Friday, June 15, 2012

{Review} "Hidden Heart" by Camelia Miron Skiba

Title:  Hidden Heart
Author: Camelia Miron Skiba
Publisher:  Self - Published
Publication Date:  March 2, 2011
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format:  Kindle 426 KB, Paperback 319 pages

Buy this book on Amazon: Paperback |  Kindle Edition 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Tessa Cosma is a deceptively sweet businesswoman who knows how to ride the wave of chaos in corrupt, post-communist Romania to maintain the lifestyle she so carefully built for herself. Her ideal world shatters when an unplanned pregnancy ends after a brutal assault. To compound her troubles, she must unravel a fraud accusation that threatens her reputation and career.

Alessandro Santinelli, the charismatic Italian banker with whom she spent an incredible, lust-filled night a year ago, comes to her rescue. Tessa refuses his help and chooses to rise above the devastating forces of death, betrayal and fraud to prove her innocence and discover her true self.

Throughout Tessa's journey towards forgiveness and redemption, Alessandro guards over her from a distance. He provides her the space and time she needs to heal, meanwhile hoping to recapture something he believes was lost and unattainable.
Diving In...
I'm not really sure where to start with this one.  There were parts that I loved and parts that drove me insane!  I think I will start with the synopsis.  It's all jumbled up and doesn't really accurately portray what happens.  Oh, the things in the synopsis are things that happen in the book, but I think the synopsis leads you in the wrong direction.  Let me clarify...

Tessa does spend the night with Alessandro in Italy in the beginning of the book.  She goes home, back to a job that demands pretty much 100% of her time and attention.  She also goes back to an on again off again boyfriend.  Nearly a year passes before she comes into contact with Alesssandro again.  He just happens to be the banker who is sent to investigate the fraud allegations that were brought up against her.  There is an unplanned pregnancy that ends after a brutal assault, but this happens well into the book.  I think the synopsis is somewhat leading and the place it led me wasn't necessarily the way the story went.  I guess that didn't really clarify things too much did it?!  I don't want to post any spoilers though so I think I will just leave it at that.

Here are some things that I did like about the book.  Overall, I did like the characters, I think that some of the main characters could have been better developed while some minor characters were way overdeveloped.  She went into much more detail with Tessa's sisters, telling elaborate, somewhat unbelievable back stories for each of them.  I think she should have concentrated more on Tessa and Alessandro for the purpose of this story.  I also liked the overall story line.  I liked that she met him early on and then reconnected with him later.  I liked that there was a conflict with work that brought them back together.  I really like Eva and Victor's characters.  There were times in the story that I found myself tearing up, so I did feel for the characters and what they were going through.

I know that the author grew up in Romania so this part is harder for me to articulate.  I also realize that she experienced communism while growing up and she is trying to express all this in the story.  As an outsider, I didn't like how she did it though.  I realize that it was/is a very real thing, but in this story it's all disjointed.  There are a lot of references to how things used to be all throughout the story, but it's almost like she is just throwing information in there.  It doesn't flow well with the story and it made parts, a lot of parts, of the book really hard to read.  There were chunks that I just skimmed through because of this.

She portrays Tessa as this strong independent woman, but then when she is attacked she just shuts down with this whole inner monologue of how she is doing her womanly duty by letting this man do what he wants to her.  The whole book seems to waffle back and forth like this.  I think that this could have been a really great book, but I think it needs a really good edit to really make it all flow smoother.   I think that she could have worked in the history of the country so that it didn't seem like just a history lesson thrown into the middle of a romance novel.  There is also a lot of over the top description and oddly used adjectives.

I did enjoy the story, there were just so many technical things that I didn't care for.  There isn't much profanity and there were a couple of love scenes.

Review 5/10


  1. Awwww if only we are let me onto the main characters! Heehee, sometimes, when I reach long chunks about historical/political/overly-academic stuff that don't flow with the plot line I tend to just skim through and jump back into the story as well!



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