Book Review: Black Tangled Heart by Samantha Young

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Black Tangled Heart  by Samantha Young is her latest in the Play On series that released in May 2020. It’s a contemporary romance that stretches the young love of two soulmates when revenge comes into play. Read the full book review by popular romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books

Black Tangled Heart
by Samantha Young

Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Writer

Kindle | Paperback

Rating: ★★★ ½

Black Tangled Heart is the third book in Samantha Young’s Play On series but is a standalone book. In it we meet Jane who at first appears to be such a tragic character but who grows up to be one surprisingly strong woman.

Left as a baby, she was adopted by a loving family but then when her adoptive parents died she was returned to the foster system as Jane Doe. As a teen she befriends a girl whose big sister and big brother also become her family. Only, her feelings toward Jamie are anything but brotherly.

This book had Samantha Young’s strong characterization and beautiful writing that weaved many themes within the storyline. Given this I’m sure there will be many 4 and 5 star ratings for this book.

I rated it a 3.5 because I didn’t like the story. I also felt on edge the entire time reading it and didn’t leave with a particularly good feeling once I finished it. That being said, if this story line and subject matter is for you, it was a very well written book and one you’d probably like.

The beginning of the book was really setting the stage for these characters. You learned about Jane, as well as siblings Jamie, Lorna and a bit about Skye to understand the past that shapes them and the actions they take as the book goes on.

The book then takes on a “MeToo” storyline akin to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that exploded a few years ago – so fair warning for anyone with specific triggers of the assault nature.

No instances were in your face or detailed graphically but they are mentioned and become a major factor in the second part of the book.

Themes Explored

Young Love: This book definitely took on the theme of young love. Can you find your soulmate at age 16? Some believe yes and some believe no. When there are doubters, can that negatively impact your relationship?

Sibling Relationships: Even with a basis of love, siblings can prove very difficult to be lovable. Blood isn’t the only thing that can bond you with someone that feels like a sibling. But just because you share blood with someone, does that mean you have to repeatedly forgive them for hurts they cause?

The Past Shapes You: There was such a dichotomy in the friendship between Jane and Lorna. Once Jane lost her parents at age 7, she never truly felt loved again until meeting Jamie. She was continually left by the few who did but she had such a strong backbone which surprised many in the story, especially me in a really great way.

Lorna did not have the best childhood but despite siblings who were there for her she was a selfish, narcissistic human being who never saw the error in her ways. I cannot stand people like her who emotionally manipulate the people you supposedly love.

Overall, this was an intriguing romance that turned into a romantic suspense novel with a revenge angle. It had great writing but was just not a book that made me feel good.

Do you like to read romance books that keep you on the edge of your seat? Share in the comments below.

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Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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