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"Welcome to My Foolish Heart, where we believe your perfect love might be right next door. We want to send special greetings out to KDRT in Seattle, brand-new to the Late Night Lovelorn Network. BrokenheartedInBuffalo, you're on the line. Welcome to the program."
Outside the second-story window of her home studio, the night crackled open with a white flash of light and revealed the scrawny arms of her Japanese plum, cowering under a summer gale. Issy checked the clock. Hopefully the storm would hold off for the rest of her show, another thirty minutes.
And the weather had better clear by tomorrow's annual Deep Haven Fisherman's Picnic. She couldn't wait to sit on her front porch, watch the midnight fireworks over the harbor as the Elks launched them from the campground, and pretend that life hadn't forgotten her.
Tomorrow, she'd watch the parade from her corner of the block, wave to her classmates on their annual float as they made their way toward Main Street, then linger on the porch listening to the live music drift up from the park. Maybe she'd even be able to hear the cheers from the annual log-rolling competition. She could nearly taste the tangy sweetness of a fish burger—fresh walleye and homemade tartar sauce. Kathy would be pouring coffee in the Java Cup outpost. And just a block away, the crispy, fried-oil tang of donuts nearly had the power to lure her to Lucy's place, World's Best Donuts. She'd stand in the line that invariably twined out the door, around the corner, and past the realty office waiting for a glazed raised.
She'd never, not once in her first twenty-five years, missed Fish Pic. Until two years ago.
She'd missed everything since then. She swallowed down the tightening in her chest.
"Thank you for taking my call, Miss Foolish Heart. I just wanted to say that I listen to your show every night and that it's helped me wait for the perfect man."
BrokenheartedInBuffalo had a high, sweet voice, the kind that might belong to a college coed with straight blonde hair, blue eyes. But the radio could mask age, race, even gender. Truly, when Issy listened to her podcasts, sometimes she didn't recognize her own voice, the way it softened with compassion, turning low and husky as she counseled listeners.
She could almost trick herself into believing she knew what she was doing. Trick herself into believing that she lived a different life, one beyond the four walls and garden of her home.
"I'm so glad, Brokenhearted. He's out there. What can I do for you tonight?"
"Well, I think I found him. We met a few weeks ago in a karate class, and we've already had three dates—"
"Three? Brokenhearted, I know that you're probably smitten, but three dates isn't enough to know a man is perfect for you. A great relationship takes—"
"Time, trials, and trust. I know."
So Brokenhearted listened regularly. Good, then maybe Issy could slow her down, help her to part the heady rush of the "love fog"—another of her coined terms.
"Then you also know you don't develop that in three dates, although Miss Foolish Heart does advise calling it quits after three if there is no visible ten potential."
"But it feels like it. He's everything I want."
"How do you know that?"
"I have my top-ten list, just like you said. And of course, the big three."
"Big three essentials. Sounds like you know what you're looking for."
"That's just it—he has most of them, and I'm wondering if it's essential for him to have all of them. Isn't ... let's say, seven out of ten enough?"
"You tell me, Brokenhearted—would you settle for a seven romance? Or do you want a ten?"
"What if I don't know what a ten feels like?"
What a ten feels like. Yes, Issy would like to know that too.
"Good question, Brokenhearted. I think it must be different for everyone. Stay on the line and let's take some calls and see if anyone has a good answer. Or you can hop over to the forum at the My Foolish Heart website—I see that Cupid27 has posted a reply. 'Love feels as if nothing can touch you.' Nice, Cupid27. Any other callers?"
She muted Brokenhearted and clicked on another caller. "TruLuv, you're on the air. What does a ten feel like?"
A gravelly, low voice, the two-pack-a-day kind: "It's knowing you have someone to hold on to."
"Great response, TruLuv. Here's hoping you have someone to hold on to." She muted TruLuv. "Go ahead, WindyCity."
"It's knowing you're loved ... anyway."
Loved, anyway. Oh, she wanted to believe that was possible. "Love that, WindyCity. Anyone else?"
