Sheltered Hearts (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 2)
When Mitch Campbell encounters Jessica and Hope, he jumps to all the wrong conclusions. Can he put his judgments aside and deal with his past and make a new future for all of them and will they find shelter in each other’s hearts?
UPDATE: The author has been informed of the grammatical issues in this book and is currently having it reedited.
The main characters Mitch and Jessica are realistic and flawed, which always makes for a good story. The cover is beautiful and I liked that a conflict was introduced right away and was interesting enough to pull me into the book. From there it slowed a bit in some parts, but just when I was about to give up on it, the author threw in a few plot twists that kept me turning pages.
I do feel that several characters were introduced within a short period of time, and they could have been developed a bit more to help the reader to form a connection with them.
The story theme was inspiring and I enjoyed the details about the rescue dogs and Mitch's life as a S & R professional; that was exciting.
I did encounter several grammatical and structural issues that admittedly pulled me out of the story on occasion, but not so much to keep me from finishing it, and most readers may not even notice these things. However, with an extra edit, this book could easily garner a higher rating, based on story likability and its commendable theme.
My favorite line from the story - I think it sums up the whole book perfectly:
"When I find love, that’s the kind of love I want. Love in small, steady heartbeats."
The first thing that drew me into this book was Jessica seeking out something she knew was in trouble. Though she questioned everything about herself personally, when she knew someone or something was hurt and in need, her lack of confidence dissipated and nothing would stop her from seeing it or them smile again.
Now it’s hard to choose my favorite character of this book because on one hand it’s Jessica because she and I are a lot alike. I could relate to her on all levels. Her heart is so big and full and she is not selfish to share that despite her insecurity.
But on the other hand it’s Hope because though when you first meet her, her life seemed hopeless. To be honest , she didn’t have hope, but by divine intervention God had another plan, by drawing Jessica to a life in distress. This abused lil pup didn’t seem to matter to anyone just as an orphan child wanting to belong. Despite her condition when Jessica found her as their hands and paws met, there was a sparkle in her eye and that’s when Jessica decided to call her Hope .
I really don’t have a least favorite character but if anyone should get this award then the least favorite character award goes to Dex. In a nutshell he was a jerk, but there’s always one in the bunch. LOL. He was mostly mentioned in reference. Though he was part of a lesson learned that was good, he wouldn’t have survived very long.
My favorite part of the story was how a lost hopeless pup, now known as Hope, was healed and survived, and became a search and rescue service dog, and she obviously was born to do it. The author Mary’s words flowed out like rain on a beautiful spring day, so gracefully.
My least favorite part of the story was in the beginning just as the story was at its infancy. The author may have struggled processing all of those thoughts briefly and it showed as some wording or sentences ran together. But that was corrected quickly and she moved right along and pulled you right in. Hook, line, and sinker.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone and I look forward to seeing what is next for Jessica and Mitch.. you’ll have to read Sheltered Hearts to get the info on Mitch!! My lips are sealed on that part. . Shhhhh ?
What I loved:
I love a romantic book without sex scenes and cursing, and Sheltered Hearts is a great example.
The plot was fast moving and original. There was plenty of conflict in the characters’ past to make the story rich and interesting.
Most of the dialogue felt smooth and natural.
I liked the characters—both the main characters and the supporting cast. They were well developed and consistent in their actions. Even though they had their flaws, just enough to seem real, I felt I could relate to them. Because I really liked the characters, I was emotionally invested in the story.
The book was well edited. Though recently published, I saw only a few minor typos, no more than I’ve found in any mainstream published book.
I love happy endings, and this book didn’t disappoint.
I love dogs, and this book is full of them.
What I didn’t love:
Some of the dialogue got a little heavy for my liking. Occasionally, the main characters would react with harsh a verbal outburst that seemed out of place.
There were times when the author “told” me what emotion character was feeling. I prefer to have the author “show” me what the character is feeling by describing their physical reactions to that emotion.
Just as a matter of personal preference, I like the story to conclude more quickly after the big crisis. However, the author does a good job of wrapping up all the loose endings in a nice neat package, something that couldn’t have happened without a more drawn out ending.
This was the second book in the series, and I believe I would have enjoyed Sheltered Hearts more if I had read Identity of the Heart first. But nonetheless, if you like clean romance with an intricate plot and loveable, flawed characters, don’t miss this one.