Reviewed by Charlayne Elizabeth Denney
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Former Marine Garrett Saunders came home from his tour in Afghanistan. He has been staying with his parents for the last 2 years, trying to figure out what to do with what else to do with his life. The world doesn’t feel the same, he doesn’t feel the same, and depression and anxiety are holding him back.
He helps the veterinarian his sister works for, bringing in horses to be examined, many destined for the slaughterhouse. One horse, a grey, skinny, old horse catches his attention and he finds himself saving the horse. Without thinking, he gets the horse all the things a horse needs: a corral, food, attention.
Blair Greyson is determined to keep some of the horses from the slaughterhouse, rescuing them while she cares for her ailing grandfather. His farm has the room to keep them, but the old barn will need fixed to house them when winter comes.
She finds an emaciated horse running the road loose and she catches it. She plans to take it home and find the neglectful owner and give them scolding. She is found by Garrett and tears into him about the horse’s condition.
After the dust settles, Garrett makes an agreement with Blair, he will work to fix the barn and she will keep the horse for him until he finds another place for it. As work starts on the barn, Blair finds out Garrett has been drinking to excess. She has a family history of that and she isn’t happy one bit about it. She tells him that she will not allow him to work for her after he showed up the day after an evening bender hung over. He promises he won’t but has to fight it.
To complicate matters, he’s finding that he has feelings for her. And she’s finding she’s got feelings for him. Both aren’t sure about trying to get close to anyone due to secrets of their past. They keep pulling away from what could turn out to be a romance neither is sure they could sustain. They run from their feelings, denying to themselves that they could be happy.
Can they come together and put the past behind them?
Jana Richards has crafted a very good romance in To Heal A Heart. Garrett is very believable, she makes him real to the reader. I’ve had a friend who was a Marine and I’ve seen that type of behavior from him. Good men with baggage from a war far away from home. Blair is not as believable, the secret she’s hiding just seems a bit too much. Richards waits until very late in the book to reveal what it is and when it is, it’s almost anti-climactic.
I’m not normally a big fan of contemporary romances but this one had me turning pages late into the night in anticipation of whether they would get together for a Happily Ever After or if they would run away from each other. It’s a good story, even with the small issue I had with Blair.
I recommend this book for a great spring/summer read.