Hidden Heart

Hidden Heart

by Camelia Miron Skiba


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Businesswoman Tessa Cosma knows how to ride the wave of chaos in corrupt, post-communist Romania to maintain the lifestyle she so carefully built for herself. Her ideal world shatters when an unplanned pregnancy ends after a brutal assault. To compound her troubles, she must unravel a fraud accusation that threatens her reputation and career.

Alessandro Santinelli, the charismatic Italian banker with whom she spent an incredible, lust-filled night months ago, comes to her rescue. But Tessa refuses his help and chooses to rise above the devastating forces of death, betrayal and fraud to prove her innocence and discover her true self.

Throughout Tessa's journey toward forgiveness and redemption, Alessandro guards over her from a distance. He provides her the space and time she needs to heal, meanwhile hoping to recapture something he believes was lost and unattainable.

Camelia Miron Skiba does a fantastic job of telling us Tessa's story, pulling the reader into the heart of both Tessa and Alessandro. Their actions - and reactions - are realistic to the circumstances they find themselves in. You'll find yourself rooting for the both of them to find the healing they search for. That the story is set in the authenticity of Romania only makes the story that much richer. What a great glimpse into a place that many of us have never been able to visit."-- Cindy C Bennett, Author of "Geek Girl" and "Heart on a Chain"--

"I really enjoy romance novels like this. While a good majority are very cut and dry, this one takes you on an emotional journey with Tessa and Alessandro, and the very unconventional development of their relationship. It moves from majorly being a sexual attraction to something deeper, something that heals Tessa and Alessandro both, without them even realizing it. I also liked the fact that we get to see this develop in a woman not from a first world country, one with different ideals and different morals and an entirely different approach to life and love and family.

This book goes on such an adventure, but one that is more mental and emotional than physical. There are plenty of twists and turns, a couple surprises, and an ending that will leave you satisfied but still wanting more. You won't be able to put the book down once you start, trust me."-- Jennifer Pugh, GoodReads Review--

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460957585
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/25/2011
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Camelia Miron Skiba grew up in Bucharest, Romania, the land of vampires and communists. For several years she lived in Austria, Germany and Hungary, and settled in the US over seven years ago. While living in those countries, she became accustomed to their societies, languages, and cultures.
She now lives with her family in Arizona and works at Arizona State University.
Her passion for happy ending stories had began during her teenage years, devouring every book she read. She never thought that she had what it takes to become a writer. Until one summer day when her son encouraged her to write. And ever since, she has never looked back...

