Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts

by Courtney Walsh

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414398693
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Series: Paper Hearts Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 372,291
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Paper Heart


By Courtney Walsh

Tyndale House Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Courtney Walsh
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9869-3


CHAPTER 1

"I can't believe she did this to me again." Abigail Pressman stared at the computer screen in disbelief. Her own photo stared back, her pasted-on smile frozen in time.

"I can't believe you still own a pair of overalls." Mallory leaned down over her shoulder, eyes wide at Abigail's most recent public humiliation. "Not flattering."

"Understatement." Abigail covered her face with her hands.

The four other dating websites were bad enough, but one exclusively for farmers? Abigail sighed. "I'll never recover from this one."

Elizabeth "Teensy" Pressman had two goals in life: first, to marry off all her children; and second, to have lots of grandbabies. It seemed the woman would stop at nothing until both were accomplished.

"I think she means well," Mallory said, her wince audible.

Abigail groaned. Last month it had been a setup at her mother's bridge club with Eunice Middleton's forty-five-year-old son, Jasper, who lived two hours away in Denver.

Which left Abigail wondering, shouldn't a woman with a name like Eunice know better than to name her child Jasper? Of course, who was she to talk with a mother who went by "Teensy"? The nickname she had picked up as the youngest and smallest of eight children had never gone away. Jasper, it turned out, wasn't interested in Abigail any more than she was interested in him. Jasper had already found the love of his life, a tattoo artist who called herself Tipsy. In addition to being happily unmarried, he was also a wretched coward who couldn't tell his mom about his live-in girlfriend.

Abigail peered at her own photo on the laptop screen on the counter in front of her. "She has officially lost her mind."

"Do you think it costs money to sign up for these websites? She's got to have a fortune in it. What is this, number four?"

"Five. Don't forget the Young Loves Park Professionals site, which is local and even more embarrassing than FarmersOnly."

Mallory shrugged. "City folks just don't get it."

Abigail grimaced. "Is that their slogan?"

Her store manager pointed at the screen. "Yep. See, the logo's right here beside your straw hat and braids."

Abigail only stared.

"The cow's a nice touch."

Teensy had clearly dug this one out of the archives. Abigail in the cow pasture next door to her parents' house during a church picnic, her dark hair pulled into two braids. There happened to be a cow in the background, which, she supposed, enabled her mom to pass her off as a farm girl.

"We have to explore every avenue, Abigail," her mother would say. "You're not getting any younger, and Loves Park is only so big."

"I'm wearing flannel in this picture, Mom," Abigail would say in protest.

"But your teeth look so white."

Again Abigail entertained the thought that she should move somewhere else, but not for the reasons her mother suggested. She had always dreamed of living in the city—or at least in a more sizable town. Loves Park, a small community known for its celebration of all things romantic, had targeted Abigail—single and almost thirty—like a cheetah eyeing a limping wildebeest.

As if she needed to be reminded of her inability to find the right guy and settle down. As if romance were the only thing she should want out of life. How barbaric to assume that. Yet here she was, living and working in Loves Park—a town that wouldn't let her forget even for a moment who she was.

Maybe a fresh start was what she needed. Denver wasn't too far a drive, yet it felt a whole world away from here.

But as quickly as the idea entered her mind, reality bumped it out of the way. Her father had entrusted The Book Nook to her upon his death. It was the only thing that had ever connected the two of them when he was alive: a shop full of books. Perhaps it was a silly legacy. It certainly hadn't made her wealthy and it wouldn't change the world. But it was all she had left of him, and she wasn't about to let it go. Besides, she had a plan to expand her little shop—a plan that had once felt like a whisper on the wind but that might actually come to pass.

Two months before, her landlady, Harriet, who ran a mercantile in the other half of the building, told Abigail she'd decided to retire and shut down the mercantile. Abigail received the news with the appropriate amount of sadness, amazed at her own ability to act forlorn when, in truth, she fought to contain her joy. Of course she'd miss the shop next door—Harriet was a kind woman, and her two sons were always bringing home the most unique items from their worldwide travels. But it meant that finally—finally—she could expand her own store. She could already see the expansion in her mind. She'd visualized it every time she walked into the mercantile.

