Review: The Hungry Heart by Brenda Gayle

the hungry heart book coverPublisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1612174068
Pages: 324
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3.5
Age recommendation: Young adult, Adult

Child advocate Nora Cross doesn’t have time for the private cooking lesson her sister won at a charity auction. Hunter Graham, the young chef, is the last person she needs telling her she’s forgotten how to have fun. So why can’t she get the very hot, very eligible man off her mind? After a stellar debut in New York City, Hunter’s back in Santa Fe to open a new restaurant. He lives a charmed life and he knows it. He isn’t interested in a workaholic who’s glued to her smart phone. So why is he trying to convince Nora to relax and enjoy life–with him? When Nora’s apartment and office are ransacked, Hunter comes to her rescue, surprised to find himself playing knight-in-shining-armor to the uptight executive. But when it becomes clear Nora is no random target, Hunter realizes he’ll do anything to keep her safe.


I wasn’t instantaneously hooked on to The Hungry Heart. The first 50 or so pages did not captivate my attention or interest me as much as I thought they would. Thankfully, the story picked up and I was satisfied by the time I completed it.

Strangely, I have been reading many stories involving characters with similar personalities as Nora and Hunter – the laid-back playboy with the serious woman. As always, the interactions between characters with this two personalities are amusing and entertaining. Of course, Hunter is my favorite character. With his funny quips and heart-winning tactics, it is difficult not to like him.

The mystery made this romance difference from the others I’ve read. It is an added dimension to the plot of Hunter’s relationship with Nora. I like the way it is not just a sub-theme in the story. Initially, the couple’s relationship is the main highlight in The Hungry Heart. Then, when things begin to go wrong, the mystery takes up the spotlight. In the end, both blend in together to create a well-mixed mystery romance read.

About the author

brenda gayle authorBrenda Gayle has been a writer all her life but returned to her love of writing fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communication—although some might argue there was plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too.  A fan of many genres, she is drawn to contemporary romance and enjoys writing deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.  Her first book, Soldier for Love, was a recommended read by a number of reviewers. Her new book, The Hungry Heart, is the first in her Heart’s Desire series, which chronicles the difficult road to finding love and family acceptance for the three Graham cousins. Brenda lives in eastern Ontario with her wonderful husband, two fabulous children, two Siberian Huskies, a rescued cat, and assorted aquatic wildlife. Visit Brenda’s website at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author through Novel Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Posted on October 6, 2012, in Book Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Lovely review! Interesting to see how the story grew on you, and everything you liked or didn’t like so much about it.

  2. Great review, Evangeline. I’m really excited to start reading The Hungry Heart later this week, and your review just escalates that excitement! Thank you for being part of this tour, and please take a moment to cross-post your lovely review to Amazon and GoodReads.

    Em 😀

  3. Thanks for reviewing The Hungry Heart. I’m glad you enjoyed the mystery aspect to the story.

  4. I have never read a romance with a mystery, which would make this read very unique. Thanks for sharing!

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