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Mark Cook has spent the years since his pregnant wife vanished punishing himself for not protecting her. His job as a cop takes up most of his life and when he needs to let off steam he finds a willing woman who knows the score. He may share his body but anything else is off limits. To everyone. Until Tori.
Victoria Calvert has come a long way. A vicious assault as a teenager has marked her for life and with the protection of her family sheís become an independent, self-assured woman; on the outside. Inside sheís still the vulnerable teen who had her dreams and hopes ripped away. The only man sheís comfortable around, who isnít family, is Cookie. But her feelings for him canít go anywhere; heís her brotherís best friend and partner.
Their attraction is undeniable but will fear and past pain stop them from grabbing the one thing that could mend their broken souls? Each other.
Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, you have to read this series. Hearts Awakened had me riding the roller coaster of emotions from page one. I love Cookie, have loved him in every one of the books heís popped himself into and now Iím in love with him more. He may seem like a jerk with the way he goes through women but thereís just something about him that draws you in, you know thereís a reason he behaves the way he does. In Hearts Awakened Linda Winfree finally reveals what drives him, and his story is heart wrenching. I always felt his free and easy ways were out of character and now I know why, he uses it to stop people getting close. Toriís just as damaged by the past and maybe this is why they connect and are drawn together more and more. Ms. Winfree breathes life into Tori with a skill thatís enviable, her strength, her vulnerability and her courage and determination are brilliantly portrayed and I really begin to wonder if Ms. Winfree is writing biographies because her characters are always three-dimensional, always so real it feels like you can reach out and touch them. As they take their journey towards a future itís not just the past that stands in their way, Tick, Toriís over-protective brother who also happens to be Markís best friend and partner, objects to their relationship making Tori re-think her decision to be with Mark. Ms. Winfreeís skill at putting emotion into words is nothing short of genius, she had me laughing, crying, cheering and just a little hot. The sex scenes are true to both characters and she had the mix of want and fear that Tori experiences perfect. Anyone that reads Hearts Awakened will not walk away unaffected and I can guarantee youíll fall in love with Ms. Winfreeís work.
Reviewed by: Rachel C.