Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.
Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.
To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?
This is actually a contemporary romance with a high-concept premise and lots of emotion. Two people who’ve never seen each other are stuck in a dark, confined space, left to discover each other in every sense. The novella’s opening quote, by William Shakespeare, says it best: “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
It's a different concept, yet it works on so many levels. The romance in this story isn't based on looks, gazes, or how the outside world treats the two people. It's just the two, in the dark, with only conversation.
Caden Grayson is a compelling study in the differences between appearance and character. I was endeared by his very gentle spirit, yet entranced by his raw attractiveness. The treatment of his traumatic past is neither rushed nor made trivial; even though this story itself is relatively short, both Caden’s and Makenna’s personalities and motivations are given a fair amount of development.
“Hearts in Darkness” is not your average good girl meets bad boy story. It is a story of self discovery and honesty.