Abigail had already decided how to transform one of the mercantile's walls into a gallery of her favorite local artists. She knew exactly where she would display vintage treasures and handmade jewelry. And in her spare time, she'd already refinished a number of flea-market furniture discoveries that customers were sure to love. Abigail was sure The Book Nook could be much more than a tidy, cozy shop packed with wall-to-wall books. Adding the café with local gourmet coffee last year was a nice touch, but her dream was more venti than tall.

Plus, she'd finally be owner, not tenant, and something about that made Abigail grow a bit inside. Wyatt Nelson, premier Realtor of Loves Park, had given his word she'd be the first to know of any interest in the property, but his offer was about to expire. "The sign is going up in ten days," he'd recently told her in his I'm-a-very-busy-man voice.

She made a mental note to pester Harvey at the bank and find out what on earth was taking him so long. Once that sign went up, stiff competition would follow. Loves Park, nestled up in the Rocky Mountains, was prime real estate. The picturesque backdrop and nearby national parks brought thousands of tourists to their little town each year. Add to that the never-ending celebration of romance, and much to Abigail's dismay, Loves Park became a prime location for weddings, honeymoons, and those looking to rekindle what they once had. Despite how she felt about the endless supply of couples, it all contributed to the fact that Abigail's building, right in the heart of Old Town, was one of the most desirable within city limits.

"So what do you want me to do about this profile?" Mallory asked, pulling the laptop to her.

Abigail shot her a look. "Delete it. Please?"

"Working on it."

Out of the corner of her eye, Abigail saw someone walk past the side window. She turned toward it. "Is that Aaron?"

Mallory barely glanced up, fingers tapping on the keyboard. "Is it twenty after?"

"I think it's just now seven."

"Then he's not here." Mallory punched a few more keys and leaned back, triumphant.

"Do something about that, will you?" Abigail hoisted her bags over her shoulder and started for the office.

"Like, fire him?" Mallory shut the laptop and stashed it underneath the counter.

"He's too cute to fire. Just give him a warning or whatever." Abigail let the office door swing closed behind her, not wanting to hear Mallory's dry retort—something like, "Because that worked so well the last time." Who needed the reminder that she was a soft boss?

Abigail sank into her desk chair, the quiet solace of her office washing over her. Another dating site? Really, Mom?

In that moment, the embarrassment of being the black sheep of Loves Park's romantic tradition washed over her like cold water from a bucket. Why had God seen fit to give everyone but Abigail their Mr. Right, despite her years of praying, despite knowing she'd make someone a perfect wife? At least she hoped she would. Correction. She had hoped she would. She wasn't sure about much anymore. No sense pining away for something—someone—that might not exist.

Being twenty-nine and single might be difficult for any woman in any town, but Abigail had to believe that she had it just a little bit worse than most. Not only was she Teensy's pet project, she was living in a town named by her great-great-grandparents as a celebration of their cherished love story. And that town had one obsession: romance.

Double whammy.

A loud knock startled her. Mallory didn't wait for her to answer, instead pushing the door open and poking her head in. "Why are you sitting here in the dark?"

Abigail stared at her. Had she forgotten to turn the light on?

"Sorry, my hands were full," she said, wondering if that counted as a lie. "What's up?"

"Nothing."

"You left the front unattended to come back here for nothing?" Abigail stood, smoothing her peasant top and the blazer she'd thrown on at the last minute in an attempt to make herself more professional than bohemian, the familiar struggle that plagued her every time she got ready for work. Always striving to be taken seriously as a business professional when her natural tendencies were far more casual.

"No, Aaron just got here." Then Mallory stared at her with that familiar grimace.

"What now? A want ad in the Loves Park Daily News?" Before long, her mother would have a spot on channel five about her daughter's inability to find a husband in a town with love in the name. Worse, around here it just might play as a valid story.

"No, it's not that," Mallory said. "I think there's something you should see."

Mallory's tone rattled her, and Abigail fought the hollow worry that settled in her gut. She waited a moment before following her manager to the front of the store. The sun illuminated the large space, casting warmth and light across the rows and rows of bookshelves, some along the wall, others neatly positioned throughout the store. Abigail reached the coffee counter and stopped, following Mallory's gaze through the glass.

While their view was partially obstructed from this angle, it was clear something was going on next door. Harriet had moved out a few weeks prior, so that wasn't it.

Abigail dared a few cautious steps toward the oversize front window, the pit in her stomach warning her of impending doom.

Wyatt Nelson stood outside. Next to him was a man wearing jeans and a North Face jacket. She couldn't make out the stranger's face, but she saw sales pitch all over Wyatt's.

