5* Review: Where the Heart Leads – Ally McGuire

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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A stunning new romance by debut author Ally McGuire sees a beautiful tale of love, and possibilities brought to life with finesse and pizazz.

Where the Heart Leads is a fantastically well written story centering on Finn Montoya – a highly successful and yet equally unknown writer, and Angie Davis – a single mum and celebrity superstar. For her own safety Finn does everything she can to stay off the radar, Angie meanwhile is never far from limelight much to her daughter Luna’s consternation. When Finn spots Luna on the verge of a panic amidst a hive of paparazzi, Finn doesn’t hesitate to step in and befriend the teenager. A move which might just change all of their lives in unimaginable ways.

Finn shook her head. Her dreams were going to busy tonight, that was for damn sure.

Ally McGuire, Where the Heart Leads

As romance novels go Where the Heart Leads is right up there with the best of the best. The author pays intricate detail to the smallest points, from Luna being vegetarian, to the origin of Finn’s pen name. The continuity of these finer aspects is on point and as a result I found myself able to become deeply immersed in the story, The shining start of this debut novel however, is the characters. I truly fell in love with the trio that is Finn, Angie and Luna; the characters were so well developed that their interactions just flowed off the page,. I’m sad to have left them behind, they felt special to me, and it’s rare that I find myself saying that when it comes to a pure romance story, even more so when one of the characters is a kid! And what a kid; Luna is such a great individual character, full of teenage wit and humour that she uses to navigate her vulnerabilities. Her friendship with Finn is genuine and heart-warming; demonstrating that love shows itself in many valid and valuable forms.

…the thought brought with it an image of Angie’s smile…she though of the way Luna looked at her…they were colour personified, shifting and moving in the light to display the deeper shades of what it was to be human.

Ally McGuire, Where the Heart Leads

Light touches of mystery surrounding Finn’s character does not detract from the romantic core running through the heart of this story. And if you’re paying attention you might also feel the vibes emanating from the sisterhood of strong women, who are interweaved as secondary characters throughout this powerhouse of a story.

Without a doubt this is definitely a book which will make into my Top Five of 2023. It’s a superb slow burn, opposites attract story, where the author has not only successfully produced a gorgeous love story but created characters that readers can fall in love with too.

I’m extremely excited to read Ally McGuire’s future novels as they’re surely set to sparkle given Where the Heart Leads is already riding high amongst the stars.

…love is the reason we exist. We live so we can make the world better by loving so brightly it can make stars seem dull in comparison.

Ally McGuire, Where the Heart Leads

I received an ARC of this book from Butterworth Books in exchange for an honest review.

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One response

  1. Jude

    This is an incredibly well written book! The story is captivating, the characters intriguing and the writing completely draws you in.
    I find it very hard to believe this is a debut novel and I can’t wait to read many more stories by this author. Very well done!


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