5 Hearts

Rikki (Hart University Book 1) by Abigail Strom

Provided by Goodreads.com

Ever since junior high and an ill-fated game of seven minutes in heaven, Rikki Eisendrath and Sam Payne have hated each others’ guts. But when they end up at the same college—and the same dorm—they figure it’s time to declare a truce. 

They even become friends . . . sort of. But when Sam asks Rikki to model for his sculpting project, they start spending more time together—and her feelings for him get more complicated. 

She tries to focus on the guy she’s been crushing on instead. But Sam’s the one she can’t stop thinking about, even though their arguments are starting to heat up as much as the chemistry between them. 

With antagonism and attraction this intense, there’s bound to be an explosion. But when the dust settles, will Sam and Rikki be enemies, friends . . . or something more? 

Personal Thoughts 

I received an ARC from Netgalley for an Honest Review. 

We are introduced to Rikki when she is about to graduate 8th grade. She receives her 1st kiss, in the game of 7-minutes in heaven. Sam, the tall length guy that kisses her, unexpectedly makes her heart race and knees weak. When she tries to talk to him about it the next day at school his non-vocal answer makes it loud and clear enough for Rikki. From that moment on she decides she wants nothing to do with him ever again.
Rikki is a smart girl: valedictorian of her class, history major and a control freak. She tries to controls her: emotions, image, time, physical relationships, and her reaction towards men; well one certain man. She rather stand back and not let anyone near her, then let someone in. Rikki is terrified that she may end up with a broken heart and unable to fix herself.

Personal: As a person with control freak issues, I totally can relate to Rikki. It is difficult to put your guard down and allow people in. One thing that she learns is when you release the control – of things you recognizes you are unable to change – you begin to feel free. She is a good person and always tries to find the good in others.

What I really enjoyed about this story, was Sam. He was an all-around good guy. He did all he could to make those around him comfortable and happy. He was willing to sacrifice going to college to stay at home and help his family. Even though the story is told from Rikki POV, we get glimpses of Sam’s true personality and intentions.

With some unfortunate situations that occur in Sam’s life during their senior year, Rikki and Sam end up thrusted at each other again. They both head off to college, and end up in the same dorms with the same group of friends. As if life cannot become more complicated, Rikki is questioning all she knows about her feelings towards the hot musician, Jason, and her long time archenemies, Sam.

This book is a clean book. Nothing super dirty. Some profanity. Active drinking, drugs, smoking, talk of sex and virginity. It is a mild New Adult novel. 


Cool things about this book. Rikki was raised by her Moms. Yes he parents are a lesbian couple. So cool! The group of friends she makes in college are extremely eclectic. One thing I love about Rikki is her non-judgmental views.  She says, (I am going to paraphrase) ‘I may not agree with some of your point-of-views, but that doesn’t mean I am going to judge you for them. I don’t judge someone or slut-shame them.’ HA! She rocks. Totally approve. I think that is a benefit from families that our say-sex parents. The children are less judgmental of others with different standards and ways of living. So I think this is a great sub-theme in the novel.

So if you think or are questioning if you should read this book. I say go for it. ​

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