RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren


Title: My Foolish Heart
Author: Susan May Warren
Publication Info: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2011
ISBN: 978-1414334820
Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Foolish Heart This review was written by Beth. This story was nominated in the Best Contemporary Inspirational Romance category.

The summary:     

Unknown to her quaint town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley is the star host of My Foolish Heart, a popular syndicated talk radio show. From her home studio, she gives listeners advice on romance . . . even though she’s never had a date. It’s not that she doesn’t want to, but since a tragic accident took her mother’s life, panic attacks have trapped her inside her small neighborhood.

And though she always reminds listeners that their perfect love could be right next door, it can’t possibly be true for her. Especially when a new neighbor moves in. Sure, he’s handsome, but with his unruly dog and Neanderthal manners, Caleb Knight is the last man she’d ever fall for.

To Issy, love isn’t worth the risk. Until she starts to have feelings for a caller—a man she’s never even met but finds honest, charming, and sensitive. A man she doesn’t realize lives right next door.

And here is Beth's review:

The best part of this book is the fact that the author reveals the characters’ insecurities and doesn’t hesitate to put them in situations where they are vulnerable. I also appreciate that she draws attention to perceptions of strengths and weaknesses.  Another thing that really stood out was the way the friendship between Lucy and Issy was portrayed. They were always supportive of each other while being realistic about it.

There were two things that really annoyed me to the point of distraction. The first was the circumstances that put things in motion for Issy and Caleb’s relationship. They are instantly attracted to each other, but their interaction is strained by the way they project their own insecurities into the way they behave around each other and regard each other.  They begin to overcome these obstacles when Caleb happens upon Issy’s radio station and seeks advice from her…without knowing it’s her. I can’t buy into it because they hear each other’s voices. How can they not know who they are talking to? Also, this leads to the problem that not only are they falling for each other in “real life” but also in “radio life.” Each character addresses the problem that they are falling for (they assume) two different people, and ponder the implications of loving/potentially loving two different people at once. However, this isn’t really resolved –they discover who they really are and that is that.

The second thing that annoyed me was the relationship between Lucy and Sebastian, the supporting characters. Everything about their relationship was disappointing. Despite the fact that Lucy was an established business owner who had been involved in her family’s donut business forever, she apparently needed Sebastian, the business school dropout, to save her business. It was also disappointing that she was so willing to start up where they left off despite the fact that he broke her heart by being a jerk, something she hadn’t gotten over by the time he shows up again.

This story gets a C+. It really wasn’t my favorite thing to read, I won’t read it again, and I probably won’t recommend it to someone. However, I do appreciate the risks the author took with her characters. If you are interested in second chance romances, small town romances, homecoming stories, stories that feature main characters with disabilities/chronic conditions, and/or inspirational romances, this might be something you want to add to your list.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

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