What the Heart Wants
From the #1 bestselling author of the beloved Calendar Girl books comes the first in a witty, wise and emotionally compelling new series, where coming home is just the beginning…
For ten years those words, written on pink parchment paper in her mother’s beautiful handwriting, have been Suda Kaye Ross’s guiding star. Every year on her birthday, Suda Kaye opens another of the letters her mother penned before she passed, heeding the advice inside as she fills her life with experiences. From Italy to Australia, from Rio to Russia, she’s slaked her wanderlust. And then, on her twenty-eighth birthday, she opens the letter that sends her home.
Returning to Colorado means confronting everything—and everyone—she left behind, including her cherished sister, Evie, and her first love, Camden Bryant. Suda Kaye and Cam spent four years and one unforgettable night together. Given the way she ran out on him, it’s no surprise that he’s wary, resentful…and engaged to someone else. Evie, hardworking and überresponsible, just wants her sister to put down roots at last.
For Evie’s sake, and her own, Suda Kaye is trying to build a new life, all the while wondering whether it’s too late to come back home—or if the most important part of her never really left.
Don’t miss On the Sweet Side,the next book in Audrey Carlan's The Wish series! With the emotional pull of Susan Wiggs' and Robyn Carr’s engaging family dramas, On the Sweet Side is a sassy and emotional strangers-to-sisters story about the enduring power of family-both the one you're born with and the one you choose.
Carlan (the Biker Beauties series) allows her heroine to find a balance between stability and adventure in this sexy second chance romance. When Suda Kaye Ross's mother died, she left behind a series of letters to be opened on Suda Kaye's birthdays. The first encouraged Suda Kaye to "fly free" advice she took literally, leaving behind her hometown of Pueblo, Colo., and her first love, Camden Bryant. She takes a decade to see the world. Then, on her 28th birthday, her mother's advice is to go home. Suda Kaye happily reunites with her sister, Evie, in Pueblo, where she decides to open a boutique. Evie helps Suda Kaye obtain financial backing, but one of the investors is Camden. Sparks fly as Camden helps Suda Kaye set up her business, despite Camden's engagement to another woman and Suda Kaye's lingering guilt over having broken his heart. When Camden ends things with his duplicitous fianc e, Suda Kaye must decide if she can put aside her wanderlust to establish roots in Pueblo. Readers will be gratified to see the sweet relationship between the sisters treated with as much importance as the steamy one between Suda Kaye and Camden. This small-town contemporary is as stylish, confident, and free-spirited as its heroine.
What the Heart Wants has everything you could ever want or need; it's 352 pages of racy romantic women's fiction at its finest! Luckily for us readers, Suda Kaye's love life isn't the only relationship nourished from the roots up as Audrey Carlan does a fantastic job of bringing raw beauty to the love of sisterhood! Her writing style draws me in every time, there's just something about it - the familiarity, the love of feeling connected, the humor, and the unashamed intimacy. What the Heart Wants is genuinely unforgettable.
Our story begins in the aftermath of Suda Kaye's mother's death as she embarks on what ends up becoming a decade long adventure around the world, experiencing more than most could ever hope for in a lifetime. On every birthday, Suda and her sister Evie open a new pre-written letter from their mother, designated for specific times and milestones in their lives. As she reads her latest letter on her 28th birthday, she knows that it's time to return home. After coming back to her sister, Evie, in Colorado, Suda Kaye decides it's time to dig in and settle down. Although her sister isn't the only person she runs back into... queue, her first love, Cam.
Four days. That's all it took for me to devour every.single.page! It would have been much sooner, but, you know - the life of a mom and wife came calling... and sleep. Yet, when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. The heartwarming stories of Suda Kaye, Evie, Cam, the loveable Bryants, elder Tahsuda, and Milo were a joy to read. Although fictional, there was something bittersweet about the realistic feeling within What the Heart Wants. Just make sure you read the author's note at the end as there's much insight on the inspiration and sheer amount research put into this novel.
Quick question before I go, have you heard the song "No Place" by the Backstreet Boys? Parts of this song remind me of What the Heart Wants in many ways; Suda Kaye has traveled the world, but there just ain't no place like home! I am very much looking forward to reading Evie's story in the upcoming sequel To Catch a Dream. The preview at the end just makes me all the more interested in the 'Ross' sisters!
I would recommend this book to everyone because literally, everyone should experience What the Heart Wants. Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers at Harlequin Books, the author Audrey Carlan and her amazing PA Jeananna Goodall for providing me with an advanced reader's copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.
Suda Kaye takes after her mother with her wandering/exploring heart, so when she opens a letter on her 18th birthday from her now deceased mom, she can’t resist following in her footsteps to go explore the world, leaving her sister and boyfriend behind. Ten years later, the letter on her 28th birthday suggests it is time for her to start to put down roots. She returns to her sister’s house and is trying to figure out the next phase of her life. Little did she know she would run into Cam, her first and only love who she had left behind. This is a touching story that pulled me in from the beginning as Suda Kaye works on what is next for her, in addition to dealing with Cam and Evie’s (her sister) feelings of loss and somewhat betrayal from when she just picked up and left them without warning. This book had a different feel than what I typically see in an Audrey Carlan book, but I really enjoyed this heartwarming story (with some typical steam mixed in) and could barley put it down. I am also now looking forward to Evie’s story.
an emotional, passionate, second chance romance
Wow! What to say about this heartwarming read from Audrey Carlan.
From the very first page of this book to the very last, my heart just felt this story. And I truly mean from page 1... Sisterhood and love were woven into everything from the dedication through to the acknowledgments. It was just beautiful.
What the Heart Wants is a delightful tale of coming full circle. Flying free as a teen… gaining a treasure trove of worldly experiences. Spending a decade separated from those that mean the most to her. And then coming home and realizing that you can fly free and have roots at the same time.
What the Heart Wants is an emotional, passionate, second chance romance full of wit and wonder. This is a summer must-read! The perfect book to kick back with outside and lose yourself in the beauty of the words.