Easton come out of his shell and makes River take a chance but can their relationship survive the truth about Paul’s heart?

This review contains minor spoilers.

I was happiest when I finished the book and as everyone knows it’s not a good sign if you are happy a book is over. This book was hard for me. I think I would have most probably DNF’ed it if I wasn’t reviewing it. Having said that I still think having read this entire book made me realise that it was better than I thought it was. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t terribly horrible either. The ending assuaged some of my disappointment with this book. I think my final rating of two stars really encompasses my entire reading experience and not just parts of it.

So, let’s get to the meat of the review. This book see-sawed a lot for me in the beginning. Initially, I couldn’t quite realise why I was liking some parts of the book and hating others.
This book is written from the dual perspectives of both our main characters Easton and River with the POVs switching up quite frequently between these two. I soon realised that all the parts I didn’t like coincided with Easton’s POV. So, it was very clear for me from the beginning that I didn’t quite like Easton. I personally can’t quite put a finger on what exactly I didn’t like about him but I feel the fact that he is keeping a secret from River one he should probably reveal sooner rather than later coloured my opinion of him. On top of that, it isn’t quite obvious why Easton who has grieved for five years over his husband, who apparently never tried to move on does so now with River and manages it so successfully. Something about this experience rang false to me. Easton has already grieved for longer than he should which would suggest an unhealthy mindset but it doesn’t take anything more than meeting River to have him completely forgetting Paul. It was weird that Easton didn’t even think of Paul all that much throughout this book which made me wonder what he did all those five years. Also, I would have liked a few misfires where things went wrong while Easton was trying to move on. This could have happened during previous attempts to move on or while River and Easton were getting their feet under them in their new relationship. These moments could have served as a catalyst to figure out where Easton’s headspace was at. It felt like a lost opportunity. Instead, the story makes it very apparent that all Easton really needed to move on is River.

I liked River. He is a really sweet guy and I liked how he puts himself out there for Easton. I love how much he loves Easton. That comic he makes for Easton really made my heart clench, it was beautiful. The only problem with River is that he brings nothing to the plot. Side Note: Also, the medical science behind River requiring a heart transplant is mostly fictional (unfortunately, the parts that do hold up to scrutiny wouldn’t have lead to the need for a heart transplant).

The plot focuses on the fact that Easton is keeping a secret and the secret has the potential to wreck Easton and River’s budding romance. In all this River is a little better than a bystander as he has no idea what is going to happen to him and that had me a little frustrated because there was nothing that River could contribute to where the story was eventually going to have to go.

By the time the big reveal happens, the author has exhausted 23 of the 28 chapters in this book. The book has already stretched a single plot point too far and the book becomes a chore. How long can you wait for something to happen when it has already been established that it needs to happen? Apparently, if you are K. M. Neuhold you can wait a very long time. I would have preferred a quiet reveal but the author does it the dramatic way. After the reveal the story does become a little bearable and I enjoyed the last few chapters even though I do think it’s too soon but whatever. It was charming and nice and I can give that a pass.

Fox is an amazing character who I loved. Easton so didn’t deserve this guy who was just so amazing and so supportive. Fox made my day. The late night calls with Easton were just amazing. His willingness to bail Easton out no matter where he is was downright inspirational. He was amazing. He was the unexpected gem in this story and I loved him whole-heartedly.

Cover Art by Natasha Snow. I really love the art of that heart intertwined with a plant in the background. It is subtle but so gorgeous.

Sales Links: Universal Link: mybook.to/ChangeofHeart
Book Details:
ebook, 345 pages
Published June 17th 2019
Edition Language English

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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