Book Reviews

Healed Hearts (Heartland 1) by Logan Meredith at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-August-2016

Book Blurb

Even men afraid of donuts deserve a happy ending.

Second-grade teacher Seth Ray has experienced more than his fair share of heartbreak. On his own since his mother’s death, Seth remains burdened by frequent anxiety, which he manages by steadfastly avoiding anything that might set it off—including men whose names start with the letter J and donuts. Unfortunately, after a night with Jude Murphy, he encounters both and flees into the street. 

Jude’s not your typical twenty-something-year-old gay man. The youngest of six boys, he desperately wants to start a family of his own. The puzzling morning-after with Seth reminds him why he doesn't sleep around.

When Seth discovers the man he brushed off is the uncle of one his students, he’s compelled to smooth things over to save face, but Jude lays it on the line—he wants Seth, but he doesn't do casual. The allure of the sexy redhead compels Seth to face an entire family of J names for a chance at happiness.

Book Review

Before reading this book I would have never been able to see why a fear of donuts can make sense – if there is such a thing as a fear making sense at all. Of course none ever does, but the explanation for why Seth stays the heck away from donuts made my heart break for him. Jude has not had it easy in the relationship department either, and I felt for him too. While there is a definite attraction between these two wounded men when they first meet, for a very, very long time it doesn’t look as if they stand a chance. The way they deal with their issues and the obstacles that keep popping up is portrayed with a high degree of realism, and it was one of the things I liked about this novel. Theirs is not an easy romance and there is lots of angst and drama before it’s all said and done on the final page.

Seth has had a tough life – beginning with losing his father at a young age, to his first real boyfriend being horrifically cruel to him, all the way to his mother dying on his high school graduation day. No wonder he suffers anxiety attacks! Considering this and the fact that he has never sought professional help, he is amazingly well adjusted. He loves his job as a second-grade teacher and is very good at it, he has a best friend who may be pushy but has his best interests at heart, and the occasional hookup is all he needs. Or so he thinks. Once he meets Jude, all kinds of unexpected things start to happen, and Seth’s carefully protected world starts to crumble and he begins to see that not all is as well with him as he had believed.

Jude is the youngest of six boys, lost his father when he was still in college, and got dumped by his boyfriend unexpectedly just before they were supposed to move to New York together. Jude wants a family, is not into one-night stands, and Seth and his issues baffle him. But he is interested and fascinated enough to stick with it – even though Seth does not make it easy for him. Not on purpose, of course, but Jude still struggles. It’s a good thing he has a huge, supportive family to help him when needed. I loved how each brother has a separate role and Jude knows exactly which of them to go to for advice with a particular question or problem. And the mother – she is something else!

In the gradual healing Seth goes through as he and Jude begin to build trust and work on their relationship, Jude is Seth’s original incentive to start working on his issues. But as time progresses, and Seth is beginning to see how important it is to get better just for his own benefit, his motivation changes. I was relieved to see that – since it is much healthier and speeds up Seth’s progress. Jude’s patience is not endless, which is only natural, and teaches Seth that he has to learn to compromise as well. But Jude is the right support for Seth – just as Seth turns out to be the right guy to fulfill Jude’s dreams.

If you like realism in your romances, if you believe that two wounded men can help each other recover from past hurts, and if you’re looking for a read that is emotionally tough yet very rewarding, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/66728 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-August-2015
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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