The forum had come to life, replies piling up. On the phone lines, PrideAndPassion723 appeared. Pride called at least once a month, often with a new dilemma, and kept the forum boards lit up with conversations. Issy should probably give the girl a 1-800 number.
She clicked back to Brokenhearted. "Do any of those replies feel like what you feel?"
"Maybe. I don't know."
"Miss Foolish Heart suggests you hold out for the ten, Brokenhearted. The perfect one is out there, maybe right next door."
She went to a commercial break, an advertisement for a chocolate bouquet delivery, and pulled off her headphones, massaging her ears.
Outside, the rain hummed against the house, a steady battering with the occasional ping upon the sill, although now and again it roared, the wind rousing in anger. Hopefully she'd remembered to close the front windows before she went on the air. Lightning strobed again, and this time silver leaves stripped from the tree, splattered on the window. Oh, her bleeding heart just might be lying flat on the ground, after all the work she'd done to nurture it to life.
The commercial ended.
"I see we have PrideAndPassion on the line, hopefully with an update to her latest romance. Thanks for coming back, Pride. How are you tonight?"
She'd expected tears—or at the very least a mournful cry of how Pride had stalked her boyfriend into some restaurant, found him sharing a low-lit moment with some bimbo. Pride's escapades had become the backbone of the show, ratings spiking every time she called in.
Issy nearly didn't recognize her, not with the lift in her voice, the squeal at the end.
"Kyle popped the question! I did it, Miss Foolish Heart—I held out for true love, and last night he showed up on my doorstep with a ring!"
"Oh, that's ... great, Pride." Issy battled the shock from her voice. No, not just shock. Even ... okay, envy.
Once upon a time, she'd dreamed of finding the perfect man, dreamed of standing on the sidewalk at the Fisherman's Picnic with Lucy, hoping they might be asked to dance under the milky starlight of the August sky. But who had the courage to dance with the football coach's daughter? And as for Lucy, she simply couldn't put her courage together to say yes. Sweet, shy Lucy, she'd used up her courage on one boy.
It only took Lucy's broken heart their senior year to cement the truth: a girl had to have standards. She had to wait for the perfect love.
Issy had come up with the list then, refined it in college. A good, solid top-ten list, and most important, the big three must-have attributes in a man besides his Christian faith—compassionate, responsible, and self-sacrificing—the super evaluator that told her if she should say yes to a first date.
If any came around. Because she certainly couldn't go out looking for dates, could she?
"Oh, Pride, are you sure?" Silence on the other end. She hadn't exactly meant it to come out with that edge, almost disapproving. "I ... just mean, is he a ten?"
"I'm tired of waiting for a ten, Miss Foolish Heart. I'm twenty-six years old and I want to get married. I don't want to be an old maid."
Twenty-six. Issy remembered twenty-six, a whole year ago. She'd celebrated her birthday with a jelly-filled bismark that Lucy brought over, and they'd sung ABBA at the top of their lungs.
And as a finale, Issy ventured out to her front steps. Waved to Cindy Myers next door, who happened to be out getting her mail.
Yes, a red-letter day, for sure.
"You're so young, Pride. Twenty-six isn't old."
"It feels old when everyone around you is getting married. I'm ready, and he asked, so I said yes."
Issy drew in a breath. "That's wonderful. We're all happy for you, right, forum?"
The forum, however, lit up with a vivid conversation about settling for anything less than a ten. See? Not a foolish heart among them.
"Good, because ... I want you to come to the wedding, Miss Foolish Heart. It's because of you that I found Kyle, and I want you to be there to celebrate with us."
Issy gave a slight chuckle over the air. High and short, it was a ripple of sound that resembled fear. Perfect. "I ... Thank you for the kind offer, Pride, but—"
"You don't understand. This is going to be a huge wedding. I know we're not supposed to reveal our names on the air, but I am so grateful for your help that you need to know—my father is Gerard O'Grady."
"The governor of California?" Former actor–turned–billionaire–turned–politician?
"Yes." A giggle followed her voice. "We're already planning the wedding—it'll be at our estate in Napa Valley. I want you there, in the front row, with my parents. You've just helped me so much."
