Heartstrings by Kelli McCracken is a contemporary mystery romance with a hint of paranormal. Readers are introduced to Jo Hayes who has suffered major physical and emotional trauma after being involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, her injuries included a traumatic brain injury which caused amnesia leaving her without memory of the last six years of her life. Her right hand was also seriously injured which was almost more devastating for Jo as she is a pianist in a symphony.
We learn that Jo’s medical team recommended that no one tell her what happened as they want her brain to be ready to remember on its own and recover when ready. This left Jo essentially alone with her brother, Brighton, to care for her as he couldn’t trust anyone else not to accidentally tell. She finds herself angry with him most of the time both for his following of her doctors’ orders and refusing to tell her what happened as well as her past memory of him being a manipulative drug addict.
Although Jo can’t play her beloved piano she does have a very special guitar from her brother that at least allows her to make music. It is during her guitar sessions that a handsome, tattooed man, Adam, starts to appear. Jo can’t tell if he is real or a figment of her imagination but he seems to know an awful lot about her and she can’t deny her attraction to him.
Things become more complicated as additional characters are introduced into the story including a nurse who seems to be hiding pain of her own and another handsome man that is definitely real and eerily resembles the mysterious Adam.
Heartstrings was really very intriguing. I thought the character development was excellent and the story line was quite unique for a romance. There are some heavy emotions and loss involved in this story and you can’t help but feel for Jo and the others. In an attempt to avoid a total spoiler, I will just say there was a love tangle between some of the characters that I felt took away from what otherwise would have been an even greater story. If you are looking for a bit more emotionally involved romance, I would highly recommend Heartstrings and I very much look forward to reading more works by Kelli McCracken.
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