Title: The Damaged Heart
Author: Rosemary J Anderson
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Release Date: February 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 Lyres recommended read
Abigail Bountiful is shy and naïve and has managed to get to the age of twenty one without losing her virginity. Life has not been kind to Abigail but she’s managed to survive up till now, however life has handed her yet another blow and she is about to become homeless. In desperation she decides to reply to an advertisement.
“A virgin wife wanted!
A homemaker, must be free of ties and aged twenty to thirty.
Should be prepared to live in a remote part of the world.
Ring for an interview.”
Gabriel Strong has been hurt in the past and doesn’t trust women, but he wants a family, so he places an advert in the paper. He has also had a contract drafted so that if he finds a suitable candidate, he will be protected if the marriage fails.
Abigail bungles her way through the interview. Her nerves have her spilling coffee and dumping the contents of her purse all over the floor. When asked what she’d bring to the marriage, she told Gabriel she kept a clean house, was a great cook, and that she knew she’d be good in bed–as she’d read books. She passes the medical test Gabriel has requested so they are married and he whisks her off to Alaska.
Gabriel is a biologist who is currently studying the mating habits of the grizzly. He is also a keen wildlife photographer. The first few days the pair are in Alaska go reasonably well. Gabe learns that his wife can’t cook to save herself, though she does try very hard. When Gabe’s fellow researchers arrive, things change between Gabe and Abby. One of the researchers just happens to be Gabe’s ex, Marianne St Clair. The other is the former best friend that she ran off with, Francis Walker.
Abigail is almost killed by a bear when someone leaves leftovers outside. Then a series of other mishaps befall both Gabe and Abby–the most heartbreaking, the loss of their child. Abby believes Gabe is having an affair and only wanted her for the baby. Gabe on the other hand doesn’t believe Abby loves him and is prepared to let her go until an enraged Mamma grizzly comes on the scene looking for her cub, and standing between Mamma and baby is–you guessed it–Abigail.
This is probably one of the best contemporary novels I have read so far this year. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to slap both Gabriel and Abigail at times. Ms Anderson had me hooked by the end of chapter one and I stayed that way till the last page. The chemistry between Abby and Gabe is hot, the action is fast paced with a few twists, just to make it really interesting. I’m hoping that one of the secondary characters, Gabe’s friend Zach, gets his own book soon, and that we get to revisit with Gabe and Abby.