"What is he doing?" Abigail crossed her arms over her chest, begging herself to calm down.

Just then, Gerald and Anita Jensen strolled in from off the street.

"Looks like you've got a new neighbor," Gerald said, grinning at Abigail.

Anita walked right up to Abigail and squeezed her arm. "A handsome neighbor too." She smiled. "And no wedding ring. I checked. You should get out there and be charming." A wink in Abigail's direction and the older couple headed to the coffee counter. She barely heard them place their coffee and muffin order with Aaron.

"He promised I had ten more days," Abigail said, her voice barely audible.

"Why don't you go say something?" Mallory asked, still staring at the two men on the street. "Maybe it's not what it looks like."

Abigail sent Mal a sad look. They both knew it was exactly what it looked like.

Wyatt was going to try to sell her building without honoring his word. Typical of him.

"Why does that guy have to look at our building?" Mallory's shoulders dropped. "Aren't there a dozen more on the market right now?"

Abigail hadn't been paying attention to the other downtown storefronts. Her brick building on the corner provided the perfect bookend for a block of equally unique shops, all independently—and locally—owned. The Book Nook had been her only focus for six years, and now her vision of expanding into art-filled walls and renovated furniture was blurred.

Abigail hated to admit it to herself, but the shop was more than a way to pay the bills and honor her father's memory. It was a diversion whenever her naked left hand bothered her—though that only happened every now and then. Some days she even convinced herself it was enough. Who needs a man when you have shelves of beautiful books and dreams of growth and success?

Her heart raced as she stared at Wyatt and the stranger from the safety of her front window. While she couldn't hear what the slimeballs were saying, she had the distinct impression from their pointing that they were now discussing her half of the building.

No way was she going to let this ... this ... man move into her building, steal her dreams, and force her out.

She drew in a deep breath. She didn't even know North Face, and already she considered him a horrible person.

"What are you going to do?" Mallory asked.

"I don't know, but I'm not going to let them get away with this."

She didn't believe those words. Not yet. With a little bit of courage, perhaps she could find a way.

Sadly, last time she checked, courage wasn't something she could find on the Internet, which meant somehow Abigail Pressman had to come by it naturally.

But some things just didn't come naturally to her.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Paper Heart by Courtney Walsh. Copyright © 2015 Courtney Walsh. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
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.

What People are Saying About This

Katie Ganshert

Delightfully romantic with a lovable cast of quirky characters, Paper Hearts will have readers smiling from ear to ear!

