Review: Rival Hearts by Brenda St. John Brown

Rival Hearts turned out to be a really enjoyable reading experience! I’ve never read this author before so I’m always a bit leery with new authors but she pulled me into the story instantly. Lucy Maclaren and Stefan Cane have a meet cute of sorts when Lucy stumbles into Stefan as she is coming out of the bathroom. She has hurt her ankle and he rushes off to help her by grabbing some ice. Big mistake! Their unusual first meeting leaves Lucy feeling confused and Stefan feeling attracted.

Lucy knows Stefan is in town to scout out a location for his reality tv show. The same reality tv show that will renovated a local pub and make it a star attraction….thereby putting Lucy’s own pub, The Blue Dog, out of business. Though they share a kiss she resolutely puts him out of her mind… until he shows up three months later as filming begins.

Stefan hasn’t forgotten Lucy. And though she is stubborn, he wants to see where their spark leads. But will Lucy’s worst fears come true?

Rival Hearts has such a wonderful small-town English village vibe. I really enjoyed getting to know some of the characters of the tiny locale and of course, getting to know Lucy. She is somewhat cantankerous (which I love!) and not especially happy about her attraction to Stefan. She is determined to make her own pub shine and Stefan isn’t adverse to helping with that. While there is definitely a competitive feel between them, I found it was more on Lucy’s side. She has good memories of her family pub and for various reasons wants to make it successful. Stefan mostly just is fascinated by Lucy. He has a façade of being a reality star playboy but there is a lot more to him. Though through it all, Lucy is the character that stood out to me.

Rival Hearts is fun and a good way to spend some time. If you like three-legged dogs, chickens, good chemistry and a fast-paced story, this is a good pick!

Release Date: December 7

Britain’s most-eligible bachelor has met the girl of his dreams. Too bad he’s her worst nightmare. 

Stefan Cane has snogged and shagged his fair share of gorgeous women. Yet he’s spent the last three months trying to forget the woman he shared a fleeting kiss with at the Jingle Ball last year.

Now he’s back in the tiny English village, staying across the street from her pub, The Blue Dog. The same pub he’s about to put out of business.



According to his endless spreadsheets, bloody definitely.

That’s not the goal of the pub renovation reality show he produces, but the truth is, his job depends on him getting his project done, on time and on budget. Even though the village isn’t big enough to sustain two pubs and Stefan knows it.

Lucy Maclaren knows it, too. She told him that at the Jingle Ball. Right before that kiss he hasn’t been able to forget. The one he desperately wants to repeat.

How is he supposed to do his job when he’s more worried about his so-called rival? Worse, how is he ever going to win her heart when the only thing she wants to see is his backside leaving town – preferably as soon as possible?

Grab Your Copy Here!

Meet Brenda St John Brown

Hi. I’m Brenda.  I’m a displaced New Yorker living in the UK. I lived in London for almost six years, but now I’m living in The North, in a tiny English village. We used to have sheep in our backyard! (Sheep!!)  Now we have a new housing development, so I mostly avoid looking out the kitchen window.


My novels are unabashedly romantic and run the gamut from angsty feels to make-you-smile swoons. Hitting the USA Today bestseller list has been the highlight of my career so far because – gah – #authorgoals! When I’m not reading or writing, I’m hanging out with The Boy, talking about random things and being overly strict about electronics.


I like running and Doritos, not necessarily in that order. I also like libraries, old churches and Paris. One day I’m going to write a novel set in Paris, which will necessitate lots of trips for “research.” 

Connect with Brenda St John Brown

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