Title: Here in my Heart
Series Echoes of the Heart #0.5
Author: Anna DeStefano
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Here in my Heart is the first in the Echoes of the Heart series by author Anna DeStefano. And while I have seen that name floating around in the romance world, I had yet to pick up one of her books… until now. Even then I had not really paid any attention to the author because the story sounded like something I would enjoy reading. And I did.
Here in my Heart tells the story of Dru Hampton and Brad Douglas who were childhood sweethearts, but friends before that, but things ended badly and Brad left town to spare Dru any more heartache. Years later, Brad’s meddling, but with good intentions, grandmother, Vivian decides that these two need to sort out their issues because they were meant for each other. She accomplishes this by giving the two of them an ultimatum: either work and cohabit together or they lose the diner and the house. They both would hate to lose the places that mean so much to them, but there’s more because Brad’s grandmother is dying, and even though it’s hard for them to be around each other, especially for Dru, they do it because they love this woman so much.
For Dru, Brad’s grandmother is like the grandmother she’d always wanted. Dru was a foster child and though she had been taken in by this great family and grew up with two awesome big brothers, finding and keeping a home means so much to her. She loves living in Vivian’s home and she loves working for her as well. But being forced to work with Brad both thrills her and scares her at the same time. It’s hard for her to forgive him for leaving more so than for what he did when he was just a kid all those years ago. I admired her for that. I mean that while what Brad did was hurtful, she was able to find it in her heart after some time to forgive him. Brad was mostly a very stand-up guy. He made a mistake as a teen and he spent the next decade trying to make up for it. He, too, was an admirable character. He’d loved Dru ever since she was too young for him to make a move, and he waited until he felt it was proper for him to approach her. It was all very swoon worthy. Until it wasn’t then it was just sad.
“No matter what, you’ve always been right here in my heart, Dru. And you always will be.”
This was an unexpectedly great read for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I do have this thing for stories set in the south and I felt like I should give it a chance because I may find that I like it. And I did. So very, very much. I love the idea of small town settings and stories of reunited childhood sweethearts. The writing was also so very lovely that I took to it rather quickly and settled in for the story. A very sweet and tender story about lost loves and family. I adored it. A very solid and strong start to a series that promises to be more than fulfilling.