Title: Kaleidoscope Hearts
Author: Claire Contreras
Series: Hearts (Book #1)
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
Publisher: Claire Contreras
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Summary: He was my older brother’s best friend. He was never supposed to be mine. I thought we would get it out of our system and move on. One of us did. One of us left. Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me. He broke my heart last time. This time he’ll obliterate it.
“Older brother’s best friend? Forbidden relationships? Second chances? Yes, yes, and yes. I’m in” was my initial reaction when I came across the summary for this book. I’m such a sap for these kind of stories. It centers around Estelle (Elle), who has to move in with her older brother, Victor, after her fiancé passes away. Being around her brother everyday again means being around his group of friends — one of whom is Oliver, Vic’s best friend. Oliver also happens to be the guy who broke her heart years before.
There are hundreds of books written with these tropes, but Claire Contreras writes it in a way that really hits your emotional core. She’s gained a fan in me after this one, despite certain things that didn’t really sit with me. But there was more to love in Kaleidoscope Hearts than there was to dislike.
Oliver and Elle have a history, which I enjoyed because things made sense. They already had a foundation built and we get a glimpse down memory lane through flashbacks in order to get the context of their present-day relationship.
My biggest issue was how increasingly difficult they made their relationship when honestly… it shouldn’t have been. They kept going around and around and around and around in circles. It seemed like their biggest conflict was Elle’s brother not finding out about them. But when he did, well… that was that. Not even a big deal after a while. That, coupled with Elle’s back and forth between wanting to be with Oliver and not wanting to betray her deceased fiancé’s memory by moving on lost some points with me. I understood her inner turmoil early on, but when Oliver was so supportive of her, she kept pushing him away and it was incredibly frustrating. And then Oliver would randomly become indecisive and I’d be ready to pull my hair out. Because I really, really loved their chemistry and just wanted them to for the love of all that was holy own up to it.
I’d sigh with relief when other things were brought up besides their, at this point, non-issues. The tiniest break from the drama was very much welcomed, like the little mentions of Victor’s job as a lawyer and hints of Mia and Jensen’s past relationship. The friendship between the group of friends was a strong point for me in the book. So imagine how happy I was to find out this was followed up by a novella and sequel focusing on other characters, because I really do enjoy Contreras’ writing.
Overall this was a lovely read and I enjoyed it enough to look into the author’s other books. Throes of fans of second chance loves, childhood friends into lovers and other related clichés will definitely walk away with a smile on their face.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire is caring, smart, witty, and funny as heck. Despite being a New York Times Best Selling Author of a popular contemporary romance series, Claire doesn’t read many romance novels. However, when she sits down to write, those are the ones that pour from her fingers. Much to her displeasure, we like to say she’s a romantic at heart.
She is a breast cancer survivor who lives in Miami with her good looking husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch and she continues to feed them). When she’s not writing, she’s always lost in a book (the more suspenseful, the better). (via Goodreads)