4.0 out of 5 stars Romance dished with a side of Canadiana, January 15, 2012
This review is from: Hearts At Risk (Paperback)

In Hearts at Risk, Gloria Antypowich succeeds in depicting the turmoil that inevitably ensues when your heart wants someone that your brain doesn’t want you to touch.

The novel revolves around rancher Frankie “Fran” Lamonte and her hard-edged employer, Colt. You can’t have a novel about sexual chemistry without sex–and they’re present in Hearts at Risk by way of steamy, graphic-without-being-explicit passages–but the moments that truly reflect the chemistry between Frankie and Colt are their quiet, non-sexual interactions. I loved the conversations over coffee and eggs, or the companionable silence they shared as they rode the range. Antypowich is a master at weaving the heights of romance with the mundane of the everyday.

What I liked best–and I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed this aspect of the book–was the peek it gave me into a world that, while close to home, I’ve nary given a second thought. Ranching is a part of Canadian society known only to those who are a part of it. It’s evident that Antypowich has researched the intricacies of ranch life, and has intimate knowledge of its inner workings: from the arduous chores necessary to keeping it all humming along, to the maladies that afflict ranch cattle. I feel like I really learned something about a vibrant Canadian sub-culture, and I want to learn even more.

There were flaws (a few typos; sporadic/jolting shifts in POV; Frankie and Colt’s relationship begins with a bruised wrist), but these flaws were not deal-breakers for me, and by the end of the novel I was so invested in Frankie and Colt’s journey that I squealed when the lovers pushed aside their doubts and baggage and finally committed to each other.

Hearts at Risk is a must-read for readers who appreciate a little Canadiana with their romance.