Hearts Unleashed



Katie Locke is running the family ranch while she heals from the trauma of a brutal assault that left her physically and emotionally scarred.  The last thing she wants is a new foreman, but at her father’s insistence, she hires Major John Rathborne for the position.  John has emotional and physical scars of his own from his days in Afghanistan.  Home from his tour of duty, he has been searching for his Koda, his canine companion from the war. To his surprise and delight, he discovers Koda is Katie’s companion and is living happily at the ranch.  It is also clear that Katie resents John and he struggles to hide his past relationship with Koda and win Katie’s trust.  

“Hearts Unleashed” tackles the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder in an empathetic and respectful manner.  Ms. Wynters does a good job of portraying the daily struggles that challenge survivors in a world that can seem empty and cold.  Katie and John are both suffering in silence and isolation and the reader is taken on their journey as they learn to trust each other and regain their footing in the world.   The narrative does suffer from some editing problems and at times, the story lacks focus.  Additionally, the character of Peter is too one-dimensional, and has little or no redeeming qualities.  As such, he adds little to the story other than to provide a convenient point of conflict for Katie and John to overcome.  Overall, though, “Hearts Unleashed” is a good story and Ms. Wynter’s prose is very readable.   

Gwenellen Tarbet