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Paper Hearts 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
You've Got Mail meets Letters to Juliet in the best possible way! Happy, happy sigh. This reader was swept away by Courtney Walsh's delightful Paper Hearts. Abigail Pressman has a dream to expand her bookstore set in a tourist town in the Colorado mountains. All she needs to do is scrape together the funds to buy the building. Before she can do that a new doctor swings into town with the cash to buy her building. Before she really meets him, she knows he could threaten her future plans and happiness...not to mention her livelihood. Jacob didn't intend to destroy her life, he just wanted to create a new one for himself and his daughter. But then the Valentine Volunteers get involved -- think a Greek Chorus ala Letters to Juliet, and all kinds of shenanigans happen.  This book is rich with secondary characters who beg to have books of their own, yet keep from stealing the show. Abigail is the kind of heroine I would love to sit down with and share cups of her special Love Peak brew. And the paper hearts are an excellent reminder to keep an eye on my personal romance and ways to keep it alive through good and bad times. This is a romance perfect for those who love a contemporary story filled with heart, characters you'll adore, and a romance laced with enough angst and ahhhs to keep you reading. 
anemulligan More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! The characters were so real and relatable. Abigail was afraid to risk her heart, but clung to her father's bookstore. She was afraid to go after her dream, and was living her life unfulfilled. I loved Jacob and his little girl, Junie Moon as he called her. There are a number of other characters that are endearing, and some are just a plain hoot. Paper Hearts will make you sigh, you'll shed a tear, and you'll laugh. Everything a book should be, Paper Hearts is. And Courtney Walsh is one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Abigail and Jacob! They both needed the reminder of needing God in their lives.
Phyllis_H More than 1 year ago
The paper hearts were so incredibly romantic and sweet! I love the way author Courtney Walsh weaves them throughout the story as part of the plot in addition to taking part in telling the story. I have come to expect this author’s books to be sensitive, insightful and to contain a message that will call the readers into a closer relationship with God, and Paper Hearts did exactly those things. Paper Hearts takes a broken widower through the process of dealing with his grief and guilt and leading a lonely woman on a journey to discover that she had closed her heart to the good things God had in store for her. The story was full of rich characters. I loved Ursula, the forceful widow who meddles along with the rest of the Valentine Volunteers. This review was originally posted on AmongTheReads.net
LillyNook More than 1 year ago
This could have been a good love story. The characters are interesting and likable. It was way too long with reiteration - telling over and over how guilty, grieving, and wounded the two main characters were. I found myself skimming lots of paragraphs that were simply repetition. These are supposed to be Christians, but it takes too long for them to have any victory in their lives.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
This was a really good contemporary romance, full of interesting characters, a beautiful setting, and some deep issues that were holding the main characters back. I enjoyed this sweet story. Sometimes I was frustrated with either Abigail or Jacob for their handling of a situation, however, they both grew throughout the story and all things became clear. I wish there had been an epilogue at the end of the book. I think it would have rounded it out nicely.
KayMKM More than 1 year ago
I’m glad I stuck with this one. I didn’t really get into the novel until the end of Chapter 4—short chapters. I’d heard about this book and knew it was rated highly by some of the bloggers I like, so I was sure I’d enjoy it—and I did like it very much. It’s quite an emotional story and I was able to connect with the characters as if they were real people. So, yes, I was completely pulled into the love story of Abigail and Jacob. One of reasons I enjoyed Paper Hearts so much was the spiritual themes, which play a significant role in the story. I love how the story mirrors real life in that we can see how God always has a best plan and will work things out, if we choose to let Him. I definitely recommend this book if you like contemporary romance.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
The small, touristy, love-obsessed, Rocky Mountain town of Love Park completely captured my imagination. Historic buildings and busy little ladies groups are just the beginning of this community’s charm. The conflicting emotions, meddling grannies, and characters in need of healing forgiveness gave me warm fuzzies and a longing for more Love Park adventures. I won this title in a giveaway. The opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Abigail Pressman loves running her bookstore in the small town of Loves Park. Having basically given up on love, she dedicates her time to running her store and dreams of expanding. When the building that she rents half of the space of goes up for sale, she plans on buying it. But when she is denied the loan she needs to buy the building, the building is sold to Jacob Willoughby, a newcomer in town who plans on turning the whole building into a medical practice - which means Abigail and her bookstore will be kicked out. Meanwhile a group of women who form a group called the Valentine Volunteers recruit Abigail to help them go through letters they receive as part of a tradition in Loves Park, something that Abigail wants nothing to do with. But the Volunteers also convince Abigail not to give up her store without a fight and a way to possibly save her store is found when Abigail discovers a bunch of paper hearts. Jacob Willoughby moves to Loves Park to get a fresh start for himself and his daughter and to get away from a place with painful memories of the past. He finds the perfect building for his new medical practice, but in order to create the practice he plans, he will need the space of the whole building which means he