This is a Luc and Summer novella, a kind of sequel to The Chocolate Heart where we were introduced to both characters in Laura Florand’s chef world. The novella picks up with the happy couple after their wedding with them settled in the south of France, with Luc managing his own restaurant and Summer trying to manage both of their lives.
I was excited to have a novella that gives us a chance to peek into the happily ever after a couple gets in a romance book as it can be pretty rare to see the after. These characters weren’t exactly open books to begin with so it was good to see them happy and loving life. In the beginning that is. Once Summer discovers she’s pregnant the worry quickly sets in for both of them for very different reasons. Which triggers their instinct to keep their feelings close to the chest like they did in the beginning of their relationship.
Shadowed Heart is pretty much a perfect title for this book because as things progress it’s extremely clear that neither Luc or Summer are willing to completely reveal what’s in their hearts. On the one hand we have Summer who is pretty damaged from her screwed up childhood and is very excited at the prospect of being a mother but needs Luc to be there for her. On the other hand we have Luc who had an even worse childhood and is terrified at the thought of Summer leaving him.
Both of these characters live very much in their heads which can be frustrating to read as through much of the book I found myself wanting to shake them both and just have them talk to each other. But as that’s true in many real life relationships it didn’t bother me enough to take me outside the book at all. It also reminded me of their actions in the first book as well. Seeing how alone the two were tugged at my heart because they didn’t even realize it.
I loved seeing past characters making an appearance here and not only did they provide some high points in the book for me but also provided the turning point for the novella. Florand did a wonderful job at mixing in the past characters with this new life. I really enjoyed the whole book and it made me hope to see more of this couple in future books as the main characters. I’d love to see the couple further down the line when the baby is born because of the great and sweet way the author has of writing the every day relationship.
ARC provided by the Author in return for an honest review.