Fans of LK Hunsaker will not be disappointed with "Off the Moon". The story follows Ryan Reynauld, a music star, as he tries to manage his music and his career after finding a deeply emotionaly troubled young woman. Her vulnerability and total trust in him lead him to make promises and take on responsibilities for her that even he recognizes are probably risky for them both considering his hectic rock star lifestyle. The alternative, turning her over to better equipped authorities, that she is literally deathly afraid of, is not path he is will to take her down. As a result his life, and the path of his career will be altered to accommodate this young girl and her mysterious past, despite opposition from those close to him.
Although this book would be fully enjoyable to someone who has never read anything else by Ms Hunsaker, I enjoyed the small references to her "Rehearsal" series that also takes place in the music industry, although many years earlier. While none of those characters play main parts in "Off the Moon" some showed up for small cameos that I was happy I recognized.
Hunsaker's main characters are generally honorable and good people. Despite this, I liked that they still make mistakes, sometimes even serious ones. It crates a much more realistic story than if it were only about good people fighting against the evils of the outside world. We can try our best, have good intentions, and still goof up sometimes. It's what we do afterward that can really define us. That was my take away from this story. I don't want to give away more than that. Very enjoyable.
Protect the Heart is a sweet, old fashioned love story on several levels. The most obvious is that it takes place during what I assumed to be WWII. The second is that much of the romance builds through letters. The main love story involves two people who were barely aquatinted before the war moved them physically apart, and started their journey emotionally together.
The majority of the non-letter narrative takes place back in the small town that the characters live in. While in no way minimizing the horror of the battlefield, this book focus more on the hardships and the struggles of those left at home. Parents without enough help to run the farms, wives without support from husbands not coming home, and babies being born without fathers. This approach really drew me in and added a lot of depth to the story.
Maura and Abraham are virtual strangers at the beginning of the story, and honestly I didn’t expect the transition from there to a believable romance to feel natural. Yet, the few letters they exchange, and the link they seem to hold to the way things once were, to home and to stability, make the character’s emotional attachments feel not only natural, but inevitable. Both character’s own nature, and conviction to rise above their dire circumstances make them a perfect match, and the transition from strangers to beloved from across the oceans does in fact work.
Even though the ending is fairly expected, the journey is such a pleasant one, full of enough drama and surprise to make this a story well worth reading.