Setting: Los Angeles
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union
Release Date: December 12, 2017

Halley and Adam Brennan have the relationship most couples long to have. They're head over heels for each other. Things come crumbling down when Adam reveals a secret. While they agreed they never wanted children, Adam's changed his mind. The problem is that Halley hasn't. She is happy being the doting aunt, but she does not want kids.

Both are unwilling to bend. When marriage counseling suggests it's a good time to separate and take some space to think about their goals, they do. Halley moves in with her best friend and Adam remains in their house. During this time alone, Halley starts to think about their marriage and what's truly best.

Strengths and Weaknesses

I look at Everything the Heart Wants from a somewhat personal note. Two guys I know were in marriages where they and their wives wanted children. After the marriage, spouses revealed kids were not in their plans. It's a lousy way to start a marriage, and the deception really did ruin the relationships. For that reason, I found myself sympathizing with Halley.

I didn't like Adam as much. I get his change of heart, but his pushiness drove me nuts. I found myself hoping that Halley would ditch him. That ended up being the reason I kept reading. I wanted to see Halley stick to her dream and not cave. Whether or not that happens is something you'll have to find out.

RTR's Bottom Line

Everything the Heart Wants is a good read, but I ended up having mixed feelings. There were times the book dragged and I just wanted to get back to Halley's story and not the side stories of her sister-in-law, sister, and best friend. There were times those plots seemed a little excessive when I wanted to keep focused on Halley.

My bottom line is that I enjoyed the story, but it's not a book I'd put on my keeper shelf.


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