Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Heart of Time by Shari J Ryan

Cover Design: MadHat Books
Release Date: May 18, 2016

“Time of death...” the doctor said.

I won’t forget that moment I looked over at Ellie—the paleness of her once rosy cheeks, the blue hue coating her perfect lips—the woman I had been with since we were five years old. My wife. My best friend...and the mother to our newborn baby girl.

You promised me we would be together forever, I wanted to tell her.She gave me her forever, I told myself. Her forever just ended at twenty-five.

“You need to say your goodbyes...” the doctor said.

How do I say goodbye to the one person in my life I could never say goodbye to?

My body is numb, and my heart hurts. Hurts like someone just ripped it out of my chest. Which is ironic ...

“We are going to remove her heart now, Hunter. It was her wish to donate,” the doctor said.

She never told me this.

She never told me another woman would carry on with her beating heart. She never told me this woman knew me but wouldn’t let me know her.

She never told me if I should follow her heart, or if I should follow mine.

She knew. She could have told me...

4.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

When I first read the blurb for this book I knew that it was something I just had to read.  I also knew that it was going to be a very emotional journey, one filled with many tears and lumps in my throat.  The first moment in this book is the most powerful one and the most heart breaking one of all.  It is the moment that you read about in the blurb when the love of Hunter’s life is suddenly taken from him.  It is the moment that you know just how emotional this story will truly be.  I knew there would tears but I honestly don’t know if I was truly prepared for it, if I was prepared for the twists that this story threw my way.  The twists that made this story everything that it was, which is a beautiful and emotional journey about love, loss, grief and healing.

Hunter knew from the moment that he first met Ellie, at the the age of five, that he loved her.  Throughout the years they became best friends, attached at the hip.  As they grew up and became teenagers, that friendship turned into so much more.  These two loved each other with everything they had.  For Hunter, Ellie was his first and only love.  They had the greatest love of all and Hunter never saw his life without Ellie by his side.  The day their daughter was born should have been the happiest day of their life.  But it suddenly turned into the worst, because it was the day that his Ellie was taken from him, way too early.  

It is now five years later and Hunter is still grieving.  The loss of his wife hit him hard and even after five years he still is not sure how to go on.  But he has a little five-year old girl that needs him. A little girl that he loves more than anything in this world.  So he still fights the pain every day to be there for her.  When they move to a new house Hunter meets his new neighbor at the bus stop, a single mom name Charlotte.  After spending some time together Hunter and Charlotte become the best of friends.  For the first time in five years Hunter is trying to move on, trying to smile more and be happy.  He loves spending time with Charlotte because she is the one person who gets him and understands what he needs.  But for Charlotte things start to become a little more complicated because she is starting to fall for Hunter.  And while he has feelings for her as well, the guilt of those feelings is what is constantly holding him back.  

In order for him to truly open up his heart to Charlotte he needs to heal and move on from the death of his wife.  He doesn’t need to forget her or let her go from his heart but he needs to be able to move on without feeling guilty for doing so.  But when he is finally ready will Charlotte still be there waiting for him?

I truly loved this book for so many reasons.  The first being Hunter and his little girl Olive.  This little girl just worked her way into my heart.  The love that Hunter had for her was everything to him.  And the relationship that they had as father and daughter will just melt your heart.  Olive was only five but she was a smart and very perceptive little girl.  Some things she said would just break my heart but there were many times she just touched me as well.  It was such a beautiful love between a father and his daughter.

There is one person in this story that had such an intricate role and honestly I have mixed feelings when it comes to this person.  I thought at times they were very selfish in their ways which in the end I felt like it prevented Hunter from moving on in the way that he should have.  He had so much pain and grief that that he was still dealing with that I think the actions of this person and the role they played caused Hunter’s judgment to be clouded in ways.  And for that I felt so bad for both Hunter and Charlotte.  And I have to give so much credit to Charlotte because she was such a patient, kind and understanding woman.  More that I think I could have been in the situation and maybe that makes me a bad person, I don’t know.   But I really admired her for the person that she was.   

With all that being said this particular part of the story in no way had a negative effect on it at all.  As a matter of fact it was just the opposite.  I would not have had this story go any other way.  Because while I may not have cared so much for the actions of one person it brought so much to Hunter’s story.  It brought an element to this story that made it what it was, beautiful and amazing.  I completely understand the connection that Hunter had and why this was such an important part of his journey.  It just felt so real and so genuine and to see this man go through all of the mixed emotions like he did just made my heart hurt for him in so may ways.  Because I got it, I understood where he was coming from. 

A Heart in Time is in a way a very unique story.    This is not just your typical story of a man losing his wife and moving on and falling in love with the woman next door.  No, there is so much more to this story.  The twists in this book is what made this story different.   It was so much more than just finding love again.  It was about opening up your heart again but also about still wanting to feel that connection.  I loved Hunter and my heart truly broke for him over and over again.  I couldn’t imagine being in his position and going through it all the way that he did.  He never wanted to lose that connection with Ellie.  She was the love of his life for 25 years.  How does someone just get over that and move on?  But I wanted him to, I wanted him to see that it was ok to move on, and to see that moving on didn’t mean letting her go or forgetting about her.  He still carried her with him no matter what.  

This a a beautiful and emotional story and one that I certainly recommend.  The ending was beautiful and left me with a full heart.  There were times while reading where I had tears and that lump in my throat that did not go away.  But it was a letter in the end that completely turned on the water works.  The tears just kept falling, but it wa in a good way.  Well don Ms.Ryan!!  If there is just one book that you are going to read that will bring out your emotions, cause you to cry on more than one occasion, make it this book!!




Kindle Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - w/ Special Offers (Winners Choice of Color)


About the Author

Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates.

When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

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