Saturday, May 23, 2015

Book Review: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

Two of Hearts


Christina Lee

May 5, 2015

NAL Trade

eARC from publisher for a honest review

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GR's Summary:

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…  

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over. 

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever. 

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

Lindy's Thoughts:

I enjoy all of the books that Ms. Lee has written.  Her Between Breaths Series is one of my favorite in the New Adult Genre.  Imagine my surprise and utter excitement when I discovered that Kai and Rachel from, Whisper to Me, were in this story!  While Two of Hearts is a standalone novel, I was giddy over the fact that two of my favorite characters from one of her previous books had crossed over!

In Two of Hearts, we get Dakota Nakos and Shane Garrity's story told from both of their view points.  Dakota is shocked and devastated my the tragic murder of her father, Linden Nakos.  He was supposedly robbed and killed for the money in his pocket, but there are no current suspects.  

Dakota and Shane had a love affair when they were in college.  Unfortunately, due to poor communication, their relationship did not work out.  Even though their relationship ended five years ago, they both never stopped having feelings for one another, and everyone that entered their lives romantically afterwards, didn't compare.  

With Mr. Nakos' funeral, Shane (Kai's best friend) returns to town.  As a federal Marshall, he suspects foul play as far as Mr. Nakos' death is concerned.  Mr. Nakos, a full blooded Indian, use to own the Golden Arrow Casino.  His wife, a Dutch woman, inherits the casino upon his death.  The Native American reservation is up in arms, and are pressuring her to sell the casino to another Native American.  They believe that because she doesn't have Native American blood, she will not have the best interests of their people in mind.

Emotions flair and tempers escalate on the Indian reservation, leading to poor employer/employee relations, daily picketers, intimidation tactics to sell, and danger.  Shane decides to stay in town for a while, so that he can protect the Nakos family, look into the death of Mr. Nakos, and have a second chance with the only woman that he's ever loved.  

Two of Hearts was chock full of drama, suspense, romance, friendship, community, passion, and most importantly, love.  I enjoy the second chance at romance trope and was rooting for Dakota and Shane to make their relationship work this time.  Dakota frustrated me at times, because I felt like her communication skills were lacking.  She had a tendency to make assumptions, and poor Shane, had his work cut out for him.  The chemistry and intensity between these two was abundant, intense, and explosive.  The bedroom scenes between Dakota and Shane were H-O-T!!!  There were plenty of scenes in the story that included Rachel and Kai as well!  I was so happy to be reunited with these two characters, and catch up on the current status of their lives.  One conclusion that I have come to after reading, Two of Hearts is, that if Ms. Lee writes a story, I will read it!

My Rating:

I give, Two of Hearts, by Christina Lee, 4 Second Chance at Love, Passionate Inferno, Suspense Filled Stars!  Yay, we have another story in the win column for Ms. Lee!

My Favorite Quote:

"I wanted you so damn bad, I had the taste of you, the smell of you, the feel of you on my skin for years.  Only you.  Nobody else even came close."

~Shane Garrity

Ro's Take on this Journey:

I think, Two of Hearts, by Christina Lee, is a wonderfully climatic story!  Not only do the readers get a hot love story about two stubborn, insightful people, but they also get a history lesson about how the Native American Tribal negotiations work, in dual perspective. This was a story filled with suspense, intrigue, secrets, deceit, and one dazzlingly sexy couple!!!

The story begins with the funeral of Linden Nakos, a staunch Native American, pillar of the community, and humanitarian, who was always part of preserving Native Americans' rights and land.  Linden was the creator and owner of the The Golden Arrow Casino.  The Casino is on Indian soil, and his wife and daughter must answer to the Native American Council, after the murder of Linden, who died under suspicious circumstances.  Linden is survived by his Dutch wife, his daughter Dakota (who he groomed to run his casino,) and his son Kai, (who wants nothing to do with family business,) and Kai's wife, (and Dakota's best friend,) Rachel.

At the services, Dakota is brought face to face with Kai's best friend, Shane, now a U.S. Marshal, who is also her ex-boyfriend.  The two of them were too stubborn to tell the other how they felt 5 years ago, and because of the lack of communication, each walked away from the love of their lives.  Now, Shane has come to give his condolences to the family he was brought up with, be there for the woman he has always loved, his friend, and ultimately, find the man who committed the murder of a man he considered a second father.

The characters in this novel were multi-faceted and phenomenal.  I loved the setting, descriptions, the wonderful love scenes, and the suspense behind the, who done it.  Ms. Lee has given us some history of the Native Americans, how they operate, who they answer to, and what happens when things are not done by protocol.  This was an amazing journey, and I can't wait to see if we will have more to come.  I couldn't get enough of Dakota and Shane.  I loved how they evolved, were raw, forgiving, and vulnerable, as they grew together.

In this story we get a side story about Kai and Rachel, which was sad and eye opening.  We also meet Stuart, Linden's right hand man/best friend. We get big business, manipulation, greed, intentional picketing, unrest, betrayal, fear and pride.  The reader also see's the lengths that people will go to when they are left off balance, even though they have known someone most of their lives. Fear will do funny things to people...  Don't miss out on this fascinating ride!

My Rating:

I give Two of Hearts, by Christina Lee, 4.5 Sad, Evolving, Mysterious, Sexy, Eye Opening, Ritualistic Stars!!!

My Favorite Quotes:

"He'll always be around.  In the sound of the wind, the melody of the crickets, and the brilliance of the sunset."


"She melted against my chest, her arms draping around my neck, and right then I Knew that I was completely gone for this woman.  My emotions were intense and raw and so completely overpowering, it was a wonder that I could even hold myself in check.  It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before in my entire life." 


Book Teasers:

Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About Christina Lee:

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss, salted caramel everything, and believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.


  1. Ah yes, I was excited for this spin-off story, too. I found the tribal affairs, the mystery, the side story with Kai and Rachel, and second chance romance a good thing too. Nice reviews, ladies! Loved the quote choices!

  2. I haven't read that many good romance novels that much, since you read a lot of NA novels - do you know any goods ones? I have read some of the popular ones, and most of them are just blah for me :( This sounds interesting though! Thank you for the awesome revieww <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  3. I love second chance romances. Lately, I can't get enough of them! So I am very interested in this story and the story of Shane and Dakota. :)

    Lovely reviews!

  4. This sounds like quite the intense and intriguing read. Interesting how the characters were together for a time and came back together again. Great reviews ladies!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  5. I really enjoyed this one. It isn't my favorite by this author but it's really good.


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