will have to kick Abigail and her store out. But what he doesn't expect is a group of women fighting to keep Abigail's store open. With Jacob crushing Abigail's dreams by forcing her to go out of business and with Jacob struggling to forgive himself about something from his past, neither one expected to start having feelings for each other. However, as they cross paths they discover that they might just be falling in love. But then something happens that might change everything. Paper Hearts is a sweet contemporary romance about two characters who learn to forgive - both each other and themselves, learn to trust in God and His plans for them, and learn what it really means to love. Some parts of the story were humorous. The first couple pages of the book describing Abigail's reaction to her mom signing her up on a dating website without Abigail's knowing had me laughing from the start. Other parts of the story were sad and heart wrenching as we see the characters dealing with their struggles, pains, and emotions. I thought the story and idea behind the paper hearts was sweet and unique. I also loved how the story ended. Overall, Paper Hearts is a heartwarming story that shows that sometimes we need to let go of our broken dreams so that God can lead us to something better. I would be interested in reading more books written by Courtney Walsh in the future. *I received this book for free from Tyndale through Book Fun in exchange for my honest review.
Heather06 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Paper Hearts. I think it shows how we hide ourselves from the world because we are scared of how the world is going to judge us when we are judging ourselves so very harshly. Change is always good. It's too easy to get stuck in a rut and, while it may be hard to change, it is so good to branch out and do other things. Abigail really wants to be loved and have a family but she has hidden herself away in her father's book store telling herself that love is a fairy tale. When her building is sold, she is forced to view herself in a new and different way and she may find that she will learn a thing or two. This was an amazing read and helped me look at myself differently. I received a free copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest review.
KarenKetcham More than 1 year ago
Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh This book was a very pleasant surprise in the fact that I thought it would be light and "fluffy" type of romantic novel but it turned out to be so much more. This book covers several storylines and has well developed characters with lives spent trying to look forward while tied to the past. Only after truly giving their hearts to the Lord for guidance do they see what is right in front of their faces. This is a small town atmosphere (with the exception of a nasty city chick) who we love to "dislike." Everyone knows everything about everybody but there are still a few secrets to go around, especially at the local coffee hangout which is Abigail's bookstore. The local matchmakers called the "Valentine Volunteers" have decided to make Abigail the focus of their efforts to assist Abby's mom in finding her a match. There are fun tangles and deep thought moments. You will love this book! Get comfy with a fave beverage, you won't need a bookmark as you will not want to put it down. Thank you to the author and publisher for the copy of this book I received through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story,greater message.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Paper Hearts is an enjoyable book from start to finish! It has enough of a plot to keep your attention with romance and suspense added. Abigail is running a book store she inherited from her father. The building it is in is sold to a doctor who wants to start a practice. He is planning on taking over her space for his practice. It lends to many bumps along the way. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's works. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
The paper hearts with the private thoughts of a couple make this story so special! What a heart grabbing romantic story! This author did a wonderful job with the hard topic in this book. The hurt, the loss, a new life and starting over. Good, bad, heartbreak, twists and surprises, redemption and romance. This book covers it all and I thought it was a beautiful story of love! I was gifted a copy by The Book Club Network for my honest opinion which I have given.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Paper Hearts is a romance story between two very broken people. Abigail Pressman, who is unlucky in love and now about to lose her business to Dr. Jacob Willoughby, who is a widower with a daughter he is trying to raise and to protect. Growing up in a broken home, Abigail holds on to the one thing her father left for her and that is his book store business. Jacob is a doctor who has just moved into town, trying to escape the secret that he carries concerning his late wife and he intends to open his new medical building in the same building Abigail’s book store is. Starting off on the wrong foot, both are having a hard time of letting go of the past and moving on. Living in a town called Loves Park in which her great, great grandparents are the town founders, Abigail longs for the fairy tale love story. Until Abigail finds a set of paper hearts that a husband and wife have been writing to each other throughout the year. Wanting to know more about their love story and commitment, Abigail finds out this is their eighth year in writing them and sending them to the town. Unfortunately, when more paper hearts are found and then sent, they hint of a tragedy for this couple. After reading the paper hearts, she realizes more about love than she ever thought possible. She no longer wants the fairy tale, but the long lasting love she has been reading about. However, through a series of events: the town finds out about the paper hearts, sides are drawn between Abigail and Jacob, a quirky group of ladies called the Valentine Volunteers try to fix Abigail’s love life, and her mother pushing her to get married, Abigail decides not to hate Jacob after all. In all of this, Abigail is changing and realizing that maybe her dreams were what was holding her back the whole time. When she decides to let go will she be ready for what is awaiting her? I enjoyed this bitter sweet, old fashioned love story that dealt with the deepness of love instead of the superficial. I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
