Haunted Heart is a touching and romantic story about forgiveness and starting over. Carolyn Rosewood is a new-to-me author, and I really enjoyed her writing style. She has a talent for bringing the reader into her characters' lives. The heroine of the story is Rowena Sommers, a costume designer from Los Angeles. Rowena is in a very bad place in her life. She has just won a lawsuit against her cheating actor boyfriend who destroyed her career. In an attempt to escape the gossip magazines, she returns to her small hometown in Ohio.
Unfortunately for Rowena, she does not get the warm "welcome home" she was hoping for. Just about everyone in Creek Ridge sees her as the uppity Hollywood-type who just won a truckload of money from a rich actor. Everyone except contractor Van Whitney. Van and Rowena were childhood friends until Van pulls a hurtful prank in high school driving a wedge between them. Now she's back in town, and Van is hoping for her forgiveness - and a job restoring her aunt's house. She reluctantly agrees to hire him for the job, but forgiving him is another matter.
The situation becomes more complicated when a ghost hunter shows up at Rowena's door pressuring her to let him investigate the house. Rowena doesn't believe in ghosts, but when some unusual and unexplainable things start happening in her house, she is very concerned. In addition, her ex-boyfriend Brett Fontaine continues to add grief to her life. The only person she trusts to turn to for help is Van.
The title of this book fits perfectly with the story. Haunted Heart is more than just the mystery surrounding the eerie happenings inside Rowena's house. On a deeper level, it's about Rowena and Van being haunted by their pasts, and their own hearts being burdened with a lot of pain. I really got pulled into the story by these two characters. Their relationship felt very real given their history and the current situation. Despite their rocky past, Rowena and Van had passionate chemistry between them. As a bonus, Van turned out to be my favorite type of hero - strong and sexy, of course, but with just a touch of vulnerability underneath it all. Irresistible.
Haunted Heart is a very sexy romance, suspenseful mystery and a touching "second chances" story. I give it 4 out of 5 stars!