I didn’t read the blurb before I started reading this book. I knew I’d liked Nicole Stiling’s first two novels a lot and that was enough for me. Though I didn’t exactly decide not to read the blurb, I’m really happy it happened. The story that unfolded before my eyes took me entirely by surprise and I loved it. I was unsettled for most of the time I was reading, which echoes what the characters were going through.
In my reviews, I usually summarize the plot in a few sentences, doing my best not to spoil. I’m not even going to do that this time. This will probably be a shorter review than this book deserves but I really recommend going in knowing it’s good but without too much information.
All I’ll say is that it’s not an easy task to make sudden chemistry between two women who have known each other for almost ten years believable. And yet Stiling succeeds, there’s no doubt about that. Belated instalust is a thing, trust me.
I was rooting for Siena and Juliet from the start but also liked the secondary characters very much. I wasn’t always sure what the timeline was, however. It felt like things were happening pretty quickly between the two MCs but at one point, one of them says it’s been going on for “a while”. It didn’t bother too much, though, I had plenty to focus on that mattered more.
Another thing Stiling writes really well is atmosphere. I get completely sucked into her stories and have a hard time restraining myself from reading them in one sitting.
Heart of the Storm is heavy on romance and lighter on the mystery aspect, which is more in the background, but in both areas, the author manages intricate storylines, making this book very enjoyable on both sides.