A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions—for which he has little regret.
As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close—and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse—his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.
Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend—and his own mistakes—stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?
Readers of Courtney Walsh’s Paper Hearts will be delighted to return to the small town of Loves Park, Colorado for the second book in her current series. Evelyn was a minor character in Paper Hearts – almost in a ‘blink and miss her’ way – but she takes center stage now as she faces the ultimate betrayal. When the book opens, she’s reluctantly hosting a luncheon for a group of ladies who thrive on gossip and for whom social status is everything. As the revelations of her husband’s secret life are revealed, these are the women who will not stick by her. Instead, it’s the eclectic group of Valentine Volunteers who allow her the opportunity to rediscover her true identity.
If you haven’t read Paper Hearts, don’t worry. While Change of Heart features the same core group of characters, it is a fresh tale that doesn’t rely on a reader’s knowledge of the previous book. You can appreciate this book of a woman scorned who learns true friendship, witness the double standards of people who seemingly give her husband a free pass, be restored by observing a man who prays, and get to know a small arts-orientated community in Colorado. Oh yes, and you can meet the refreshingly blunt Ursula who never shies away from the truth. She even spoke to me at one point when she told Evelyn, “You weren’t created to make everyone happy. If everyone likes you all the time, you’re doing something wrong.”
Change of Heart was a book I could definitely see played out on my TV screen. It reminded me slightly of network drama, The Good Wife, although I admit I’ve never seen a single episode. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, even though this is an enjoyable novel that stands tall by itself.
Thank you to Tyndale for my complimentary copy of Change of Heart, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Change of Heart? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: 01 March 2016
Page Count: 416