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Reluctant Hearts

Forthcoming from the Wild Rose Press

Release Date: April 24, 2023

Four couples, four stories: Darien Francis and Richard Li meet during a bank robbery, but she's afraid to love again. Shane Kenniston and Beth Parker are reacquainted years after she had a crush on him, but she is a recent widow, and Shane's life was upended by a false accusation. David Early and Kate Howard meet in the laundromat, but her life is consumed by the needs of her disabled child, and David isn't ready for the responsibility. Realtor Frank Ellison meets Kayla Barnes at an open house, but a mistaken first impression derails any chance of romance. Can they all overcome the obstacles to love?




"All four stories are realistic in that they could really happen – and aren't all hearts and flowers....Recommended for those looking for quick reads with happy for now endings." ~ Sparkling Book Reviews


"Four brisk, independent slice-of-life contemporary romance short stories are linked by the theme of everyday people surmounting the challenges in their histories and their qualms about commitment to the possibility of life-changing love. The scenarios are nicely varied...
These stories are pleasant, easy reading, and the setups, mostly, center on believable conflicts, characters, and situations, as Griffin convincingly establishes her cast's world's, habits, jobs, and drifts of mind. Griffin's comfortable at moments of high drama and at the mundanities of life—the "stupidly molded, uncomfortable plastic chair" of the laundromat are as convincingly described as one story's first real kiss: "Not a gentle, comforting one this time, but a real, grown-up kiss." (Griffin nicely underscores that moment's intimacy with the followup dialogue, "No, don't …. I'm all covered with tears and snot." The stories take the point of view of one partner rather than alternating, and all but the first from the perspective of the male partners, who demonstrate respectful vulnerability. The strongest story, though, is the one with a female POV. Darien's agency and strength is highlighted while she and Richard both engage their trauma, building together towards an ending that satisfies and promises a hopeful budding relationship. Takeaway: Second-chance romance readers looking for simple but interesting setups will find these tales scratch the itch. Great for fans of: Becky Wade's True to You, Kasie West's The Fill-In Boyfriend." ~ BookLife