Friday, May 3, 2013

Defiant Heart, Marty Steere (4.5 stars)

About Defiant Heart
(from the author's website)

Two extraordinary characters. 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 mayor’s daughter. 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 through the efforts of 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.

Read a sample.


In the midst of an escalating World War II, Jon loses everything dear to him in a tragic accident. He is sent to live in a small Indiana town with his only remaining relative, a grandmother who refused to acknowledge him before then. The townspeople for the most part aren't any more accepting.

Then he meets Mary, and things start to look up. She's smart and beautiful but she's also the mayor's daughter. And the mayor wants to run for a higher office. The last thing he wants is his daughter with a boy like Jon. His machinations to keep them apart, coupled with the anger of the boy Mary turned down, lead to a tragedy--one that sends Jon to war and leaves Mary fighting for her life. Can they find their way back to each other in time?

When Jon goes to war and Mary's life hangs in the balance, the story goes from a heart-wrenching coming of age story to a wartime love story. I had such an emotional attachment to what happened to these characters, and the story took me on quite the journey. These two young teenagers face tragedies many adults couldn't overcome and then head into war and face further loss, but all the while they show strength way beyond their years.

I highly recommend this book to readers who want to invest their heart in a character-driven love story. Plus, the story will appeal to history buffs. As the book summary states so well... 

Two extraordinary characters. 
One unforgettable love story.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Marty Steere
(from GoodReads)

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 practices law. His first novel, Sea of Crises, was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012. His second novel, Defiant Heart, was released on April 15, 2013.

Find more information on his website, Facebook, and GoodReads.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.


Teena in Toronto said...

I enjoyed this book.

Tia Bach said...

Glad you did, Teena. I'm going to hope over and read your review now. Thanks for sharing!