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Kick off for Decadent Publishing’s Newest Series-The Challenge Series; Healing Hearts by Liz Crowe – Review/Promo

Jay Longmire had it all–a successful business, a beautiful wife, two loving children. But one normal Sunday evening in Ann Arbor everything was ripped from his arms at knifepoint. He has retreated to Traverse City to hide from the world, nursing his physical and emotional wounds and trying to cope with mind-numbing guilt over his inability to protect his family.
Abby Powers serves him coffee he never drinks and has become obsessed with the movie-star handsome but melancholy man. And the anticipation of his appearance every day takes her mind off her own messy life.
What begins as a near desperate physical connection out of the blue develops into a friendship that has the potential to heal two damaged hearts. But Jay is terrified to love again. While Abby’s fierce independence forces them both to acknowledge the deeper relationship they both desire, but that remains just out of reach.

“Stop flirting with me. That’s a personal bubble violation,” he whispered, letting his lips graze her earlobe, loving how her whole body shivered against him.

“Fine, then stop pressing against me so hard I can feel how much money is in your pocket.”

“Touché.” But he gripped her closer. The candlelight flickered, the music embraced them, and she nearly brought him to his knees with her next words.

“I can’t be what you want me to be, Jay. I have goals. I need my independence. I want to make it on my own.”

He sucked in a breath, slid the hand he had on her hip around to the small of her back. He didn’t need this. But he wanted it so much he was about to explode. “I’m never going to be what you want me to be, either. Let’s just be…what we are…tonight.”

She laid her head against his chest, and he shut his eyes, trying not to let the moment overwhelm him, send him screaming into the night. Christy’s face at their wedding, at the birth of their children, and that last moment when her eyes clouded over after she told him not to blame himself while he watched her die—they all rose, clear and bright. He swallowed, leaned down into Abigail’s thick riot of dark curls, sucked in a deep breath. “What do you want me to be for you…tonight?” he asked.

She put her hand to his face, went up on her tiptoes, and met his lips, urgent and needy. He kissed her, listening to the crowd clap and catcall. Then broke away. “Well?” he asked, his body zinging.

“I want you to be the guy who takes me to bed again.” The simplicity of her words taking his breath away. “I don’t want to be made love to, not now. I need you, Jay. With me, inside me, all over me. And you need it, too. No strings, no emotion. Only physical urges met. I’m willing. Are you?”

He stepped away from her, a little shocked and a lot horny. “Give me two minutes.” Grateful the room had dimmed for the music and dancing, he dropped three hundred in cash on the table, more than enough to cover the meal, wine, and a healthy tip, and took her hand.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” she said, giggling when he pushed her up against the side of his SUV and dove into her mouth, sweeping into it with his tongue, his hands cradling her face then buried in her hair. She molded into him, making that damn noise, the one that made him insane, down in her throat.

He broke from her, stared into her eyes. “Yes.”



Let me just say that I’m a fangirl when it comes to Liz Crowe.  She can’t write a bad book.  Have I disagreed with her some of her characters?  Yes, I have but that just makes Liz one of those writers that writes with a passion for her characters.  She takes her characters to places that we have all been to in our own lives.  That said, I was not prepared for Healing Hearts and the shear brutality that Jay had to endure.

I had tears rolling down my face when his back story was brought forward.  I honestly wouldn’t have been able to keep it somewhat together in the end but Jay did in his own way.  Without any real interaction with people for a year, he found a connection with Abby.  Just seeing her everyday was enough for him.  Until…

Abby’s life was a mess.  Divorced, left with debt, trying to improve her life and a family that wasn’t really “there” anymore.  Seeing Jay come in every day to the coffee shop was the only thing that she really looked forward to in life.  Actually meeting him, touching him awakes something that she didn’t want or need in her life but there it is.

I’ve never read about two of the more tortured souls in my life.  Their stories were sad, depressing but there was hope when they meet.  A spark of desire, need and a reason for getting up in the morning.  *sigh*  After their first encounter they decide to be only friends, but as we know in a Liz Crowe book that won’t last long.  Their personal bubble references were cute and funny.

This is a beautifully told story about two tortured but hopeful souls that no one could have written except for Ms. Crowe.  No one writes a better emotionally, character driven story than her.  Her pacing, plotting and just the little nuances in her writing are breathtaking.  Yes, I used that word with Liz.  🙂

Trust me, if you have never read anything by Liz, please read this book.  Its a stunning book to start off a new series with Decadent and I am pleased to be able to read it and review.







4 thoughts on “Kick off for Decadent Publishing’s Newest Series-The Challenge Series; Healing Hearts by Liz Crowe – Review/Promo

  1. Good review! I haven’t had time to read any of Liz’s books but I do have them on my wishlist. I’ll add this book since it seems to be a single book and not a series:)

  2. I agree with everything you said! We are so excited to have this as our debut book for Challenge, a series that we hope will provide encouragement, romance and a tribute to people who face challenges that most of us would find insurmounable, yet still manage to go on and live real, satisfying and loving lives!

So what do you think?

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