Hidden Under Her Heart

Hidden Under Her Heart

by Rachelle Ayala


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989050838
Publisher: World Literary Press
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes big-hearted. She writes sweet and funny stories, and believes in the power of love and hope. She is the winner of multiple awards, including the 2015 Angie Ovation Award for best Multicultural Romance with Knowing Vera, the 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Award for best Christian Romance with A Father for Christmas, the 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Award for Christmas Stray, and an Honorable Mention for A Pet for Christmas.

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Hidden Under Her Heart (A Story of Abortion & Courage) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Men need a chance to choose. What struck me about this book was the way Lucas' story wove into Maryanne's. Lucas was left out of the abortion decision in the past and could not set aside his anger and bitterness. But when he was faced with his girlfriend raped and pregnant, he made a conscious choice, a decision to sacrifice his own ambition for a child that wasn't his. Too often, men are left out of the abortion equation, shunted to the sidelines, or told to provide the funds. There is not a lot of information about how helpless a man feels when his instinct tells him to protect his offspring. The author has done a fantastic job portraying Lucas Knight's conflicting emotions: anger and regret, hatred, bitter judgment warring with compassionate love for his girlfriend and her unborn baby. I'd recommend this book to men and women. It's a book about second chances.
EmeraldBarnes More than 1 year ago
Hidden Under Her Heart follows two main characters, Lucas and Maryanne, and their life in California. Maryanne is an allergy nurse, and Lucas is an athlete, training for triathlons and the Olympics. They meet one day when Maryanne has to give Lucas shots for his various allergies, and after a silly, kind of juvenile prank, they start seeing one another. Despite Maryanne’s many failed relationships, she tries to be a good person for Lucas. Not too clingy or needy, but that really doesn’t happen for her. She ends up pushing him away and falls victim to a stupid guy and is given the date rape drug at a party. She doesn’t remember her night and the rape when it happens. Eventually, she finds out she’s pregnant, and then Lucas is framed for her rape by some crazy church whose party she attended. Okay, so, not to give too much away, I will go on and say that Maryanne and Lucas have to deal with a lot in their lives. They have an on and off again relationship. They can’t see eye to eye on many things, including abortion. Also, Maryanne is extremely clingy, which I found was a downfall, but very much in her character. I would rate this book 4.5 stars out of 5. Honestly, the only reason I’m hesitant to give it a full 5 is because of Maryanne’s clinginess and neediness. But, as the story progress and Maryanne and Lucas debate over the abortion issue, the story gets more interesting because you’re rooting for a happy ending, although a happy ending doesn’t make that much sense since she was raped. How can one recover from that? The story is a beautifully written tale about dealing with rape and pro-life/pro-choice issues. Despite the horrific issue of killing babies, Rachelle weaves a wonderful tale about how pro-choice characters end up seeing the value of life from conception. Would I recommend this book? You betcha! In fact, pick it up now!!
TahlequahBloggingDiva More than 1 year ago
I have the honor of being able to review this beautiful story by Rachelle Ayala. I literally just finished the book this morning. This book is one of the most heart warming and romantic filled stories I have read in a long while. In this story we follow two couple's journey's Lucas and Maryanne, Vera & Zach. The story takes you through how they met, their hopes, dreams, trials & tribulations, and everything in between. Though you are invested in their story as you read, the topics of abortion,adoption,loss of a child, amputation,and true love are in the underlying of the story. As you are reading along, you being to realize, that you may know someone that has gone through, a loss of a child, abortion, adopted a child, and amputation, and has found true love in their life story. This story will take you through the whole gambit of emotions, and for those with a good imagination, you will be able to see the story, playing like a movie in your mind. There is also a lot of self reflection that the characters do, but you as the reader also have time to do some of your own, as the characters do theirs. At the end of the book, you will find a small series of discussion questions, that if you were to do this for a group, you could have a jumping off point to start the discussion, at each session you get together. I would have to say, this is one of the better reads I have done this summer, and I highly recommend you going and getting a copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hidden Under Her Heart is book 2 in the Chance for Love series. It is a story about a nurse who works in an allergy clinic that wants love, she wants life, and she wants a real relationship with trust and honor. Being that she hasn't truly had that in her life she has a hard time trusting. Her name is Maryanne and her life is about to change all because of one man named Lucas that needs allergy shots. He comes in and she takes care of him thinking that he is like most men flirting to just do it and not having a real reason behind it she ignores his advances, flowers, and chocolates, and notes. He continues and finds that she and her friend have a bet going that whoever finds a man to be with with a marriage proposal and ring and set date to be married without having sex would pay for the other to have a spa weekend. Such a challenge. As time goes by and tragedy strikes, Maryanne has to decide what to do with her life, and if she can be with Lucus, should she keep things to herself or be open? When a party at the Pastors house turns into Maryanne being raped and Lucas being blamed she has to decide whether to keep the baby or abort, but to clear Lucas' name the DNA is the only way to prove what has happened. I won't spoil the book for you. It is a total must read! I rate it 5/5 Total must read and I have got to get the other books! This story shows lots of emotions with adoption, abortion, pro choice and pro life sides. I like that a lot because it brings in to life how a woman thinks when in these situations but doesn't cram one way of thinking or another on you but shows a great way to explain it on both sides of the spectrum. I like that its not good girl meets bad boy that you get with most romance novels. The story is addictive. I can not wait to read the others in this series! She wears her emotions on her sleeve but still holds back how she truely feels for Lucas. With friends by her side she begins to learn the real emotional attachment and love Lucas feels for her. This story has lots of emotional ups and downs. Its a great read and once you begin you will be sucked into the storyline and not want to come up for air!
