Title: Heart of Light
Author: T.K. Leigh
Release Date: August 25, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed… Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped. Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free. Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again. And trust again. But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is? Heart of Light is a captivating story of love, strength, and survival.
I am struggling to find the words to express how I feel about this book. It was an incredibly emotional read and a very shocking read, dealing with subject matter that most of us would have an inkling about but not really understand. But what sets this apart from others is that everything that happens is crucial to the story and our understanding of the issue. It is dealt with in an incredibly sensitive way and we are left to imagine the horrors that Jolene faces.
I completely and utterly admire the strength that Jolene has. The courage that she shows in escaping from the horrors of her daily life to the strength in starting over and trusting people again. The need and desire to live again and the feistiness that she shows with Cam make her an admirable character.
Cam, OMG, what a man! He was amazing with Olivia in helping her back to Alex, even though it destroyed him and he is so much better with Jolene. His reluctance to get involved with anyone after Olivia, produces a less than Cam-like performance when he first meets Jolene. It is the strength of character that Jolene shows in dealing with and the fact that he can truly see her through the windows to her soul that we see the compassionate, amazing man that Cam is.
I loved Olivia and Alex's story but this one is so much better. Cam has to be the man that every woman hopes to find and his strength is in making women feel truly good about themselves and understanding them. Jolene has been a horrific ordeal but she has come out stronger and more determined. This is deserving of more than the five stars I can give. It made me think about a subject I had probably not really thought about while still delivering a beautiful, emotional romance story that made me smile.
Excerpt“Why don’t you like being touched?” he asked quietly in a bold move. Jolene stopped dead in her tracks, glaring at him. “I just don’t, alright?” she hissed, her voice raised. “And it’s none of your fucking business why I act the way I do. I see what you’re trying to do, Doctor.” She spun around and stormed back toward the house, wanting to get far away from his prying, yet consoling, eyes. “What, Jolene? What am I doing? I just want to get to know you. I want to spend time with you, and I need to know why certain things set you off so that I don’t do them!” He ran along the shore, catching up to her, stopping short when he almost reached out and grabbed her arm to force her to talk to him. Feeling him approach behind her, she reeled around. The expression on her face was fierce. “You’ve been a therapist for far too long. You need to get it out of your head that you can help me.” The ocean wind whipped her hair in front of her face and her voice rose in anger. “You can’t! No one can! So just stop! Stop taking an interest in me! Stop with the whole nice guy act because, based on my experience, that’s all it is!” she cried through her tears, her voice becoming barely audible. “A fucking act.” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply before opening them, the pain of what she had experienced the past decade of her life visible in the look of unease on her face. She took a step closer, her eyes remaining glued to Cam’s. “You show up on my doorstep acting like my savior when the world has gone to shit. You tell me how you’ll look after me and protect me. And you know what those are?” She could see the hurt that her words were causing him, but she didn’t care. “Lies, Cam,” she said quietly. “Just lies. You say you’ll help me and watch over me, but you’ll turn. I can’t… I can’t go through that again. Please. I beg you. Just stay away from me.” She spun around and began walking briskly away from him. “You don’t have to do this, Jolene!” he shouted, running to catch up with her. “You don’t have to choose fear.” “Yes, I do,” she insisted, turning to face him once more. “It’s the only way that he won’t…” “You can choose me instead,” he interrupted. Her breath caught at his unexpected reply. “Cam, I…” She trailed off, hiding her tear-filled eyes. “Don’t let your fear control you, Jolene,” he implored, his voice soft. He brought his body close to hers. “Please, choose me, not fear.”
About the AuthorT.K. Leigh, otherwise known as Tracy Leigh Kellam, is the USA Today Best Selling author of the Beautiful Mess series. Originally from New England, she now resides in sunny Southern California with her husband, dog and three cats, all of which she has rescued (including the husband). She always had a knack for writing, but mostly in the legal field. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to try her hand at creative writing and is now addicted to creating different characters and new and unique story lines in the Contemporary Romantic Suspense genre. When she’s not planted in front of her computer, writing away, she can be found running and training for her next marathon (of which she has run over fifteen fulls and far too many halfs to recall). Unlike Olivia, the main character in her Beautiful Mess series, she has yet to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
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