rlighthouse More than 1 year ago
I loved this love story set in Loves Park, CO.   Abigail refuses to let go of the book shop her father left to her but the business is on shaky ground and her plans to eventually expand are shut down when a new man in town buys the building so he can open his doctor's office.  Abigail and the doctor get off on the wrong foot but his new business manager really butts heads with Abigail.  Abigail is invited to join a local women's group who helps keep the romance alive and after failing her first mission she is given an easier task during which she discovers some paper hearts that a husband and wife wrote to each other throughout the year and then mailed to Loves Park.  At the next women's group meeting Abigail is given the rest of the paper hearts received over the years and after accidentally leaving them out at the bookstore they are discovered and the townspeople want to make their own love hearts to hang in the store.  Meanwhile the doctor and Abigail are developing a friendship which is threatened when he discovers his paper hearts that he mailed to Loves Park are hanging in the bookstore for all to see.  I loved reading this love story and seeing the happy endings that came to Abigail, the doctor and his sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable read!
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh is a first-rate romance set in a quaint tourist town, Loves Park, two hours from Denver. The name of the town was inspired by her grandparents’ love story which Abigail Pressman has heard extolled all of her life. Abigail feels that she has let her family legacy down since she is still single with no prospects on the horizon. One failed, very hurtful relationship has curbed her desire to pursue a relationship. In addition, her own father left his family for a new life years ago. He did leave her The Book Nook, the one thing that they had in common. Abigail’s mother, a member of the Loves Park Meat Market Matchmaking Guild, has directed the group to focus on her daughter, Abigail, and they accept the challenge with relish. Enter a handsome doctor who has set his sights on an ideal piece of real estate property for his new medical clinic. The problem is that The Book Nook is located in the other half of the building where he wants his clinic—right in the heart of Old Town. The good doctor has relocated to Loves Park to escape a troubling past and to provide a new start for him and his little girl. It seems to Abigail and to her mother’s extraordinarily quirky, but loyal, friends that the doctor is destroying Abigail’s dream to expand her store and to add an outlet for her creative talent. A female high-pressure business partner begins to steer the doctor into actions and tactics that the Matchmaking Guild highly disapprove, and the town becomes divided. An envelope of paper hearts with endearing messages comes into Abigail’s possession, and she decides to hang these in her store to share them and to promote a Valentine’s Day theme. The doctor’s reticence to discuss his past and Abigail’s disillusionment with love because of her past create a barrier to their understanding and growing attraction. As Abigail discovers more of the hearts, she tries to uncover the story behind them. Will this confirm her doubts or will these hearts rescue her dreams and her future? I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderfully entertaining and satisfying story. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
brighteyesLR More than 1 year ago
Loved this story!! i didn'rt want it to end.
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
This is the story of how life can become full of delightful surprises when one is able to let go of broken dreams. Abigail Pressman is pictured as a victim of those broken dreams with seemingly nothing in her future on which to build a new life. Having inherited a book store from her father, Abigail lives in the interesting, tourist town of Loves Park where all single people find themselves under the microscope of “finding true love” and lovers sense a magic when they visit this enchanting place. The “Valentine Volunteers”, a group of townswomen who keep this spirit of love alive, press Abigail to become part of their group. The result is that she finds a string of hearts written by an anonymous couple and sent to Loves Park every year to keep “love” alive. Being fascinated by them, she puts them up in her store to encourage all couples to share their feelings while she is only an onlooker. Paper Hearts is Abigail’s story as she works through the anguish, hurt, and betrayal from almost everyone in her world. She feels a sense of hopelessness and helplessness to change her situation. Struggling with low self esteem, she considers herself undesirable after being “dumped” by a serious boyfriend and puts all of her energy into The Book Nook. Just when she believes she will be able to broaden her store, the building is bought out from under her and she is given a short time to find another place for her business. To make things more interesting, there is much tension between Abigail and Jacob, the new owner of the building. Neither of them can get the other out of their thoughts, yet neither wants to back down from their own position. It takes many events and soul searching for both of them to find what really counts and brings true joy. I enjoyed this book and felt even more connected to the characters after reading the author’s comments at the end. This story is the author’s own story of how God took her broken dreams and made them into something beautiful just as it is portrayed in the book. I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
