Follow Your Heart
by Brenda Jackson
Catalina Cove - Book 4
Release Date: April 27, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
Some things shouldn’t be left to chance…
Victoria Madaris is next on her great-grandmother’s matchmaking list—which suits her just fine. She’s laser-focused on her career and doesn’t have time to concentrate on her love life, too. Knowing that Mama Laverne is vetting unsuitable candidates—like rising US senator Roman Malone—makes things easy.
But Roman unexpectedly ticks all of Victoria’s boxes. The longtime family friend is outrageously sexy, and every time they meet, their chemistry crackles. Being a journalist, though, Victoria just doesn’t trust politicians. Plus, her matchmaker’s expert opinion keeps pointing to the charming and handsome Tanner Jamison. And everybody knows, Mama Laverne is never wrong.
Suddenly, Victoria sees Tanner everywhere—as if by fate—but she doesn’t feel any attraction. Meanwhile, the more Victoria gets to know Roman, the harder it is to resist him. Her head is saying play it safe, but is her heart strong enough to go against her better judgment…and Mama Laverne’s?
Brenda Jackson returns to Catalina Cove for another heartwarming story of love and happily ever after...times two!
I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series and each new addition has me eager for a return visit to this idyllic little town on the Louisiana coast. If this was a real town I'd be booking a flight, packing my bags, and making plans to meet up with all my favorite Catalina Cove characters. Oh, and also making reservations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because fresh seafood (yum), baked delights from the apple orchard (double yum), and fresh blueberry muffins at the Witherspoon Café? Yes, please!
I'm partial to the friends-to-lovers trope, especially when the author takes her time with the couple and that's exactly what Jackson does with Roman and Victoria. I enjoyed their conversations, the subtle flirting, the time they took to discover common interests. By the time they explored the flames of their desire for one another they had built a solid foundation of mutual friendship, trust, and respect to support the love that was beginning to flourish and would, hopefully, see them through looming obstacles. Because, oh yes, there are obstacles.
The secondary romance in this book is also enjoyable though that couple has a very different dynamic from Roman and Victoria. The threads among the four characters intertwine enough to add complexity and tension to the story without creating an abundance of angst and the second HEA is a nice bonus. Plus, the twist at the end related to the secondary couple was a fun surprise I did not see coming.
Even though Follow Your Heart is the fourth book in the Catalina Cove series, it stands very well on its own. Readers new to the series can jump into Roman and Victoria's story without missing a beat. This book also has a tie-in to Jackson's popular Madaris series. Fans of that series will no doubt enjoy revisiting a few of those characters as well.