Monday, October 27, 2014

My Review: The Bound Heart

I just adore this cover!  Isn't it gorgeous?  Definitely an attention-catcher! Oh, the book was great, too!  Don't worry - I just had to brag on the cover for a moment.  :) 
One accidental kiss. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt's world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn't have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.
When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption... and quite possibly the love of her best-friend?

About the author:

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming published, he let her quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.
Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.
The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to be become a finalist in 2013.

(Cover photo and description from Goodreads.  Author photo copied from her website and about the author copied from The Hesitant Heiress. No infringement intended.)

My review: 4 stars
Exceptional sequel!

The Bound Heart is book two in Dawn Crandall’s, The Everstone Chronicles series. I was very interested to read this book and find out what would happen with Meredyth Summerton, and I can happily say that I really enjoyed it!
Ms. Crandall does a great job of pulling you into the story and making it seem as though you are actually there. I loved the descriptions and details, which weren’t overwhelming. I had actually expected more, given the time period the book is set in, but had there been, I believe they would have become tedious or annoying. I quickly became engrossed in the book and didn’t want to put it down! It kept me up late one night, even though I tried to convince myself to put it down and get some sleep.
Meredyth is the main character in this book and I found that I really liked her. She is in the first book, The Hesitant Heiress, quite a bit, but we actually don’t know her that well. I was looking forward to becoming better acquainted with her. I loved her voice, which really matches her character. I was a little concerned that she would sound too much like Amaryllis, but she didn’t. She has her own distinct voice, setting her apart. She struggles with her past and sees herself as unworthy and forever bound to Vance Everstone, making the title quite appropriate. I thought her reactions and struggles were very realistic, which made me love her even more. She has a mask, which she tries not to let anyone behind, but she couldn’t seem to keep Lawry or the Lord out. I also really enjoyed the growth in her. She begins the book being a little spoiled and selfish, something that was unfortunately quite common of high society during the time. But as I progressed, I could see distinct changes in her thought processes and her attitude. I loved how she began to look beyond herself and question the things of society that she had always just accepted before. She really challenged me to do the same. 
Lawrence “Lawry” Hampton is a great hero. He is strong, tenacious, and loving, things Meredyth desperately needed. She tried so hard to push him away, but he would never give up on her. I adored the love that is shown in this book. One of my favorite quotes is when Lawry is speaking to Meredyth and says, “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done; I still love you . . . . Because that’s what love is.” He unknowingly gave her a great example of what God’s love is like. It never fails, regardless.

I enjoyed their romance, though it actually wasn’t the focus of the story, as I had expected. It is very prominent, but more of the story seemed to be Meredyth’s journey to understanding and accepting mercy and forgiveness. There were a few somewhat “steamy” kisses and what happened with Vance and Meredyth is alluded to, but no details are given, thankfully. Vance was a bit of a creep for part of the book, so if there had been any details, I probably would have been so disgusted as to quit right there. I literally couldn’t stand him, though I didn’t truly hate him at the end.
I also loved the spirituality woven through the story. Meredyth struggles with feeling as though she is unworthy and that the Lord is punishing her for her past mistakes. I loved following her as she grew and began to understand grace and love. She is so closed off at the beginning of the story that I had to wonder what it would take to break down her walls. There was such a feeling of happiness for her, when she is finally able to release her burdens. The writing was excellent and I never felt as though something was skipped over. All of it was written with the care and seriousness it deserved. 
My only complaint is that the story lagged a little, in the beginning. There were two or three chapters that felt a little unnecessary and long, but it quickly picked back up and I was engrossed again.
I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an interesting story with a strong spiritual thread and great characters.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in anyway. All opinions expressed are my own.

*Quotation used with permission from the author. No infringement intended.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review!
I would really love to have some links here, so you can check the book out some more, but they aren't available, yet.  Hopefully those will be up soon, but until then, here's the link for Goodreads if you'd like to add the book to your "Want to Read" list.  I always do that, or I forget in a couple days what book I was looking for.  :)
Anyway, thanks again!  I hope you're having a lovely day!


  1. I really adored the love shown in this one too! Great review!

  2. Wonderful review!! I loved this book. Dawn is a truly gifted writer.

  3. I loved Dawn's first book and look forward to reading/reviewing this one very soon. Loved Lawry's quote that you brought in!