ARC Review: The Heart’s Bidding by Jordan Riley Swan

Title: The Heart’s Bidding

Author: Jordan Riley Swan

Page Length: 304

Publication Date: Sept. 7, 2020

Publisher: Story Garden

Synopsis: Kaylee Heart would rather run through a roaring fire than endure even a minute of public speaking. Put in an eighty-hour work week? No problem. Shut down her grandfather’s gold-digging girlfriend? Easy peasy. Stand in front of an auction crowd and call for bids? Show her the exit.

So she has no idea how Gerald, the golden-voiced auctioneer she’s been crushing on at the local auction house, can find the courage to stand on stage every week, with all those eyes on him. But as cruel fate would have it, she is about to find out.
Her family antique shop, the Vintage at Heart, has tripped over one financial hurdle too many and Kay is propelled, full speed, into her biggest phobia—the spotlight.

With terror chasing her, she’ll have to fight to keep the family business from closing forever. Even if the battle takes place in front of a live crowd…

LINKS:     Goodreads     

My Review:

Antique store owner Kay left college to keep the family business going after the tragic death of her parents, and her grandfather and his girlfriend brought the store to the brink of closure. Struggling to make ends meet, Kay knows that getting her auctioneer license will help her financially, and Gerald, her secret crush and a local auctioneer, offers to help. Can Kay overcome her intense fear of public speaking? Can she save her business before it’s too late? And what will she do about her ever-growing feelings for Gerald?

Kay is a strong and relatable protagonist who deals with many challenges. She’s trying to save the family business while obtaining her auction license and struggling with her fear of public speaking. Plus, Kay is grieving the loss of her parents and has to deal with her grandfather’s greedy, money-hungry girlfriend. Kay’s burdens are great, but she never gives up. I admire her determination and work ethic even when the odds are totally against her.

I also like the sweet romance between Kay and Gerald. Their humorous and flirtatious banter is often filled with pop culture references, and their awkward moments are laugh-out-loud funny. I like how Kay and Gerald support and encourage each other and that they take the time to get to know each other before jumping into a relationship.

The story delves into universal and relatable situations like grieving the loss of a loved one, aiding family during difficult times, finding love, and overcoming fears. I like that the author showed people dealing with grief and guilt differently. Kay, Bernard (her grandfather), Gerald, and Bridgette (her mentor) all handle life’s struggles differently, and I found that refreshingly realistic. Also realistic is how Kay deals with her fear of public speaking. I felt so bad for her as she became paralyzed with fear, and I rooted for her to overcome her challenges.

A sweet and charming contemporary romance, The Heart’s Bidding is the perfect book for readers who enjoy stories with realistic characters and situations, humorous banter, and a bit of family drama. The story takes place amid the world of auctioneers and auctions, which is also really interesting. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Story Garden for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance, of course! Kay and Gerald have a sweet and slow-building romance that is lovely.
  • The setting revolves around auctions, which I found really interesting.
  • The realistic nature of the story.


This is a great book for readers who enjoy clean contemporary romance.

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