Standalone – contemporary romance
‘”I have a heart. I just don’t allow it to do its job.’
DEAR HEART, I HATE YOU by J. STERLING
I didn’t plan on him. Or for him.
Or anything that had to do with Cal Donovan from Boston.
Meeting him had been a complete and utter surprise, taking me one hundred percent off guard.
I met new people every single day in my line of work and none of them affected me. Wasn’t that the way of things though?
You could meet a thousand people and they’d all mean nothing to you.
But then you’d meet that one and they suddenly meant everything.
‘Nothing made you realize how much you’d been ignoring your heart, until someone came along and smacked it awake simply by existing.’
It’s been a while since we’ve read a book by J Sterling book and boy did we love Dear Heart, I Hate You! We loved so much about this he realness of the characters, the believability of her words, the beauty of her writing and the ease in which she immediately hooked us into Jules and Cal’s story.
We couldn’t help but become swept up in Jules and Cal’s relationship as it felt so natural and unforced. We keep coming back to the word real, because everything about this book really did come across as so real. We all know a Jules and Cal, or have been a Jules and Cal which made their story completely relatable and easy to connect with. We believed everything that transpired, as though we shared their good times feeling compelled to offer a sympathetic ear or shoulder to lean on through their heartbreaks. J Sterling crafted such a believable relationship between Jules and Cal that we could feel ourselves nodding in agreement and understanding everything they were going through.
‘Who we loved wasn’t always a choice. Sometimes it was an irresistible pull, a gravitation force, something we couldn’t see or control that drew us toward another. It had a secret weapon, a tool of sheer force to use against us – our heart.
And once that son of a bitch got involved, you could say good-bye to reason.’
Jules Miller and Cal Donovan are both ambitious, driven, career minded individuals who have no time for relationships or matters of the heart, devoting all their time and energy into progressing and succeeding in their chosen fields. Jules lives in LA and is visiting Boston for a seminar when she meets and becomes instantly attracted to Cal in a hotel bar. They strike up an instant rapport, spend a few days getting to know each other and decide to try a long distance relationship of sorts, getting to know each other with all the anticipation of a new relationship yet with no expectations.
‘He was a powerful force, that boy from Boston.’
However the heart is fickle organ that doesn’t account for distance, timing or career constraints and it isn’t long before Cal and Jules realise their hearts are becoming involved. With their relationship developing via long distance, Jules and Cal conversed, getting to know one another on a platonic level, connecting emotionally without the distraction of sex whilst trying to sort out the logistics of spending time together on a physical level. Can it work? Do they want it to work? Are they prepared to make the sacrifices required to be together? Well, that’s something you’ll have to find out for yourselves.
The secondary characters supported the story perfectly; from Jules crazy friend Tami, Cal’s gorgeous mate Lucas (thank you J Sterling for not making him stereotypical) and Cal’s sweet Hockey playing brother (we can’t wait for his book!)…. everything hit the mark for us in Dear Heart, I Hate You and we’d recommend it in a heartbeat!
‘You could close your heart to love forever, but you’d miss out on all the good that came with giving and receiving love. You had to decide if it was worth the risk.’
We adored this book and J Sterling proved that less is more by keeping her story on track, providing just enough drama to hit our hearts and thankfully steering clear of introducing excessive or unnecessary angst. The conflict felt real and heartbreaking as we found ourselves sympathising with Jules but at the same time we understood where Cal was coming from. The writing was fabulous. It was an easy read and that is in no way meant in a negative way, in fact, just the opposite – it’s a huge compliment to J Sterling because she made this love story feel so effortless and natural yet she delivered it with so much heart and love, ensuring we inhaled every word she wrote. Grab this one guys! You’ll be glad you did.
‘You wrecked me. I opened my heart to you.’