I need to stop saying I'm not a romance reader. I keep reading and liking romance novels. Clearly, I've been throwing out an entire genre based on one convention. But there are many, many conventions within romance.
I don't know what subgenre to call Uncross Your Heart, the debut novel by Taryn Elliott, but Nathan Cross is not the alpha male I hate having shoved down my throat. He is patient, kind, and so worth having a book centered around him. Miranda Woods, the woman whose attention he's trying to catch, seems uninterested, though she intrigues him. But she has good reason to avoid entanglements.
Let me just say here that it's a whole different experience, reading a book by someone you've critiqued. I kept having to quell the urge to jot notes in the margins, and reminded myself frequently that it's already published and this is the final version.
I did manage to stop reading this as if she were narrating it, though. Her writerly voice is different from how she speaks, though there are certainly verbal touches that I recognized. Her snarky, playful outlook certainly shines through in the words; this is most distinctly her style and voice. But this is Nate and Miranda's story, and they each have their own distinctive voices, as well.
And what an intriguing story. The plot is fairly thin, and based on Miranda making a lot of her own problems. But I understood why she had the approach she did, and why she put up such a fight for Nate. He proves just as determined to push past her barriers as she is to put them up, and I was rooting for them from their first tension-laden dance together.
And what tension. These two have chemistry so hot I was worried it would melt my Kindle. You're right there with them as the frustration builds, and the culminations leave nothing to be desired. This is a writer who does justice to characters' libidos.
If romance interests you, or even if it's something that's turned you off in the past, I would highly recommend picking up this debut. I realize I'm biased, but I think the vast majority of readers would find Nate and Miranda worth a read.
You can buy this book direct from the publisher, on Amazon, or for the Nook. It's only available for ereaders at this time.