What the Heart Wants by Staci Heart

22051458Publisher: Promise Socks Publishing
Date Published: September 15th 2013
Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Series: Good Gods #2.5
Rating: Kooky Overload 5 out of 5 stars

Love wasn't an option, until he met her.

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 short story about Kat and Kiki's (both from book two, Snake in the Grass) mother and father, Katsu and Kim. It's a wonderfully sweet and heart-wrenching back story of their love story.

Katsu is from Japan, but came over to America to marry Yuki in a business arrangement. Yuki's father is the head of the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) in the American branch in New York. Katsu is making his way up the ranks but at the price of his happiness. Yuki is an awful, uncontrollable spoiled-rotten brat. There is no love between the two.

Kim is working in Vegas as a showgirl and a waitress. She always ends her day on tired feet, but one day she'll own her own dance studio and all of her hard work will be worth it. So when Kim meets Katsu she has to wonder if taking a chance on him is worth it. Danger follows Katsu and Kim is now in danger. Is their love really worth the risk?

Aphrodite feels bad for Katsu. Being stuck in a loveless marriage is horrible and Dita knows she can get him his match. But Hera will throw a fit if Dita has Katsu cheat on his wife. The feud between Hera and Dita could just get someone killed. But isn't the love worth the risk of Hera's wrath?

My favorite characters in this were Katsu and Dita. I think Dita will always be a favorite for me. But we only got a glimpse of Katsu in Snake in the Grass and you didn't get much of an opinion of him. What the Heart Wants offers a chance to get to know Katsu and Kim.

Katsu is in this honor-bound marriage to Yuki. And I truly feel bad for him. I usually hate cheating with a passion, but in this case I think I'd let it slide. After all, marriage and love should go hand-in-hand, but when they don't it's a bit of a disappointment. Katsu is destined for unhappiness in his love life. Yuki will never love him. And when he's offered this chance at love... can you really blame him for taking it?

Kim is an uncertain character. She doesn't feel, to me at least, like she's a very strong or profound character. I mean, she's nice, she has dreams and goals and she falls in love with Katsu. But she does seem a bit your run-of-the-mill female lover. With Katsu there was character growth and you could connect with him. Kim felt a bit static to me.

Yuki. O.M.G. She is just awful. Completely and utterly awful. She wants to control Katsu. The sad thing is, Katsu wanted to love her. And he gave her a chance to love him. But she's this spoiled rotten prima donna. She was a bit stereotypical, but really I just hated her infantile personality. It was tiring and draining, and I could understand why her father wanted to get rid of her and Katsu couldn't love her.

Dita we all know from the earlier books. She's a bit lusty and sometimes gives people awful curses and has a tendency to over-react, but really she just wants to play match-maker and help people find love. She fought Hera for control on this one, and she won.

Hera. Normally, I'm all about commitment and no cheating. I really am. I can't even read most books with cheaters in them because I want to reach into the books and throttle the characters. But this time I think Dita is right. It's not Katsu's fault he had to be married to Yuki, and there's no way for him to get out of it. He shouldn't be punished to not having any love. I think it's a bit harsh.

I have to say, Katsu and Kim's relationship is probably my favorite out of all the ones in the books so far. Dean and Lex's relationship is probably second. I don't know, there's just something about Katsu and Kim that just... it works, y'know? It fits. I really like it.

I can't really think of anything I don't like. Yuki is awful, and Katsu's situation sucks, but those things kind of make up the story. Without them you wouldn't have a story.

The writing was nice, it flowed well, no mistakes that I could find. I think the writing was pretty well done for this one. The only thing would be the epilogue, which is modern-day compared to the rest of the story that was in the past. I do wish that it was pronounced. A title or something saying there was a switch of the times. I didn't see anything telling me that the story had gone back to present times.

All together, a wonderful background story for the series. It is not essential for readers to know when reading the books, but it was a great story that I highly recommend reading. It's short and fun, and you get to learn a bit more about Kat and Kiki's heritage.


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