Hearts Key

Woodland Series

In high school, Amy Maxwell was the popular leader of the pack. Five years later what should have been the perfect marriage is an abusive situation she barely escapes, with only her daughter Pyper and the clothes on their backs.

Tyler Brock has come a long way from his years as a shy teen. Now a successful artist in the Christian music industry, he's coming home to Woodland for a benefit concert. Amy can't believe the boy she turned down is still faithful, tender and her friend. Tyler even manages to make an impression on Pyper, her doubtful daughter.

Tyler wants Amy and Pyper to be a part of his future - will she be able to let go of the past and conquer her fears in time to realize that the key to their hearts can unlock a lifetime of love only if she only listens to the song of faith and believes in second chances?

"Hearts Key" by Marianne Evans is the superbly written conclusion to her inspirational romance series, Woodland. This story brings Amy and Tyler, secondary characters we first met in "Heart's Surrender", together again for a second chance at love. Once again, Ms. Evans created characters whose story kept me glued to the pages, while also tackling the difficult subject of recovering from spousal abuse and self doubt. Ms. Evans shines the light on the principle that while God allows us to make mistakes; he also gives us second chances.

At the start of the story, Amy Maxwell finds herself in a tough situation; her marriage has fallen apart and the happy family she once hoped to have is nothing but a dream of the past. Forced to flee her abusive husband with only the clothes on her back and her five year old daughter, Pyper, Amy finds refuge at Woodland, her childhood church. Both Pastor Ken and his wife Kiara have fond memories of Amy from her days in their youth group and they open their arms and their hearts. Moving forward a year later, Amy and her daughter are active members of Woodland church and a part of the community. Ms. Evans does an excellent job developing Amy's character; at the beginning of the story Amy is a young woman broken by bad choices and who's lost faith in herself. She's forced to reach out to people from her past, who remind her of God's love and grace. She never thought she'd get a second chance to find the love of her life.

Tyler Brock wasn't always a successful Christian music artist. A shy teenager, he spent his high school years in love with his best friend, Amy Maxwell. After graduation, when Amy chose to marry someone else, Tyler took off for Nashville to pursue his dream of ministry through music. Now a successful musician, Tyler returns to Woodland Church for a benefit concert and discovers Amy has returned too. No longer a shy teen, Tyler realizes he's been given him a second chance to win the woman he loves. A chance he doesn't intend to let pass by. Ms. Evans did a really good job with Tyler's character too, he's no longer an insecure teen struggling to get noticed, and he's become a man secure in whom and what he is. I liked how Ms. Evans showed Tyler's generous and kind heart throughout the story while also showing us he's not afraid to make some difficult choices.

The scenes between Amy and Tyler are very well done, they have great dialogue and a shared past to build on. At first Amy finds it hard to believe Tyler could still be interested in her and finds herself jealous of another woman she thinks is more than Tyler's friend. Tyler on the other hand is flattered by Amy's jealousy; he realizes she finally sees him as he's always wanted, in a romantic light. Ms. Evans did a great job building on Tyler and Amy's friendship and taking it to the next level, they're determined to take things slow and it was great to watch their relationship grow.

The secondary characters are also well done and are characters from the previous books. All of them are members of Woodland Church. We also get to know Pyper, Amy's five year old daughter, who loves her mother but has a hard time trusting others as a result of the years they spent with her abusive father. Pyper especially has a hard time with men and at first she's very shy with Tyler. Her character grows throughout the story.

When Tyler makes it clear he wants Amy and Pyper in his future forever, will Amy be able to reconcile the love in her heart with the fears from her past? You'll have to read Hearts Key to find out. I loved this story and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Evans writes next.

Book Blurb for Hearts Key

A chorus of faith sung in the key of second chances.

Once the effervescent leader of the pack, Amy Maxwell should have had the perfect marriage. Instead, she escapes with nothing but the clothes on her back and her daughter, Pyper.

Once the shy teen, Tyler Brock has evolved into a powerhouse in Christian music, and when he returns to Woodland for a benefit concert, Amy can't believe he is as faithful and tender as ever. He even manages to touch the heart of a doubtful Pyper.

But Amy can't escape her own self-doubt, and she questions the wisdom of her heart when it comes to the charismatic musician who is so different now, yet so much the same.

Can the key to their hearts unlock a lifetime of love?

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2011 4.50