“Stone Heart” by Susan K. Hamilton

Stone Heart

Susan K. Hamilton
Writing Bloc Indie Publishing (2022)
ISBN Number:  978-1737353683
Reviewed by Terri Stepek for Reader Views (10/22)

Most of us have them: the one that “got away.” The former flame we think about and wonder what if… For legendary rock star Lauren Stone, that ex is Danny Padovano, the one person who loved her before she was a star. Her high school sweetheart and soul mate. The one who just crossed her path through a series of unforeseen events. The one who just admitted he never got over her. Is it getting hot in here??

It’s impressive that an author would take on such a story. After all, infidelity is a touchy subject, and who really wins in these cases? Besides the lawyers. But as the author herself points out, this story is not so much about unfaithfulness as it is about making decisions as the flawed human beings that we are. If you’re looking for that hot alpha superhero that defines perfection and saves the day, *spoiler alert* this isn’t your story. This novel is full of relatable characters that have hopes and dreams, along with a closet full of skeletons and bad decisions. These personalities are engaging because they’re us. They may try to convince themselves that they’re rational and realistic, but in truth sometimes their perception is skewed. Especially by matters of the heart.

Some readers may have a tough time with this read because it’s raw and open. The author paints a starkly beautiful picture of the decisions that lead these characters to the choices they make and the fallout from those actions. The novel takes the reader from the highs of fame, fortune, and passion to the lows of pain, loss, and deep regret. While heartbreak and angst make their appearances, this is not so much a tear-jerker as it is a character-driven story of facing one’s decisions and of overcoming the results. The humor, wisdom, and love of family and friends help balance what could have been a gloomy read.

Rock star Lauren, police detective Danny, his wife Heather, the members of The Kingmakers band, family, and friends on both sides will all find themselves affected by the reuniting of old lovers. The author deftly navigates this minefield, keeping the reader engaged and reminding us that rarely is life made up of issues that are black or white/good or bad. Perfect and unequivocal answers are scarce, because life is more complicated than we want it to be.

I recommend “Stone Heart” by Susan K. Hamilton to readers who appreciate realistic characters struggling with genuine issues, to fans of romance novels that are less about perfect heroes than about how messy life truly is, and to those who enjoy stories that touch all of the reader’s emotions.

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