Published by Self Published on August 25, 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Blog Tour
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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.
Heart of light is an intense story filled with romance, drama and suspense. There are parts of this story that I liked and didn’t like, so I have mixed feelings about this book.
What did I like?
Heart of Light is a dark story that brings attention to human trafficking. The details of this story are disturbing and frightening. There were violent rape and abuse scenes but the author spared us with gory details. We still feel the impact of these violent acts by reading the about the pain Jolene feels the days after the abuse. I thought this was well done and focuses on the emotional damage that stays forever with victims of abuse.
I also liked the suspense of the story. There were mini plots revealed and it was nice to see them eventually connect to the main plot. The suspense kept my interest and I was surprised with the ending.
What did I not like?
Heart of Light also has romance which I didn’t feel was appropriate for this intense story. For the past 10 years Jolene has been forced to sell her body. She finally escapes and is given a chance to start a new life. After being on Amelia Island for 2 days we see an attraction between Jolene and Dr. Cam Bowen. I found this unbelievable. Jolene has been forced to do things for the last 10 years so it would have made more sense for her to heal and become independent. Jolene is living in fear of being found by her captors. She doesn’t change her name and she forms friendships with the locals. Jolene’s safety should be a priority and not a romance.
Dr. Cam Bowen is a great guy. I liked him from The Beautiful Mess series but from reading Heart of Light I think he has a hero complex. I love how his friend Elsie says everything I was thinking – he is living with the guilt of not saving his sister Marley from being abused so he wants to save women that are victims of abuse. This is great with his profession as a therapist but not in his personal life. The romance between Jolene and Cam felt rushed and was not a healthy relationship.
Jolene calls Cam her “light”, her hope for a better future. It is good to be optimistic and have people in your life that you can turn to. But you also need to find the strength within yourself. After years of having her freedom taken away from her I would have liked Jolene more if she became independent first before falling in love with Cam.
Despite the romance aspect of this story I did like everything else. I thought the build-up of the suspense/mystery was really good. The action scenes was very descriptive, I can imagine them in an action film. I would recommend this if you are looking for an intense story with action and mystery.