"Oh, uh, Pride—"
"Lauren. I'm Lauren O'Grady."
"Okay, Lauren. I'm so sorry, but I can't come."
Why not? Because every time Issy ventured a block from her house, the world closed in and cut off her breathing? Because she couldn't erase from her brain the smell of her mother's burning flesh, her screams, the feel of hot blood on her hands? Because every time she even thought about getting into a car, she saw dots, broke out in a sweat?
Most of all, because she was still years away from breaking free of the panic attacks that held her hostage.
"Our station's policy is—"
"I'm sure my father could get your station to agree. Please, please don't say no. Just think about it. I'll send you an invitation."
And then she clicked off.
Seconds of dead air passed before Issy found the right voice. "Remember to visit the forum at the My Foolish Heart website. This is Miss Foolish Heart saying, your perfect love might be right next door." She disconnected just as Karen Carpenter's "Close to You" signaled the close of her show.
Yeah, sure. Once upon a time, she'd actually believed her tagline.
Once upon a time, she'd actually believed in Happily Ever After.
The next show came on—The Bean, a late-night sports show out of Chicago that scooped up the scores from the games around the nation. She had no control over what shows surrounded hers and was just glad that she had the right to control some of the ad content.
Stopping by the bathroom, she closed the window, grabbed a towel, and threw it on the subway tile floor, stepping on it with her bare foot. She paused by her parents' bedroom—it hadn't seen fresh air for two years, but she still opened the door, let her eyes graze the four-poster double bed, the Queen Anne bureau and dresser, the window that overlooked the garden.
For once, she left the door cracked, then descended the stairs. Front door locked, yes; the parlor windows shut.
Light sparked again across the night, brachials of white that spliced the blackness. It flickered long enough to illuminate the tiny library across the street and the recycle bin on its side, rolling as the wind kicked it down the sidewalk. A half block away, and down the hill toward town, the hanging stoplight suspended above the highway swayed. The storm had turned the intersection into a four-way stop, the red light blinking, bloody upon the glassy pavement.
She pulled a knit afghan off the sofa and wrapped it around herself, letting the fraying edges drag down the wooden floor to the kitchen. Here, she switched on the light. It bathed the kitchen—the spray of white hydrangeas in a milk glass vase on the round white-and-black table, the black marble countertops, the black-and-white checked floor. Part retro, part contemporary—her mother's eclectic taste.
Thunder shook the house again, lifting the fine hairs on the back of her neck. How she hated storms.
She snaked a hand out from the blanket, turned on the burner under the teakettle. She'd left the last donut from her daily Lucy delivery upstairs in her office. Her gaze flicked to the index card pasted to the cupboard. "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" Indeed. But what if God wasn't exactly for you? Still, she wasn't going to ignore help where she might get it.
Another gust of wind, and something tumbled across her back porch—oh no, not her geraniums. Then, banging on her back door. The glass shuddered.
Why her mother had elected to change out the perfectly good solid oak doors for one solid pane of glass never made sense to her.
The kettle whistled. She turned the flame off, reached for a mug—
A howl, and no, that wasn't the wind. It sounded ... wounded. Even afraid.
She swallowed her heart back into her chest. She knew that kind of howl. Especially on a night like this.
Tucking her hand into her blanket, Issy moved to the door, then locked it. She turned off the kitchen light and peered out into the darkness.
No glowing eyes peering back at her, no snaggletoothed monster groping at her window. She flipped on the outside light. It bathed the cedar porch, the cushions of her faded teak furniture blowing in the wind, held only by their flimsy ties. Her potted geraniums lay toppled, black earth muddy and smeared across the porch, and at the bottom of the steps, the storm had flattened her bleeding heart bush.
At the very least, she should cover her mother's prized Pilgrim roses.
Issy dumped the afghan in a chair, rolled up her pant legs, grabbed a Windbreaker hanging in the closet near the door, and pulled the hood over her head.
