Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.
Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.
Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.
The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.
A 99,000 word women's fiction, Hidden Under Her Heart deals with the consequences of rape and abortion.
[Content Advisory: This book has a pro-life slant. There are a few swear words. The rape is not shown, but there is one mild sex scene between Maryanne and her boyfriend.]
Whew! Still with me after all of that? I sincerely believe that Rachelle Ayala is a fantastic writer with great potential. I really enjoyed another book written by her. This book was a little bit of a difficult read. Maryanne and Lucas were on again and off again way too many times for my liking. Otherwise, the characters were likable-- both were educated people with dreams and plans not unlike yours truly. They were both dedicated to their beliefs, except for their beliefs about each other.
The story line was very easy to follow but heartbreaking to read. I can't imagine going through what Maryanne went through-- she found someone she liked, found another guy she was interested in and ended up getting raped. And, the rape led to an unwanted pregnancy. Then, to imagine carrying a baby, feeling it kick and move and grow and know that the father was a rapist and a monster but not know who he is would be devastating. I couldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
The pro-life spin on the book is neither overdone nor steeped in religion. The religious aspect of this book is significantly more toned down than in the other book which is surprising given the topic. I liked it though. The story line was good, the author writes very well, but the characters just need to make up their freaking minds already.
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