When I chose to read & review Hidden Under Her Heart by Rachell Ayala, there were 2 things that got me interested. First, was that the main characters name was Maryanne. (ok, so mine is spelled with an I, but I'm ok with that!) and it was on a subject that is still 'taboo' but really needs the attention because it's a problem in our society...
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.
A 99,000-word women's fiction, HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART deals with the consequences of rape and abortion.
[Content Advisory: This book has a pro-life slant. There are a few swear words. The rape is not shown, but there is one mild sex scene between Maryanne and her boyfriend.]
While I won't delve into my own past, this book hit home. In a strange way, I really related to Maryanne, and her troubles. (While I do share, there are some details that won't go into the PUBLIC world of the internet... REALLY want to know more? Use the contact me page)
Ayala's writing is distinctive in that she is great with developing the characters backstory. She also has a flair for words. Her writing shows her vocabulary... I'd have to use a thesaurus to come up with some of what she did!!
As for the book itself, there were a few issues I had... First, being raped in a church... It really puts a bad view on churches, and religion in general, as if there wasn't enough. Second, as a nurse, you'd think she knows enough to have them do a rape-kit. The ONLY reason one wouldn't, is if they knew their attacker... and even then, you would for proof.
One thing I should note, is that it is, at times, overtly religious. While there isn't scripture, there is an abundance of religion related references.
Interested in seeing how the author pictures Lance Knight? You can view him on her Pinterest board! Tell me what YOU think of him!
I loved the struggle that played out, the intenseness between and surrounding the characters. I also loved that Ayala made Lucas a very lovable man of color (half black, half white). Honestly, I'm OVER the whole bad boy thing... It's nice to have a wholesome man who we can love! I've read other reviews, where people complained of Maryanne's nature, and morals... but as my husband always says about movies "it's in the script!" If Maryanne HADN'T gone to that party...guess what? no book!
I give this book
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