AmandaP2012 More than 1 year ago
While I really love Rachelle Ayala's book, this was not one of my favorites. Don't get me wrong, the writing is a good as ever, the characters are very complex and realistic, and the story line is great. The reason it isn't my favorite is that it made me so emotional! I found myself so irritated at the main characters that I would have thrown the book across the room several times if I hadn't been reading it on my iPhone! Maryanne is so absolutely frustrating at times. She is determined to ruin any relationship she has with her distrust and insecurity. Lucas has a huge chip on his shoulder about both his color and the fact that an ex-girlfriend had done something he considered unforgivable. Both of them really knew how to make the worse of every good situation it seemed. The book also made me cry. The story is at times completely heart wrenching. Reading this story was like being there at times. If I could have held Maryanne in a tight hug through parts of the book, I would have. She goes through a lot in the story, often alone, and really is so helpless at times. Lucas, while stronger in some ways, is just as needy as she is. They are actually perfect for each other, even if it does seem like it would be a totally co dependant relationship. The topic of abortion is the main theme throughout the book and I think it was handled well. Rape, depression, suicide, and love are also topics that are handled beautifully in this well written, thought provoking book. If you think that these topics would be too hard for you to read about, I would suggest you think carefully before reading this book. There are some really emotional scenes that might disturb some people I recommend this book to anyone that can handle the topics, and that enjoy a sometimes frustrating but all together heart touching and romantic story. Disclaimer: I received a copy free for reviewing purposes. Regardless, all opinions are my own. I was not required to leave a positive review.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Serious questions and faithful answers: Lucas wants to get fit for the triathlon. Maryanne wants to progress in the medical field. And each would like a relationship with “someone who loves you whether you’re sad, glad, or have a bad hair day.” They meet when Lucas comes into Maryanne's clinic for his allergy shots and their conversation strikes sparks. But soon those sparks are warm with the fire of a developing relationship. Author Rachelle Ayala creates pleasingly natural characters in her novel, Hidden under her heart. Neither wants to rush into anything physical, and both are content to slowly get to the know each other—a process the reader enjoys too as they camp amid beautiful scenery, watch the sunset and enjoy shared activities. But Lucas and Maryanne have both been hurt before and dark times loom. Closed doors, dark rooms and physical assault lead to interesting questions of morality, prayer and control. “Help me to understand her and be compassionate,” Lucas prays, but soon the reader learns why that understanding might be hard to find. Traumatic fears and dreams parallel agonizing decisions about the life of an unborn child. But the tension is eased with some wonderfully humorous scenes as it rises to the story’s dramatic and exciting conclusion. There’s more to abortion than a strong woman’s decision, God’s instant condemnation, or a pragmatic plan for the future. Hidden under her Heart invites readers to think for themselves, even while offering an enjoyable romance, fast action, and a distinctive and persuasive Christian view. Disclosure: I was lucky enough to find a free ecopy of this novel, but I can’t remember how or when.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would say that this book is a very dramatic but romantic novel. It definitely had its highs and its lows. Just as I thought I knew where the story line was headed it would take another twist. This happened several times throughout the book. This book had some controversial topics but I still really enjoyed reading this book. Although there were controversial topics in this book these things sometimes happen in real life and there are some people that can relate. There were so many emotions in this book that we can relate with not only as human beings but as well as with personal experiences. Although many of us have not been through the exact events of this book the emotions that go along with experiences is what we can really relate to. This book definitely tugs at your heart and you feel for the characters. If you enjoy to read and can handle hearing about controversial topics then I can recommend this book for you to read.
