27 October 2011

Title: Heartsent
Author: Kay Springsteen
Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Mainstream Contemporary Inspirational Romance
Length: Full 264 pages
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5
Review request and book provided by author.

With her strict no-dating-within-the-department rule, Firefighter Lina Standish has a nickname in the Salem Hills Fire Department: Lina “Standoffish”. But Firefighter Kevin Daly has had his eye on Standoffish ever since a locker room incident nearly a year earlier, and now he plans to break all her rules. With the help of his niece and a hot-air balloon, he gets Lina’s attention and she agrees to “hang out” with Kevin as friends off duty, to take it slow and see where things go between them. Then Lina's life is turned upside down by a surprise miracle who doesn't even have a name. Kevin’s ready to step up, but is Lina?


From the title, to the dedication then on to the final period, this book will grab your heart and squeeze it—hard. This author’s gift of description in every facet of her writing draws the reader in and gives them an almost ‘fly-on-the-wall’ feeling of being right beside her characters.

I have heard some readers say ‘they skip’ the descriptions in a book. This author weaves them in so skilfully they become an integral part of the story.

Do not be misled into assuming this author’s gentle writing style offers a light-hearted, fluffy reading. It doesn’t. In Heartsent, Ms Springsteen deals with the consequences of loss and honouring forgotten promises.

Her heroine, Lina, is no superwoman, and yet she rises to the challenge presented by her author and comes good. More than that, she grows while dealing with the plethora of testing situations she is suddenly confronted with.

Toss in a hero, fellow fire-fighter, work colleague and friend, Kevin, and you have poor Lina not knowing which end is ‘up’. Knowing he has an uphill struggle persuading Lina to change her rules of not dating a fellow worker, Kevin perseveres. He is there for her when her world spins off its axis. Too much so, I thought at one bit. But Ms Springsteen has that covered.

As with all good romances there is ‘that’ moment when true love runs off the rails, but thanks to the wisdom of Kevin’s mother…

There is a plethora of secondary characters, all with specific roles to play, and all moving the plot along fluently. Kevin’s niece, Meely Bug will charm your socks off, so have plenty of tissues at hand.

If I have a nit with Heartsent it is the fact that in the world of e-books and global readers, I didn’t know, and was pulled out of the story for a time, while I tried to work out what a ‘Parkway’ was. I never did, and had to assume my own interpretation was accurate enough for those particular scenes to make sense. From an author whose descriptive skills leave me breathless, this lack was a surprise.

Do not be fooled into thinking because Heartsent is in the sweet, inspirational romance genre that it will lack depth. You would be so very wrong. It is packed with tension, emotion, suspense, and contains a depth that will make it hard to put this book down before the last page is turned.

Ms. Springsteen is an author who’s outstanding output never fails to amaze. Every book she writes is a winner, and this one is no exception.

Visit her site to learn more about Ms Springsteen
Buy Heartsent from Astraea Press and other outlets.

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