It Takes Heart is a sweet romance, with strong secondary characters and a good set-up for the series, but a bit slow / it felt long.
Luna the cat is adorable, and I love the scene where Brandon and Geneva risk their own safety to make sure she’s safe during a bad storm.
I thought the Tagalog names (Tiwala, Halik, Ligaya) for the houses in the couples resort was a charming touch, and the resort being called Heart Resort because the family’s surname is Puso is a cute touch. There were moments when I started to feel it veered towards being too cutesy, but then that kind of cheese is pretty solid branding for a couples resort, and I like that Filipino references.
There were also moments that were a bit too meta-cutesy, mostly when Brandon’s sister-in-law Eden, a romance writer, talks about tropes that are clearly reflecting the tropes in this novel (second chance romance, forced proximity, best friend’s younger brother). Like, yes, those are accurate, and yes, having a character who’s a romance writer bring it up is believable, but meh. No cookie for you, just because I’m feeling petty.
The book did feel long, and I’m not super sure why. The romance between Brandon and Geneva was believable, and the family dynamics within the Puso family felt realistic. Yet I never quite got sucked in. Perhaps there was just a bit too much going on, with all these various seeds of various Puso sibling stories being set up for future books? I usually like those in romance series. I actually think feel for Chris and Eden, I think the story being set up for Gil and his ex-wife seems intriguing, and I’m curious what romance will be set up for Beatrice. But there were moments when I wanted to find out more about them than stay with Brandon and Geneva.
Overall, this is a solid, sweet romance with good family dynamics. Just a bit uneven for me.
Thanks to Thomas Allen for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.