This book revolves around Theo – Giles Winchester’s best friend and the doctor for Oak Stanton, the small village that borders the Earl’s estate, and Grace – a woman trying to learn how to breathe again after being caught in a scandal. It is a stand alone novel but does include all the characters from the previous book.
Once there, a tentative friendship blooms between Grace and Theo Elliott, the local doctor, who has already resolved to be the man to unlock her heart.
Just when happiness appears to be within her grasp, her erstwhile tormentor once again stalks Grace. After a failed kidnap attempt, the duke’s quest culminates in an acrimonious confrontation, and the reason for his venal pursuit becomes agonisingly clear.
It was also a chance to explore whether, with a sympathetic ear offered by someone who understood trauma – albeit in a different sphere – a victim of abuse might be able to overcome, or at least learn how to cope with it. The recent Napoleonic wars had resulted in many returned veterans being debilitated by battle fatigue, something most, including the sufferers, did not understand. While I accept that domestic violence is not the same thing, reactions might not be dissimilar. Certain circumstances provoking an unconscious reflex – a smell, an image, even a sound, acting as a trigger – like the crack of a whip cracking, resembling a gun being fired. Trauma is trauma, it is the causes which differ, not necessarily the effects. Theo, who witnessed the horrors of war first hand, was part of a group of doctors dedicated to helping soldiers overcome the horrors of the battlefield. He would doubtless be aware that Grace could reap the benefits of this form of therapy. Interestingly, both Theo’s expertise and Grace’s experience proved valuable in the last two books of this series.
To Unlock Her Heart is available worldwide on kindle and in paperback, from Amazon.
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