“Real love stories never end.”
Second chance romances are probably my favorite kinds of romances to read. The angst, the heartbreak, the reunion, the rekindled love… everything about the trope just appeals to me. So I had high expectations for Paper Hearts – ever since I read Kaleidoscope Hearts (my review here) and Torn Hearts (the free prequel novella to Paper Hearts), Mia and Jensen’s story was a highly anticipated read of mine. And I’m so glad to say that Claire Contreras didn’t let me down – Paper Hearts is a fantastic, heart-wrenching second chance romance that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. It’s the kind of book that will tug on your heartstrings, make your heart pound, and leave you breathless.
It’s been said that we’re only given one chance at things in life. I’d love to prove that wrong.
Normally, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to read this book – but I felt like I just HAD to know Mia and Jensen’s story. In the prequel (which is also in the beginning of Paper Hearts), we learn that Jensen and Mia were the inseparable, totally-in-love kind of couple. But when Jensen goes off to college, their relationship takes a break… and then Jensen does something that changes the course of their lives forever. My heart broke for the two of them – they went from being best friends who were in love to being shattered beyond repair. I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to forgive Jensen for what he did. But reading Paper Hearts has put everything in perspective, and now I’m just so glad to have experienced Mia and Jensen’s love story.
My heart felt like it wanted to leap out and settle inside of his. Not again, I told myself. I knew if it did, I’d never get it back.
Mia and Jensen have rarely seen each other in the years since they’ve broken apart, but now Mia is moving to New York City to work as a photographer at the same place Jensen writes his column. In the same city and in the same workplace, it’s inevitable that they’ll see each other again. And when they do, it’s obvious that the love between them has never waned, as much as Mia wishes it would. But with Jensen determined to win back the love of his life, can Mia find it in herself to forgive him and move on… with him?
Mia is a wonderful, well-rounded character. My heart was completely invested in this girl, who’s been through so much heartbreak because of Jensen. She’s smart and tough, and though she’s not without faults – she was partly to blame for her and Jensen’s bad breakup, though the majority of the blame definitely belongs to him – I really enjoyed her character. And I was all ready to be totally pissed at Jensen on her behalf, but Jensen surprised me, in the best way. Through the little snippets of his column, written in his POV, we see how much he regrets hurting Mia, how devastated at their breakup he was, and how much he still wants another chance. I could literally FEEL how much Jensen still loves Mia, which was something I definitely needed in this book. I also was expecting a lot of groveling, and the columns were basically that. Claire Contreras did a fantastic job with Jensen’s character, showing his flaws, his motivations, and most of all, his complete devotion to Mia.
Maybe our souls really are scattered in the things we love, and we are all completely lost, but from the moment she looked at me, I felt like I’d been found.
I was expecting a lot of angst in Paper Hearts, but I’d say the angst was more sweet than anything. Both the main characters have grown up and matured over the years, which I appreciated. The pace of the book was spot-on – there are a lot of obstacles that Jensen and Mia need to overcome before they can finally have that HEA, and everything played out at the perfect pace. Even though I may not have completely loved Paper Hearts, it’s still a brilliant read that fans of second chance romances should not miss. It’s a GREAT read, one I recommend – if you’re into intense love stories that will make you will feel so much, you should definitely give this book a try. You won’t regret it!
“I love you, and there’s no negotiating with what I feel in my heart.”
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.