Book Novella Review: What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart


A journey for a job

No matter how we start, we can never plan what happens in between until the end. – Francine


Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: What the Heart Wants
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Publisher: Promise Socks Publishing
Series: Good Gods #2.5
Format: eBook
Acquisition: Won from a giveaway

Purchase at: Amazon

It’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.
Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.
Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s impossible to walk away from.


What the Heart Wants is a prequel to Snake in the Grass, book 2 in the Good Gods series by Staci Hart, telling the story of Tanaka Katsu and Kim Riggs, the parents of the female lead in Snake in the Grass. Unlike book 1 and book 2, this novella didn’t really focus on the games that the Greek gods played. Everything’s more of a side show kind of thing.

Katsu was sent to Vegas to watch over one of the suspicious men in their group. But little did he know what he’ll find there would be worth so much to him, especially when the goddess of love is on their side. Sometimes, we just have to listen to our hearts’ calls, even if it could have undesirable consequences.

Honestly, I felt that this book was way too short. I guess that’s usually a problem with novellas. I personally feel that it could have developed better. The romance went a little too fast. I mean I expect the happy ending, but it could have used more details maybe. I know that Aphrodite (Dita) did her little thing on them, but Katsu and Kim are still people with free will and all that. Nonetheless, the romantic parts were sweet and steamy. Also, it’s really easy to see why Katsu would easily disregard his wife. She’s simply bonkers.

What the Heart Wants felt too much like a soap opera to me, except for the part where there are Greek gods having a play on things. Actually, there were just some parts like that were a little too cliche for me, and it was notable because it was around the climax of the plot. But then again, this was set in the past. Were people back then really all dramatic like this? I wonder.

I did like how the author was able to show details about the inner workings of the yakuza. And of course, I love seeing the modernized Greek gods – Aphrodite(aka Dita), Hera, and Persephone(aka Perry, who is my favorite of them all based on the personality given to her by Staci Hart). The only thing I’m not fond of when reading adult books is that I feel a little weird falling for older men. I have nothing against it, but I grew up in a conservative home and that’s just how I roll. But I did love Katsu. Thank goodness he’s fictional. He’s a really great guy who has this intimidating-mafia-boss side and the sweet, loving, and caring side.


OVERALL,  What the Heart Wants is a very short and sweet prequel that leaves me wanting for more. I personally think that there’s a lot of room for improvement, but I still enjoyed reading the story and getting to know more about the familiar characters in the Good Gods series.




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

4 thoughts on “Book Novella Review: What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

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