Hearts Surrender

Woodland Series, #2

Kiara Jordan aspires for a more meaningful life and a partner that would help fulfill her existence. She’s tired of being perceived as nothing more than a pretty face and vivid personality.

Ken Lucerne is an outgoing young pastor at Woodland Church who’s had to re-adjust to life as a widower. He’s been keeping busy with parish and missionary work to deal with his loneliness, though he’s been noticing Kiara Jordan as of late.

A mission trip to Pennsylvania brings Kiara and Ken together, as they work together they look at their friendship and their growing attraction to each other. They begin to question if God intends for their relationship to change and become something deeper? Bound by mutual respect and caring, they are awakened to love, a feeling neither expected.

After all, can a Cosmo girl find happiness within the modest, vocation centered life of a pastor? Will they be able to trust God’s direction enough to submit their hearts to each other forever?

Want to read an enchanting and fulfilling Christian romance? Marianne Evans has penned a first-class story in Heart’s Surrender, the second book in her Woodland’s series. I was captivated by this completely modern romance filled with fascinating characters and genuine Christian morals and beliefs.

Kiara Jordan is a completely modern woman who has spent most of her adult life working on her career and her appearance. She finds herself in the uncomfortable position of being perceived as nothing but an outwardly beautiful woman. Kiara wants more in her life, she wants a husband and children and a life that gives her peace and fulfillment- a life like her best friend Daveny Edwards has. Joining Woodlands Church a few years ago was the first step towards changing her life and giving it significance. The biggest step she faces now is handing control of her personal life to God and accepting his direction. Kiara is used to relying on other people’s opinions of her for self-worth and this makes her susceptible to temptation for worldly things and easy relationships – she doesn’t think she’s worthy of a relationship with Ken Lucerne, her pastor, who she finds herself attracted to since his wife’s death.

Ken Lucern has been the pastor at Woodlands Church since he graduated from seminary. He hadn’t planned on being a widower at 35 but his wife, Barb, had succumbed to cancer two years ago. His loneliness pushes him into spending all of his time working on parish concerns and in doing missionary outreach. Ken finds himself drawn to Kiara Jordan and he notices her Christian growth and efforts to change. Ken is also discovering that there is a distance between himself and his parishioners, a distance that he has allowed to develop over the last two years and that he needs to address. He needs his parishioners to realize that he is just a man with a calling to serve God, a man who now finds himself attracted to a woman who he wants to get to know outside of his role as pastor. Ken is now ready to consider a new partner for his life if it is someone that God approves of.

The scenes with Kiara and Ken are simply wonderful; you can feel the genuine emotion that they feel for each other. As they spend more time together Kiara relaxes and lets herself dream of what could be, she has fears of what church members will think of her as a possible wife for their pastor and she also worries that she isn’t good enough for Ken and that he will realize this and reject her. Ken too has fears; his fears are that his life will be too boring for a vivacious person like Kiara and that he won’t be able to provide her with the financial lifestyle that she would get by marrying someone who has a better financial situation. The author makes it clear that it is God who brings these two lonely people together and that they will grow closer together as they work through their issues.

The secondary characters in this book are a great addition to the story, from Ken’s secretary Maggie, who has to come to terms with Ken’s need to move on from his grief and solitude, to Collin and Daveny Edwards, who provide both friendship and good Christian counsel to both Ken and Kiara. No love story would be complete without a protagonist and the author did a wonderful job including one who was easy to distrust and dislike.

The ending resolved all of the issues of the story and was very rewarding to read. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series by Ms. Evans which tentatively is titled “Heart’s Communion”, though no release date has been issued as of yet.

Book Blurb for Hearts Surrender

Contemporary Rating: Sweet Pages: 196
Word count 47879

Kiara Jordan is a sophisticated modernista, but beneath an engaging personality and super-model looks, her heart hungers, and she longs for deeper meaning in her life.

Ken Lucerne is the charismatic young pastor of Woodland Church; he's adjusting to life as a widower and copes by keeping as busy as possible with his parish and missionary work.

A home-building mission in Pennsylvania brings them together, and forces them to look hard and deep at the relationship they share, and where God means for it to go. Already bound by mutual respect and caring, love dawns, a love that takes them to a life-point neither would have expected.

After all, can a chic, vivacious woman find fulfillment within the quiet, mission-centered life of a clergyman? Can they trust God's hand strongly enough to surrender their hearts to one another…forever?


Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2010 4.50