Hearts of Jade introduces two characters, Jade and Declan. Jade, I vaguely remember a passing mention of, in one of the previous books, but Declan was a new character for me. Jade, is gorgeous, but a free-spirit and viewed somewhat as a bit of a "wild child" by those who know and love her. Declan, is a street musician, out trying to find himself and following his bliss. Jade and Declan have known each other for some time, but when Declan is beaten to within an inch of his life, it is Jade who steps in and takes care of him and so the romance develops.
What I've always liked about Crawford's characters is they are seemingly perfect in some areas and yet flawed in others and often physically or emotionally struggling to cope with life. This story is no different, with both Jade and Declan trying to come to terms with issues relating to family, expectations and letting down the people they love the most. There are rarely "perfect" endings in Crawford's books, but there are usually "happy" endings, of a sort. I like that she examines issues that some may shy away from and uses her novels to bring them out into the open. I don't want to destroy the plot in any way, but you can be assured, Hearts of Jade is very much a Crawford special.
I, and I know many readers will identify with the struggles her characters go through and that is absolutely one reason this book is worth reading. But, there is another reason - it's a damn good story, well told, by an author I'm a rapidly coming to respect more and more, the more of her I read.
An excellent book and I am well teased for the next book in this series. No hesitation in giving Hearts of Jade the full monty - 5 Stars. Good job, Mary Crawford.