Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: Heart of Light by T.K. Leigh

Jolene has finally escaped. After 10 years in that monster's captivity, she has gotten away. She no longer has to lay there while him and his clients use and abuse her body. Now she just has to make sure they never find her because she absolutely cannot go back there. This beach front cottage on a small Florida island seems like a good place to start over.

For the last few years, Cameron hasn't been in a good place. He is still hurting over the one that got away and just hasn't been his usual self. When he finds out that his best friend rented out his beach house he is livid. And he is a ginormous jerk to Jolene this first time they meet. He softens, however, once he gets a good look into her eyes. She is beautiful for sure, but it is more than that that draws him in He sees some of the pain and fear that she is trying to hide and if nothing else, he wants to help her.

It's not too long before part of Jolene's past finds her. She is torn between the feelings that she is developing for Cam and trying to protect him from the horror that is her life. What will happen when Cam finds out everything?

First and foremost, this is a stand alone novel. Yes, Cam did first appear in T.K.'s Beautiful Mess trilogy, however you do not need to read those first. Now if I am being completely honest. I did not like Cam at all back in those books. No, in fact I damn near well hated him for getting in the way. So I wasn't sure if I could warm up to him in Heart of Light. But I did. Cam is a giver. He wants to help people, to take care of them. I love that he has such a huge heart and here we get to see what a sweet guy he really is. He isn't without faults or making mistakes, and he makes some monumental ones, but he truly is one of the good guys. He is so patient with Jolene and gives her the small baby steps that she needs to feel more comfortable with him.

And poor Jolene. My heart broke for her and everything that she has endured. She may have gotten out of her physical prison, however she is anything but free. Understandably, fear rules her mind and in turn her life. The only thing that will help her overcome it is time. Thankfully she has Cam to help and support her. For now.

This romantic suspense novel isn't a "who done it" story since you pretty much know who all the evils shits are. This is more of a "what the hell is going to happen next" suspense. Will they find Jolene? If they do, what will they do to her? Will Cam's involvement with her get him hurt? Those types of questions will constantly be playing in the back of your mind while she tries to move on with her life and heal. It is definitely a heart wrenching and emotional journey. I am glad that I gave Cam's story a chance, despite my initial feelings towards him, because I enjoyed it.

Favorite Quotes
"I will be patient. But I want to feel those legs wrapped around me more than you can possibly imagine."

"You need to relieve some of the weight off your shoulders, Jolene, or you'll get pulled down and I'll never be able to get you back. And that thought breaks my fucking heart."

Marianna's Rating:

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

“Did something happen to you?”
She rolled her eyes, pissed that he could see right through all her tricks and games. “What hasn’t happened to me?”
“Don’t do that.”
“Do what?” she hissed, raising her voice.
“That. Stop feeling so fucking sorry for yourself. You have a past. I get that. I don’t care about that. It’s shaped who you are and, goddammit, will you just see that you’re such a strong, amazing, gorgeous woman who I…”
“Who you what?” she asked with a quiver in her voice, her body warming at the depth and fire behind his eyes. But there was something else there, too. Something she knew she didn’t deserve.
“Who I admire, Jolene,” he said, sighing deeply. “Who I wish could finally see herself as I see her. Who I wish would stop lying to all of the people who care about her. And, most importantly, who I wish would stop lying to herself.”
“It’s not that easy, Cam.”
“Just answer me this question, and please be honest. Has someone hurt you? Last night? In there?” He gestured toward the front door. “Did someone find you?”
Jolene scanned the beach, the large deck seeming so small under Cam’s inquisitive stare.
“Please, Jolene. Just tell me the truth.”
She took a deep breath and returned her eyes to his. “No. Just like I said…” she started, a lone tear falling down her cheek. She hated herself for that tear, especially after the promise she made to herself last night. “I fell.”
“Take off your sunglasses and say that.” His expression was void of all emotion as he waited for her to comply with his request.
Removing the shades from her face, she glared at him. “Like I said, Dr. Bowen, I fucking fell. Now stop trying to make it seem like I’m a helpless victim. I’m not. Like you said, I’m strong. And I’d appreciate it if you would stop accusing me of lying to you. Stop trying to think that you can come in here and fix me. Leave that for your actual patients.” She stood up, heading toward the front door.
He followed her across the deck. “Is that what you think I’m doing? I just want to…”
“I know, I know.” She spun around, her eyes on fire. “Help me. Please, Cam.” Her voice changed from firm to soft. “I’m fine. I don’t want you always worrying about me. It’s exhausting.


Title: Heart of Light
Author: T.K. Leigh
Genre: Contemporary Romance, 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.


About the Author
T.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.

Twitter: @TK_Leigh

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