CRhondeau More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! Thought provoking! I loved this book! I have been following Rachelle Ayala and reading everything she writes and in my opinion this is her best work yet. First off, I really like Lucas. He has his flaws and is perhaps a bit extreme in some of his views, but deep down he is a loving, caring man who was someone I could really relate to and admire. He stands by his convictions and tries to do the right thing. My favorite part about Lucas was the growth his character took in the book. Maryanne is also a realistic character. Even though her opinions are at the different end of the spectrum from mine, I could feel her turmoil and enjoyed her journey and watching her conflicts. The cast of supporting characters was enjoyable too, complete with difficult family members and friends who sometimes caused more harm than help. For me, this book was pretty intense and I read it in just 2 evenings because I had to find out what happened. This story touched me and also made me really think about my opinions on abortion and why I feel the way I do. Overall, the romance between Maryanne and Lucas was satisfying and the action parts were exciting and fun to read. This one is a hit, and my favorite book of Ayala's so far. Looking forward to more from this author.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite Rachelle Ayala’s "Hidden Under Her Heart" is a wild roller coaster ride of emotions, drama and choices. Maryanne is a dedicated nurse who is a total failure at relationships; at least she thinks so, and has vowed to remain celibate until she finds a suitable man to marry. Then there is Lucas, a lapsed law student-turned-athlete. Lucas is charming, funny and sweet and of course, Maryanne is besotted. To Maryanne however, Lucas is more besotted with his triathlon, so she goes where all good celibate girls to find love: church. Thinking that a “nice religious man” would be her savior ends up being Maryanne’s downfall but it is also what gives this tale such emotional depth. What is great about this story is that Ayala does not beat the reader over the head with her beliefs on reproductive rights and plunges the reader to heart of the matter as it stands to Maryanne, which is really what matters. The growth of Lucas from an immature boy to a man was spectacular and shows the mark of a great storyteller. The bond between Maryanne and Lucas grows from simple fondness to deep love, forcing them both to decide what things are important and what is just window dressing. At times Maryanne’s naivete will make you want to grab her and shake her, but Ayala does a great job of painting a picture of what a woman who has been victimized to this degree feels. Overall this was a compelling tale that was beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rachelle Ayala has a gift for writing touching stories. In this novel the themes of rape and abortion are treated in a unconventional way. The decision of keeping a baby of a rape is a tough one and the author uses the form of the novel to talk about it. I suggest this book not only to women but to men too!
DianeRappAuthor More than 1 year ago
A Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion has generated vehement political debate and controversy for years.  I recently heard a statistic that one out of five women has faced (or will face) this choice during her lifetime—perhaps more than once.  It’s a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to face.    Maryanne, the heroine of this novel already endured one abortion (after intense pressure by a sleazy ex-boyfriend) and it left a wound in her soul.  She hardly noticed the wound until she faced the decision to end another pregnancy.  Maryanne craves love and has a low self-esteem.  After an argument with her boyfriend, she attends a party and falls prey to a date-rape drug used by a sexual predator.  The rape results in pregnancy.  Her father and girlfriends pressure Maryanne to abort the child which seems like the easiest choice. Lucas is an athlete training for the Olympics.  He’s got his own self-esteem issues because his white father rejected his black mother when she got pregnant.  Also a previous girlfriend aborted their child to punish Lucas.  He believes the act was murder and can’t forgive her.  When he learns Maryanne is pregnant, he pressures her to save the child’s life.  He promises to help her through the pregnancy and place the baby up for adoption.  Potential adoptive parents who desperately want a baby add more pressure to Maryanne’s decision.  Lurking in the background, an unidentified rapist stands ready to kill Maryanne rather than jeopardize his own freedom.  Everyone seems to have a dog in this race! The author expertly portrays the raging emotions of a young woman who contemplates this important decision.  When a girl sees the fetus as just a “thing” the choice seems easy but when she sees it as “her baby” the choice gets more difficult.  That girl becomes a mother the minute she forgets her own body and starts worrying about the child growing inside.   But the child is unwanted!  Untrue.  A woman desperately trying to conceive wants that child; a couple waiting on adoption lists for months or years wants that child; and a new mother clutching the tiny fist of a preemie fighting for life in an incubator wants that child.  A novel like this helps flesh out all these situations for readers to consider.  Be sure to keep a box of tissue handy to wipe tears as you read. The author of this novel was incredibly brave to explore a controversial subject.  She will be ridiculed or praised for depicting the decisions her characters make in the novel, so I choose to give her praise.  Although the Supreme Court declared that a woman has the “right to choose,” each woman must live with the consequences of her choice.  The real question is:  “If a woman has the right to choose, should people support her decision when she chooses life?”  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does not seem like my type of book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Female main character was awful! I felt sorry for Lucas. He should never have gotten romantically involved with such an unstable person. I could not even finish this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to keep reading it. Boring characters and nothing interesting enough to make me want to finish it, and i usually finish books even if they aren't that great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to review a Christian romance book, Hidden Under Her Heart, by Rachelle Ayala.  It’s a beautifully written story about a young lady named Maryanne who finds herself pregnant and is faced with the possibility of an abortion after being raped. She and her boyfriend both have strong convictions, and the personal and spiritual growth each character shows in the book is admirable.  What I love about this book is how at the end, everything comes full circle. You know the kind of story I’m talking about–the one that sends feel-good chills through your body. You can get your own copy via Kindle for just $.99.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
