Civil Hearts


SUSPENSE/THRILLER:  Liv Larson is left devastated when her husband dies after a long battle with cancer. With no family and no real friends to rely on, she decides to pack up her life in search of a new place to call home. That place is Belle Bride, an abandoned mansion in the rural South. There she meets Heath Barrow, an antique store manager with epilepsy who has his own woes caused by love. Sparks fly instantly between the two until Heath’s medical condition sends Liv into a tailspin. To make matters more complicated, she is not alone in her new home — she shares it with a mysterious confederate soldier, and he is not  keen on resting in peace.

In “Civil Hearts”, Claire Gem is great at combining all the elements of a wonderful contemporary romance along with a spooky paranormal mystery. Liv is easy to sympathize with. The emotions she displays over her tragic past and the inner conflict of how to deal with her growing feelings for Heath are believable. Their tension, along with the mystery of who is the wandering ghost of Bride’s Belle, keeps the story moving forward. With snappy dialogue, and smooth world building, Ms. Gem’s words paint a story that is reminiscent of a romantic film in book form. All of the great suspenseful scenes with the mysterious ghost calling for his lost love, combined with the growing bond between Liv and Heath, make this a book to read late at night before bed or on a rainy day.

Chelsea Anderson