Author: Amber Daulton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Novella
Ten years ago, Jarrett Brandt left home and abandoned everyone of importance. After a hard reality check, the irresponsible young man matured into a ballsy DEA agent with a kickass Harley Davidson and a million-dollar bounty on his head. Ordered by his superior officer to take refuge at a safe house just days before Christmas, he headed back home to Washington State, instead, to make peace with his deceased brother’s memory.
Marissa Reinn Brandt never expected to see Jarrett again. Best friends since childhood and lovers as teenagers, immaturity, over-demanding parents and illicit drugs ripped them apart. Now a successful chef at a posh restaurant, the young widow and her son offered Jarrett a place to stay for the holiday. Even though she expected nothing from her former lover—the twin brother of the man she married—fate intervened.
As Jarrett and Marissa rekindled the flames of love and lust that once bound them together, an enemy from his past and a trusted mentor from his present vied their time in the snowy dark and threatened to destroy everyone he held dear. Needing a Christmas miracle to save his family, Jarrett needed the love of a good woman to save his battered heart. His second chance with Marissa meant the world to him and nothing, no one, would stand in his way of cherishing her for all time.
A Hero's Heart by Amber Daulton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This novella was a quick, enjoyable read. I felt like Amber Daulton did a great job fitting a lot of story into a short amount of space, and a remarkable job making the characters feel developed and relatable. Most of the time I don't really enjoy novellas because I don't feel like I have enough time to connect with the characters, and then the story feels rushed and over before it really even started - but this was not the case at all with A Hero's Heart.
Jarrett Brandt is the black sheep of his family. He left home when he was eighteen, battling a drug addiction, running from overbearing parents, and abandoning a girlfriend who loved him with all of her heart. Now, years later, he has returned to his home town to pay his respects on the five year anniversary of his twin brothers' death. He is also once again on the run, but this time it's because he's an undercover DEA agent who has helped bring down a drug lord who now wants him dead. Jarrett comes face to face with his parents (a disapproving dad who is a retired police officer who still sees him as a druggie loser, and a mom who feels torn between the two of them), and with Marissa who he learns married his twin brother Joel and had a son with him.
Without giving away too many spoilers, I'll just say that Marissa and Jarrett reconnect and he ends up spending Christmas with her and his family. However, just when it's looking like he may be able to make peace with his dad and be able to build a future with Marissa, his past catches up with him and puts the people he loves in danger.
I really enjoyed the family dynamic that was described in the story. So often there is a black sheep of the family, and I think a lot of times they are misunderstood. I love seeing situation where they are able to redeem themselves and end up coming out on top, especially of something like a drug addiction. I also really liked the fact that Marissa was a strong female character. She didn't apologize for any of her past actions, and she didn't just immediately fall back in Jarrett's arms. She was pulled to him physically, and she did pursue him because she knew what she wanted, but she also forced him to be honest with her before she trusted him again.
My only complaint about this story centers around Marissa and Joel's son Jason. According to my math, he should be around seven years old in this story, but his actions and mannerisms make him seem much younger. In my opinion, his age needs to be adjusted to about 5 years old to make his character seem authentic.
Overall, I enjoyed this novella, and recommend it to anyone looking for a quick entertaining read!
**Free copy of book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.**
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