Healing Hearts by Liz Crowe


Healing Hearts by Liz Crowe
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (57 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster

Jay Longmire had it all–a successful business, a beautiful wife, two loving children. But one normal Sunday evening in Ann Arbor everything was ripped from his arms at knifepoint. He has retreated to Traverse City to hide from the world, nursing his physical and emotional wounds and trying to cope with mind-numbing guilt over his inability to protect his family.

Abby Powers serves him coffee he never drinks and has become obsessed with the movie-star handsome but melancholy man. And the anticipation of his appearance every day takes her mind off her own messy life.

What begins as a near desperate physical connection out of the blue develops into a friendship that has the potential to heal two damaged hearts. But Jay is terrified to love again. While Abby’s fierce independence forces them both to acknowledge the deeper relationship they both desire, but that remains just out of reach.

How do you move on from a life shattering tragedy? Sometimes meeting a new friend can help heal your heart.

Abigail Powers is a barista in a small coffee shop. Her aspiration is to be a nurse, but until she is accepted in school, she’s working hard to pay off old debts. Her guilty pleasure? Lusting after the handsome, but sad man who frequents the shop each day. Though they’ve never spoken, she can’t help but be attracted to him.

Jay Longmire’s world has been devastated. Losing his family 18 months earlier has left him overcome with grief, so he spends day after day trying to maintain, but cannot shake his sadness. When he meets Abby, he’s not only forced to confront his grief, but the possibility of finding happiness with another woman.

This book is the first I’ve read in The Challenge Series, which deals with characters overcoming an obstacle of some sort. Each of the characters in this story dealt with their share of hurdles, but Jay’s were monumental. While I enjoyed the friendship and interaction between Jay and Abby, I had a great deal of trouble getting past Jay’s grief. The man was described as still having violent nightmares, and vomiting often from the memory of the night his family was attacked. He had such a profound sadness-which was very understandable and the author did an excellent job setting up-but when the characters began their relationship, it felt very uncomfortable. Some of the discomfort may have been with the fact that his daughter was still being kept alive on life support, so the past wasn’t fully resolved. I just couldn’t help but think Jay wasn’t ready for another relationship at that point…not until he was able to put the past behind him.

Aside from the horrific events of Jay’s past, these two were a nice couple. I liked the way they dated, yet weren’t dating. They avoided titles and labels, and just enjoyed spending time together. Abby was a sympathetic character and I liked her determination to help Jay in whatever way she could while fighting the attraction she had for him. One can’t help but like Jay after all he’d been through-an event no human being should ever be forced to suffer. The fact that he managed to get out of bed each day was a testament to his courage.

I do wish this story was just a little longer so perhaps more time could have passed to allow Jay to heal. Aside from that, it was a nice story of redemption and survival. I would recommend this book to those who believe in the second chance at love, keeping in mind it is not for the faint of heart. I will give another book in the challenge series a try because I like the idea of strong characters, and ones who fight through tragedy are nothing if not strong!


  1. thank you for taking the time to read and review my book. Just so you know this series is a “word limited” to 20,000 but hopefully there will be others you like better.

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