Change of Heart
Healing Harts #5
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing May 10, 2016
The fifth and (for now) final book in TJ Kline’s Healing Harts series.
Leah McCarran has never had anything but bad luck in her life, with the exception of her dream job, working as a therapist for at-risk youth at Heart Fire Ranch. But when her car breaks down on the side of the road and she finds herself stranded, the playboy who shows up to help, seems like the last person she can count on.
Gage Granger has risen above the circumstances of his youth, enough that people believe he has the Midas touch, especially in business. But when one costly mistake could send his reputation and his company into ruin, he needs some time to get his head on straight before he makes a decision that could affect hundreds of lives and heads to see his brother, near Heart Fire. The last thing he expected to find was a feisty therapist who needs his help, even if she won’t admit it.
Leah doesn’t want friends. There was only one person she let close - her high school counselor and the mentor who not only took her in but changed her life, and then she died. Leah doesn’t want that kind of hurt again so it’s easier to remain distant. But Gage is making it difficult. And finding out that he staying next door at Heart Fire Ranch isn’t making it any easier to avoid the kind man who is worming his way into her heart.
Gage sees the pain Leah’s trying so adamantly to hide but neither can help the attraction that begins to develop as they rescue two abandoned kittens and find they have far more in common than they believed. Gage helps her to move past her nightmarish past and she helps him realize that one mistake doesn’t define his worth.
What an incredible, emotional journey this story is, this whole series has been really, so real and raw, and getting to you at the core of your being.
Leah is doing her best to hold it together, to move on, to find a home, and to make something of her future, something different, something that will count. The way she goes about it, keeping everyone on the arm's length, and holding her emotions deep inside, makes it hard to understand, relate, or at times even like her. She is defensive, surly at times, and uptight most of the time. Until she puts her doctor face on, then she is confident, brilliant, and sure of her way. But Gage sees through all of the facade, pretend, and doesn't give up on her, even when it hurts.
And he tries hard, and goes beyond and further than anyone would expect, he proves his good intentions again and again, hoping Leah will open up her heart and mind and let him in.
I adored those two together, the story goes far and wide, the past Leah has, is not easy to understand or accept that it could and would happen. But the growth in her, in both of them, as they help each other to find their place in the world, find their courage to claim their place, and take that step, and make a difference, is astonishing.
This whole series has been both adventure and crusade to the darker, deeper side of emotions for me. The way this group of characters has touched my heart, and made me want to make a difference, with their example, isn't a lesson easy to be ignored. Sometimes a group of characters becomes your book friends, and I am glad I met this lively family of the heart and blood. This series is something not to be missed, I highly recommend it, and not just romance fans either, but to anyone who dares to let stories touch your heart and mind, and shape the way you see your world
~ Five Spoons!
“We should start over.” Gage held out a hand. “I’m Gage Granger, your neighbor. It’s nice to meet you.”
Leah bit the corner of her lip as the horse nudged her hand. “Don’t do that,” she said quietly. She rubbed her hand over the animal’s face the way Jessie had told her they liked. “We’re both old enough that we don’t need to pretend we get do-overs in life.”
“Ah, another cynic.” He reached out and patted the horse’s neck. The second horse seemed to take notice and ambled slowly in their direction.
“A realist,” she corrected. “Another?”
“Like my brother, or at least, he used to be one.” Gage shrugged but looked back at her, curiosity clear in his dark eyes. “So, you don’t think you can forgive and forget? There’s no starting over?”
“Not really. You can forgive, but it’s a conscious choice. Forgetting something ever happened? That’s impossible. It’s like saying there’s such a thing as love at first sight.”
“Next you’re going to tell me you don’t believe in happily ever after either.” He clucked his tongue and shook his head with a grin tugging at the corners of his full lips. “What kind of therapist are you?”
She didn’t return his smile. “A good one. One who knows what I’m talking about and uses hard facts to get through to people who’ve see far too much reality in their daily lives to believe in fairy tales.”
She leaned one elbow on the railing and faced him. “The people I work with don’t need illusions. They need coping skills because life isn’t some kind of fantasy. Most people you meet aren’t good, and they don’t want to help you.”
Gage narrowed his eyes, trying to see more than what she would allow anyone to see. Leah wondered for a moment if she should have just kept her mouth shut. There was something about this man that made her usual calm, reserved demeanor take a vacation and made her tongue run away without her brain. If she wasn’t careful, she’d end up telling him her life story, and no one deserved to bear the weight of that nightmare.
T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She writes contemporary western romance for Avon Romance, including the Rodeo series and the Healing Harts series. She has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her very limited spare time, T.J. can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.
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