Reviewed by Mandi
I have conflicting thoughts regarding this book. First I want to say that I think L.H Cosway has such a unique voice. Each of her stories are so different. You have no idea what story idea she is going to come up with and what kind of unique characters she will give us. I truly get excited with each new release (See here and here).
There were things that I really liked about Six of Hearts. But when I read “The end,” I had a rumble of dissatisfaction. Looking over the Goodreads ratings, this is a pretty popular and well-liked book. I expected to adore it, but instead I liked it with reservations.
The hero is Jay, a famous illusionist with a very troubled past. His abusive father died in a fire one night, also claiming the lives of his mother and brother. Jay was outside and saw men go into his house and spread gasoline. He didn’t know why the men wanted to burn his house and kill his family. Orphaned, he is sent from Ireland, to live in the States with his Uncle, a renowned behavioral scientist. Although his uncle is not physically abusive, the mental abuse is torture, and Jay decides a life on the street is better, where he starts pick-pocketing and hones his skills as an illusionist. As an adult, he has vowed revenge on the men who burned his house down, and this rage follows him through life.
Our heroine is Matilda, whose mother was murdered when she was a young girl. Growing up with just her dad, she still lives with him and is his receptionist at the law practice he owns. One day Jay waltzes in and asks Matilda’s dad to take a case for him. A reporter by the name of Una has written an article with lies about Jay – a volunteer that recently performed in one of Jay’s shows, later that night died of a heart attack. Many reports are swirling over what exactly happened. Reporting other nasty things about Jay’s personal life, Jay wants to sue, and is determined to have Matilda’s dad as his lawyer. While her dad continues to decline taking his case, Jay ends up renting a room in Matilda’s house that they had open for renters. Jay and Matilda become very close, but as the romance heats up, Jay becomes very anguished that he can’t commit to Matilda seriously because of a big secret.
There are lots of secrets in this book – Jay meets with strange men at odd hours of the night, he gets odd texts, as the reader – you know something is up, but you and Matilda are left in the dark. (although you will start to guess what it is). While Jay falls for Matilda hard and can be a flirter and charmer, he has a temper. He has a lot of jealousy and possessive issues. At times I found them to be hot, at times I got tired of them. He can’t commit to Matilda 100% because of the big secrets that are going on. You know he wants to, but he keeps saying that it isn’t the time yet. So Matilda goes through the book lusting after Jay but also trying online dating and other things. Matilda is a more innocent, naive heroine. When things get hot and heavy between her and Jay, and then he pushes her away for whatever reason, she immediately goes into the “why doesn’t he want me?” phase. Meanwhile she is sneaking around following him into dark alleys as he meets with men with guns. She must know he is in some deep shit, so maybe he really can’t be a boyfriend at the moment. She gets very embarrassed by sexual talk or innuendo, and sometimes the teasing of her about this made me squirm. It’s very much a story with a hero who is very worldly, holds much resentment, very sexual and attractive and big personality Vs. a heroine who is naive, low self-esteem, shy, a bit immature. I liked that difference at first, but I got a little tired of it by the end. I think my discomfort comes to the fact that I felt like Jay was the one always in control and Matilda never got a chance to set her own terms. It was always Jay’s rules, Jay’s game. His anger over his past, ruled his relationship with Matilda. I didn’t like that.
While I liked the secretive stuff, by the end the villains seemed too over the top – I was expecting more. And Jay had moments of such disrespect and vulgarity. I know, I know his parents were murdered and he is allowed to be angry about that, of course. But sometimes the things he said would leave a bad taste in my mouth.
I appreciate that this book is different – sometimes I get into ruts and I feel like I’m always reading the same thing. This for sure is unique. Her story ideas are so cool. I just wasn’t satisfied with everything when it was all said and done. The hero was a little bit too much for me and the mystery was just okay.
Rating: C….maybe C+ on a good day.