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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
When Melinda Dawson found out she was pregnant, her parents promptly packed her up and shipped her off to a home for unwed mothers. Forced to give up the child she nearly died to deliver and without any sign from her boyfriend Greg Hart, Melinda thinks dying just might be the thing to do. And this emotional scene is just the beginning of Lori Leger’s Hart’s Desire. Fast forward thirty years later and Melinda is back in her hometown where military vet Greg is now mayor and businessman. Sparks fly between them immediately but not the right kind of sparks. Greg is bitter about Melinda’s vanishing act and Melinda is angry over his indifference toward her during her pregnancy and near-death. Will the bitterness they feel toward one another fade enough to get to the truth?
Never has so much happened in such a short amount of time as it does in Hart’s Desire. Spanning 30 years, the story unfolds quickly but none of the emotion is missing from one single word. The anger and bitterness and sense of betrayal both Melinda and Greg feel is palpable, as is the guilt Mr. Dawson carried around. Lori Leger’s short story reads like a full-length novel with well-developed characters that quickly feel like neighbors and friends. Leger’s uncomplicated style of writing allows the focus to remain on the characters and their lives, and lends a sense of reality to these small-town characters. The only issue I have with Hart’s Desire is that I am impatient to learn if Greg and Melinda ever find their daughter!