This is the third book I have reviewed by this author, and each one is unique in its own way. But I am going to be honest. Until the last 50 or so pages, I was pretty certain I didn't like this book all that well. There were many things that initially turned me off. One of the main problems for me concerned the main characters. I found that Maryanne and Lucas were just too annoying and stuck on themselves. I had no issue with the abortion element of the story. Indeed the author covered a highly contested topic with grace and dignity. And it was certainly balanced. I grew tired of the interactions between these characters, and I did not care what happened to them. I know that this review sounds extremely negative, and I would not have put all of this here if it had not been for the fact that the book made a shift for the better. This is the third book I have reviewed by this author, and each one is unique in its own way. But I am going to be honest. Until the last 50 or so pages, I was pretty certain I didn't like this book all that well. There were many things that initially turned me off. One of the main problems I had concerned the main characters. I found that Maryanne and Lucas were just too annoying and stuck on themselves. I had no issue with the abortion element of the story. Indeed the author covered a highly contested topic with grace and dignity. And it was certainly balanced. I grew tired of the interactions between these characters, and I did not care what happened to them. I know that this review sounds extremely negative, and I would not have put all of this here if it had not been for the fact that the book made a shift for the better. It never ceases to amaze me how the books that often stick with me the longest I did not relish in the beginning. Indeed, this is one of those books. When the book was almost completed, the author tossed a dash of danger into the mix. In a flash, I was so absorbed with the story that I found myself caring about what happened to the characters. It certainly helped that the profanity usage decreased. I know the author warned me about the profanity, but I will say one thing to her credit. She never used God's name in the wrong way. However, if you are turned off by profanity, I would caution you concerning the book. I saw the reason for the usage, but I was glad when the words began to disappear. There were no graphic sex scenes, but there was a lot implied. This, on the other hand, did not bother me in the least. If you are still wondering why I gave this book such an extraordinary rating, let me reveal the reason. Very rarely do I find myself crying over a book, but this one brought me to literal tears. Sometimes I have strong emotions, but I was so moved that I was wiping the copious tears from my cheek. Why did I cry? Well, dear reader, I don't want to spoil the book for you. This book never comes across as being preachy, but the Christian message of the book is probably just as strong if not stronger than mainstream Christian books I have read. I was so touched that I could do nothing else but rate the book five stars. Now we'll have to see if the author writes a sequel. I would love to see the next chapter of this couple's life! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really loved the book. Very touching and thought provoking.  The characters and situations were very real and believable.  Great job!
collyn23 More than 1 year ago
I actually enjoyed reading this book. It was suspenseful and heartfelt. I could actually connect with the characters. It was one of those books I didn't want to put down. Honestly I could of read it all in one day if I let myself. It is definitely a adult book and not for young eyes. I think it was written beautifully and just had alot of life in this book. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a good book to read! Definitely one of my favorites now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book constantly had me on the edge of my seat as Maryanne and Lucas tried to figure out their relationship, Maryanne tried to decide what to do with the baby and as Barry kept harassing her! It's definitely one of those books that makes you stop and think about what you would do if you were in the situation. At times, it was very frustrating dealing with Maryanne and Lucas' wishy washy decisions. I wanted to scream at them that they both loved each other so stop fighting it! But that's a sign of a good book when it makes you actually feel something. I feel like the primary conflict of the book was Maryanne's rape but the book mainly focused on Maryanne and Lucus' relationship. The end of the book was very climatic and then I feel like it took a totally different turn and didn't really address the whole paternity except with a paragraph in the epilogue. Still a good read and one of those books that you can't wait to start reading again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book, tugged at the heartstrings, but was also able to make me smile. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hidden Under Her Heart" is well written. The emotion and love between Maryanne and Lucas through the whole ordeal is amazing. I could feel everything as if I was there with Maryanne and Lucas making the decisions and going through everything with them. This book was worth reading and was so hard to put down. I am so sad that it ended but I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants a good book about the choices women have to go through and the struggle of making some of those choices when true love is on the opposite side. I would not recommend this book however if anyone has a serious objection to abortion.
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
Rachelle pens "Hidden Under Her Heart", a beautifully written tale dealing with the consequences of rape and abortion. She handles the pro-choice subject honestly and nicely, and one that I don't think anyone would have a problem with. This book actually touched my heart, which was something that was unexpected. Filled with emotion, I would recommend this book to everyone. This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.