A Reckless Heart (Scarred Hearts #1) by Jennifer Wilck
ABOUT THE BOOK
Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she’s found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.
Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he’s lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he’s not lonely.
Simon’s new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg’s secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg’s love?
I’m on a roll with extremely emotional romances lately and this one is no exception. I was interested in this book because of the mysterious scarred hero and the isolated heroine who wants to start her life over. It didn’t disappoint.
Meg has a secret identity. One she cannot talk about because of the promise she made before she went to prison. All she wants is to be out of the hellish limelight and notoriety of her crime. She finds that solace in a small town in Maine along an isolated stretch of beach. Then she meets Simon, her reclusive landlord, and a broken man. After a big coastal storm, she is relegated to share Simon’s house as they slowly get to know each other. They give in to their attraction and find comfort in each others’ arms while battling with their lonely lives. But when Meg’s identity and past are revealed, the trust disappears. Can their relationship be repaired?
Simon is a landscape architect who has chosen to work from home to hide from frightened eyes. His scars are not only on the outside but on the inside as well and over the years he has managed to push all his friends away except his business partners and his persistent friend, Claire, who simply won’t take no for an answer. Then the beautiful and kind renter appears and builds his confidence while taking his heart. As he opens up about his past, she keeps hers close to her vest until he learns the truth and loses all hope for a future with the woman he thought he knew.
My heart shattered for Meg after learning her full story. She is truly a saint for taking loyalty to new levels. Too bad Simon and Claire couldn’t do the same. I understand that Meg felt she needed to protect others by keeping silent about her tragic past and some of the blame fell on her, but I was so angry at Simon for how he treated her after all she had done for him. Claire is another one that I couldn’t forgive immediately. I think they both needed to grovel some more. As Meg said, “I don’t abandon my friends”. I did feel sorry for Simon and his lack of confidence, but come on man, step up. He eventually does in a big way, but not until Meg is bombarded with cruelty and humiliation first.
As for supporting characters, I say kudos to Bill, Meg’s boss, who stands by her, and Steph who gives her a place to stay when Meg finds herself homeless. As for Claire, I really liked her at first while she worked on both Meg and Simon to get them together, but I resented her for abandoning Meg the way she did. I’m not sure I really liked her at the end.
Overall, I love this kind of story filled with emotional turmoil. Books that evoke an emotion in me as this one did are always the best kind to me. I guarantee you will laugh, cry, and spit nails while reading this memorable book.
Thank you to Ms. Wilck for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
Jennifer Wilck will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner.
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Let’s watch a horror movie.” Meg flopped on the couch and wiggled into the soft cushions.
There was a beat of silence before Simon turned away from her and poked at the logs in the fireplace, sending sparks up the chimney. “I’m not a big fan of horror movies.”
She liked horror movies because the monsters were obviously fake. You didn’t have to dig deep, to wonder about anything. It was black and white. Meg’s heart constricted. She hadn’t thought about it from Simon’s perspective. Did he consider himself a monster? Could this amazing man see himself in those movies? Her throat thickened. She wanted to run away and cry. But he’d think she ran from him. With a deep breath, she sorted through the list of her favorites in her mind and threw away several until she thought of the perfect one.
How about Dracula?” Her voice rasped past the emotion, but she forged ahead. “The old one. It’s totally cheesy, which makes it funny. ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ ” she said with a fake accent.
Do you?” he asked.
Returning the poker to the rack, he walked toward her, and held out his arm, wrist up. She took it in her hand. His skin was warm beneath her fingers, his pulse steady, and the hair on the other side of his arm was wiry. She stroked her thumb along the inside of his wrist. His breath stuttered. She wondered what he’d do if she kissed him. Desire flooded through her. Never mind him, what would she do?
Next time,” she said. She was brave, but maybe not that brave, at least not yet.
Slowly, he lowered his arm to his side, but remained close enough his knees brushed hers. His skin was flushed, his eyes ablaze. Heat pulsed between them. After a moment, he stepped away, as if he wasn’t brave enough either. “Do you want popcorn?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong, and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press, as well as indie, and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.