Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Change of Heart by Jude Deveraux

Title: Change of Heart
Author: Jude Deveraux
My Rating: C+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Eidelon/Montgomery/Taggert
Main Characters: Eli and Chelsea
Release Date: October 2014
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Two childhood playmates grow into more than just friends in #1 New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux's full-length romantic novel based on her short story of the same name.

In the hugely popular, New York Times bestseller A Holiday of Love, Jude Deveraux wrote a novella about two kids playing matchmakers; Eli and Chelsea, best friends who were determined to find true love for Eli's bighearted mother. But what happens when these ambitious children grow up? What exactly made Eli's mother, Miranda, fall in love with Frank all those years ago? And how does that affect their future together?

Eli and Chelsea lost touch with each other over the years, until Eli bought a house in his father's hometown of Edilean, Virginia, and invited Chelsea for a visit. She had her own life, and was certain that a childhood friendship couldn't be anything more, but she went nonetheless and found herself quite unprepared for the changes she saw in Eli. And neither of them were prepared to run into a mystery, with a family that needed to be rescued. Now, just like when they were children, they must join together to straighten out a very big problem. The question is what happens after the mystery is solved; they are very different people so can they stay together?

Combining love and passion with sweet, unexpected twists, and shedding new light on Miranda and Frank's relationship, Change of Heart is an unforgettable addition to Deveraux's classic bestselling novels.

My Review:
In theory this was a brilliant idea. 20 years ago, Jude Deveraux wrote a novella for an anthology that featured then 12 yo's Eli and Chelsea, best friends out to fix all the world's wrongs through Eli's brilliance and Chelsea's looks. That novella is the first part of this book and it's a fun story. After I read that first section (about 35-40% of this full length book) I was excited to see where Chelsea and Eli were as adults 20 years later. Unfortunately their adult portion of the story did not live up to expectations. 

Chelsea doesn't want to see Eli again. She only does so to stop her parents from nagging her. Adult Chelsea has spent the last 20 years becoming all the things she hated as a 12 yo. She's shallow to the extreme and honestly isn't very likable as a character. And she knows that about herself. She doesn't want to answer to Eli about why she left without a single word to him ever again. She betrayed their friendship to become a party girl/model with hot boyfriends. 

Eli is still brilliant and works for the government for chump change on things that matter and then designs video games on the side so he makes real money. He's spent the last 20 years in the gym so is now everything that Chelsea sees as her ideal guy...muscular, attractive, and extremely sexy. 

And honestly those are the high points. 20 years later these two have NOTHING in common. Eli sees that Chelsea has mis-managed her life up to now which has just left her unhappy so he hatches a plan to "fix" her. Ugh. He's bossy and manipulative and I just truly didn't like how he saw her. Honestly if the two met today, they wouldn't even like one another. It's not a good match and that's why the book just didn't work for me. There was a lot of dialogue in the book too that just didn't work. I could see that it was supposed to be fast, witty repartee, but it came across wrong...and a lot of times it simply didn't make sense. 

Once upon a time, Jude Deveraux was an auto-buy author for me. This book just left me feeling sad about that. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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