Open Your Heart is a wonderfully delightful novel written by an exciting new author, Michelle Monkou. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. As the title suggested, I opened my heart and was amply rewarded with several hours of a remarkable written, emotionally satisfying, and thoughtfully presented novel. Open Your Heart is filled with tender moments and exciting intrigue centering around wonderfully thought out characters that seem to jump right off the page. The plot was particularly well developed and continually gave me the sense of urgency as the story line played out on each page. The novel flowed easily with well-written dialogue and detail descriptions. Open Your Heart is a human-interest gem filled with emotion and feeling that kept me entertained from the first page to the very last.
The two main characters, Shelly Bishop and Justin Thorton, are extremely well written and gave me a detailed sense of their personality and motivations. Shelly, battling the inner turmoil of a long ago betrayal, is timid when it comes to opening her heart and trusting for fear of being hurt again. Having been physically attacked by a man whom she once considered a friend, she finds it difficult to open up to anyone including her family. Then there's Justin Thorton, the strong hero, who struggles with having been betrayed by his wife's infidelity. The wife begged his forgiveness just before she is killed in a car accident. Justin didn't forgive her and is tortured by that decision.
Several secondary characters also add to the fullness of the novel. My favorites are; Phillip Thorton, the sly matchmaking father of Justin, and Toby Gillis, an all around menace and meanie. In a well-rounded ensemble, these characters brought the story to life and had me excitedly reading until the wee hours of the morning.
Bravo Michelle, you've got a winner in Open Your heart!