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Book Review: Open Your Heart

Stylish boutique owner Yolanda Richardson has a problem. Make that a major, possibly life ending, problem. While staying late one night, she happened to witness a murder. Terrified out of her mind, she makes the decision not to go to the police. After all, the police don’t have the best track record with keeping their witnesses alive. And it doesn’t help that she’s Black. No, she’s going to keep her mouth shut. But her silence hasn’t stopped threatening letters from showing up. At her wit's end, she flees to her family where her father takes matters into his hands, hiring her a bodyguard.

Charles “Chuck” Morris is very good at his job. Or at least he’s good at his job when he doesn’t let his emotions take control. The last time that happened tragedy struck and he’s never going to let that happen again. His job is to keep Yolanda safe no matter what. But it doesn’t help that she’s the sexiest woman he’s ever seen.

This job is going to be tougher than he thought.

No lie… I requested this book because of the cover and the fact that model looks like Shemar Moore. And although the hero has green eyes, I was pretty much picturing Derek Morgan the entire time I was reading this.

So, I really loved the idea of this book. I’ve had a thing for bodyguard falls for protectee ever since I saw The Bodyguard oh so long ago. However I didn’t love the execution. The story took a long time to build up steam and I felt a bit lost at parts since apparently some of the relevant action took place in previous books. I found the story choppy. Coming to starts and stops before zipping along only to crash to a screaming halt again. It didn’t land for me.

I also had a lot of difficulty liking the hero and heroine. While I completely understood Yolanda’s reasoning for not going to the police, I didn’t understand her complete unwillingness to take even the most basic of instructions from Chuck. After all he’s the expert, his job is to keep her alive. Maybe listen to him. It was super frustrating since she fell into TSTL territory a few too many times for my tastes. I also didn’t like how jealous and possessive she was toward him, especially when they weren’t even romantically involved yet. Jealousy is never sexy and I really wish that authors would stop using it as a shorthand to show attraction. As for Chuck, I was also frustrated with him. He gave in too easily and he was too easily distracted from his duty by his lust for Yolanda. And because he and Yolanda were always fighting but not actually communicating, the romance didn’t really land for me either. Other than lust, I couldn’t really see the characters working together long-term.

It may seem like I hated this book, but it had its good qualities too. I loved the relationship between the Richardson sisters. I loved seeing Black women being successful, ambitious, and awesome. I really loved the villains. Like I really liked them. The antagonists were some of the best characters in this book and also some of the best antagonists I’ve read recently.

I feel like I probably would have liked this book more if I’d read the previous books, but since this book can’t really stand on its own and because I didn’t love the leads this book gets.

Two Stars

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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley

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