Review of "Owner of a Broken Heart" (Richardson Sisters #1) by Cheris Hodges

Hodges, Cheris. Owner of a Broken Heart. New York: Dafina Books, 2020.

eBook | $7.59 ($7.99 Print) | ISBN-13: 978-1496728840 | 384 pages | Contemporary Romance

4 stars

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I requested Owner of a Broken Heart completely randomly, in the interest of reading more diverse authors, and the blurb sounded promising. I really enjoy family-centered series, where that is a focus just as much as the individual member’s love story, and that works very well here.

The relationship between Nina and her family is, of course, wonderful. I love how it focuses on her personality juxtaposed against theirs, with them being particularly protective of her in the midst of her continued disasters with love, and the concern she may be moving on too fast with someone new. I particularly liked the dynamic with Alex, who plays the biggest supporting role, as the sister who lives and works in the family bed-and-breakfast while the others pursue their own thing. She’s very much a mama-bear while Nina is pursuing her new relationship with Clinton, and while it takes her a while to warm up to him, it felt earned when she did.

I also found Clinton compelling, given his situation of having difficulties with his father and idolizing the Richardson girls’ father, with the question of his loyalties forming a central part of his arc for the book. While there was never really a question in my mind about what he would choose, the antagonist of his arc still presented a realistic enough challenge that the issue felt present and not something that could be overcome too easily.

However, one of the things that comes up in Clinton and Nina’s relationship a lot over the course of the book is their respective trust issues. When his connection to someone seeking to buy out the Richardson B&B is revealed, it forms a somewhat natural conflict. However, there’s also the issue of him thinking she’s still hung up on her sort-of-ex (it’ll make sense once you read the book), and they have a blowup over that, even though she’s only shown signs of wanting to be rid of him. I expected her to have issues, but him? And over something where he doesn’t even have real reason to suspect her?

This is still a promising start to a series, with plenty of hints as to what the other sisters’ stories may entail, so I’m excited to see where it goes. I recommend this to anyone looking for a contemporary romance with a strong focus both on the romance and the importance of family.

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