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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Desires of the Heart by Linda LaRoque

Desires of the Heart by Linda LaRoque
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal (Time Travel)
Length: Short (73 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Review by: Orchid

When life today is filled with pain, look to the future – or the past.
In 1945 Miles Chapeau returns from WWII to find his wife, the mother of his two children, has been hurt in an air raid and now has the mind of a child. He loves her and would never forsake his duty, but he misses the wife he knew before the war. One day she disappears and his existence is turned upside down.

Modern-day Loren Fairchild longs for children, but is barren. At a cottage in Carlisle, UK, she puts her divorce behind her and begins a new life. She learns that in 1947 the former owner’s wife disappeared. The same week, according to local gossip, her husband took up with a dark-headed harlot. One morning, a simple-minded woman appears in Loren's cottage and triggers events that change Loren’s life forever.

2007. America. Trapped in an unhappy marriage with a husband who is becoming more and more abusive. The only thing she can do is leave.

1949. England. Trapped in a marriage with a wife who, due to an accident, has become more of a child than a wife. The one thing he can’t do is leave.

Loren leaves her husband and while waiting for her divorce, she takes refuge in Carlisle, England where her family has owned a cottage there for three generations. She decides to write a book and while researching she comes across photos and learns the history of the cottage owners before her family.

Miles has returned from the war to a wife has been left in a childlike state due to an accident. He still loves her and is determined to take care of her. One night he wakes to find her missing and not even the local police are able to find her.

Loren discovers the gazebo in her garden is a time portal and she is horrified when she is whisked from 2007 to 1949. She is attracted to Miles, the cottage owner of this time, but he is distant. He shies away from her, believing her to be suffering from a similar mental problem as his wife.

This is a short story which is intense right from page one. Loren is very much a modern young woman but when she arrives in the 1940s she is definitely a “fish out of water”. Her confusion is exactly what would be expected in this situation, but there are a few assumptions which didn’t seem quite right. For example she assumed a bank note from 2007 could be used in the 1940s. This wouldn’t have been possible due to the change of notes over the intervening years. I also found the end of the story left me with a few loose ends which weren’t resolved.

However, the interaction between Loren and Miles was deep and intense. The main plot did not rely on a sexual relationship between the two, instead their tender feelings towards one another developed gradually. I really liked this as it seemed a more natural way of getting to know one another. Desires of the Heart is a pleasant read to while away an hour or two.