cover image It Takes Heart

It Takes Heart

Tif Marcelo. Montlake, $12.95 trade paper (380p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2965-0

There’s a storm brewing off the Outer Banks and in the hearts of reunited Filipino-American lovers in the emotional first Heart Resort romance from Marcelo (In a Book Club Far Away). After a hurricane leaves the Puso family’s N.C. couple’s retreat, Heart Resort, in disrepair, 32-year-old Brandon Puso reluctantly heads home to help his siblings prepare for the resort’s reopening. He finds that some things never change—including his contentious relationship with his siblings and his feelings for beautiful Geneva Harris, with whom he had a secret fling four years ago. Designer Geneva, best friend to Brandon’s oldest sister and therefore off-limits in Brandon’s mind, is helping with the reopening and is equally tense to see Brandon again, recalling their abrupt, painful breakup. The pair struggle with their continued feelings for one another amid fears of their relationship being discovered by the Puso family and worries about losing control of their independence. Marcelo loads their darling romance with touching drama and sweet moments while seamlessly weaving in Filipino culture, language, and food, adding depth and authenticity to the plot. The endearing protagonists, dramatic sibling rivalry, and idyllic coastal setting make for a feel-good romance that readers won’t want to miss. [em]Agent: Rachel Brooks, Bookends Literary. (Aug.) [/em]