“Rescued Hearts” by Hope Toler Dougherty

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Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar- entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

 
Rescued Hearts
 
 Dougherty packs the plot of Rescued Hearts full of action from the very first page to the last!  When I read that the main character was a clothing designer, I somehow figured the story would be mostly sweet romance, but while that element is there, Rescued Hearts is much, much more.
 
That action starts off at the very beginning and rises throughout.  It never feels scary, which I appreciate, but Mary Wade finds herself in some really tough situations.  I enjoyed Brett’s changing roles and the way that his experience and job adds to the action, both physical and emotional.
 
Both kinds of action are there.  Dougherty uses lots of physical action to advance the plot, but there’s a lot of emotional and spiritual drama going on, too.  Mary Wade and Brett both have spiritual lessons to learn, and they are very relatable.  
 
I love the way that Dougherty describes Mary Wade without using words.  She uses incidents and story sketches to show the reader who her characters really are, and I love that skill.  Bringing the past into the present in small bits and pieces throughout the story ups the suspense factor and is another talent of this author.
 
I love mystery and suspense stories, and Rescued Hearts ranks right up there with Colleen Coble or Teri Blackstock.  I can’t wait for the next one!
 
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

What are your thoughts?

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