Paper Hearts was the first book I have read by Courtney Walsh.  I really enjoyed her style.  It was fun getting to know Abigail and Jacob, and everyone else in the town of Love’s Park.  I think we could all relate to Abigail in lots of different ways.  She had her own style, and was insecure about her looks.  She had family drama, and was always trying to win her mom’s approval.  Abigail had a dream of expanding her father’s bookstore and she couldn’t wait to make it happen.  The only problem was finding the money.  When her landlady decides to sell there is nothing Abigail can do but deal with her new landlord.  Jacob is handsome and has his own plans for the building.  Can Abigail show Jacob how important her little shop is to the town before it’s too late?  After she gets roped into being part of a volunteer group she can’t help but start believing in love again.  Were Jacob and Abigail made for each other?  Or will the building stand in their way?  Take a little trip to Love’s Park to find love and friendship in the most unlikely places.   I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys some good old fashioned romance with some surprises mixed in.  I laughed out loud and Walsh brought tears to my eyes other times.  You will really enjoy this book, I know I did.  I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Fiction in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.  
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
What a fun read! I was immediately drawn into this book. You know you have a good book in your hands when you feel like you are getting acquainted with new friends. This book played out like a movie in my head. With Abigail’s insecurities and her wounds from the past to Jacob’s desire to provide for his daughter. But honestly, I think it was the Valentine Volunteers that stole the show for me. What a great group of ladies I would love to hang out with. This book truly has it all, laughter, romance, just the right amount of tension and misunderstandings, even the mystery of the paper hearts Abigail is finding. I seem to be especially drawn to books that take place in a bookstore, I just love the cozy feeling it gives me. If you are looking for a good contemporary romance look no further than Paper Hearts. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I was immediately drawn to this book and knew it would be a story I would love. The adorable cover captured my attention first and then I watched the book trailer and it sealed the deal. Love it! I knew Paper Hearts was a must-read for me and I wasn’t disappointed. Paper Hearts is a heartwarming story and a sigh-worthy romance! I loved the charm of the small town of Loves Park, Colorado, and its colorful residents. I also enjoyed the Valentine Volunteers and their matchmaking efforts. With endearing characters, an enchanting storyline, and a lovely Valentine tradition, Paper Hearts captured my heart and left me grinning from ear to ear! I highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance and can’t wait to read more from Courtney Walsh. I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up Paper Hearts, I thought I would be reading a light, fluffy romantic novel, with little substance. Was I ever wrong! Yes, it is a romantic novel with some lighthearted characters, but it is so much more. It is a story of broken dreams, the imperfections of love, and it even addresses mental health issues. Quite a lot to pack into a romantic novel. Abigail Pressman has lived all her life in Loves Park, Colorado. She runs a quaint book store in town and has hopes of expanding to include local art and some of her refurbished furniture. When her landlady decides to retire and sell the building, Abigail thinks God is opening the door to the fulfillment of her dream. What she didn’t count on is the bank refusing to loan her the money and a doctor with cash wanting to buy the building to open a new practice. The doctor is a single parent trying to start over from some unknown tragedy. He has employed the ruthless Kelly to help get his business off the ground. Kelly does not care whose toes she steps on in the process and also seems to have designs on the doctor for herself. Upon the scene come the quirky members of the Valentine Volunteers who under the guise of enlisting Abigail’s assistance in the town’s project of directing the many love enquiries, seek to match her with her perfect mate. In the process, Abigail comes across boxes of valentines written over several years by a very loving couple. As she puts these on display in her store, she begins to trust maybe there is such a thing as true love. Can her situation be rectified without destroying the doctor? Is there someone who knows everyone’s secrets and is trying to give them all a push in the right direction. I loved this book. I read it in two days. The characters ranged from delightful to very sympathetic to heartbreaking. The villain received the proper amount of bad press. It got way past the average light love story. It addressed some real issues. Hopefully, the ladies in my book club will enjoy it as well. There is much to discuss and to enjoy about Paper Hearts. I received this from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion
thedeena63 More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Courtney's storytelling with her Sweethaven series (if you haven't read them, oh are you missing out!) So when I found her new novel was coming, I put it on every wish list I had, and bought my copy on release day! Yay me! "Paper Hearts" did not disappoint. The story was emotionally powerful and the characters easy to love. Well, with one exception. I wanted to give Kelly a good old smack...in Jesus' name. She got on my last nerve and then some. Abigail and Jacob are so broken, which is sad but makes them so appealing to the reader. They both are searching for something, and it's the tradition of the paper hearts that ultimately brings them together. I felt for Abigail. Being wounded by love is so painful, but to be doubly wounded is tragic. Her heart is so closed off, but she has so much to offer. She's invited...or coerced...into joining the most unique group: The Valentine Volunteers. What a bunch! And what strong personalities! Plus, can you imagine growing up with a mother named "Teensy"? Sure, it's a nickname that stuck, but ohmyword.... Jacob is a martyr extraordinaire, and with good reason as we find out later in the book. His daughter Junie is a delightful character, and thank God for his sister Kate. She comes with her own issues, but she plays a huge part in Abigail's life, as well as Jacob's. I absolutely loved this book! It's release is just in time for Valentine's Day (NOW!), and it's sure to warm your heart in this cold, cold winter! I'm so glad I got my copy, and "Paper Hearts" is going on my keeper shelf! Highly recommended.