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Hidden Heart 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
jessica_bradford More than 1 year ago
Hidden Heart is a novel about a thirty year-old Romanian women, Tessa. On a vacation with friends in the mountains of Italy Tessa meets an attractive Italian man, Alessandro. They have a hot one night, all because of Tessa leaving Alessandro while he sleeps in the middle of the night. Tessa heads back home to Romania to work on a major case for work. Her world seems to be going well after the almost year it was when she had a one night stand with an Italian man. She is being promoted in her work, she is back with her on and off again boyfriend living the life of dreams. Suddenly it all changes when she is accused of fraud and being investigated. The bank is sending an employee to check on the case. It turns out the bank employee is Alessandro. To both their surprise he is now working in Romania and investigating Tessa's fraud accusation. To make matters worse, her live in boyfriend was caught in the act of cheating in her own bed while she is pregnant with his child. As her life spirals downward, Alessandro is there to pick up the pieces and tell her that he wanted more than a one night stand that year ago. As she opens up to him, Tessa is attacked and her unborn child did not survive. She cannot move on and becomes depressed wanting no one in her life, including Alessandro. As Tessa tries to move past her attack she discovers who she really is and where she came from trying to figure out if Alessandro is who she wants or needs. The novel by Camelia Miron Skiba is beautifully written novel. I really enjoyed reading about Romania in the time of pre & post Communism. The book is not an easy read but very enjoyable. I could not put it down, even reading while at work. Tessa is a strong and beautiful character that I enjoyed reading about her and her career success. Alessandro is a romantic who only wants to love her. He picked up his life and started over just to be near Tessa, what a romantic gesture he made. I see why some people thought parts of the story was slow, but I felt it was needed to understand where Tessa and her mother were coming from and why they made the choices they did. I cried with Tessa and felt her pain while she was trying to move past the attack. There was a part in the story that made me scream "oh my god" toward the end. A twist I did not see coming and was still in shock all the way until the end.  The epilogue was perfect and I felt it ended perfectly for Tessa.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wow, this book is so freaking unbelivable. I love it. I just can't put the book down, until I know what happen next. Now his is why I love reading books. Thank you for the author giving the deaf girl the book. This book is just amazing.
Jenny_Geek More than 1 year ago
This book had a lot of obstacles for the characters to overcome. Tessa starts out on vacation, only to find out she needs to leave early. She ends up having a one night stand with a man (Alessandro), who she held onto during an earthquake, before dashing off back to her home country. As the story goes on, Tessa finds herself in difficult situations: being accused of fraud in her job, her ex-boyfriend beats her and leaves her for dead, the unexpected pregnancy she intended to terminate but then decides to keep and then loses it in the assault, and then trying to find herself again. Alessandro was the ever patient man. He does all he can to help her and waits for Tessa to want to see him again. While I enjoyed the premise of this book, I found I had a had time connecting to the characters. The dialogue felt a bit unnatural for me. I had a hard time imagining people speaking to one another the way they do in this story. Not to mention that there was SO much for Tessa to overcome. The other thing I struggled with was the passage of time. I realize that time needed to pass in this story in order for it to make sense, but I felt like there would be a sudden time jump and I would have to realize it was a few days, weeks, or even months later. This left me a bit confused at points in the book. Despite the setbacks, I enjoyed the romance between Tessa and Alessandro. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Telmeigh More than 1 year ago
This was an wonderful book. Ms. Skiba writes a great multicultural romance. However, I could not give it the five stars that it would have deserved had she not lost sight of her heroine, Tessa's inner strength, even though she quickly recovered Tessa's backbone. Tessa is the perfect heroine at the beginning of the story. She is not a stereotype. Beautiful, tough, but flexible is how she is initially portrayed. While she is certainly interested in dating and love, it is not the only thing she expects from herself. She is concentrating on her career and is very good at what has been a "males occupation" in her country. She is aware that her country has many issues to overcome, and she intends to be one of those that helps it overcome some of those issues. Then she meets her hero. While is is the typical strong male, he is not chauvinistic. He is more than willing to wait by the sidelines and let Tessa handle her own troubles. Then, Tessa is attacked, beaten, and nearly killed by an ex-boyfriend. She is beaten down. No one seems too concerned with the attack...it is just the way of her country. Another out-dated idea that needs to be addressed by the powerful and governmental sections of her people. However, I found Tessa's spiral down to the depths she plummets to be too much of a dichotomy from the original Tessa. It felt contrived. It is as though she was pretending at the beginning and was never really strong. In addition, she tells our hero to get lost and for all intents and purposes, he does. I might not have found his abandonment so disjunctive