Unbolting the door, she eased out into the rain. The air had a cool, slick breath, and it raised gooseflesh on her arms. The deluge had stirred to life the Scotch of her white pine, a grizzled sentry in the far corner, its shaggy arms gesturing danger.
But who would hurt her here, in her backyard? Not only that, but her father had built the Titanic of all fences, with sturdy pine boards that hemmed her in, kept the world out, with the exception of Lucy, who used it as a shortcut on her way to town.
It wasn't like Issy actually locked the gate. Okay, sometimes. Okay, always. But Lucy had a key to the gate as well as the house, so it didn't really matter.
Splashing down the stairs, she dashed across the wet flagstones, past her dripping variegated hosta, the verbena, the hydrangea bush, too many of the buds stripped. The rugosa, too, lay in waste.
She wouldn't look. Not until tomorrow. Sometimes it worked better that way, to focus on what she could save. On what she still had.
Reaching the shed, she dialed the combination and opened it. She grabbed the plastic neatly folded on the rack by the door, scooped up two bricks, and dashed back to the porch. Rain couldn't quite smatter the roses here, under the overhang. Still, just in case ... she weighted one end of the plastic with the bricks on the porch, then unfolded it over the flowers. Grabbing stones from the edging of her bed, she secured the tarp, then ran back to the shed for another pair of weights.
The howl tore through the rain again, reverberating through her.
She froze, her heart in her mouth.
Something moved. Over by the end of the porch.
The sky chose then to crack open and pour out its rage in a growl that lifted her feet from the earth.
And not only hers.
Whatever it was—she got only a glimpse—it came straight at her, like she might be prey. She screamed, dropped the bricks, and sprinted for the porch. Her foot slipped on the slick wood and she fell, hard. Her chin cracked against the wood, and then the animal pounced.
"No! Get away!" But it didn't maul her, didn't even stop. Just scrambled toward the door.
The pane of glass waterfalled onto the floor as the beast careened into her kitchen. Issy froze as the animal—huge and hairy—skidded across the linoleum.
It came to a stop, then lay there, whining.
A dog. A huge dog, with a face only a mother could love, eyes filled with terror, wet and muddy from its jowls down.
"Nice doggy ... nice ..."
Excerpted from My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren Copyright © 2011 by Susan May Warren. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 24, 2011
In Deep Haven, Issy Presley has become an agoraphobic ever since the accident killed her mother and left her father in a nursing home. To venture out of her house requires an act of extreme courage on her part as the thought leads to anxiety and the first step to panic attacks. Issy also serendipitously hosts "Miss Foolish Heart" radio show that provides listeners with advice on love and romance though she has never been in a relationship and probably never will being predominantly house ridden.
After a tour in Iraq, Caleb Knight moves to Deep Haven concealing his post traumatic stress disorder anxieties and hoping to obtain a coaching position. When the two neighbors meet for the first time, they are attracted to one another, but their respective inner demons make it a less than an amiable encounter. He calls Miss Foolish heart seeking advice. Over the radio waves the pair connects as they fall in love. However, in person their relationship has a problem as his love is for Miss Foolish Heart.
Although a very deep relationship drama that looks discerningly at anxiety and panic attacks and PTSD, the story line sets up an ironic triangle between, Issy, Caleb and Miss Foolish Heart;. The story line is character driven as the lead couple struggles to overcome their emotional disabilities with this delightful return to Deep Haven (see Perfect Match and Tying the Knot). This is a charming romance.
