Hard Shell, Aug 2002, 14.95, 386 pp.
In Milwaukee, from about the first moment she saw her brother's friend Paul Randall, Wendy Thomas knew she wanted him. However, though young, Paul has learned from his parents that love hurts and life is better when one does not risk feeling that dreaded emotion. Still, Paul and Wendy carve out a friendship as they have much in common, but neither can go any further as he believes she is a kind cherub well above his love them and leave them philosophy.
While Paul stays home in Wisconsin, Wendy travels to school in Los Angeles, which leads to new interests. When she returns home the not quite couple remains hesitant to widen their friendly relationship. As Wendy continues to be an independent person that everyone leans on for help, Paul struggles with avoiding getting in too deep though he self loathes when he finds himself beginning to fall in love with her.
RELUCTANT HEARTS is an atypical love story because of the attitude of the male lead character. Readers will have to wait until the end to know whether Paul admits to Wendy he loves her, as Karen Wiesner concentrates on relationships that places Wendy in the center as the hub. The story starts slow in order for the audience to appreciate the cast, but those readers who are as patient as Wendy will happily find a tremendous drama that provides the saga over the years of a strong female and the “Wounded Warrior” she loves.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner