Uncross Your Heart by Taryn Elliott
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Length: Full Length (183 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Dahlia
Sometimes starting over means facing your greatest fears…
Miranda Lyons is adept at pretending to be someone else, someone without a past. She’s able to forget for chunks of time that she comes from a very wealthy, notorious family. She’s given up most of the party-girl vices from her old life, including sex. Until Nathan Cross barges into her life…
To all appearances, Nathan Cross is a simple man—devoted to family and friends, committed to his work. But nothing is simple about Nate’s feelings for Miranda. Fascination quickly blooms into outright lust, and not just for her body. He wants all of her, even the parts she hides from the world. But Miranda’s secrets threaten to drive away the one man capable of both helping her come to terms with her past and supporting a future with a love that’s all about truth.
Nate was moments away from giving up when the woman who occupied his thoughts for the last three years finally took notice. Besides her physical appeal, her hidden depths and mysterious lifestyle fascinated him. After so much observation, Nate wanted to get to know her better, but she kept herself tightly closed off to anything profoundly personal. Sparks ignite and rage out of control physically, but breaking down the barriers surrounding her heart is another matter entirely. He resolves his determination to get to know the real Miranda, but what he ultimately discovers crushes him. Now he wonders if any of it was ever real.
Growing up an heiress and socialite and then hitting rock bottom, Miranda managed to get away from the ugly side of fame and temptation, by making a new name for herself and starting her own business. Keeping a low profile so no one would figure out her ruse was easy, but keeping the old “MJ” from rearing her ugly head when Nate finally made his move, is a different story. She doesn’t know if she can give him the “more” he’s looking for and when her skeletons start coming out of the closet, he may not want her anyway. But is her past worth more than a future with Nate?
Uncross Your Heart is an emotional roller-coaster of a story with a unique situation that threatens the developing relationship. I appreciated how Nate took a leading role in the story and was upfront with his feelings and patiently fights to establish a deeper connection with Miranda. Disappointingly, Miranda dodges him at every turn with weak excuses. At times she's not a very likable character, but she has several redeeming qualities like her inner geek, business savvy independence, fashion choices, and even her dog Stella. While many readers may not be able to relate to Miranda and Nate's predicament personally, their story is still unique and clever. It's also extremely steamy and very enjoyable.
Complex and dynamic characters with great scene imagery and drama makes for a fantastic debut by this author that contemporary romance readers should check out!