Heartfelt by Carol Owen

Heartfelt by Carol Owen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (289 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Shay is recovering from breast cancer and months of chemo. The last thing she’s expecting is a good looking, charming man to come into her world and turn it upside down.

Drew Bennett, an artist getting ready for a big show, needs a place to live and work while his townhouse in Boston is being renovated. He rents an apartment in Shay Morgan’s cliff side house in Maine.

Shay and Drew are instantly attracted to each other, but both of them recognize the timing is wrong. Drew is dealing with a teen-age daughter who was seriously injured in a car accident. Shay is emotionally fragile from her illness and filled with worry her cancer will return.

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These SO REAL fictional characters deal with real life situations that grab one’s attention. How they cope makes a story that touches the heart.

Shay Morgan deals with inner conflict, uncertainty, and a monster called cancer that had attacked her viciously. She’d defeated it, but it was still out there. Silent, lethal, and could attack again at any time. Her emotions are on overload when Drew Bennett, a man she loves almost at once, comes into her life and soon longs to be a forever part of Shay’s life. Working her way through her emotional quagmire, Shay despairs of there ever being a RIGHT time for them to have a relationship.

Drew Bennett fights his own battles and feelings of guilt. His patience is a beautiful golden thread woven through the tapestry of this story.

While the primary theme is Shay and Drew’s, a sub-theme is about Drew’s daughter Patti and her struggles and inner turmoil as she recuperates from an accident that killed her mother. The physical struggle is not easy, but the psychological struggle is incredibly hard. The reader’s heart aches for her.

Woven into the story is the amazing “Belle Harbor Mafia” Shay’s unfailing, true friends, and the Yo-Yo email support group that Shay belongs to, all of whom have had cancer.

A pithy part of the story is the pragmatic, sensible sayings of Shay’s deceased mother. They impact Shay’s thoughts and actions. Some give her hope and courage and others pretty much tell her to put on her big girl panties, “screw her courage to the sticking point” and claim what she so desperately wants while she can. Carol Owen’s writing flows smoothly as it deals with, not up-roaring conflicts, but with the inner conflicts that almost cripple at times and threaten to deprive the characters of their joy for life.

Heartfelt is a great title for this very human story.

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