WILDFLOWER HEART is the second book in the Aecoria series, although it can be read as a standalone. I think it's actually ten times better than the first book in the series, SEA AND SKY, which I felt ambivalent about. It's honestly amazing how much better this book is in terms of character development, complexity, and prose. It's filled with gorgeous passages, and the two leads, Arun and Fenella, are such well-rounded characters. I loved spending every moment with them, especially Arun, who has supplanted Tristan and Branek, my favorite vampire duo, as my favorite Crews-written hero. #bye
The plot is pretty simple in that it's just a character-driven marriage of convenience, but it ends up being so much more than that because of the writing. Fenella is flighty and headstrong and Arun is gruff and stoic. I think the best part of the story is getting to see them slowly fall in love and finding out what makes them tick. There's also an interesting secondary romance with Fen's wastrel brother, Emyr, and one of the forest sprites. The sexual tension is off the charts and the writing descriptions are so immersive. When Fen and Arun go to Seaside, I actually felt a physical ache, because it reminded me of the small, oceanside towns I visited in Portugal.
This is definitely one of Heather's best works and I'm so glad that we're friends because it's honestly been such a privilege to see her learn and grow as a writer (and also because she's basically the best human ever for putting up with me). I can't wait to see what she writes next.
4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars