Maxine’s Bookshelf: Open Hearts by Eve Dangerfield

March 21, 2019


Some authors make it easy to fall in love with their characters. In Eve Dangerfield’s Open Hearts she sure made me and hundreds of other readers fall in love with her character, Dean. Dangerfield currently lives in Melbourne, and her novels have been described as “the defibrillator contemporary romance needs right now.” She’s original, witty, and explains her focus of complex women with gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men.


Summary of Open Hearts


Ash Bennett is done wasting her time longing for Prince Charming and getting stuck with Prince 'Babe, What's For Dinner?' She can't find a respectable self-sufficient man to start a family with so she'll do it by herself. It's better than pinning all your hopes on a guy who's never going to make you happy. Take Dean Sherwood, sure he's hot, but that doesn't pay the bills or remember to puck you up from the airport. No, they're just having a little fun until Ash can find a sperm donor... Only Dean has made it his mission to become the man she needs, and he’s playing for keeps.



Why You Should Read It


Dangerfield has taken a trope that is beloved by the romance community and spun it into something new with original characters. The plotline of a heroine done waiting for the right man to start a family is the basis of many romance novels, but it’s the characters that make this novel different. Ash likes Dean, but she soon discovers that while he's the nicest guy she's ever met, he wouldn't make a good father according to her ideals. He's spacey, extremely forgetful and what many characters in the novel insinuate as mentally disabled. He is never diagnosed with having any disorder or disability in the book, but he has something that inhibits him from learning and remembering certain things, like how many weeks there are in a year and that Wuthering Heights is a book and a movie, not a skyscraper.


He has some holes in his memory and gaps in his knowledge, but he has the biggest heart, he’s kind, caring and lovable and there will never be another character like him. At times his open heart and personality made me teary-eyed at the thought that anyone could find him stupid or not good for anything but sex. He is incredible, and if you find a man that might have a few small faults but is willing to try his hardest and work his ass off to be the man you want like Dean, you’d better keep him


The fact that this was a romance where the hero has a sort of disorder/disability made me love it more because it's something that is often underrepresented in the romance genre. The fact that it was never explicitly mentioned helped the reader use their imagination instead of sticking to labels. This book was amazing, adorable, and heart-melting and I highly recommend it to any romantic.


Rating: 5/5


Unless you have a lot of time to spare, don't start a book conversation with Maxine, because she can talk for hours. She's an avid reader, primarily contemporary romance, but every once in a while she'll pick up a suspenseful thriller. She's been writing since high school, mostly fiction, and thinking of characters and situations to put them in for as long as she can remember. Her motto is "everyone deserves love," and therefore her dream is to help push representation for different races, disorders, and disabilities in the romance genre.


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