Authors Showcase: Hidden Under Her Heart by Rachelle Ayala
February 7, 2015
The Book: Hidden Under Her Heart
The Author: Rachelle Ayala
The Story: Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.
Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He’s smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher’s son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.
Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby’s DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.
The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne’s life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.
About Rachelle Ayala:
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.
Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer’s Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance.
Visit her blog at http://www.rachelleayala.com or contact her at http://rachelleayala.me/author-bio/contact/
Review by Patti Ann:
Hidden Under Her Heart is a story by Rachelle Ayala that takes the reader up and down the emotional scales in the lives of Maryanne and Lucas. From their first meeting, the ride begins when Lucas plays a ridiculously immature prank on Maryanne who’s on duty in her job as a nurse. Maryanne is equally immature in her vow to remain celibate until she finds the right man, but then when she and Lucas go on their first date, she teases, flirts, and makes it seem as if she’d like more. As the story moves forward, the reader learns that all she wants is to be loved.
As the book proceeds, choices are made by both of them, forcing them to grow up and face their demons.
I admit I wasn’t sure I’d like this book because of its pro-life bent, but I decided to give it a chance because I’d read other books by Ms. Ayala that I enjoyed, and the premise also sounded interesting. As a pro-choice woman, I found the book an interesting study of the choices we make when life hands us rotten eggs.
The author does not shout her beliefs, which allowed me to continue the story. She merely shows through her characters that when it comes to pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and parenthood, consequences ensue so those choices must be made with extreme consideration.
Subtle religious overtones emerge throughout the book; yet again, there was no shouting. I’m a spiritualist, open to many religions even though I was raised as a Christian. The religious aspects of this book only confirmed my belief that faith in God sees us through the brightest and the darkest hours.
I give Hidden Under Her Heart five stars for its honesty. I also give Ms. Ayala five stars for her bravery in writing a story on a controversial subject in such a thoughtful and considerate way. Our discourse on divisive topics should always remain as civil as it does in this novel. I may believe differently from Ms. Ayala, but with her prose, she made me pause and think. If only we could all get back to this type of discourse in this country, we’d solve a bundle of problems facing us today. Thank you, Ms Ayala, for pointing the way.