A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin. Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living. As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again. Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms
Bailey, having lost her whole family, tries to keep on living with the deep pain of loss and survivors guilt. Helping her keep from deep despair is a little boy, Riley, show she babysits. Eileen, the boys mother, becomes an example of strength. Bailey has grown to love them dearly. Then... literally running into Collin turns out to be the best thing, in a long time, to happen to her.
Collin, having his own loss, focuses his life around his little sister, Lacey, making sure she has what she needs. When Bailey collides into his life, his world is never the same again. His thoughts are consumed by her. He cannot deny there is an immediate spark, a thread that pulls them together.
I am a sucker for books like this one, which are told from both sides of the story. Getting to hear inside their heads keep the plot rolling on an equal balance. I got a better feel for the characters, instead of one-sided judgement. I fell for Bailey and Collin, with their innocense, but with the weight of the world on their shoulders. I cried my eyes out during both the beautiful times and the hard times that life threw at them, so much like real life. Bailey blossoms into a beautiful, strong young woman, while Collin sees that sometimes loving means doing the hard thing.
If you are looking for a clean-read, full of life, love and romance, I would recommend this book. Being a debut novel for Melissa, I will definitely be looking for her next book!
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