Paper Hearts by Claire Contreras
Series: Hearts #2
Published on September 4th 2015
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
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I lost her.
No, I didn't lose her. I threw her away.
She was my best friend.
I was never supposed to fall in love with her.
I was careless.
She was heartbroken.
I was doing fine until she came back into my life and reminded me what love was supposed to feel like.
When it's all said and done, she may not want to stay, but this time I'm going to do everything in my power to not let her go.
“Real love stories never end”
Loved it! Absolutely freaking loved it!
5 swoontastic second chance stars
A man so desperately trying to win back the love of his life, and a woman who never moved on from her first love, and has to figure out if she can trust him with her heart again and give them both the second chance they want so badly. And it. is. BEAUTIFUL!
Mia and Jensen’s story is beautifully told; every moment had me glued to the page. I fell madly in love with these characters, and was hanging on every little moment, enjoying every page while eagerly waiting for the inevitable to happen. And the feels! OMG, the feels! I felt everything! I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and I even shivered at one point – yes, shivered – the romance is just that gorgeous.
Obviously, this is a second chance romance. Mia and Jensen grew up as friends but didn’t get together until they were teenagers. They were best friends, they fell in love and they were each other’s whole world, until one mistake tore it all apart and left them both shattered. Now, five years later, neither of them have been able to move on from the other, and they find themselves in the same city for the first time since they separated, thrown together for a work project, and Jensen very clearly sees it as the opportunity he’s been waiting for to get his girl back.
“Let me go,” I said, my gaze dropping to his hand, holding the hem of my jacket. He closed his eyes briefly.
“I don’t know how,” he whispered.
Jensen knows he screwed up in the past, but he has changed and grown so much. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to forgive him after what happened, but he totally won me over. How can you not love a man, so openly and desperately in love, who spends literally the whole book with this heart in his hands, offering himself up completely to Mia…
“Pain isn’t just losing the person you love. Pain is losing the person you love, seeing them with somebody else, and not interfering because you know you can’t give them the life they deserve.” … “I’ve lived in pain since the moment I lost you. I’ve learned to live with it, but I haven’t learned to accept it.”
… and doing it in a way where he doesn’t come off as a whiny sap, but as a confident, funny, big-hearted man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.
“So have you found ‘the one’?”
He raised an eyebrow, shooting me a look as he tried to contain his smirk. “I sure have.”
“You make it impossible to have a conversation with,” I said, but I found that I was fighting a smile.
“You make it impossible to live life without,” he said, looking straight into my eyes.
The book is technically written in Mia’s POV, but we do get some Jensen POV, and I thought the use of his newspaper column was a fantastic way for his story to be told. I loved his wit, his sarcasm, and the way he viewed things, and we were given a wonderful insight into how he is feeling and what is going on in his head.
They say it takes twenty-one days to break a habit. It’s been approximately one thousand eight hundred and twenty six since I last held her hand in mine and I’m still waiting for the remnants of her to break off of me.
And Mia is a wonderful heroine! She’s smart and sassy, and completely relatable. Jensen broke her heart so she’s very guarded around him, and I could absolutely understand where she was coming from – terrified of being hurt again and unsure whether she can trust him. But they start to spend time together, and the chemistry between them is undeniable (and hot… so beautifully, passionately hot). But it’s not a completely smooth ride – they’ve both been hurt, and they’ve both been changed by all they’ve been through in their five years apart so they have a lot to get past before they can move forward. And their journey together is really special.
“You can keep walking away from this, and I’m going to keep letting you, because even when you think you leave, your heart always stays, and it’s something I carry with pride, and it’s something I don’t…” He paused, his gaze tearing away from mine for a second, his voice thick with emotion. “It’s something I don’t fuck with. Ever. So if you feel like you need a break, I’ll give you a break, but don’t think for a second I’m not coming after you again, Mia. And I swear to God, the next time I do, it’s forever.”
Their reconnection is perfectly paced, each scene between them brimming with anticipation, and I’m so happy that it wasn’t unnecessarily angsty. There are definitely some ups and downs, but I could understand what both characters were feeling, and I thought it was all very realistic, and the emotion builds beautifully to an ending that had me grinning madly and hugging my kindle.
I say to you, Mia Bennett – my photographer, my eyes, the girl of my dreams, the villain in my nightmares – that everything I owe, I owe to the night you let me look into your eyes and see the possibilities the world had to offer.
I loved the addition of friends and family to the story. Elle and Oliver from Kaleidoscope Hearts appear, and I love Mia’s brother Rob, the special relationship they have and their many Game of Thrones-isms. Mia’s parents were hilarious, and little Olivia was an absolute delight.
I absolutely loved this book. I’m still sitting here with a huge smile on my face, and I can’t wait to read it again.