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Monday, February 2, 2009

A Mother's Heart by Misty Simon

A Mother’s Heart by Misty Simon
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (188 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Xeranthemum

Even though Carrie Metzer is at loose ends in her life, she certainly never thought she'd be running around behind dogs with a pooper scooper. But when her Gran needs help at the pet shelter, Carrie can't say no. Besides, it's business, and business is pretty straightforward—no emotions, no complications.

Seth Harborn just moved to the small town of Thortonville, PA, to get a fresh start for himself and his two young kids. He owns art galleries and thinks the sleepy little town has the potential both for business and for the family he has all to himself since his wife walked out. When he heads to the local pet shelter, he’s outnumbered, between his daughter and Carrie, and ends up with two dogs and a lustful appreciation for the woman who is also his new neighbor. But will his baggage turn her away or can he and his family count on her Mother’s Heart?

If you enjoy romance stories about two people burned by relationships gone bad, who find each other and stumble through the healing process to find a joy and love that transcends their wildest dreams, than look no further than A Mother’s Heart.

Carrie is a delight. I found her journey throughout this story a beautiful thing. Carrie ends up finding just what she is willing to fight for. She has to face her internal fears and admit that she’s not a carbon copy of the mother whose treatment of her scarred her heart and shut down her dreams. The process drags a reader through events that touch emotions and feelings and inspires tender happiness when things finally look like the HEA is sown up.

Seth is a wonderful man and father. He is also in an emotional straight jacket, left over from his previous marriage to a woman who damaged the emotional security of himself and that of their children. The conflict comes from when he realizes he has unresolved issues and ends up acting all too human because of it. The quality I admired about Seth is his maturity and growth in dealing with a situation even when it blows up in his face like a shaken can of soda pop.

It’s not too often that a story can include children in a way that makes sense, that works, and even leaves you smiling with laughter or through tears. Ms. Simon captures the endearing quality that makes family so special even during times of chaos and uncertainty. The author also conveyed how children can strengthen you when you feel things are impossible. Love can do that.

Lorna, a secondary character and Carrie’s best friend, is wonderful and supportive, and enriches the story by showcasing how truly loving Carrie is by her relationship with her. Then there is Phyllis, Carrie’s grandmother. She rounds out the picture of important people who affect Carrie’s life and help balance it against a mother who acts like a bad Hollywood drama queen.

A Mother’s Heart is as romantic a story as I’ve read while balancing the tricky addition of children in the mix. Ms. Simon pulls it off so well, it’s a pleasure to read. When Seth and Carrie do get together to express and seal their love, it is beautiful and fulfilling without being over the top. The author focuses on the heart, just where romance should.