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Posted July 8, 2011
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren is the 4th book in the Deep Haven series. Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, it can stand on its own. Isadora Presley suffered from a debilitating disorder brought about by the tragic accident involving her parents and herself. After watching her mother die in her arms, and seeing her strong father confined to his hospital bed, Isadora now suffers from an anxiety disorder that prevents her from leaving the safety of her home. Unknown to her friends and neighbors, Isadora Presley broadcasts from her home as Miss Foolish Heart, a syndicated radio show where Isadora gives her listeners advice on love and romance. Little do they know that the one giving advice has almost no experience on that department and that most of her advice come from the books that she has read. Caleb, a soldier who lost his leg during his tour of duty, now comes to Deep Haven to become the new high school football coach. He is determined to become a part of this beautiful town - Deep Haven. Seb, a former resident of Deep Haven, comes home with a goal of righting the wrongs in his life. He thinks he can do this by becoming the coach of his former high school football team. Lucy, Isadora's bestfriend and lifeline to the outside world, has problems of her own. As she tries to save her donut shop, Seb has come back to her to be her source of help. Can these four people overcome their painful pasts and find their way to their present through their faith in God? MY THOUGHTS This is the first book I've read by Susan May Warren, but this is certainly not the last. As a contemporary romance writer, she is a fantastic storyteller. She creates such interesting characters and develops them very well. So much that you really understand each of the characters and each one has become a real person to me. Her descriptions of the town of Deep Haven makes me feel as if I'm really there and participating in its life. It's beautiful how she has molded the lives of each person and show how their faith in God is carrying them through. The book's message is beautiful - that God can carry us through our problems, our self-doubts and that His grace is sufficient to cover our sins of the past. My Foolish Heart is certainly an enjoyable read. I will look forward to more books from Susan May Warren. Read other reviews of this book on the Litfuse Blog Tour. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for this review.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2014
Posted June 12, 2013
Isadora Presley is afraid to leave her house. After the tragic death of her mother, it’s just too scary to venture out into the world. That’s why her being the host of a syndicated talk radio show is so perfect. She can stay indoors, but still touch other people’s lives.
When a scarred young man moves in next door with the intent of becoming the new high school football coach, Isadora doesn’t know whether to love him or hate him. She does continually embarrass herself, though. Continually. And just when her neighbor gets up the courage to ask her on a date, Isadora starts having feelings for a mysterious caller on her show. Which is silly. He could live anywhere. She’ll likely never meet him.
Or maybe she already has.
I’ve always wanted to read a Susan May Warren book, so this one made it to the top of my To Read pile. It did not disappoint. Sure, it was a little predictable, as all romance novels are. But with a romance novel, you don’t read it for the surprise ending, you read it for the suspense and crazy antics that are going to happen to the stars. I blew through this book, making excuses to finish it when I should have been working. Naughty, I know. But it was that much fun. I can’t wait to read more of Susan’s books. A totally clean read that older teens---and the rest of us grown women---will love.
Posted August 27, 2011
First of all, let me say that I love Susan May Warren and her books, too.
Although I can't say this one was my favorite - I liked it a lot. It was not my favorite because I kept feeling a little frustrated (although I suppose that was the point) about the constant near misses, the miscommunications, and darn it - people kept eating donuts and not discussing the health issues associated with them. But I digress (I love donuts. They just don't love me.) However, I did enjoy much of the humor in this book as well as some of the fun "wink wink" moments woven throughout.
Issy suffers from panic attacks and phobias following the tragic death of her beloved mother. She works from the security of her home as the host for a radio show called "My Foolish Heart", counseling on love, romance, and sensibility. Enter Caleb Knight, her new next door neighbor and the new high school football coach. Through a series of fun events he calls into her show, and chaos ensues......You'll have to read it yourself to find out more. :)
I fully appreciated the redemptive nature of this story and definitely loved the happy ending - we all have foolish hearts from time to time, and Issy learns that a 'formula' does not always equal God's best.
I. Loved. This. Book.
I've read a lot of books by the powerhouse storyteller Susan May Warren and I've loved a great many of them. No, no, no, I LOVED this book. Because I honestly believe, "My Foolish Heart" is her best yet.
The characters are so three-dimensional they pop from the page. Isadora and Caleb were my favorites, but the secondary characters are so real. For an aspiring writer, Susan is a tour in all that makes a book great and for the reader, they will delight in the hard work put into the story and what makes it so perfect.
The story is told between the lines of great dialogue, the characters are rife with struggles and personality. Some of their actions made me laugh out loud and groan for the growth they still needed to make. Caleb and Issy are so loveable I ached to see them succeed in each of their chosen ventures. Caleb is the kind of hero I hope to fall for.
