Heart Smart – Emma Lee Jayne

Reviews by Yael Waknin


Dr. Maximillian Ramsey has a problem…

I’m a jerk. Everyone I know or have ever worked with agrees. “Misanthropic asshole” is the term I hear most often.

I don’t care what other people think as long as they leave me alone to focus on my research on soil microbiology. Plus, I walk with a cane thanks to a childhood accident. I have scars on my face. And if that isn’t enough to scare people off, my bad attitude and general grumpiness seal the deal. Which is just the way I like it.

Except, I’ve been short listed for one of the most prestigious academic fellowships around. To win it, I’ll have to give a series of speeches. On a stage. With an audience. While being filmed.

Yeah. None of that is going to happen.

Unfortunately, my boss has a plan. He brings in one of the communications lecturers to give me a “make over,” help me write the speeches, and manage my social media.

But the last thing I need is some nosy, bossy, gorgeous woman meddling in my life.

And Holly is the solution…

I’m a mere communications lecturer at a prestigious research university. I’m used to being outclassed and under-educated compared to the PhDs who surround me.

But I’m good at what I do. Brilliant, actually.

When Max’s boss (who happens to be my ex-husband) begs me to help transform this beast of a man into someone worthy of the fellowship, I have my work cut out for me.

It’ll take a lot of badgering, blatant manipulation, and some outright thievery to get Max to cooperate. All of which I handle with the enough professionalism and restraint that should earn me a fancy grant.

What I can’t handle is how unexpectedly attractive I find the stubborn and brilliant man.

This is a battle of wills and wits, and neither is prepared to admit defeat

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My review

One of the best and most beautiful books I have ever read.

Broken people find each other in undesirable circumstances (for both), and even though it seems that there is no match between them, something starts to grow under the surface, and it is not just attraction or lust.

You have to meet Max – he is a genius scientist with Asperger’s who has a limp due to a car accident that killed his parents when he was a child.

He knows that he puts everyone off because of his visibility, his attitude, and his “character.” Hence, he shuts himself in his lab and concentrates entirely on examining soils around the world. He gave up a social life and love life and is living a pretty lonely life.

Holly is a lecturer in communication at the same university Max is. She is supposed to work with him on communication, speech, audience standing, etc., for the “Geniuses” award Max is nominated for.

Holly is divorced (her ex is Max’s boss), and she went through a very severe trauma that led to the end of their marriage.

The connection between Max and Holly is so beautiful.

Holly’s efforts to reach out to Max are original, clever, amusing, but mostly successful.

Max has such a beautiful and delicate soul despite his outward and verbal rigidity.

Holly has such a big heart that there was no doubt she wouldn’t shy away and even be able to love Max, who doesn’t love himself.

With a hand on my heart, this book has depth, layers, emotions, pain, expose/hidden beauty, love, and complete acceptance of yourself and the other.

It was so beautiful and pleasant to read that one reading wasn’t enough for me; I also listened to it on audiobook.

And speaking of the audiobook –

Speaking of the audiobook, Max’s narrator – Connor Crais – does the narration perfectly! The deep voice you imagine Max has. The hesitation in his speech or the power of his harsh words is conveyed perfectly and was amazing.

Natalie Duke narrates Holly’s character – and she’s just like I described Holly’s voice in my head when I read the book. When she wants to curse, you hear the frustration in her voice, and when she quotes her mother, you hear even more of the excellent southern accent. Holly’s feelings and apprehensions sound so good in Natalie’s voice, and her reactions to Max’s toughness just captivated me.

Of course, the audiobook just added another charm to the story in my eyes, but that’s my opinion 😊

Click here for an interview with the author 

Click here for an interview with the audiobook narrator – Connor Crais 

Click here for an interview with the audiobook narrator – Natalie Duke

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