Title: Kaleidoscope Hearts
Author: Claire Contreras
Rating: 3 Stars
Unsurprisingly I like to read reviews before I read certain books. This book had been on my Kindle for a while so I looked up the reviews before I started reading and it had a ton of 5 star reviews, citing one of my favorite tropes – the brother’s best friend. Which just served to make me pretty excited to start it. I was a little surprised when I did and realized the MC was a widow. But I just expected/hoped that meant there might be even more depth to this novel than I was originally thinking there would be.
Estelle’s fiance died the year before this book begins and it begins with her trying to move on with her life by putting her house up for sale and moving in with her brother. Which puts her smack in the presence of Oliver, her brother’s best friend who she has a significant history with, and as it turns out, that hasn’t gone away even with time.
I was a fan of Oliver and Estelle’s romance from the beginning because I’m just a sucker for that trope, maybe because it strikes me as very realistic and one that happens a lot? Who knows? I just am a big fan of it. The author does a great job with the slow reveal, and slowly peeling back the layers of their history and what had gone wrong with them previously. The humor that the family and friends have was another aspect that I really enjoyed here, the guys joked around with each other well and Estelle and her brother had a jovial sibling relationship.
So there are definite pluses in this book but I could not get past the parts that bothered me. My major issue was with all of the negativity about her fiance. Estelle was still with him when he died so it bothered me to see the negativity come through over and over. It’s one thing if the other people in her life felt that he wasn’t right for her – and obviously he wasn’t right for her if the premise of this book is that Oliver IS right for her – but not so subtly we hear how controlling he was. How jealous he was. Basically if he was still alive it would be a semi-abusive relationship. It made me uncomfortable to hear these things when Estelle was supposed to have loved him and agreed to marry him. I felt that we still could have fallen in love with Estelle and Oliver as a couple without this.
So, take the good with the bad on this one. Other people were able to overlook that part and have it not bother them at all so you may be one of those people.