In the latest iteration of the Hidden Hearts - Protection Unit #3, SOUL SCARS, we meet Toby, a genius computer programmer who was kidnapped as a young boy and held hostage for five years by a manipulative and sexually exploitative woman, along with Detective Pauline Lawrence, a young woman born to be a policeman. Pauline's father was invalided out of the force when he was shot several years ago and it seems Pauline is determined to prove to her bosses and the world that she is not only a capable and efficient law-enforcement officer but that she is better than any man in the force. Her impetuosity and desire to prove herself have got her into trouble in the past and this episode will be no exception.
When Toby and Pauline meet, both realise there is something special between them but for differing reasons they both are unsure if they can cope with a full-time relationship and more importantly whether they are ready to commit their entire beings and trust to another person. Will their work, together, on child kidnapping, trafficking and child-sex rings bring them closer together or ultimately will their fears and past scars re-emerge in this white-hot environment and drive them apart?
I make no bones of the fact I love Crawford's work. Her simple, easy-to-read stories of love between individuals who have difficulties, mirrors real life for many of us and more than once, I've recognised myself in some of her characters. This is what makes her stories so compelling - they hit home hard, close to where we live.
To anyone procrastinating on whether to read Crawford or not, I would say she is so much more than a typical romance writer. Her stories are about life, life's complications, life's choices and battles but ultimately about the ability of love to lead to our salvation, from ourselves. Give it a chance and read one of her books even if you don't think they are your thing. I'm sure you will be genuinely surprised by how invested you become in her work. I know I have become on of her biggest fans.