Friday 29 July 2016

Book Review: Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco

Last Updated: 02 May 2024

Red Lights Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco book cover

AD* | Darkness can be stained by light. Light can outshine the darkest of corners.

Behind a window in Amsterdam’s desired Red Light District, Samantha practises the art of seduction. Man after man, she controls them, seeking what they both want. But behind the fa├žade of the glass, lies her truth waiting to be uncovered. An inner battle of light and dark takes place as Sam learns to release the past and truly live the beautiful tragedy that is life.

Red lights and black hearts collide in a tale of heart and soul.

Ever since I participated in the cover reveal for Red Lights, Black Hearts a month ago, I've been excited to start reading the book itself. I read and reviewed another of Fabiola's books, Sweet on Wilde, last year, and was looking forward to getting to know more of her work.

On the surface, Red Lights, Black Hearts is a contemporary romance. Our main character, Samantha, is one of Amsterdam's infamous Red Light girls - but she has a dark past filled with long-buried secrets. Over the course of the book, we gradually learn more about Samantha's past and discover the path that led her to where she is at the point the book begins.

Philosophical Outlook 

The role of love interest is fulfilled by German businessman Max. At this point I've got to be honest - I didn't see much of a connection between the two. Max is billed as an almost otherworldly hero-type character, full of wisdom and advice, spouting Paulo Coelho quotes at every turn. Because of that he just felt kind of unreachable, as though he's too perfect to be entirely human. The whole 'sun and moon' analogy didn't help with that either.

As you'd expect from a book so heavily infused with Paulo Coelho, there was a lot more philosophy and deeper meanings than I was expecting. As much as anything, Red Lights, Black Hearts is a story about discovering yourself. In fact, the biggest story in this book is Samantha's internal journey; the romance is much more of a sideline. It's not a true romance novel, but it doesn't suffer for that. Instead, this introspection helps make the book stand out from its contemporaries and establishes the author as much more than just a romance writer.

Rating: 3 stars

Red Lights, Black Hearts is available to buy now (paid link; commission earned).

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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