After a bitter divorce, Shelby Johnson is looking to rebuild a life for her and her daughter, Hannah, while avoiding the thing she mistrusts most: men. Her resolve is tested, however, when her brother’s best friend, Mark, moves in across the street and her long-buried feelings for him return. Can she possibly open up her heart again? Is she willing to let herself love? When someone threatens her life she quickly realizes that her heart isn’t the only thing on the line and she turns to the only man she feels she can trust.
Reliving everything he lost overseas, Mark Daniels goes back to his hometown to try and live a peaceful life but instead gets caught up in Shelby’s troubles.. He knows she needs someone to protect her but can he be that man? Except, being near Shelby again is making him feel things he’d rather never feel–again. When his past comes to haunt him in a way he never excepted, he vows to protect Shelby and her daughter until his last breath.
Wounded Hearts is a sweet, suspenseful read. Shelby is a single mother to a sweet little girl, Hannah, who is in the process of making a new life for herself after a bitter divorce from her high school boyfriend. Mark is a soldier from the war in the Middle East, who has returned home with plenty of dark secrets. He is also Shelby’s brother’s best friend. They both had harbored feelings for each other while they were in high school and before Shelby’s ex, James, entered the picture. Mark has unknowingly moved across the street from Shelby, and when the two realize they are neighbors, old feelings arise to the surface. They try to stay away from each other, but that doesn’t work for long. When Shelby finds herself in danger from a twisted stalker, Mark vows to do everything he can to keep her safe.
Even though there is a romance developing between Mark and Shelby, this is more of a suspense novel in my opinion. However, that doesn’t take away from the book. The characters were well-developed, and I found myself really cheering for them. Shelby had a really horrible relationship with her ex, and Mark saw many horrors while he was in the war…not just in battle but with other soldiers as well. I really wanted them to be able to overcome those things and make a future together. While the characterization was great, I felt the events and the suspense was too rapidly developed. I think writing the suspense at a slower pace would have added to the story, but I did enjoy it. There were some religious themes sprinkled throughout the book, but I thought that was very realistic. They had to rely on a higher power to help them make strides in their present, and it did not come across as judgmental or preachy.
All in all, I thought it was a pretty good read. If you are in the mood for a sweet romance with a good bit of suspense added in, then you should give this one a try!
** ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review **
Allyson writes in the sweet, suspense, and Christian romance genres. In her books, you’ll find emotionally stirring story lines, as well as suspense with faith mixed in. She resides in Missouri with her loving husband and four wonderful children, and three cats. When not spending time with her family, you can find her knitting, and watching way too many suspense shows and reality TV.