Title: The Bound Heart (The Everstone Chronicles #2)
Author: Dawn Crandall
Publisher: Whitaker House
My rating is 5 stars.
Meredyth Summercourt has been waiting for six years for Vance Everstone to return home from Europe to marry her. Her eighteenth summer she was smitten with Vance, who was a few years older than she. They had known each other forever, but she decided she wanted more than friendship. She thinks Vance returns her feelings, but when he doesn’t offer to marry her after an incident that could ruin Meredyth he leaves her wondering. She clings to the promises she made to him that she would wait for him until he returned. She has rejected every suitor since then. Her good friend Lawrence or Lawry Hampton has returned from Washington. He has been gone for two years and they fall back into friendship easily.
Lawry has returned with one purpose…to court Meredyth. She has no idea of his strong feelings for him, but he trusts God to set things right. What follows in the story are various situations where Lawry and Meredyth find themselves alone together, offering them ample opportunity to further their friendship and turning it into a romance. Lawry wonders if Meredyth still has feelings for Vance. She is holding herself at a distance from him, but he is not sure why. Lawry also has a secret of his own. He has funded and opened an orphanage in Washington and plans to return there to live permanently to oversee things. While back in Boston, he rescues a little girl, Wynn, from winter on the streets of Boston. Readers will fall in love with this adorable little girl; I know I sure did.
There is so much more to this story than I can write here. It delves into feelings of unworthiness, shame, guilt, love, compassion and much more. Lawry is steadfast in his constant love for Meredyth and has been for years, waiting for her to realize it. Meredyth can’t get past her guilt. She longs for the One who can take away her shame and guilt, freeing her. The characters in this story I could easily identify with and had an emotional stake in the outcome of the story. I’m looking forward to book three in the series, The Captive Imposter. I’ve found a new author whose books are definitely going on my “keeper” shelf! This is a sweeping romance that will get your heart involved for sure.