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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Playing Catch Up! Heart's Desire by T.J. Kline

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch U
p Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

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Heart's Desire (Healing Harts #1) by T.J. Kline
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Avon

If you could have anything, do anything… what would it be?

Jessie Hart has a soft spot for healing the broken, especially horses and children, but her business is failing and bankruptcy is looming. The one man who can save Heart Fire Ranch is the last man she wants to take advice from—financial expert Nathan Kerrington, the same man who broke her heart eight years ago.

Nathan Kerrington has it all, except the one thing he wanted most—Jessie. Now that he’s finally freed himself from his corrupt family, he wants to make amends. When he’s called in to save Jessie’s ranch, he sees his chance to win her back—if only he can prove to her that she can trust him with her heart…

Heart's Desire is the first book in the Healing Harts series by T.J. Kline. Jessie has no faith in her abilities. She knows her gift is with horses, but she still feels insignificant because she doesn't know how to keep the business going. It doesn't help that her brother called in Nathan, the guy she loved, who loved her, and left her when she was a teenager. That was a big blow to her self esteem, and that insecurity leached to other areas in her life as time when on. Their story was emotional, and they have a lot of baggage to work through. This was an entertaining start to a new series, and I'm curious about the next book.

Heart's Desire by T.J. Kline was kindly provided to me for review. The opinions are my own.

“I came to apologize, Jess. I shouldn’t have said those things.”
She ignored the way her nickname slid easily from his lips or the way it made her heart trip over her ribs and start fluttering like a baby bird learning to take flight. She’d quit buying into romantic notions a long time ago thanks to him. Now, if only she could convince her body to let them go. She set the rake against the wall and walked into the aisle way.
“It’s Jessie. Jessie. We are not friends, remember?”
His green eyes flashed, the golden flecks lighting them from within, and she saw frustration in the set of his jaw. “No?”
“No. Let’s keep our roles in perspective. You’re the financial genius here to do a favor for my brother, and I’m just his idiot little sister who bought your load of crap years ago and can’t manage to keep this ranch afloat now.”
His long strides ate the distance between them in seconds but she stood her ground, staring up at him, daring him to argue. His lips were tight, set in a grim line and a deep crease lined his perfect brow. She wanted to back away, but years of working with her father wouldn’t allow her to show any signs of intimidation. Cowgirl up, she recited the mantra in her head, although not nearly as confidently as she usually did.
“Don’t do that,” he ordered, staring down into her eyes, his voice quiet but insistent.
She could feel the heat emanating from him as sparks of desires burst in her chest, sending shivers over her skin. She tried to control it, to stop herself from trembling at his nearness but she couldn’t stop her breath from catching in her throat. “Don’t do what?” Her voice was a hoarse whisper.
“Don’t belittle yourself. You are far more than that. You’ve always been more than that to me.” His hands grasped her upper arms and he dipped his head toward her, his eyes never leaving hers. “You’re a talented, kind, giving, passionate woman.”
It wasn’t what Jessie expected. His words were a balm to her chapped and aching heart, exactly what she needed to hear, but she knew she couldn’t let him break past her walls. Who knew what damage he could cause her heart when he left again. She’d barely managed to piece together the shards last time. She pressed her hands against his chest, intending to push him away from her, but he gently circled her wrists with his fingers. Their eyes locked and she refused to be the first to look away.
“Nathan.” She meant for it to be a warning but it came out sounding more like a plea.
“What, Jess?”
He placed his palms over the back of her hands and twined his fingers between hers. His touch made her weak and she felt a wave of need break over her, threatening to drown her. She’d been so in love with him, and it had left a gaping hole in her, one she’d never managed to fill, not even with her work.
Nathan walked her backward until she felt the stall behind her. With the hard wall of his body pressing against the front of her, pinning their hands between them, there was nowhere for her to escape the explosion of yearning that began in the middle of her chest, spreading outward, heating her and leaving her breathless. Every inhalation filled her with the scent of his expensive cologne, reminding her again how out of place he was. He didn’t belong here. But seeing the desire in his eyes, feeling it in every inch of him pressing up against her, made Jessie want to wrap her legs around his waist and let him take her right here in the barn.
She couldn’t possibly feel this way about him again. She couldn’t imagine feeling any other way about him. She needed this man. Not just wanted him, needed him, and that scared the crap out of her.
He was going to kiss her, and she was going to melt under his touch. There was no doubt in her mind. If that happened, she was a goner. Because, for her, this wasn’t about sex, this was about how Nathan made her feel, how he’d always made her feel – understood and validated and worthy. The only other time Jessie felt that way was when she worked with her horses.
How had this man recognized the weakness in her, buried deeply, and unearthed it so easily? Panic set in. She had to protect herself. She couldn’t let Nathan in, couldn’t let him get close again. She shoved against his hands, using her body to knock him off balance, backward against the handles of the wheelbarrow and into the bucket.
“You can finish the stalls.”
She ran out of the barn, refusing to look back at the man trying to piece together a full sentence from where he landed, inside a wheelbarrow full of fresh horse manure.

T. J. KLINE was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as much time as possible, laughing hysterically, with her husband, teens and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn’t running around the Gold Country of California researching new stories.

To learn more about T.J. Kline and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

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