Review: Heart & Seoul by Jen Frederick



Jen Frederick


From USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick comes a heart-wrenching yet hopeful romance that shows that the price of belonging is often steeper than expected.

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her, heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.


(First I should say I didn’t read the blurb so I didn’t know what the book was about. I made some assumptions based on the book cover: the story would be a standalone romance possibly taking place in Korea. 1 out of 3 of my assumptions was right.)

1) Hara (the main character) was born in Korea and left at a fire station.
2) Hara was adopted and raised in Iowa by a white couple.
3) Hara does a DNA and discovers she matches with a man in Korea.
3) After her adopted dad dies, 25-year-old Hara wants to go to Korea to meet her birth dad.
4) Hara takes a 2-week vacation to go to Korea to meet this man.
5) A mix-up at the airport with a handsome stranger, Yujun, is the start to an instant attraction between Yujun and Hara.

The overall storyline is Hara trying to figure out who her birth parents are and what that means for her life.

H&S has been compared to a K-drama. If K-drama’s are like American Soap Operas I could see that especially when the connections between the people in Hara’s life get revealed and things get messy.

When the book ends there isn’t a resolution. Hara and her love interest Yujun aren’t living their happily ever after or even their happily for now. If I hadn’t seen on Goodreads that there will be a book 2 coming out later this year I’d be disappointed in how it just ends with Hara left in an unhappy situation.

H&S is a continuing story. That wasn’t made clear at the end of the audio I was listening to. I’m not sure if the kindle version lets readers know that or not.

One last thing – the story isn’t heavy with romance. The romance is secondary to Hara’s search for her birth parents. H&S reminded me more of a Women’s Fiction.

Audio book source: Library
Narrator: Greta Jung
Length: 12H 15M

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