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Open Your Heart (Arabesque) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 2002

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Years ago, nurse Shelly Bishop barely escaped a brutal assault by someone she trusted. She was determined to continue rebuilding her shattered life and confidence, but she never expected that her new patient would be the father of old acquaintance Justin Thornton - or that the brief desire she and Justin once shared would become dangerously irresistible passion...Burned by betrayal and heartbreak, Justin had put his entire life into his family's banking empire and swore to stay clear of emotional complications for good. Little by little, however he found himself drawn to Shelly's gentleness and quiet honesty - and hoped for a chance to lay both their unhappy pasts to rest. Now, between buried secrets and a ruthless business rival, Justin and Shelly must risk their fragile trust to at last find the love of a lifetime.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bravo Michelle, Open Your Heart is a winner! 3 Jan. 2003
By Celeste O. Norfleet - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Could have been a little bit better........but enjoyable 6 Nov. 2002
By Devan E. May - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first book by this author and i did enjoy it somewhat....this book started out a little slow but it eventually picked up ..Shelly is a woman with a very hurful past she had been violated and betrayed by someone she trusted and this has affected her life immensley she works as a nurse part time and volunteers/attends a center for women who had been raped or assaulted ...during her work as a nurse she meets Phillip Thorton who suffering from an illness asks her to be his private nurse.......she later after thinking about it agrees....soon finding out that there is an ulterior motive by the name of Justin , he is Phillips son (whom Phillips feels like he wants to play matchmaker for) and has had a hard life after being betryed by his wife and later losing her tragically he is leary of Shellys motives when he meets her at his fathers house.....they soon begin to see one another as Justin shows her that she can love and feel again and she shows him that he can trust again they both learn to leave their past behind even after Shellys come back to haunt her terribly ..........this book was sweet, sad all in one though not enough passion for me I enjoyed reading/watching Phillips dream come true ...........good read!!
Excellent Read 8 Jan. 2003
By Olivia - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to start out by saying I haven't read a romance novel for many years. However, this book took hold of me from the first page until its conclusion. Michelle did an excellent job of gaining your interest in the story immediately with an opening chapter that grabbed you and pulled you in. She developed very strong characters and made you want to know what would happen next. The main storyline involving Justin and Shelly and how their love developed was enough to keep your interest but she took it a step further by having interesting and well written subplots including one that involved family and commitment that added even more to an already well told story. For many readers the character they loved most is the father. However, for me my favorite characters were Justin and Shelly. I loved their story. I loved the way Michelle had their love develop, nuture, and grow and eventually wind up in the ending that you wanted. My favorite scene in the book was the first time they shared their love. It was beautifully written and it's what everyone who wants to be or is in love dreams about. I started out by saying that I hadn't read a romance novel in a number of years; however, because of this book, I am anxiously awaiting Michelle's next novel entitled Finders Keepers. An excellent job from start to finish.
A Match Made in Heaven 27 Mar. 2003
By Tyora Moody - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Readers will find the perfect match indeed in Michelle Monkou's debut novel, "Open Your Heart". Monkou joins Shelly Bishop and Justin Thornton, two people with tragic pasts who desperately desire love.
Shelly, a nurse has been strongly affected by an attempted date rape. She spends her time volunteering at a local rape crisis center and mentoring her troubled niece. Justin has inherited the CEO position at the family owned Hopetown Savings Bank. Like Shelly, Justin harbors a burdensome past. His adulterous wife asked for his forgiveness seconds before she dies. Unable to forgive her, Justin spends his days engrossed in the bank's operations.
Justin's terminally ill father, Phillip Thornton, hires Shelly as his private nurse. Day by day, Shelly and Justin draw closer to each other, slowly trusting with their hearts again. Unfortunately, their relationship becomes threatened by a common enemy.
Once the reader begins reading this book, it will not be easy to put it down. Shelly and Justin's relationship goes up and down as they learn to trust and reveal buried insecurities. The novel's concluding chapters will no doubt draw emotions and tears! This debut is a great romantic read!
Open Your Heart, You'll Enjoy This Book! 28 May 2003
By Cecelia Dowdy - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shelly Bishop is still grappling to forget the pain inflicted upon her by an old flame, Toby Gillis. Justin Thornton is attracted to the strong, courageous woman, however, he's been burned by women before, and wonders if Shelly is after his money. Toby Gillis wants to take over Justin's family bank, using his backstabbing tactics. Toby approachs Shelly again, and she finally finds the strength to overcome her fears of her attacker. Justin executes a plan to bring Toby Gillis down, wanting to make Toby suffer for all the wrongs he's inflicted upon Shelly and his family business. While Shelly cares for her elderly ill patient, Justin's father, she develops a loving relationship with the old man, and Shelly and Justin finally discover his plan to bring the two of them together.
This book was great! It shows how a young courageous woman overcame her fears, and learned to open her heart and love again! This is an exciting first novel from Ms. Monkou, and I look forward to reading her next book!
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