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Masonville #2

To Heal a Heart

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Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

340 pages, ebook

Published June 15, 2020

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About the author

Jana Richards

27 books778 followers
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there's nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an bookkeeper, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies like golf (which she does very badly) and reading (which she does much better).

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren.
Contact her at:

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Maria.
1,638 reviews29 followers
June 2, 2020
Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review
4.5 stars.
“To Heal a Heart”, by Jana Richards (The Wild Rose Press), is a lovely romance, a pleasure to read, with wonderful, relatable characters and an amazingly realistic and well written wounded hero.
The romance between Garrett and Blair is sweet and the way they reconnect and the attraction grows so believable.
Above all, I think Jana Richards wrote superbly Garret’s problems adapting to civilian life, the social anxiety, the fears and nightmares, and how his physical wound implies a new self-image, way of thinking and doing things. And all these issues matter to the plot.
The care and attention depicting how he deals with all this, the adaptation and doing things differently required in several tasks (doing something as basic as sitting in a tight table), is just amazing and shows a lot of research by the author on these matters. It’s rare to find a disability so interwoven with the plot and it’s such a great contrast to all those fishy wounded heroes who move like supermen after their injuries…
I loved the story, the setting and all the characters. Perhaps the professional path to Garrett came a bit too easily, but he and Blair had so much pain in the past and they surely deserve happiness.
Profile Image for Shirley Goldberg.
Author 6 books424 followers
April 4, 2021
To Heal A Heart Jana Richards' story of two people who were meant to be together but don't trust their own gut feelings grabbed me. The grab was a gradual deepening awareness of the depth of the story, the realization that the characters held secrets. Secrets are lethal because when we have them, we can't open up to even the people who are most important in our lives.

One of the strengths of this author is her ability to make her minor characters come alive. That includes the grandfather, friends of the main characters, and yes, the animals. Horses and dogs are important characters too, and it was heartening to discover and follow the subplots that made the main story strong and relatable.

I have never had friends suffering from PTSD. (Not that I recall.) This book surprised me. I came to understand so much about PTSD from the skilled way the author presented these characters and the demons they battled.

Five stars for this story! First, someone gets what they deserve. (I'm using "they" because I don't want any spoilers in this review) Second, bravo for a powerful and satisfying ending and for wrapping up all the threads. I'm sure there will be another book in the Masonville series. Looking forward.
Profile Image for Char (1RadReader59).
2,075 reviews9 followers
June 24, 2020
This is a well thought out complex story that pulls you right in. Richards’ characters are funny and multi-layered. Like us all, the characters have issues. Some are at the surface, it the ones that can’t we can’t hide, the underbellies, they are the most interesting.

You will meet a cast of characters that is for sure but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. Our, main character, Blair, the h has a whopper set of parents. Well, her brothers and grandpa are great. You see she is the only though in Masonville, North Dakota caring for grandpa. Bad ticker as they used to say.

Garrett is the love interest since she was fifteen and hung with her brothers and never even noticed her. This time when they meet like did, only on summer breaks, they have no clue who the other is. Garrett’s injury in the line of duty so left the Marines looking harsh. Blair, it seems grew up and filled in.

Their meeting was over a misunderstanding on Blair’s part. In this case, it turns out to be a very good thing. One that changes both their lives forever.

I give this: 5++++ stars. Provide by netgalley.com. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com
Profile Image for Lisa Pichner.
233 reviews6 followers
February 26, 2021
A must read

