Anchored Hearts (2021)

By Priscilla Oliveras
ASN/ISBN: 9781420150193
Publication: April 27, 2021
Series: Keys to Love #2

**I received a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Oliveras gives us a slow burn second-chance romance with leads who still have lingering feelings for each other. Anamaria is a firefighter medic with a burgeoning fitness business. Alejandro is a globe-trotting photographer guilted into returning home to his hometown to assuage his mother’s and his abuela’s concerns over his broken tibia. When they meet again–not through fate but the meddling of their mothers, which could be considered a kind of fate–it’s hard not to recall what they used to be to each other, especially when seeing one another instantly reignites emotions each long thought dissipated.

With second chance romances, the time apart is a pivotal element. Anamaria found herself during their separation, growing into the person she was meant to become. Staying in the Keys and close to family hasn’t stifled her growth but bolstered it, bringing with it an added confidence in herself and her goals. Now, she only needs to find the courage to seize the opportunities her hard work has created for her. Alejandro is an award-winning photographer, but when we meet him, nothing about him has changed very much except for his career accomplishments. Despite the twelve years apart, the emotional growth for him happens within the pages whereas Anamaria’s already done most of it outside of the book’s present timeline. Anamaria was mature enough to recognize what he is now only beginning to understand, that sometimes choices are not mutually exclusive. His situation was complicated by a father who had different expectations for him, which also further manifested into undue pressure from him on his relationship with Anamaria.

The love for family and the sense of place was soothing for me. The family dynamics were heartwarming, Alejandro and his father’s complicated relationship aside. I loved how family was a positive consideration as opposed to being viewed as a hindrance. Loving where you’re from was also seen as a positive attribute that I appreciated, and helped me to identify better with Anamaria’s character, leading me to like her character a lot more as compared to Alejandro.

I was generally not a fan of Alejandro. His selfishness and impatience largely contributed to their relationship’s demise when Anamaria just needed more time, something he was unwilling to give her. I’m not fully blaming him, but I also kind of am placing a lot of it on him…hahaha. Take that with a grain of salt since I’m fully on Anamaria’s side here. He couldn’t see beyond himself and his desires. It could be argued that Anamaria was the same, but she didn’t harbor the same kind of selfishness he did. She understood his desire to leave Key West and supported his endeavors. He wanted her life to revolve around him but was unwilling to do the same for her. Time apart, I guess, helped push him into a more mature individual even if he only just recognized it after returning home. (Hmm…maybe 12 years didn’t do as much I just wrote it did.)

Priscilla Oliveras’s writing flows so effortlessly, transitioning from the past to the present to feelings both old and new. I loved it. The descriptions are mesmerizing, and the longing between Anamaria and Alejandro over what was and the instances of what could have been packs a punch. I enjoyed the book a lot. It’s standalone, and Luis’s story is mentioned here whenever Luis and his love interest show up. You don’t need to read the first book to enjoy this one. I haven’t read the first book but may do so now because I enjoyed Oliveras’s writing so much.

8 thoughts on “Anchored Hearts (2021)

  1. I really enjoy reading standalone contemporary/romances with second-chance romance! I think the concept is encouraging and can give people hope. It seems as though each of the characters still have flaws but make it work out in the end!

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  2. When I wrote my new releases post for April, I added this to the list but didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to it for whatever reason. Now, reading your review, I’m definitely more interested in the story. I like that it’s not enemies-to-lovers, since that seems to be the primary trope for contemporary romance (and my least favorite). I don’t mind second chance romance and while Alejandro doesn’t sound like the most likable character, at least the story is enjoyable overall! I might have to add it to my TBR after all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot about the book until the impending release date, and am glad I read it. I enjoyed Oliveras’s writing a lot. I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you get a chance to read it! I’d love to know what you think about Alejandro. (He gets better. I’m just biased…hahaha)

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  3. This sounds like such a good read! I love that it is a standalone and doesn’t try to be more than that. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for this one – great review!

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  4. […] Anchored Hearts is a second chance romance that fits the chorus so perfectly I had to pair it here. Anamaria and Alejandro really thought they would be forever but he takes off to pursue his dreams, leaving her in their home town. When he returns due to an injury, through the devious planning of their mothers they meet again. There are still sparks but there’s a lot of bad feelings too. It was good and spurred a post on why I love/hate second chance romances. (Review here) […]

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