Book Review: Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty

Posted November 14, 2017 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, Hope Toler Dougherty, mystery/suspense, romance / 6 Comments

about the book

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.

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GENRE: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHER: Mantle Rock Publishing
RELEASE DATE: September 19, 2017
PAGES: 334

First I have to say that Gigi wins this book. I adore Brett’s grandma!!! What a fun character! But she’s also the source of many of the most meaningful moments in the book too. She softens some of the rough patches, adds some humor when needed, and brings warmth and affection to both Brett and Mary Wade’s characters.

Second… i need to know what happened to that cat! LOL.

The case isn’t nearly as straightforward as I originally thought (something i love in suspense novels), but there’s no guessing when it comes to the romance! The chemistry between Brett & Mary Wade is charged nearly from their first meeting, and as their friendship deepens so does that chemistry (and their banter!) Enter matchmaking Gigi and you have the makings of a cute & sweet romance novel. (Have I mentioned how much I love Gigi??)

To be honest, I have a difficult time deciding what sort of novel this is. While it’s what I consider a light romantic suspense, it does have its darker moments as well. Though nothing explicit occurs, readers who have experienced rape and/or sexual abuse may find the implication of impending harm in a couple of scenes difficult to read. There are some surprisingly sensual undertones too (not inappropriately so but not what I was expecting). The tone sort-of shifts throughout, as though the novel itself isn’t quite sure what it wants to be either. Combined with some plot points that seem to be abandoned – or come out of nowhere – and some minor spelling/grammar/perspective issues in the finished copy, it lends a bit of a scattered feel to the overall reading experience.

That said, though, the story itself is sweet and romantic & the author’s writing voice draws you in like a new friendship. The things I mentioned only detract a little from one’s enjoyment of the plot and the characters.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for warm characters with some high-stakes suspense and a heartfelt truth of resting in the fact that you are loved just as you are… Rescued Hearts needs to be on your TBR pile! It will keep you guessing as well as holding your breath to see if the characters survive those who want them dead. And then there’s Gigi… Audrey Hepburn with a gun and a penchant for matchmaking. Have I mentioned yet that she’s my favorite? 😉

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Litfuse. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 3.5 stars / Good read!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Almost an Author. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo.

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Other Books by Hope Toler Dougherty

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6 responses to “Book Review: Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty

  1. Renee Wiggs

    I so enjoyed reading every page of Rescued Hearts!!! My favorite character was Gigi!!! I have a one year old grandson and as I read the book I kept thinking I want to be just like Gigi❤️ Loved the suspense and so many sweet lessons threaded throughout the story!! I did not want it to end!!!!

  2. When Hope sent this manuscript to me I knew we had to do it because it wasn’t like her other book, but some of the same characters are mentioned. When the cover designer sent me the first draft of the cover, I told her we had to have a cat. I’m sure the cat escaped during Mary Wade’s abduction. I loved Gigi also, but I was drawn more to Mary Wade and her courageous nature. Yes, she did some things that were a little edgy, but nothing explicit. Sometimes suggestions are best. It’s one of my favorites, but each book we publish is my favorite.

  3. Emily Willard

    I so much loved reading Rescued Hearts as I couldn’t put it down. I loved the suspense, characters, charm, relationships, and most of all the romance that we don’t see or hear in our culture anymore! Also, I so enjoyed the questions that Hope asked in the back of the book for each chapter encouraging the reader to go deeper into the story and deeper into your own relationships in a positive way!

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