Night Stars and Mourning Doves

Margo Hoornstra
Night Stars and Mourning Doves
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The Wild Rose Press
Release Date
June 2013
Contemporary Romance

Elyse Monroe may be her sister's maid of honor, but that doesn't mean she has to follow the bride's example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another--no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.

Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.

Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship--only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Aug 02, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
133 people found the following review helpful
Abuse. Neglect. Loss. How do you start living again?

After losing his wife and unborn daughter to a miscarriage, then his police job due to budget cutbacks, Eric Matthews is still reeling from heartache and financial setbacks. With his savings depleted, he and his young son Jay are living with his parents while he gets back on his feet. With a new job lined up as an accident investigator for the county, Eric's parents want him to start living and dating again, but he doesn't think he's ready yet. Putting his son in day care when the new job starts will be hard enough, and for now he's got his duties as his brother's best man and several pre-wedding functions to get through. Life is distressing and he's just trying to deal with it one day at a time.

Elyse Monroe hadn't lived the typical life of a woman from a wealthy family. As a child, she suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and a mother in denial of the truth. The abuse ended when her parents were killed in a convenience store robbery, but Elyse and her younger sister Angela received nothing but coldness from the unloving aunt that acted as their guardian. Elyse thought adulthood, marriage, and her career as an attorney would portend a brighter future, but her husband's acts of physical abuse started soon after she discovered he married her for her trust fund.

Self-defense classes and orchestrating her own divorce allowed her to escape the man who'd vowed to kill her, but always looking over her shoulder was a habit that would die hard. Moving from California to be near her sister Angela, Elyse started over with a new job working in a day care center and she let the young children and her sister's upcoming wedding to Chris Matthews occupy her mind.

Eric is surprised to discover his attraction to his son's new teacher at day care, Miss Elyse. He's even more shocked to find out she's the sister of his brother's fiancée and will be serving as matron of honor at the wedding. As she was a married woman, he won't have to work so hard to fight the zing of attraction he feels for Elyse, but when his brother Chris tells him Elyse is divorced, he can't seem to fight his feelings anymore. After just one date with Elyse, both of them feel an emotional connection that leads to a night of passion, but life once again conspires to take one more precious thing from Eric just as he realizes how badly he needs Elyse in his life.

Weaving a story that immediately tugs at the heartstrings, Margo Hoornstra gently introduces her readers into the lives of two people who have undergone too much suffering, but each has the desire to fight for a new beginning. Neither Eric nor Elyse are looking or expecting to find a special someone, but there is a connection that is easy and natural between them once they learn of one another's background. Just as quickly as Ms. Hoornstra eases the reader into the relationship developing between her hero and heroine, she rips that comfortable feeling away with an abruptness that ramps up the intensity and makes the reader root for a future for this special couple.

This is a well-done, quick read that will appeal to any reader who has battled life's obstacles and emerged victorious. Contains one quick behind-closed doors love scene.
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