Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Rival Hearts

Rival Hearts
By Tara Randel
Quilts of Love
Abingdon, 2014


They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?

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?

My thoughts

Rival Hearts, part of the Quilts of Love series, is a fairly quick and easy read, but with an interesting premise. Molly and Ben are invited to leave their comfort zones in order to compete for the same job - for Molly, that involves learning to kayak; for Ben, learning to quilt. Their boss, Mr. Masterson, informs them:  "You both have a knack for finding in-depth human-interest stories to touch your particular readers. . . . You'll be given a chance to shine as an editor as well as moving up in the company."

Molly felt that she had been proving herself all her life, that her accomplishments were always secondary compared to a brother who excelled at everything. Ben had grown tired of traveling and was looking for a sense of permanence by putting down roots. My favorite parts were Nora and her quilting circle, a group of older women that had become Molly’s second family, and also the way Molly and her brother reconnected.

And of course I love the quilts, which are the foundation of this series. Molly explains:  "Every year I make a quilt and auction it off at the local Charity Expo. I got an idea to have my readers send in a piece of fabric holding emotional significance to them, along with the story to go with it."

But for some reason, I couldn't get emotionally caught up in this story. Molly wasn't a character I enjoyed, although I did admire her commitment and work with Second Chances. Ben comes across as over confident and arrogant at first, but his character improved as the story progressed. What I really wanted to see, though, was his spiritual journey, and that was lacking.

Many fans of the Quilts of Love series will probably enjoy this story, although it was a weaker addition for me.

Rival Hearts can be purchased online at CBD, DeeperShopping, B&N, and Amazon.

Tara Randel

Tara Randel is the author of five romance novels including Lasting LoveMelody of Love, and This Time Love. A member of ACFW, Tara is also the lead author of the new Annie's Mysteries series (see Tara lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Meet Tara online at, Facebook, and Goodreads. To learn more about Rival Hearts, visit the Litfuse Blog Tour page.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Absolutely agree with you about Ben's spiritual journey, and the overall lack of fizz to this one.

    I also couldn't buy in to the idea of a business owner making a contest between two such different people for the same job. She currently produces a quilting magazine, he does an outdoor magazine. Surely the best person for the job would depend on the kind of magazine it was? If it was scrapbooking, then she would be best because of the similarities between quilting and scrapbooking. But he'd be best at, say, DIY. I found the entire premise hard to fathom, and that affected my enjoyment of the book overall.

    1. "Lack of fizz" - that's a good description, Iola. And I like your thoughts about the unlikely pairing of these two for a contest. I usually just think, "well, it's fiction after all" - but you do make an excellent point.

  2. I thought this was just an ok book, but one that would definitely appeal to those who like quilting and enjoy a light romance. I thought at first the book would be a little like the old Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedies. I think this one would have benefited from a little more humor.

    1. I thought it would be a romantic comedy also, Beckie. Humor would have added a lot.