Book Review: Heart to Hart by Erin O’Quinn

Reviewed by Heather C

Title: Heart to Hart
Author: Erin O’Quinn
Series: The Gaslight Mysteries #1
Heroes: Michael McCree & Simon Hart
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
Length: 55,000 words
Publisher: Amber Allure
Release Date: May 23, 2013
Available at: Amber Allure, Amazon & All Romance eBooks
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes

Blurb: Michael McCree is one with a mysterious past, who ends up as a newspaper man, thereby meeting the strikingly handsome Simon Hart, who comes to his shop to turn in an obituary notice.

Simon’s flat-mate and former business partner has been killed, and Simon, a private investigator, needs to track down the murderer. Michael, immediately smitten with the sulky and sexy man, lays a plan to first become his new roomer, then his business partner.

But Simon, stricken by his recent loss, is having none of Michael’s undisguised interest.

Not a man to be deterred easily from a goal, Michael sets about winning Simon’s affection. That particular battle is almost as difficult as tracking down the murderer of his predecessor, a nosy detective who was getting too close to the crimes of an evil person.

Simon spends more time ducking Michael’s advances than actually finding clues and solving the mystery. Inquiring minds want to know—how hard is Simon really trying to avoid Michael? And Michael isn’t hiding his forthright urges, but what secret is he hiding?


This book has been on my TBR list for months now, and just the other week I realized that the second and third books of this series had already been released. It immediately moved to the top of my list and I must admit that it was a lot of fun to read.

The Setting: Its 1923 Dun Linden, Ireland (yes, this is a fictional city and it was never the author’s intent to be strictly historical accurate). Michael McCree encounters the cock-lifting, “uppity-muppity” Simon Hart and learns that: 1) he has recently lost a close friend, and 2) he has a room for rent.

The Challenge: Michael immediately initiates a fast and furious pursuit of inserting himself into Simon’s business and into his bed…and unexpectedly into his heart.

The Characters: Michael, well he has a lot of secrets that I really don’t want to spoil, but I will say that he is a slick and slimy chameleon. He is also vulgar and persuasive and obviously knows the dirty, back-alley ways of Ireland. And Simon, he’s the jock strap wearing, private investigator who is still trying to deny that he wants cock.

The Mystery: Who killed Simon’s former roomate-slash-business partner? There is also a pup thief and a slutty blackmailer. Honestly its a bit outrageous and not too hard to figure out…but still a fun and humorous adventure.

The Language: There is plenty of heavy Irish dialect (which I found difficult to follow at first) and also the new-to-me language of Polari (the slang code language of homosexuals). I found the use of language unique to any other historicals I’ve read to date.

The Sex: Umm, so there was A LOT of sexual scenes in this book! But for me, it was a perfect balance between the mystery and the smut, because it fit the characters and the atmosphere of the story. Oh, and I must not forget the many instances of animated cocks and phalluses! Seriously, it could be very annoying for many readers, but I just chose to smile, roll my eyes and keep on reading.

My Warning to the Reader: Some of the early sexual encounters between Michael and Simon could be considered by some as a bit dubious…although it didn’t bother me at all.

The Ending: There’s pretty much a HFN, but very close to being a HEA I’m sure. Michael and Simon’s story isn’t yet finished so I can only hope that the romance escalates in the subsequent books.

In Summary: I had A LOT of fun reading this and it fit perfectly with my mood for a comedic historical romance. I have already purchased Sparring with Shadows and To the Bone with hopes of reading them as soon as possible.

Overall Impression: I Really Liked It

*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Heart to Hart by Erin O’Quinn

  1. Thank you every so kindly, lass! My characters are a bit hard to handle, and I had to continue them in two subsequent books. I never thought the dialect was too difficult … but then, I am an aficianado of language and I often forget that readers may get a little tripped up. The sex … you’ll find out that Michael is actually a rather admirable cad who begins to respect Simon’s privacy. And Simon” He is in so much denial that his capitulations are all the more arousing. To me, of course. 😉

    • Thank you! Those are all the things I loved about this book. I am really looking forward to reading the next two books….like I don’t think you can even understand how excited I am. Okay, maybe you can 😉

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