Megan’s health changes drastically with a heart transplant, yet she still feels unable to challenge herself. When she meets the donor’s parents, who share their daughter’s diary, she decides to fulfill the girl’s bucket list of traveling desires. Her mother is horrified, her father supportive, and her twin sister Crystal asking to go with her to resolve their estrangement and remove herself from her own problems. The destinations exceed Megan’s expectations and the journey allows the sister to open up to each other, enabling Crystal to fully become her own person, not merely part of her sick sister’s support system.
This is a lovely story of a family in a years-long limbo waiting for a gift from a stranger, the situation stifling the organic evolution of a sibling relationship. Complicated emotions build tensions to a breaking point, and a growing friendship between heart transplant recipients is presented well.
I received a digital ARC through NetGalley. Note that this is a Christian novel (I missed that tag).
Dr. Nikhil Johsi has spent the last two years drowning his grief in gin and bourbon, barely maintaining his position as cruise ship doctor, graciously offered him by an old friend, and a lifetime away from Doctors Without Borders. Then he spies his dead wife on the ship. The mystery deepens when he learns who it really is and why she’s taunting him. Dr. Nic comes back to life to resolve this further mystery and finally aid in finding his wife’s true killer. The language in this novel is surprisingly a bit rough—a well-educated doctor using the term “crapper.” The love interest is a complicated, emotionally repressed, chorus dancer who is a single mom, a vulnerable woman caught up in an impossible situation, and she steals the story. Dr. Nic’s wife Jen inserts her own voice at the beginning of each chapter, which brilliantly sets her apart, yet maintains her space in the crux of the tale.
Though the novel is essentially a romance, the storyline exposes an ugly underground network of murder for organ theft. Dev conveniently leaves the case open enough for the reader to desire the next book, A Distant Heart, where she continues the investigation and shares another romance, with characters from this book, familiar to the reader, who is already invested in them. Kudos, Sonali!
Thank you, Sonali Dev, for this book gift as a giveaway in a Facebook group.