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?
The Bound Heart is a remarkably tender story of unconditional love and redemption. Set in New England (Bar Harbor and Boston) before the turn of the century, author Dawn Crandall does a splendid job of immersing her readers in the era. Her descriptive writing gives readers a glimpse of period fashion as well as lessons in social decorum. The Bound Heart grabbed my attention and held it so intently that I finished it in two days.
This is the second book in The Everstone Chronicles and so far my favorite! I felt that this book had a different tone than the first, like the author had really found her voice. Her characters were deeper, particularly Meredyth, the female protagonist, whose struggle with binding shame is a message that will resonate with many readers. Early on in the story, a simple kiss plants a seed of doubt. Until then, Meredyth had been quite sure of whom she would marry and why. For six long years she had been waiting for Vance Everstone to make things right. The spiritual journey the Meredyth takes makes this book well worth reading!
Dawn Crandall’s savvy use of first-person POV was able to evoke all manner of emotions. At one point, I confess to giving an enthusiastic cheer and a fist pump while reading. I may have teared up a little too — watch out or Wynn will sneak right into your heart! Her daddy, on the other hand, made my skin crawl! The character of Vance Everstone stood in stark contrast to the compassionate, kind, and long-suffering qualities of Lawry Hampton. I’ve only know one other man as humble, persistent, and forgiving as Lawry — and I married him!
I shaved off a 1/2 star for a few points in the story where I felt Meredyth’s thoughts became repetitive, but The Bound Heart is a solid 4 1/2 star book. It was full of twists and romance — perfect for historical and inspirational romance buffs! If you are just discovering the series, you can jump right into book 2 without missing a beat or grab The Hesitant Heiress and catch up.