This is my first read from Ms. Richards and I absolutely loved it.
To Heal the Heart was a fantastic read.
I laughed, ugly cried and really enjoyed Garrett and Blair story.
This was a emotional roller-coaster for me I really related to Blairs story.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantastic read with some emotional turns that leaves you with a feel good feeling after reading.
Profile Image for JoAnne.
1,074 reviews62 followers
March 7, 2021
A story dealing with some strong issues and about learning to trust again. A well woven love story that is heartwarming and emotional. I highly reccomend this one. Very well written.
Profile Image for Barbara.
16.6k reviews8 followers
June 15, 2020
The second book in The Masonville Series a well written story that kept me turning pages. Blair Greyson has buried something from her past down deep believing she will not be able to ever forgive herself for what happened. She meets Garrett Saunders a damaged Vet. can she get over the past and let herself find love? Read this book to find out. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
2,741 reviews4 followers
June 16, 2020
Garrett is back home in rural North Dakota, but the horrors of his time in Afghanistan are still with him. Alcohol has become his drug of choice when he needs to forget. He rescues a broken down horse from the auction, realizing later that he doesn't have the space or patience to nurse Harry back to good health. Blair is back in Masonville to care for her elderly grandfather and his farm. Her job in town provides her with enough to care for her rescue horses. They make a trade that's beneficial to both of them - he'll work to help get the old barn ready for winter, and she'll board Harry, and feed Garrett while he's working. This story sucked me right away - from the moment I began reading, I couldn't put it down. The book is so emotional, with ugly tears on my part, some happy, some sad. The characters are flawed, and the setting is perfect. Garrett and Blair both live with horrendous guilt feelings - for different reasons, but both are heartbreaking. And both of them have erected huge walls around their lives and hearts. Once they begin to truly trust each other, those walls start to come down, and the love they find is total and all-encompassing. They both open their hearts to others in need of a place to heal, and I love the vision that her brother has. Everett showed more loving toward Blair than her parents ever did, and she did what she could to repay him. Damon and Ben, Blair's brothers, each have their own stories that are tough to deal with, yet the bond that these three siblings have with each other is beautiful. Their parents are self-absorbed and concerned with appearances, and what her mother forced Blair to do is unforgivable. The animals are all unique and funny, each in their own way, making a nice contribution to this story. The first book that I read from this author was a nice enough book, but this is the book that will move hearts, and stay with me for a long time.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Kailyn Cloutier.
15 reviews
August 20, 2020
** I received a complimentary copy of this book via Voracious Readers Only **

I give this book 3.5 stars.

This book falls in the middle of the road for me. It was fine, and I otherwise don't have particularly strong feelings about it, whether negative or positive. I'm going to preface this by stating that I'm likely not the target audience for this book. I don't often read romance—sometimes I do and it totally works for me, but most romances, especially ones set in the real world, don't really appeal to my values and preferences. So, I'll try to review this book from a slightly more objective place.

The book was well written, and overall it was a pretty easy and smooth read. It maintains a good pace, although towards the middle it was dragging a bit. The narrative had enough moving parts to keep it interesting, and it never felt convoluted or too complicated. The characters, for the most part, are likeable, though some are better fleshed out than others. I will say that in terms of the two protagonists, I preferred Garrett over Blair. Blair often felt like she was very stubbornly holding the story back, and she was a big source of the pacing issues towards the middle of the book. I can say that there was chemistry between the two leads, which of course is the main requirement of any romance. The antagonist/s weren't very strong characters and their appearance was brief; ultimately the story wouldn't have changed a whole lot if they'd never made an appearance.

So while this didn't evoke any particularly strong feelings in me, I gave it an extra half star because I know that those who are really into this genre will likely eat this up. It's a very uplifting story, and if you're looking for something sappy and heartfelt with a little bit of spice tossed in, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book. This felt akin to a Nicholas Sparks novel—based on what I know about Nicholas Sparks novels, anyway—so if those are your thing, you might want to check this out.
December 4, 2020
If I had to choose one word to summarize this story then I’d choose the word, heartwarming. This was an inspiring and uplifting book.

The hero, Garrett, and the heroine, Blair, are both tragically broken. One can only wonder how they could ever move forward and each let their past demons go. They both believed they didn’t deserve each other. I’m serious when I say this plot had the potential to be a head banger but it pleasantly wasn’t. There were other characters i.e.: family/friends that were all different kinds of messed up in their own way that the focus wasn’t entirely the leading characters repeating how they had no future he/she deserved better. There was involvement or intervention from both sides encouraging them to open their eyes and hearts; to grab the opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes or successes. The title of the book was very appropriate for Clair and Garrett as they healed each other’s hearts.

Blair and Garrett’s love for each other was eloquently written. One could imagine and feel the struggle and couldn’t help but cheer them on. The chemistry was there between them. It took some time for them to surrender to it, which leads my sharing that the pace of the story was a bit slow for me. The first page was gripping but as the story progressed it was like riding an emotional roller-coaster.

This is book two in the Masonville series. I didn’t read the first one and didn’t feel like I needed to. Because of that, I’d say that To Heal a Heart can be read as a standalone. This story was three hundred and twenty nine pages. I think it has the making to be made into a Hallmark movie.

