Review of Hearts in Motion by Miranda MacLeod
Miranda Macleod is an established lesbian fiction writer but, for some reason, I haven’t read that much of her work. After listening to Accidental Honeymoon recently I’m determined to go through her books. I’m happy that I grabbed a copy of her latest, Hearts in Motion because it was very enjoyable.
When Hadley Moore, an emergency doctor in Boston, suddenly loses her sister and brother-in-law in a car accident, she decides to go back to her small hometown to take care of her baby nephew. But after reconnecting with the other aunt, her brother-in-law’s sister, Tyne Briggs, things start getting complicated. Both women are overwhelmed with grief and willing to take care of their nephew, to the point of starting a custody battle. But there is also an undercurrent of attraction that is hard to deny.
Even though the cover suggests – and the blurb states – that this is a medical romance, I wouldn’t consider it strictly so such as, for example, Radclyffe’s. If you are looking for that, you might be disappointed. But don’t let this put you off. This is a heartwarming romance. Additionally, there are two very good medical scenes that make me think that Ms. MacLeod should consider writing a romance in a hospital setting. The first medical scene, which is the beginning of the book is absolutely epic. Fast-paced, very emotional, and an absolute joy to read.
Hearts in Motion also deals with the devastation of losing a loved one in tragic circumstances. It’s about how to deal with grief and the pain of rebuilding a family after such a terrible loss. Having said that, the overall tone of this story isn’t sad or dramatic, it’s hopeful and well-balanced with romance, humor, and optimism.
This is an opposites-attract romance between a doctor and an artist, a city slicker and a small-town girl, a career-obsessed and a family-oriented woman. There is also an age gap of 12 years between the characters but it’s not an issue. Despite all their differences, there is a big common ground that brings them together: the wellbeing of their orphaned nephew. That, and an irresistible mutual attraction.
The author builds the chemistry between the mains very well, considering that both women are dealing with grief and are confronted with life-changing decisions. Their attraction is believable, taking into account their complicated circumstances. Hadley is the character who has a bigger journey of transformation in front of her and Tyne acts as a catalyst to that. Together they clash and compromise, they have deep conversations and witty banter, which makes their relationship multifaceted and complex. I think this novel finds a perfect balance between all these complex emotions while, at the same time, entertains the reader.
Overall, a very good romance with a hopeful message of love after loss. 4.5 stars.