There’s this wagon with a band on it and I’m huffing and puffing behind it. In short, I’m late to the party for Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye but I’m so glad I found it. Better late than never.
Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.
One pitch-black elevator…
To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?
This novella is the most complex, moving short story I have ever read. Want a lesson in integrating detailed background into a forward-moving story? This is it. I could not believe how much background I picked up on each of the characters that was just filtered throughout the story. It’s like I could see their whole world from one vantage point. Magnificent writing. If I could write like Laura Kaye, I would quit my job today and bang out bestsellers for the foreseeable future. Now, this is the first book I’ve read by Kaye, but you best believe I have the rest of her books on my TBR list. As her first published novel, it came out a while ago (hence the bandwagon comment), and I found out about it through the blogosphere and I wish I could remember which blog it was because I want to send them flowers and chocolates in gratitude.
Hearts in Darkness is the story of two hearts stuck in a pitch black elevator. I loved the way they learned about each other through listening and touch. I loved that they both had image issues that were easily overcome in the dark and I loved that Caden was claustrophobic and Makenna was clumsy.
Their story progressed beautifully in such a short amount of time but it wasn’t rushed. Told in alternating point of views, I loved getting inside both of these character’s heads. Caden has a dark past and wears his tattoos and piercings like armor against the world. Makenna was such an open, relatable heroine. Their chemistry in that elevator was explosive. It was hot without using the overpowering male trope, where it’s just two people expressing themselves, laying bare vulnerabilities and desires. I can never ride another elevator without thinking about this story.
I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a romantic, sexy story filled with humor and facing fears. It’s a short read, but well worth the time.
STARS: 5 out of 5