In the small town Antietam, Devin has loved Cassie for 12 years. When they were younger, he hesitated to make a move, not knowing that she would marry the first man who showed her interest in an effort to escape a miserable home life.
Fast forward to the present day: Cassie is now divorced with two children. Her family carries the emotional scars from the domestic abuse that was a daily occurrence. Her ex-husband is in prison and Cassie is trying to heal.
Still hopelessly in love, Devin is now sheriff and has a list of reasons/excuses to see Cassie every day. Cassie is ignorant to the depth of his feelings.
A friendly gesture ignites the passion between them but can their love last?
Devin has everything going for him: looks and charm. In my mind, I think he is probably a hotter version of Andy Griffith. It was sweet that he had loved Cassie for so long. When he sees his chance to make a move, he tries but thinks that he might have unintentionally friendzoned himself. I understand that he does not want to make the same mistake he made years ago, but she is not the same person she was years ago either.
“Was he going to have to settle-always- for protecting, for watching over, for being the dependable friend, the favorite honorary uncle?”
Cassie likes Devin’s company but thinks that is all it could be in their relationship. There is the added embarrassment (in her mind) that he is the sheriff and knows more than anyone else about the mistreatment inflicted by her ex-husband. She has only known abuse when it comes to physical relations. When she experienced tenderness from Devin, she does not know what to think. He makes her feel things that she did not know were possible.
“Why did you kiss me like that?”
I loved this story because the characters were so lovable. I could empathize with Devin’s frustration and impatience when things did not go according to his plan. He knew he had to maintain that delicate balance to help her move forward with her life while she healed from the past hurt. Additionally, Devin had to be concerned about the emotional well-being of Cassie’s two children. They were dealing with the consequences of their father abusing their mother. As for Cassie, I admire her strength. She was emotionally abused by her mother and physically abused by her ex-husband, yet her spirit was not completely broken.
In the end, The Heart of Devin MacKade is not a love story between a man and woman. It is a love story between a man, a woman, and her two children.
Great story! Loved it. This is a classic romance to be expected from Nora Roberts.
FYI: While The Heart of Devin MacKade is available for $7.99 on Amazon, I saw The MacKade Brothers Bundle: The Return of Rafe MacKade\The Pride of Jared MacKade\The Heart of Devin MacKade\The Fall of Shane MacKade available for $9.99. What a steal!!!