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Monday, November 10, 2008

Locked in His Heart

Locked in His Heart by Catherine Stang
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Camellia

He kept his secrets for seventeen years … until she came along.

Melanie Rivers is on a mission to help a friend fulfill her dying foster mother’s wish. So far every road she takes leads to a dead end until a chance meeting with enigmatic lawyer, Nick Sinclair, leaves her wondering... Could he be the break she has been looking for?

As a victims’ advocate, Nick Sinclair has helped many abused children, battered women and other crime victims to come forward over the years, but has kept his own painful past buried deep. All he ever wanted was to be left alone -- until now. Yet if he acts on his attraction to Melanie, it will set his past and present on a collision course. Can Nick let Melanie close enough to heal his wounds or will he allow fear to keep them apart?

Non-judgmental love that accepts a person, warts and all, is a golden thread in the tapestry of Locked in His Heart. Strong emotions at both ends of the continuum experienced by teenagers, young adults and middle-agers mingle to create a colorful design with a dark background made up of traumatic past happenings. Love, humor, and tenacity help the many characters work through a dark maze of difficulties.

Melanie, who is inclined to gravitate to “fixer-upper” souls, sets out to help Sarah find a foster child who lived with her family years ago. In her search, she meets Mark and Nick Sinclair who are successful lawyers. From this beginning, Catherine Stang weaves together both women’s families with incredible twists and turns that creates a page-turner story of love. Once in awhile a word is left out that caused me to hesitate in my reading but not enough to hurt the momentum of the story.

Family love, friend love, sexual love, and forever love touch the reader’s heart as Melanie tries to help Nick find the key to unlock his heart. Mark helps Sarah cope with the death of her mother and getting her life back on track. Other characters like Zach and Cassidy, Brad and Shelby, Joel and Caleb, and the senior members of the families add depth and tension to the primary love story.

Catherine Strang keeps the many characters involved with each other even though the story changes location and point of view often. She threads a touch of humor in that reveals the joy for life that the characters have.

Locked in His Heart touches on issues so much a part of today’s society and shows how people cope with them while finding love that makes their lives complete. This is good happy-ever-after reading!