Healing Harts #5
In Change of Heart (Healing Harts #5) by T.J Kline, Leah McCarran is hoping her new job will be the start of something wonderful to happen for her life. Since she's had nothing but hard times ever since she was little. With a mother that didn't care for her like a mother should, she has her reasons for not trusting people, especially men. However, she finds herself drawn to Gage Granger, and it seems he won't give up until she gives him a chance, even if all he can ever have with her is friendship.
Gage Granger has always made the right decisions, especially in business. But one mistake could cost him the company he's worked so hard to build and make successful. Yet, instead of facing his problems, he's chosen to run away. At least until he decides how he's going to handle the situation, especially when his choices are limited and he may have no other choice than to fire hundreds of people. Staying at the ranch of his sister-in-law by marriage, he never expected to find a woman that would consume his thoughts. But how is he supposed to win Leah over when she obviously finds it hard to trust?
What a powerful and emotional tale Ms. Kline has penned that weaved a hypnotic spell on this reader from the start of this story until the end. This story started really well, as it dived straight into the trouble Gage is going through with his company and his need to hide out for a while. He has some big decisions to make, and finds it a bit impossible with his partners pushing him to either fight for what's right or threatening him with the possibility he could lose everything he's worked so hard for. However, the moment that Gage met Leah was when I became completely hooked to this story, as the heroine made me intrigued to learn answers to certain questions. Why is she so prickly towards Gage? Is it just him that annoys her, or is it all men?
The dialogue was a nice mix of intense, funny and emotional. Gage and his pick-up lines made me laugh because they were so cheesy. How many women actually fall for such lines? Then there was the intense dialogue, which came through from the main characters back stories. Leah has had a lot of bad luck in her life, and I felt sorry for her. Her past made tears well in my eyes, as what she went through wasn't fair. How could any mother treat their daughter the way her mother did? Then again, Gage didn't have an easy time in his youth either. But all he's achieved has definitely proven he's overcome it and made his family proud of him.
I absolutely loved both characters, as well as the secondary ones. Everyone thinks highly of Gabe, and they want him to be happy. Yet, they're also protective of Leah, and aren't afraid to give advice or more of a warning that he can't lead Leah on. She's not like the women he normally goes for, and he needs to do more than use his charm to win her over. Really, what he did by going slow and getting her to see that she can trust him was proven loud and clear through his reactions and dialogue.
Leah is strong, brave, tenacious and I liked how she's turned her life around since she got the help she needed from the one person she found she could trust in her teen years. Definitely her past has made her independent, and it was no wonder she ventured into a career as a therapist. Because the horrible events she's suffered help her connect with the at-risk kids she deals with throughout this story. However, what I liked most about her was her willingness to trust Gage, even though it's hard for her to get close to a man, believing she's too damaged for any man to want her.
While Gage, he's go through a lot in this story. He has to figure out what he wants to do about the trouble he's facing. Should he give up on the company that means so much to him, or should be pursue something else that could benefit those that need to harness their skills for good rather than evil. He's a kind and caring guy that would do anything to cheer someone up, and I liked the ways he managed to get Leah to become more comfortable with him. It wasn't easy, and I liked that he didn't give up, even though he wanted to when she responded to him with such mistrust like he was out to take advantage of her.
Scorching sex scenes heat up the pages at the perfect moments throughout this story. It takes a while for Leah to warm up to Gage, which was understandable after all she's been through in the past. Yet, when she does I liked that Gage allowed her to decide when she was ready for their growing relationship to progress from platonic to physical. Knowing she needed to be absolutely certain for them to ever have a chance at happily ever after.
Overall, this was an incredible stand-alone read from Ms. Kline that has left me wanting to read the other books of this series. The way this story ended was perfect, as Gage needed to find a way to win back the heroine's trust in him, and the heroine's offer definitely proves he has it. I would recommend Change of Heart by T.J Kline, if you enjoy a heroine that has serious trust issues and is in desperate need of someone to break down her walls of protection because she deserves the chance at forever after all that she's been through.
The fifth and (for now) final book in TJ Kline’s Healing Harts series.