Blair’s grandfather is a stable character who had an impact on his family and his community. It was gut-wrenching that he didn’t get to see the ending as the reader did. To Heal a Heart was a dramatic contemporary romance that has the potential to touch many reader’s lives. For that reason I sincerely recommend this book.
Profile Image for D.V. Stone.
Author 11 books234 followers
June 1, 2020
To Heal a Heart made me laugh and cry in turn.
From the opening line, you’re drawn into the nightmare our brave men and women in service to our country deal with.
Garrett Saunders has returned from war missing not only part of his leg but part of his soul. While assisting his veterinarian brother-in-law, he’s drawn to a poor abused horse that touches him somewhere deep down. For some inexplicable reason, he’s compelled to rescue the horse from an auctioneer’s sale its future—horsemeat.
Veterinarian technician Blair Greyson has returned to the family’s farm both to assisted her elderly grandfather and to maybe find peace for her heart from a long-ago loss. She brings her two rescued horses with her and finds a job at the local veterinary hospital. But peace is hard to come by when you come across a broken-down horse and an angry man. Add to that, the farm is falling into disrepair, money is tight, and grandpa’s health is precarious.
Though the attraction between Garrett and Blair sparks early in the story, they both have issues with intimacy. Garrett has body issues from the loss of his leg and PTSD. Blair has her own struggles and though attracted to him, won’t let him into her damaged heart. My own heart ached at these two characters’ struggles.
To Heal a Heart is a lovely story about how broken hearts and spirits are never a lost cause. With hard work, horses, dogs, family, and friends surrounding them, Garrett and Blair find the determination and hope to get them through. They join together to not only help each other, but they also open their arms to people and animals who are suffering.
I highly recommend this book. Just make sure you have tissues at hand.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,782 followers
July 14, 2020
Garrett Saunders' world shattered two years ago when he was serving in Afghanistan. Aimless, he finds purpose in the eyes of a horse on his way to the slaughterhouse. He hasn't a clue how to care for the horse and when the horse runs away, Garrett runs into Blair Greyson. She gives him an earful on the mistreatment of his horse and it's only later, she apologizes. She offers to board his horse at her grandfather's farm in exchange for him helping with repairs on the farm. The more he's around Blair, the more he realizes there's more to life than bemoaning a future that isn't a possibility anymore. Set on a new path, he sees a future with her but she's hiding secrets of her own. Can he help her see past her guilt and regret to a future with him?

To Heal A Heart is a gut-wrenching emotional story about healing after a great loss and learning to cope with a disability. The intricate detail Jana Richards describes the emotional strain Garrett experiences after losing his leg in combat shows her immense research on the subject. From the very beginning, my heart broke for Garrett. My heart also went out to Blair as she's dealing with her own demons. Brilliantly portrayed and added to the depth of the story. The romance was well done without it being too angsty. The plot moves at a good pace and I was a little sad when it ended. Even though it is book two in a series, it can be read as a standalone. If you're looking for a romance between tragic souls, you'll simply love To Heal a Heart. Highly recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I'd review it.

My Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/po...
865 reviews4 followers
May 25, 2020
I received a free copy and am voluntarily leaving my review

OMG I love this book but make sure you have tissue handy. You will definitely need then. There are so many feelings of guilt, regret, and major PTSD in this book and how each person deals with it on their own and realizes that they can't do it on their own. That they need help even if it is just talking to a friend to help work out the problem. And the horse rescue turns into a rescue for Blair, Garrett and Chris.

