Author - Marty Steere
Publisher: Penfield Press (April 15, 2013)
Category: Historical Fiction, WWII, General Fiction
Tour Dates: April-Mid May, 2013
Available in: eBook, 385, and paperback.
Amazon UK // Amazon US //
Set against the backdrop of small town America on the eve of World War II, Defiant Heart features two extraordinary characters and one unforgettable love story.
In the spring of 1941, young Jon Meyer’s family dies in a tragic accident, and he is sent to live in a small Indiana town. He arrives to find himself unwanted and shunned.
Mary Dahlgren is the daughter of the town’s mayor. A pretty girl, she could have the pick of the boys in town, including Vernon King, the star of the vaunted high school basketball team. To the chagrin of her friends, though, Mary has always been more interested in books than boys. That is, until she meets Jon.
But Jon and Mary are kept apart by an insidious campaign orchestrated by Mary’s father, who perceives their relationship a threat to his political aspirations, and Vernon, to whom Jon is a rival for Mary’s affections. For months Jon is subjected to a painful ostracism. Then, just when the young man’s earnestness and perseverance begin to win over many of the townsfolk and it appears that love may conquer all, tragedy strikes.
As the country is caught up in war, so too are the young lovers swept up in events beyond their control, leaving both fighting for their very lives. If, against the odds, they are to be together, each will need to find the strength, the courage and the resourcefulness that beat only in a defiant heart.
It has been quite a while since a book brought me to tears; made me laugh and made me angry. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It wasn't just a book of romance it was so much more and a great wartime fiction novel.
I loved the main character Jon Meyer. Sadly he lost his parents and brother in a car accident and was sent to stay with a grandmother he hardly knew who seemed to resent him being there. It seemed that life would get harder for him, and you start feeling sorry for him for the word go. Jon then fell in love with Mary but her Father, in fear of scandal, refused to let her see him as it may destroy his political career. He was bullied at school by Vernon, the sports star, and his gang of followers. Through it all though, he retained his dignity and came across as a really strong character who could triumph through adversity.
There were some other great characters in the book. Ben Wheeler, a local pilot, who took Jon under his wing. Ben's own son was away in the military; His English teacher at the school and Walt who worked in the local hardware store, where Jon got a job and then lost it. Mary is also a great character who comes across as strong and determined to get her man.
After being accused of a crime he didn't commit, Jon's punishment was to be sent away to join the army. This left Mary heartbroken as she had continued to see Jon in secret. The war scenes in the book are extremely well written and moving. Quite horrific in parts. Jon proved himself to be a great role model throughout the book and was extremely likeable.
I could write so much more about this book, but don't want to give away the plot line. I had a job to put it down, but had to when I realised I'd been reading all evening and I only had 4 hours left before I had to get up for work. Needless to say I finished it in two sittings. I would certainly love to read other books by this author as I love the depth he gave his characters. One of his other books is previewed at the end of the e-book and I will certainly be buying it.
** I received this book free of charge in order to provide a review. This did not influence my review in anyway **
About Marty Steere:
The son of a career air force officer, Marty Steere grew up on or near military installations across the country and overseas before settling in Southern California, where, when he’s not writing, he practises law. His debut novel, Sea of Crises, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012.
Marty Steere’s Website
Defiant Heart on Goodreads
Also from Marty Steere:-
“Steere’s high-octane suspense tale takes off with all the intrigue and honor of the best space-age Westerns and political thrillers.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Steere’s assured prose is compelling, and the book’s intriguing plot will keep readers turning pages until the very end.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Author Marty Steere is brilliant!… The action is non-stop and fast-paced and is mixed with just the right amount of mystery to make a perfect thriller…. [The] plot is plausible, the characters are realistic, and the writing is superb…so stunning a read that you will be unable to stop reading until the very end.”—Readers Favorite
“Sea of Crises is a mystery set amongst exploration, very highly recommended.”—The Midwest Book Review
“Marty Steere’s Sea of Crises drew me in, held me at the edge, and gave my hand a comforting squeeze when I couldn’t stand to see what happened next. This is a thriller with heart that will leave its readers satisfied they followed the Cartwright boys into a dangerous adventure.” —BookIdeas.com
“[P]ulse-pounding…. I highly recommend you check out Marty Steere’s novel Sea of Crises!”—BestsellersWorld.com
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