Okay, I admit it. I am a Taylor Swift fan, especially her songs “You Belong With Me” and “Mean”. I can relate to both all too well. While I’m not exactly the “girl-next-door” type, I am the one who would have been friends with a guy who had no romantic interest in me. I’ve been in the opposite situation too, and I felt just as bad. The best situation is when friends fall for each other.
I loved Dawn’s The Hesitant Heiress and fell in love with her first-person narrative and likable characters. I was eager to read The Bound Heart.
Vance Everstone stole more than a kiss from Meredith Summercourt and ever since then she’s held out hope the elusive playboy will return from Europe and claim her heart. In the mean time, Lawry Hampton has returned from the West Coast and the two resume a friendship that began when they were children. The two are close and easy companions as Lawry helps Meredyth find her passion. And she does. Helping orphans. Enter Wynn, an adorable little girl who adds to the story in so many ways.
It’s no secret I’m a hero girl and Lawry is a fine specimen. Not only is he tall, fair, and handsome he’s a kind and caring man. I love the way he patiently waits for Meredyth and how he interacts with Wynn. Who doesn’t love a guy who’s good with kids?
But what won me over was Meredyth’s character. I’m a lot harder to please in the heroine department. And Dawn did a fantastic job of creating Meredyth. She could have cutout any number of cardboard characters from Meredyth’s pieces. The oh-so-sweet do-gooder. The privileged social crusader. The mindless debutante. The damsel-in-distress. Meredyth is instead her own person wealthy and slightly spoiled, she isn’t resentful of her position yet she seeks a life beyond parties and gossip. I could see myself being a Meredyth if I were in her social position during The Gilded Age. And of course, this is a Dawn Crandall novel, so you can’t leave out the mystery and suspense than make her novels as exciting as they are romantic.
My final assessment is that Ms. Crandall’s second novel is every bit as good as her first. And I might even give it a bit of an edge because Meredyth is such a relatable heroine.
As for my romantic story. I fell for my good friend. Twenty-one years later, he’s been the only one for me for half of my life.
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