Monday, January 5, 2009

The Heart Wants by Alexandra Marell

TITLE: The Heart Wants
AUTHOR: Alexandra Marell
PUBLISHER: Alinar Publishing
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 11k)
GENRE: Paranormal romance
COST: $0.99

Every Christmas for the past sixty-years, Catarina Bellamonte has reappeared at her family villa, waiting for the man she loved in life to come. Lovers in WWII, she has never understood why Philipp, the German soldier she loved, didn’t show up on the night they were to run away together. She hopes for answers. This year, she just might get them…

There’s a sweet melancholy to this short story that provides a wistful romantic note to what could have been a maudlin Christmas tale. The highly visual prose sweeps along in vivid pictures, and though it does at times border on being overwritten, it’s effective in sucking the reader in, evoking a period of long ago with its softer rhythms. The tale of their tragic love affair unfolds in bits and pieces as the story switches from present to past and back again.

Philipp gets the better deal when it comes to characterization. Though his past is still sketchy, he comes across as very sweet and passionate, falling for the effervescent Caterina in record time. Caterina, in turn, ends up being more of a vehicle for Philipp’s affections in the flashback scenes than a fully fleshed woman. She’s beautiful, elusive, and a fantasy come true in many regards, which only lends to the dream-like quality of the entire short story. I ended up yearning for the fruition of their relationship anyway, though I’m pretty sure that’s a result of Philipp and the general melancholy permeating the prose.

All in all, it’s a sweet, nostalgic romance to celebrate the holidays with. Heavy on the romance.


8/10 – Very romantic, visual prose that occasionally gets bogged down in overwriting


7/10 – Sweet and engaging


5/10 – Not as fleshed as the hero, she serves more as a focal point for him than as an individual character

Entertainment value

7/10 – A very romantic morsel, with a nibble of nostalgia on the side

World building

8/10 – Some vivid descriptions though it does have a tendency to distract from the primary story at times



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