Setting speaks for the character's emotions and as Issy and Caleb are pushed toward each other, the sparks fly fast. I held my breath and pages were hot beneath my touch as the climate pushed to the apex.
I. Loved. This. Book. It packs a beautiful romance with characters that struggle, laugh and love through the pages. I did not want this book to end. My heart aches to return to the setting among friends and a love that surrounds me in the town of Deep Haven.
I think I might be craving donuts.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Litfuse publicity for my copy to review.
Posted August 12, 2011
Posted July 7, 2011
Isadora Presley ("Issy") can barely leave her house without a panic attack, ever since her mother's fatal car crash 2 years ago. And even though she's never had a date, she hosts a radio show called "My Foolish Heart," where the lovelorn call in to ask advice. Caleb Knight is her new next door neighbor - he has a war injury and a thing for Issy, though she only rates him a "6." He's vying for the Deep Haven High School football coach position along with Seb Brewster, who was a hometown football hero in his day. Seb and Lucy Maguire, Issy's best friend, used to be an item until she caught him kissing one of the cheerleaders. Lucy has put up armored shields around her heart since his betrayal. When Seb returns to town, what will Lucy do? And will Issy and Caleb get together?
I loved this book. It was one of those that I wanted to stay up late reading, just to find out what was going to happen to these 4 fascinating characters. It was the perfect mix of romance, wit, drama, and enjoyable story line. I found myself identifying with both Issy and Lucy, for different reasons. I am looking forward to reading the previous 2 novels in the Deep Haven series, along with Susan May Warren's other books.
Posted July 1, 2011
my foolish heart is a romance book about how issy falls in love with her new neighbor caleb. and how lucy falls back in love with seb. both seb and caleb are competeing for the coaching job at the school. ever since issy watched her mom die in a car crash she has been scared to come out in public. but caleb changes that. after driving to the ball game and telling caleb to do the winning play she was never scared of going out in public again. and seb helps lucy save her doughnut shop. and they all lived happily ever after.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2011
I fell in love with the characters in the story right from the first couple of pages. Issy could be the girl next door, the girl who would watch my kids while I ran to the store quickly. She is so friendly and safe. Despite her "disability" she has depth and knowledge. She is a quick learner and has a passion for life, even in her despair and her pain. The story really shows that we aren't alone in our trials and our troubles. So many times I catch myself wishing life would just bubble along lazily down stream. No rough waters. No fine tuning. No trouble. But life isn't like that. No matter what, we all have "issues" that we are dealing with in our lives. In the lives of our families. We all have "secrets", things we don't talk about, things we don't say.
The people in the story were attempting to earn their salvation. They felt that God had done enough. That now it was their turn to help themselves. That's not how it is though. God is always there. God is always doing for us.
God washes us; God changes us.
God offers us HIS grace; there is nothing we can do. He does it all! All we have to do is BELIEVE!
I am a mess! I strive and I try so hard to get it all right. I try to get everything done. I work so hard at my job of being a wife and a mother, a teacher and a friend. I fret and worry about being "perfect". I know that really I can never be perfect, not the way we see perfect. But I am learning, have been learning, and will continue to learn that I can rest in God's great big wonderful loving arms and I can be perfect. I can be just what He wants me to be, when He wants me to be there. I just have to keep leaning on Him. I'm never going to be able to do it - to be perfect - on my own. It's in the resting in the knowledge that God has our lives all planned out for us (Eph. 2-8); that He has our best interests in His perfect consistent, freeing love!
