“I wanted to matter to him, I wanted more from him than I was willing to admit, even to myself.”
From the Heart is the third standalone in the Sweetbriar Hearts series by the always lovely, Nora Everly. Chock full to the brim with romance goodness, From the Heart will have you glued to the pages as you are swept off your feet by Violet and Jake’s story.
Violet and Jake are a classic case of “what if.” What if Jake had gotten to Violet first in college? What if Violet had the courage to leave her emotionally and physically absent husband sooner? What if? Jake Moretti is the hallmark of a perfect man. Jake has the altruistic goodness of Steve Rogers. Yes, I did invoke the sacred name (and dare I say it, derriere?) of Captain America, but Jake also has a rugged sinfulness that he has been saving while he pines for our lady, Violet. He’s your Stern Brunch Daddy and Golden Retriever-man all rolled up into one perfectly written, utterly swoon-worthy male character.
“She had blown straight back into my heart and now it was wide open in the palm of her hand.”
Violet has had a rough go of things. She had an exit plan, but it was shot to pieces once she realized that her soon to be ex-husband had created a cliché of their marriage by sleeping with his secretary. Nora Everly writes female characters that I want to sit and gab with and I consider that high praise since I am essentially your classic introvert. Violet is your friend who makes sure you have your favorite coffee waiting for you in her shop, while she effortlessly raises two sweet boys and wonders when her time to shine is going to come around. While Violet may have chosen the wrong man to marry, she did get her two boys out of her marriage, as well as the fact that she stayed in her hometown surrounded by her family and friends. Violet has a network. Which means that even in a small town where your neighbors get divided up in the divorce, Violet doesn’t have worry about that. Violet also kept Jake close as well. Sure, even us readers can read between the lines, we know love from a distance disguised as friendship when we see it.
“Last time I had one of your margaritas I forgot who I was for an hour. I can’t keep up with you, Gram.”
Part of the charisma of From the Heart is how the Barrett family never says “I told you so” instead they focus on how to help Violet heal…and giving not so subtle hints about Jake’s feelings. While I do understand that her ex-husband had checked out of the marriage long before the ink had dried on their divorce papers, I like that Violet decided that she wasn’t going to let her ex dictate how she would conduct herself after she caught him cheating. Violet’s journey is a study in a woman who had lost her way being able to find her power again. I loved that even though life had thrown so much chaos in Violet’s way, she was able to come out the other side of all of it with her head held high and the man of her dreams ready to start their life together.
From the Heart is a friends to lovers, single parent, small town romance. It’s full of that fun small town drama, family hijinks, and even a surprise baby that creates such a fast-paced fun romance you’ll be wondering how the heck Nora Everly was able to write all of this fabulous story without her fingers catching fire. While you can most definitely read From the Heart as a standalone story, why would you? If you haven’t, read the entire series! I highly recommend it.