What people are saying on Goodreads...

"with each page I was more and more engrossed in Niklas and Caroline’s story" - Ahana

"a very well written book about love, change and soul searching" - Bookworm Belles

"I fell in love with Caroline and Niklas almost immediately when starting this book." - Jennie

It was a chance to follow my heart.
With my camera and an around-the-world ticket, 
I arrived in Stockholm with a plan
to satisfy my wanderlust
to build my dream career.

Then I met Niklas,
my hot, moody neighbor 
with questionable manners and a fresh gash over his eye.

I thought I knew where I was going 
when I left my old life behind. 
But what if my heart wants
two different things?


A version of this book was originally published as Stockholm Diaries, Caroline.
What the Heart Wants is that story told in first person.
If you like your stories in third person, Stockholm Diaries, Caroline is still available, too!
What the Heart Wants is a full-length romance with a Happily for Now ending. The second book in this duet, The Map of My Heart, is the continuation of Niklas and Caroline’s journey.

from Chapter One...

I pulled on the wooden door and slid open the metal gate just beyond it. The door closed behind me, and I pushed my floor number and crossed my fingers. Nothing happened. I pushed it again. Nothing. I groaned. It wasn’t the first time this week that I had spent a good while trying to figure out how basic things worked here—the coffee pot, the shower handle and even the light switch, for God’s sake. I fought twinges of frustration as I jiggled the metal gate and pushed the button one more time. The elevator still didn’t move.

I gritted my teeth and resigned myself to the stairs. But as I was about to grab the handle of the heavy wooden door, it was yanked out of reach. Before I could step out, a bulk of a man pushed his way in. The “max 2 personer” sign clearly didn’t have a guy like this in mind, but he didn’t seem to care. I shrank back into the corner of the elevator, looking for a little more space.

He managed to close the gate with a satisfying click, and the elevator jolted to life on the first try. I flattened myself against the back of the wooden, closet-like space, the view directly in front of me blocked by the broad shoulders that pulled at the seams of this man’s t-shirt. Without thinking, my gaze lingered on these shoulders and the thick, muscular arms that almost brushed against my. Something made me look away, my heart pounding. I took a deep breath, and the smell of beer and stale cigarettes assaulted me. Ugh. At first the man seemed not to notice my presence, but then he muttered something in Swedish—to me, I assumed, since no one else was there.

The elevator creaked and rattled as it made its way up until, with a ding, the little carriage came to a sudden stop at my floor. How I would squeeze myself around this hulk of a man? And how did he know my floor? But as I considered these questions, he opened the gate and stepped out, letting the door close unceremoniously onto me. Quickly, I pushed it open again and stepped out onto the landing of the third floor. The staircase curled around to my right, and to my left, there was the dark landing for the building’s two third-floor apartments.

The man walked up to the door opposite mine and began fumbling with his keys. I took a step towards my door and then stopped, staring unabashedly as I got a better look at the guy. Was it…Viking Guy from the park? Or was it another one of his Nordic god look-alikes? I wasn’t sure, but the thought of seeing Viking Guy again made my heart jump. I had never seen my neighbor, but on my first night, I had heard him through the walls. And what I had heard hadn’t made me interested in knocking on the door to introduce myself.

I continued to stare at him until the clatter of his keys on the ground startled me out of my thoughts. I turned away, thinking he had caught me staring, but he still didn’t seem to notice me at all. As he bent down to pick them up, I reached into my own pockets. My keys weren’t there.

“Shit. Not again,” I groaned.

The words slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them. The man turned around and looked at me as if he were seeing me for the first time. It was Viking Guy—I was sure of it—and now his clear blue eyes were staring at me again. I thought I saw a glimmer of recognition.

“Du,” he said under his breath. Then he asked, “Are you American?”

His eyes were even more intense up close. Something about their color drew me in. They were not unlike the colors I had tried to capture with my camera only minutes before. In another light, I might not have noticed them, further hidden behind a few days of stubble and a bruise on his cheek that I hadn’t seen earlier. But he looked at me again in the same way he had in the park, a way that made me suddenly feel his entire presence. And my own. And just for a moment, I forgot everything else...

 

Graphics by Black Feather Editorial *

© 2019 Rebecca Hunter

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