Both of the main characters Jessica and Mitch are attractive and relatively successful young people, who are flawed or tortured by what has happened in the past and this, it appears shapes their inability to form long-lasting, successful relationships.
When Jessica finds and rescues a young German Shepherd pup, who she names Hope, it is Mitch who is the recipient of the dog, at the local dog shelter and so the relationship between these two very different characters begins and evolves.
There is much I enjoyed in this story. I particularly liked the idea that, in many ways, Jessica and Mitch are diametrically opposed to each other in outlook and views; yet the attraction is undeniable and unstoppable. I also particularly liked the sets of coincidences that occurred frequently within the story and tied many of the supporting characters in this tale together. As one who believes completely in the power of the Universe, I had no difficulty accepting these and nodding my head sagely, when one happened.
Although Sheltered Hearts is advertised as part of the "A Hidden Hearts" series, it is very much a stand-alone novel and a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was one of those books that you grab at every opportunity, (even when you should be doing something else) if only to read a few pages and find out where the story was going next.
I am a sucker for a sweet romance and this is certainly one of those. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys "happy ever after", but wants some conflict and adventure within that genre. This is an excellent book and has opened me up to the writings of Crawford. I have no doubt this will not be the last of her books I read. A good job Mary Crawford!
I vacillated a little over the rating for this book, partly because it was so uncomplicated in some ways, but in the end, my enjoyment at reading it was enough to push my initial four-star rating, up to four and a half, which I will happily round up to five stars. Give this book a go. You won't be disappointed.
You can check out all of Mary Crawford's offerings here: http://amzn.to/1VSud1D