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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

5/5 Review: Defending Hearts by Shannon Stacey




They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…Globetrotting photographer Alex Murphy returns to Stewart Mills for a football fundraiser, but stays to document the football team and the town’s changes. Since his project includes photos of the Walker farm, he rents a room there.

Needing money to save the family farm, Gretchen Walker doesn’t have time to deal with the sexy photographer in her house. After all, Alex is a man with no sense of home, and to her, home is everything. But when she finds herself falling for him, she’ll be forced to decide where her dreams really lie…

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Defending Hearts by Shannon Stacey captured my heart.  It was the type of story that walked you through the lives of two people falling in love.  It wasn't rushed and it wasn't an out of nowhere realization.  It was a slow building love based on trust and attraction.  Gretchen and Alex's love poured off of the pages of this story.  It included the perfect balance of home, work, love, and friendship. 

Gretchen Walker was a farm girl through and through.  She was raised by her grandparents and learned at an early age about responsibility and family honor.  When her grandfather passed away she took over the care of the farm.  It is definitely a part of her and her grandmother.  They say home is where the heart is but in this case, the farm is part of her heart.  There is no way I can picture Gretchen, Ida, and Cocoa, their chocolate Lab dog, and not see the farm.  Alex has also become a fixture in that image. 

Alex is a photojournalist who has gone back to his home town after thirteen years.  Helping keep the football team from getting cut he realizes how much he misses home.  He rents a room on the Walker farm and that's where the love story begins.  He has a hard time deciding between his love for his job and the ones he can't live without. 

This was an incredibly written story that caught your attention and didn't let go.  It wasn't a slow read by any means but it was done in such a way that made it that much more real.  I recommend this whole heartedly and will go back and read the first book and am anticipating the next in the series.