Blair and Garrett both have deep seeded guilt but for very different reasons.
Garrett is home from the service after being discharged because of an amputation below the knee. He doesn't know how to get over the guilt of why he survived and he buddy was killed in that last mission. He also hasn't come to terms completely with his amputation.
Blair feels guilty for the death of her baby after an accident that she feels is her fault for being selfish even though her grandparents and brothers keep telling her it wasn't her fault. She has been living with her grandad for the last while along with her two rescue horses. As Blair and Garrett work together to make repairs to the barn and fences their feelings grow but the both think the other deserves better. Then one of Garretts buddies comes to stay to try to heal from his guilt that he survived several tours overseas but Garrett was injured and their buddy died. As they work together, can they all help each other to heal from their own guilts? Will Blair ever be able to say out loud that she loves Garrett or anyone?
2,666 reviews18 followers
May 30, 2020
This is an emotional, touching, at times heartbreaking but also heartwarming story that will reach your heart and your soul.
It is also the first book I have read by this author, and I have become a fan.
The story centers around Garrett Saunders and Blair Greyson.
After 2 years of his return from Afghanistan with an injury that has changed his life , Garrett is still struggling with survivor’s guilt and civilian life. Drowning his guilt in liquor.
Blair , a veterinarian technician, is back in town to help her ailing grandfather. A man who always supported her and a man she would do anything for.
An abused horse brings them together, and when Blair offers Garrett a job in helping her fix the barn and the farm with the condition he not drink, Garrett takes it . Thus giving him a purpose in life.
These two carry a great deal of guilt. While Garrett has confessed his sorrows, Blair holds back, keeping a secret that doesn’t allow her to feel worthy.
The story was not only about how our past forms our present , but also about the difficulties our brave veterans encounter upon their return to civilian life. Whether suffering from PTSD, survivor’s guilt, physical injuries and/or additional psychological ones. A reminder that as a nation and individuals, we need to do more to help these individuals. Kudos to the author for that reminder.
I was entrusted a copy of this book by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Profile Image for Vicky.
Author 22 books45 followers
May 15, 2020
Thoughts: What a wonderful, poignant romance full of emotions that will pull at your heartstrings. It starts off with a strong scene where Garrett is having a dream flashback to his time in Afghanistan. The book is all about PTSD – not just for Garrett, but for Blair as well – and how we deal with issues. There are some warm “bedroom” scenes, but they are nicely done and fit with the story perfectly. The characters of Blair and Garrett are believable and the issues they’re facing—as well as the other characters are real and not uncommon in today’s world.

What I liked: the characters. All of them are well done, grow and change through the story, and are realistic. I liked the HEA ending that satisfied. I loved that rescuing horses and other animals are central to the story not just as rescues but as helpful for healing those with issues. It was also obvious that the author either has personal experience or did her homework on amputees and other PTSD issues.

What I didn’t like: nothing. This is a wonderful story.

Recommendation: Definitely recommended. The author drew me in, made me care what was happening to the characters. The issues were realistically presented. And there was a happily ever after ending that satisfied.

Disclaimer: I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone.
6,062 reviews19 followers
June 10, 2020
WOW this is a story that could almost break your heart You are drawn into the internal battles of these two characters almost from the first page and are hoping that they will get a HEA before you turn the last page

Garrett Saunders is a broken man he left part of his soul as well as his leg on a roadside in Afghanistan he has returned home to Masonville but is having trouble adjusting to life as a civilian in his home town, while helping his brother the local vet he finds an abused horse about to be sold as dog meat as he finally found the thing that he needs something to fight for. Meanwhile Blair Greyson has returned to help care for her aging grandfather and to try to rebuild her life after a shattering loss a job at the local vet buts her in contact with Garrett and they clash but some work out a compromise he will do work on her grandfathers property and she will allow him to board his horse at the farm where she is also caring for her two rescue horses. The attraction is there between them but can two people with so much damage and such huge walls find a way to let them down so they can have a future together
Profile Image for Kat Doran.
Author 1 book5 followers
September 21, 2020
Exactly who rescued who?
Veterinary tech Blair Grayson and wounded veteran Garrett Saunders tangle over an abused horse in the middle of an isolated North Dakota road. As words and emotions fly, it is not an encounter either forgets.
Both are rescuers; both are in grave need of being saved though for different reasons. Blair needs to forgive herself for long ago mistakes; Garrett struggles on a daily basis to forget things and events better left buried. Unfortunately PTSD manages to rear its ugly head at the worst possible moments.
In the middle of their animal and human rescue endeavors, each finds redemption and love. And what a delight it is to watch it happen. With her latest novel, author Jana Richards shows, once again, her gift for snappy dialogue, multi-layered characters and gut-wrenching emotion. This is not a book to pick up, thinking you’ll read for a few minutes before turning in. No no no.
To Heal A Heart is one of those page turners you will not forget soon. Book 3 in this heart-warming series cannot come soon enough.
On a scale of 1-5, To Heal A Heart deserves a 7.
Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

1,934 reviews12 followers
June 11, 2020
To Heal the Heart was the perfect title for this book. I really enjoyed the story. The horse and dog rescues, veterans dealing with PTSD, growing up in a home where appearances were more important than love, and learning to come to terms with quilt, and finally moving on. The characters of Garrett and Blair drew you right into their inner feelings, strengths, and weaknesses. Blair's grandfather, Everett was such a caring, loving man with his granddaughter and more of a parent to her than her own parents.