had Tessa not plumbed the very depths. But, where he had carefully watched from the sidelines at the beginning, he now only appears by happenstance or contrivance of the author. The man I met at the beginning of the story would not have disappeared so easily, or completely at all. He might have moved further into the background, but he would have still been watching, even if he believed there was no future with Tessa. He would only have left after she had made a decent recovery. While Tessa certainly must recover from her attack, both physically and mentally she is seen doing it all alone. She pushes everyone away, neither her family nor the hero continues to watch over her after her most devastating incident. While her family is not as close as some, we are not made to feel as though they could be pushed away so easily. Of course, Tessa's inner core strength slowly carries her through the worst of the time, then allows her to see how she can take what happened and begin changing the way the powerful and governmental entities view domestic violence. In some ways Tessa ends stronger than she started, but the author could have allowed her to learn to overcome adversity with others, rather than totally alone. So I saw ways the author might have failed Tessa. The book was only wonderful, but had she remembered Tessa's inner core strength and allowed for recovery with others who cared for her, it would have been AWESOME.
bookworm4lifeNY More than 1 year ago
Hidden heart (Well named) is a beautiful and touching story. You can't help but LOVE Tessa. She is strong, endearing, and enjoyable. Even after all she goes through, she doesn't turn into a sniveling whiner. No 'Poor, Picked on Me' for Tessa. It is refreshing to find a strong heroine in a romance novel. Aside from the romance(Yummy) the story itself is very engrossing. Set in the author's native homeland of Romania, you get to enjoy the rich culture of the land from someone who has lived it, not just researched it on Wikipedia like so many modern day writers seem to do nowadays! I also found Ms. Skiba's writing refreshing, and I look forward to her next novel...which I hear is coming soon!!! It's already on my Christmas list;} Thank you Ms. Skiba!
Ginger-Read-Reviews More than 1 year ago
Hidden Heart is more than a romance novel, much more. It is dramatic and tragic and thoughtful. Within the first handful of pages you are drawn in to an exciting encounter between two strangers. A year later they meet again under much different circumstances. A series of tragedies befall them and they struggle to cope with life, love and loss. One of the things I loved about this book is that it doesn't sugar coat the horrific. I have read many a book where tragedy strikes a heroin but with in pages 'love' has seen her through. Hidden Heart makes a great attempt at showing the struggle to heal, and I applaud Camelia Miron Skiba for it. The writing was a bit different then what I am used to. There is much dialog, which lends to more believable relationships. Though, at times I found it lacking a little more description of setting. I would describe it as very fast paced, jumping sometimes weeks ahead, but with so much ground to cover ~ it worked. The only thing I had a bit of a struggle with was the dialog. Again, I liked that there was so much of it. However, at times it felt off...I think more than anything, it is a cultural difference. I have lived my life in the Seattle suburbs where most are pretty laid back with their speech ~ (Evidently we are known for saying 'hella', as in "this coffee is hella good.') So, it felt like I was reading a book narrated by someone who was taught proper English as a second language. I was able to get over my awkwardness fairly quickly though. After about a quarter of the way through the book I had a hard time putting it down until the end.
raynefirewitch More than 1 year ago
Overall Feedback: Without a doubt this book has to be the best romance novel I have ever read. I know, the best, really, this is coming from a guy that usually starts out reviews of romance novels with a standard (I normally do not read this genre speech). Yes, this is the best and I have indeed read some great ones and also some put that tree back ones. Before reading the rest of this review go ahead and purchase your copy, as you will not regret a thing about that purchase. Point of View: You are reading from Tessa's viewpoint. Tessa is strong willed and shows us that we can overcome anything. Voice: The lessons learned by the character and written by the author will and shall carry on in your living world. Character Development: Camelia takes you on a journey with her characters and makes them more than just entertainment, they become family. Plot: The plot is straightforward and easy to follow although the journey through the plot is where this writer is masterful. Dialogue: Natural and non forced. Pacing: You will never want to put it down. Just look at other reviews (reading and driving anyone). Setting: Post Communist Romania, let the tears begin. Continuity: If you can find a hitch in this area you are looking to hard and not reading the book. Stop nitpicking and enjoy a fantastic story with great emotion and superb characters.
Jeana90 More than 1 year ago
The saying goes that you should seldom judge a book by its cover, but the inside of Camelia Miron Skiba's "Hidden Heart" truly matches up to the gorgeous artwork on the outside. I had so much fun reading this book, and could hardly put it down once I got started. The plot is engaging and keeps the reader wanting to read on to see how Tessa's story unfolds. The characters are all well-developed and are incredibly personable. I found myself both enjoying and learning from the story of this book. I highly recommend this novel to anyone with a passion for adventure and romance. I truly can not commend Camelia highly enough on this fantastic work.