Posted June 25, 2011
I've read a few of Warren's other books and was excited to read this one. She didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline. Though the general plot was predictable, I liked the few surprises woven into the story. The theme of not quitting just because life turns out differently than you'd expect is something good to remember. What stood out to me is when Seb admits to his father he quit football after his injury. His father told him to simply find something he loves to do and go after it. Warren is on my list of favorite authors and has only secured herself on that list with this newest read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2011
My Foolish Heart was a great read as I was travelling on a family vacation! It was humorous and light, but at the same time it developed into a heartwarming story with lovable characters! I loved the way the author introduced serious issues that people face today (including PTSD, agoraphobia, and relationships gone wrong) and had her characters battle through them, finding peace in the perfect love of God and in the people that God had surrounded them with. Along the way, Susan May Warren throws in a plot focused around the lives of four main characters and their lives as the token donut girl, "Miss Foolish Heart" the late night radio hostess, a wounded soldier from the National Guard, and a previous hometown football star. Everyone will love this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2011
Since a tragic car accident took the life of her mother, Isadora (Issy) Presley has been home-bound due to debilitating panic attacks. She secretly holds down the job of a talk show host on her program, 'My Foolish Heart,' giving romantic advice, though she's never been on one single date. Her shows' mantra is 'Your perfect love could be right next door,' despite the fact that she can't appropriate that ideal for herself.
Caleb Knight, an Iraqi war survivor with disabilities, moves next door to Issy, hoping to capture a new life teaching and coaching. When he spies his next-door beauty, he calls the 'My Foolish Heart' radio program for advice in claiming her for his true love.
Susan writes a witty, humorous romance story that is filled with hope for healing and a chance for a new life. She aptly describes Issy's life of an agoraphobic lifestyle caused by a former trauma, while showing the power of God in extracting a new life for Caleb despite former trauma. Issy's outlook on life is a stark contrast to Caleb's viewpoint, which Susan plays on throughout the book.
Issy's initial impression of Caleb as having Neanderthal manners and a very unruly dog brings out the misconceptions we make of people before getting to honestly know them. The whole of the story is the unraveling of such misconceptions, and presents as a fun, romantic read. The characters are very real, and the conversations bring a lilt to the story, even as they touch on hard issues and how to deal with them with forgiveness.
Susan's book will entertain while exposing you to issues you may not have dealt with in your own personal life. God's truth and faithfulness comes full round, though maybe not necessarily as one might think it should happen.
This book was provided by Amy Lathrop of Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
Posted June 18, 2011
This is my first book to read by Susan May Warren and it was ok. I love for a book to grab me and suck me in but this didn't. It took me a while to get into it as it slowly moved along. I also think there were too many issues. Maybe I'm just naive but it seems everyone in the book had some major issue. I'd still like to check out some of Susan's other books to see how they fair.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2011
What a great read! Isadora Presley is suffering from Agoraphobia and really isn't able to leave her home. Her new neighbor Caleb Knight is conquering his own demons...he is coming to accept the loss of his leg.
Lucy Maguire is Issy's best friend and always looking out for her...she is trying to live and forgive herself for the mistakes she has made. Enter Lucy's old boyfriend Seb Brewster...a fellow who also needs to forgive himself for his mistakes.
Love the antics that go on with the big dog Duncan/Roger, who owns him? Also the sweet town that this story is set in Deep Haven MN, it has a small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else. Enter a football coaching competition and you really see a small town in action.
The book has a lot of great Christian values, and includes some great scripture quotes.
I would highly recommend this book! I receive this book from Lifuse Publicity Group, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted June 14, 2011
It's amazing that I didn't eat a doughnut while reading this book! My stomach even growled while reading about the burger cook-out...and I'm a vegetarian! I just adore Susan May Warren's writing style. This is the second book I've read of hers, but I do plan on many more. From my understanding, this is the 4th book in the Deep Haven Series. I never felt lost, so it does stand on it's own, though.
I could very easily see this book as a Hallmark movie! I enjoyed getting to know all the characters. Each of them has problems, whether it be something in the past or present, so they're all very real. My Foolish Heart is definitely going on my keeper shelf.
*I was provided a review copy through the Litfuse Blog Tour in exchange for my honest opinion.
Posted June 9, 2011
Some days more than others, I hunger and thirst for the things that are "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy." I long to soak them in and make them a part of me. Where do I find these sources of beauty? In any person, movie, story, or song that reflects the attributes of my Lord.
Without a doubt, My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren is one of those sources. This story of healing and second chances reminded me of what God can do in the lives of hurting, damaged people . . . people just like you and me.