This book and its characters touched me so deeply it really made me cry. It was a great story of hope, being rescued, overcoming guilt, and being able to love yourself so you can fall in love. I also enjoyed the horse and dog rescues. The ending was beautiful. I received an advance copy of this book and I willingly chose to write an honest review.
Profile Image for Roxx Tarantini.
503 reviews4 followers
March 1, 2021
Garrett and Jessica have scars and secrets that they each feel no one else could possibly understand. Richards plies her craft expertly here as she drags them both kicking and screaming to the realization that nothing is ever insurmountable.

In To Heal a Heart we find a rich tapestry of pain, regret, and heartache. But she tempers it well with hope, and ultimately love. Richards’ characters are multifaceted and endearing, the kind of people you’d want as neighbours and friends. And in their stories, there is loss, but also healing.

[I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book from the author through the 2021 Winter Games Reader Challenge, with no obligation to review. The opinions herein are given freely and are entirely my own.]
468 reviews
June 24, 2020
I was given this book to review by Voracious readers.

This book wrecked me! I read it all in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. It was such an emotional roller coaster

Garrett was a vet who was lost and didnt know how to deal with life as it was after being injured. Not only do we get to watch him heal but learn to help others and find happiness.

Blair had her own demons to face and just wouldn't let anyone help her. This book didnt gloss over the tough spots but dove right in and made you face them with the characters

A great introduction to this author and I look forward to reading more
Profile Image for Darlene Fredette.
Author 12 books47 followers
September 8, 2020
5 Stars. This story is a wonderful and tender romance. The main characters are perfect for each other, both with their own haunting pasts. Their easy friendship soon turns into something more, leading to some sizzling chemistry. There’s an equally good supporting cast, many of which have their own stories to tell (hopefully in future books). The horses and dogs were outstanding highlights. The author does a great job of mixing witty banter into an emotion-filled story line. The bond of family and friendship is heartwarming, and some scenes will bring a tear to the eyes. This story is as ‘right as rain’. Reviewed for Still Moments Magazine.
Profile Image for Amanda Marlowe.
1,266 reviews8 followers
June 1, 2020
Blair is a veterinarian technician who sees a damaged horse on the road, she comes upon Garrett and after finding out that the horse is his, she flies into him about the state of the horse. On finding out that he's only just got it she goes over and apologises, and ends up with the horse at her grandfather's ranch. She wants to start a rescue for horses, Garrett doesn't know what he wants, he's an amputee from the war and hasn't come to terms with losing part of his leg.

This is a great emotional read, I hope it's the start of a series,
Profile Image for Pam Graber.
931 reviews23 followers
July 1, 2020
Anytime a story brings me to tears, I know it was a good one. This one not only brought tears, it made me feel the anguish of the two main characters, neither of whom feels worthy of the other. Now that I've read this one, I'm hoping that each of Blair's brothers also has a story out there! If you like contemporary romance with an injured Marine vet, a horse rescuer who needs some rescuing of her own, and a loving Granddad who gives her a safe place to heal her heart, pick up this book! I read it in just over a day and it only took that long because I had to go to work!
7,813 reviews56 followers
June 23, 2020
This is an amazing story. The characters are two broken people that unexpectedly find each other. Both need each other to heal will they allow love to come into there life and except the happiness they both deserve. The flow of the storyline was great.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
131 reviews1 follower
June 29, 2020
I received a copy of this book from voracious readers and I really liked reading it. It was a perfect tale of two broken people finding each other and finally being complete. I loved how strong both Garret and Blair became throughout the story and how their relationship developed and became stronger. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like contemporary romances.
April 17, 2021
To Heal a Heart is a story that many of us can relate to. The inner thoughts of both Blair and Garrett regarding love and relationships shows the turmoil that's often brought on with insecurities and self inflicted confusion. This book is filled with passion, heartache, joy and commitments. I would highly recommend this read.
Profile Image for Jane.
302 reviews
May 30, 2022
Solid, well-written story with a lot of emotion.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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