I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #2
Published by Golden Orb Press on August 15, 2017
Source: the author
Set 19 years after The Architect of Song.
Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend?
As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship.
A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.
As always, Anita is a master storyteller. From the plot to the characters, everything about this book was incredible! I was consumed within the pages and didn’t want it to end. But when it did, it was in an incredibly satisfying way. While this story wrapped up nicely with no frustrating cliffhangers, it still has me eager to get my hands on book three – which isn’t out until August 2018! Insert crying emoji! So far, all we know about book three is that it will be Nick’s story… GIMME GIMME GIMME!
Anyway, back to THIS book and the review for it, hehe.
I honestly think I enjoyed this book MORE than The Architect of Song. I can’t believe I’m saying that because I LOVED The Architect of Song, but The Hummingbird Heart was just… incredible. I think it was the characters, honestly. I loved Juliet, Lord Thornton and Hawk. But Willow and Julian were !!!!!!!
I loved Willow. She was wild and free-spirited, yet had a tragic past. Someone as carefree as her shouldn’t have to hold such a burden in their heart. She had some AMAZING character growth, especially in the second half of the book. The revelations concerning her past were both mind-blowing and a bit obvious. Like, I SHOULD have seen it coming, but I didn’t until very close to the reveal. But I actually LOVED the way her story went, as weird and crazy as it was! It really just made complete sense and it was like all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place with this reveal.
Julian was soooo swoony. He was a bit controlling in the beginning and he did a few things that I REALLY couldn’t stand, but by the end, he had grown a LOT. He loosened up and embraced a lot of things that Beginning of Book Julian would NEVER have embraced.
I completely shipped Willow and Julian! Right from the beginning, they had this epic rapport – like a bickering old married couple! Their relationship was a slow, sweet burn and SO satisfying in the end.
I absolutely adored Newton. There was just something so fun and lovable and vulnerable about him. In the beginning, his relationship with Julian was HILARIOUS! It reminded me of the “little old lady bickering” between Morpheus and Jeb in the Splintered trilogy. I loved his devotion to his sister (*cough*) and his unwavering loyalty to those he considered friends. For a little boy, he had a big heart.
I really couldn’t stand Nick. Normally I like the cocky bad boy, but he was just an ass with no redeeming qualities. HOWEVER… And I don’t understand why… But… I CANNOT WAIT for his story in book three! Maybe because I think there’s more to him than we saw in this book, and maybe because I DO hope he redeems himself.
A character I really DID like was Judge Arlington. He was like the kind grandfather of the group. I also really liked Sala and… I know I shouldn’t… And I can’t explain why without spoilers so… !!! Also, Vadette – another I can’t explain without spoilers, so…
The last 20% of the book was INCREDIBLE. Like, the whole book was incredible. But the last 20% was intense and emotional and full of revelations and GAH!!!!!
As usual (and as mentioned above), Anita crafted an imaginative world with strong, likable characters. Her writing was vivid and sucked me into the story. I will never not love the things she writes. Her books are just incredible. They take you on an unforgettable adventure. If you love ghost stories and epic love stories, this book is definitely for you!