I loved the main characters: Isadora, who wants desperately to escape the trauma that haunts her; Caleb, a warrior who is fighting his way back from a debilitating injury; Lucy, whose bad choices have led her far away from the woman she thought she'd become; and Seb, a former athlete who is certain his best years are behind him. Oh, and I can't forget the Coach, whose fragile body belies the powerful faith within him.
I rooted for the characters as they worked through their troubles and found some scenes incredibly touching. The sweet romance was a breath of fresh air. In fact, elements of the plot brought to mind one of my favorite old movies, The Shop Around the Corner-where two people who rub each other the wrong way in daily life are unaware that they're secretly anonymous pen pals who are falling in love with each other.
If I had to choose one word to describe this novel, it would be Refreshing. And the key verse? Philippians 4:23: "Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves."
I'd love to see this story turned into classic Hallmark-one of those movies that shows people at their best, living in faith, taking risks for love, and honoring one another with thought, word, and deed.
My advice? Treat yourself to this story.
Posted June 9, 2011
Just when you think that Susan cannot write a better book, here comes My Foolish Heart!! True to Susan May Warren style, you will fall in love with these characters, Issy Presley, who is bound to her house and small neighborhood by her panic and fear, Caleb Knight a war hero who has come to town to take the job as new coach at the school and to forget his past. Two people who are bound by their past, who are fixing to find out that the past is not as important as the future. I loved this book, Susan has a way of drawing you into the story. You could feel the pain and agony each character was facing in their lives. Most definitely a book you will not want to miss!! 363 pages US $13.99 5 stars. Discussion guide included.
This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
Posted June 8, 2011
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren is the fourth book in the Deep Haven Christian romance series that takes place in the fictional titular town in northern Minnesota. Isadora Presley's life ended as she knew it the day of a terrible car accident when she watched her mother die in her arms and that left her father a quadriplegic. Giving up her big city dreams of being a news anchor, Issy became trapped in her own house, afraid to even cross the street, petrified of what could happen outside the safety of home. She began airing podcasts as Miss Foolish Heart offering romantic advice to her listeners despite her lack of ever having a love life. When new neighbor Caleb Knight moves in next door to take on her father's former position as high school football coach, he has big shoes to fill within the town that was led to several state championships by the beloved Coach Presley. Caleb has his own ghosts of the past. While serving with the National Guard in Iraq, he lost part of his leg and suffered burns over part of his body. He is desperate to earn the position of football coach without letting anyone know about his missing leg. He doesn't want sympathy; he wants to serve God as he feels he was saved for a purpose. Issy and Caleb quickly clash over a stray dog and his lack of lawn care, but they connect on Issy's radio show, without either of them recognizing it. Warren has written a sweet romance with unexpected depth. Issy and Caleb are both deeply wounded and certain they are unworthy of love, yet God has something better in mind for both of them. There's a definite touch of The Shop Around the Corner or You've Got Mail to the comedy of errors storyline. The city of Deep Haven is its own character in the book, and while Caleb and Issy fall in love with each other, readers will be falling in love with Deep Haven.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2011
Jullian Galloway's world was about to be upset as she and her husband Jackson who is a doctor were about to take their first vacation in years. They have one son and he is in Europe studying art and both of them have a very busy life. She is a talk show host on the radio about how to have a good and lasting marriage and had just published a book on the subject. But the morning they were supposed to leave for California for a tour of her book and a vacation, Jackson told her he was not going and that he wanted a divorce. This hit Jullian like a bullet as she could not understand why.
She went ahead to California and left him at home, but she was so unhappy but he was so relieved that she was gone. He didn't really understand what had come over him either but he just wanted to be away from her. Jullian loved her radio show and really had the "big head" " over it and Jackson was a well liked surgeon so he felt the same way about himself.
I could understand why a couple needed some time alone as my husband and myself just celebrated 50 years together, and sometimes I wish he would go fishing or something for a week or two and I am sure he feels the same way as he loves outside and I like to be inside so we really don't have a lot in common.
I want to thank Tyndale Publishers for sending me this book and the review is my ow