Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Book Review: My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren/4 Stars
Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.
Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.
Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?
Ok, so don't shoot me, but I've never read a Susan May Warren book before. *ducking for cover* It's not intentional or anything. She just happens to be one of many authors that I just haven't gotten around to yet. But ya know, I think I'll be coming back for more...and soon, too. :o)
My Foolish Heart is part of the Deep Haven series, although it's come along several years after the original 3 books were released. Being that this was my first book by Susan, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't be in the loop about this sweet little town. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. I jumped right in with both feet to read about Issy and Caleb, and got a bonus with Lucy and Seb's story thrown in. And I won't lie...the romance was enough to make me down-right giddy, butterflies in my stomach, holding my breath--the whole nine yards!
The intro was a little slow for my taste because Issy and Caleb both came with a lot of baggage. Issy suffered from agoraphobia, which meant that panic attacks were a frequent occurrence for her. Caleb was a vet from the Iraq War, and came home a scarred and wounded soldier. As a reader, it was necessary to really get into their characters before reading their introductions to each another, but I think it could've been done effectively in less than the almost-100 pages it took.
What impressed me the most was the story's realness. Never before have a read a novel that dealt with these types of issues (agoraphobia, PTSD, etc.). Everything felt so current, especially with the references to Caleb coming home wounded from the Iraq War. The book also addressed struggles with fear and pride, and how those two tiny words had the power to control a life.
All in all, I liked that My Foolish Heart had a good mix of the funny with the serious. For readers like me who read books for an escape from everyday life, it's such a pleasure to read a book that not only brings a smile to my face, but can also bring a tear to my eye. And believe me...both happened quite frequently. ;o) I am very happy to give My Foolish Heart a solid 4 star rating, along with a promise to read (many) more of Susan May Warren's books in the future.
Southern? No-set in Minnesota
**Many thanks to Litfuse and Tyndale for providing a copy for review.