Author: Susan Anne Mason
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Redemption's Light #1
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Homeless after being released from a women's reformatory in 1939 Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.
Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love--until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.
Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He'll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he's immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.
Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia's secrets destroy any chance at a future together?
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Set in Toronto, Canada around 1940, A Haven for Her Heart is a poignant, heart-wrenching story of redemption, forgiveness, and healing. Based on actual happenings, this story is a little grittier than Susan Anne Mason’s other books, but she writes sensitively about the horrors that happened to some young women who were incarcerated at a reformatory for women.
Upon her release from the reformatory, Olivia Rosetti is trying to restart her life, but no one will hire her. Destitute and ill, she is befriended by Ruth Bennington who gives her a place to stay. Together they plan to open a maternity home for women who have nowhere to go. I admired Olivia’s pluck and compassion for those down on their luck.
Darius Reed is a wonderful, caring hero. A Greek widower, he wants to raise his young daughter as a Canadian and combat prejudice. With his integrity conflicting with his employer, he has some big decisions to make.
With these two engaging, emotionally-layered main characters, and a wonderful cast of colorful secondary characters, Mason has created a captivating and gripping story that kept me turning pages. Faith elements are seamlessly incorporated into the storyline and add depth and dimension to the tale. This is the first book in Mason’s Redemption’s Light series, and I’m anxiously waiting for the rest of the series.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Susan Anne Mason delivers another stellar book with A Haven for Her Heart, the first book in the Redemption's Light series.
The author has opened my eyes to the horrors some women endured in Canada during the '30s. That we even had such a law in place that encouraged arresting women on the charge of being "incorrigible" (unmarried, pregnant, and under the age of 21) angered me more than I can say.
Olivia Rosetti is the main character in this moving story based on a real person who endured the horrors of prison, medical experimentation, abuse and starvation, all while pregnant. Sent to the Mercer Reformatory for Women by the hands of her father, Olivia endured so much at the hand of others she feared her child would die before it was born. Instead, he lived, but was taken from his mother without her consent. As a Toronto native, I found it shocking to discover that a place like Mercer Reformatory for Women existed until 1969! I was so angry for Olivia (and the real person she was based on) that I immediately began researching Mercer Reformatory.
Fortunately, Olivia takes her horrible experience and turns into something useful. With God's intervention, she is sent a rescuer by the name of Ruth Bennington. Together they open a maternity home to help women who find themselves homeless, pregnant and without options.
At first, everything seems like an answer to prayer, but then Darius Reed shows up, representing his boss, who wants to buy Ruth's house and will stop at nothing to get it. Of course, he is immediately attracted to Olivia, whom he thinks is a volunteer with the maternity home. The attraction is mutual, but how will Darius react when he learns Olivia's full story?
This is a redemption story that will move you to tears for so many reasons. I look forward to the next book in this series and highly recommend it.
I received this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley.
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