Precious Heart
by Doris Johnson, contemporary (2000)
Arabesque, $5.99, ISBN 1-58314-083-2

Organ donation makes an interesting backdrop for a romance, doesn't it? At least, I think so, and am intrigued by the premise enough to pick up Doris Johnson's Precious Heart. To my disappointment though, this interesting premise is soon shoved away for more of the mundane stuff: love - yes, love - no, love - yes...

Diamond Drew's late mother had her heart donated to someone in need after her death. Diamond is against that, but what could she do? She feels she can't accept her mother's death until she discovers to whom her momma's heart is given to. She has received a letter from the recipient's son thanking her for her mother's gift for his mother, so our heroine drops everything in her life to go seek out this woman. This woman better be worthy of her mother's heart.

I wonder what she is going to do if she deems the recipient unworthy? Rip the heart out of the woman? Might be interesting.

As it turns out, Cecelia Rumsford is a crabby, sometimes endearing, sometimes annoyingly shrewish woman who makes Diamond want to scream. She ends up dear Mrs Rumsford's personal therapist, and she also ends up the star attraction in the dysfunctional Rumsford household. Son Steven starts wondering how Diamond looks like naked, and she gets all dizzy stripping him of his clothes in her mind.

Bouncy dialogs and snappy repartees aside, things get boring when the relationship dynamics start to plod. He doesn't trust love, neither does she. This old theme is getting really boring fast, although I suspect maybe this is because I've been reading this recurrent theme again and again in Arabesque romances (this no-trust-of-the-opposite-sex theme is right up there with the Betrayed By My Momma (for her) and Betrayed By My Ex (for him) soap tunes when it comes to plot device popularity in Arabesque - wonder why).

This story does dwell briefly on the possibilities of Cecelia gaining some of Diamond's mother's personality via the heart transplant, but really, most of Precious Heart are familiar retreads of a path well-trodden before.

Rating: 71

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