Heart Signs by Cari Quinn

Available: NOW Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

My Copy: Sent

The heart has a language all its own… 

Rory Fowler has taken Sam Miller’s billboard orders for the last two years, but they aren’t to advertise they’re love notes to his wife. Sam’s most recent billboard about his wife’s passing hits Rory hard. When she calls Sam to offer condolences, it sets off an unexpected chain of events that ends with Rory in Sam’s apartment-and his arms. 

Reading Sam’s love letters tugs Rory into the romance between him and his estranged, now-deceased, wife. Their lives soon intertwine so completely that Rory wonder how she’ll ever forget the man who makes poetry out of emotions she’s fought to dismiss. And plays her body even more skillfully that he writes love notes. 

Consumed by guilt and grief, Sam is shocked by the feelings Rory arouses in him, sexually and otherwise. Now he’s not thinking about yesterday as much as he’s looking forward to tomorrow. He’s just not sure if he’s capable of moving on…or if the woman who helped him find the will to really live again will be by his side.

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For years Rory has been fantasizing about the man who leaves love letters to his wife courtesy of her families billboards. She is shocked when she gets his latest request that reveals his wife died six month ago. Taking a leap out of her comfort zone she contacts him to give her condolences only to be shocked when he invites her to lunch. The instant attraction is mutual but Sam isn’t sure he is ready for a relationship after his monumental failure of his first one. What he finds in Rory can’t be denied and soon it’s his own comfort zone he is stepping out of. Can Sam finally heal and accept that his mistakes in the past shouldn’t mess up his chance at a future?

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Heart Signs is the newest book from Cari Quinn…that woman can sure crank out the books. I feel like I am saying “the newest….” every few days! There is no waiting when it comes to Cari…you want something new? BAM, she has it! I found this one to be quite unique because the way in which it is written is unlike anything I have seen from her yet.

Heart Signs is about Sam, a man who had lost communication with his wife and had taken to renting out a billboard every month in order to profess his love to her. Terribly romantic to the outsider, but to Sam, an outlet for what he had trouble saying to her in person. He also wrote letters to her. Letters he would never send but were used as a therapeutic outlet for him. When his estranged wife dies he keeps up the billboards out of a sense of responsibility and guilt. He had failed her in their marriage but everyone will know that he will continue to love her regardless of her death.

When Sam emails his billboard contact to put in his latest order he has no idea that who he has been corresponding with over the years wasn’t a man. He is quite surprised when Rory calls him herself and even more surprised when he invites her to lunch. He seemed to be torn between wanting to move on and feeling like he has to grieve forever because he was a lousy husband. Rory ignites a instant reaction from him that he can’t deny, no matter how much he seems to want to.

I really didn’t like Rory at the beginning. Her back-story was that she used to be chubby, had recently lost some weight and now that she felt prettier she dressed provocatively. Shorter skirts then decent and tighter tops that showcased her assets isn’t something I generally find appealing in my heroines. I want them to like themselves for who they are….not for what they look like. Her “I’m going to sleep with this man without even knowing him because I can” attitude was a bit much at the beginning of the book. I didn enjoy his spunky one liners and the way she was constantly putting her foot in her mouth. Gave the book a bit of a lighter feel when the majority was so emotional and dark.

Sam was a complex character on his own. Throw his instant attraction to Rory in there coupled with his grief from his past and it spelled disaster.  I enjoyed him wanting to take things slow with her (well after he let her give him a BJ lol) as that was a complete role reversal from other novels. The phone sex they had instead of actual sex was spicy enough to keep me reading. There is just something about a person describing what they would do to you that is almost as sexy as actually doing it.

My favorite thing about Heart Signs was the letters. Sam’s story is told to Rory through love letters he wrote but never gave to his wife. Instead in an effort to explain to Rory why he is so damaged in his own eyes, he gives them to her. Fully expecting her to read them and then run away. His heart and soul was laid bare for Rory to read. They were extremely touching and the addition of them made the story feel complete without nearly as much conversation as there typically is in books. I found I got misty eye’d   several times while she was reading them.

Eventually, as Rory starts understanding Sam more her character grows. She seems to mature a bit and start acting less like a, for lack of a better word…hoe, and more like the wonderful woman she is truly capable of being. Though I thought the process was a bit like turning on a light switch, it kind of had to be because of the length of the book. I would have liked a bit more, overall, but as is I did enjoy it.

Heart Signs is probably the most emotional read from Cari Quinn to date, so keep the kleenex ready just in case.

I give Heart Signs by Cari Quinn 3.75 stars! 

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