13 October, 2012

#BlogTour :: #BookReview - The Hungry Heart (Heart’s Desire #1) by Brenda Gayle

A burned out association executive spices things up with Santa Fe’s playboy celebrity chef.

Child advocate Nora Cross doesn't have time for the private cooking lesson her sister won at a charity auction. Hunter Graham, the young chef, is the last person she needs telling her she's forgotten how to have fun. So why can't she get the very hot, very eligible man off her mind?

After a stellar debut in New York City, Hunter's back in Santa Fe to open a new restaurant. He lives a charmed life and he knows it. He isn't interested in a workaholic who's glued to her smart phone. So why is he trying to convince Nora to relax and enjoy life—with him?

When Nora's apartment and office are ransacked, Hunter comes to her rescue, surprised to find himself playing knight-in-shining armor to the uptight executive. But when it becomes clear Nora is no random target, Hunter realizes he'll do anything to keep her safe.

Nora Cross may not have a college degree, but what she has is an amazing career as a Child Advocate with CAN. She is passionate about what she does and is good at it too. She invests all her time into taking care of the children who need it and in trying to make the world a better place. She hardly has time to socialize or have mindless fun. Or take a cooking lesson from a famous chef for that matter! With her elder sister Karen moving to Santa Fe and her office and apartment broken into, Nora has more on her plate than she can deal with. When the can of worms finally opens in front of her, will Nora finally get the answers that she had been looking for? Will Nora resolve her issues with Karen, her only living family?

Hunter Graham is a hot shot chef and the owner of a Restaurant called Prime. He takes pride in being honest and upfront. He is a hardworking man who gives his best at his restaurant and also enjoy being in the social limelight. But he has expectations to live up to. With his father and uncle counting on him to take over the family ranching business and his cousin counting on him to do the right thing, will Hunter be able to do things right by his family and his passion?

When the two opposite worlds of Hunter and Nora collide, sparks fly and temper runs wild. While Hunter sees Nora as an uptight executive, Nora feels that Hunter’s wild lifestyle is not her cup of tea. But with Hunter’s family crisis and Nora’s life on the line, they have only each other to hold on to for support. Nora can do with a little of Hunter’s high life while Hunter too could do well with Nora’s influence. Will these two polar opposite people be able to cross all the hurdles and find each other?

This book has everything that a person can ask for. There is family drama, there’s some action, some mystery and of course there is romance. What I liked a lot was that the author introduced us to the protagonists right away and then she slowly revealed their past and their history. This way I knew both Hunter and Nora and their generic personalities right off the bat. All the characters in the story have their own individual identity. Of course the story revolves around Hunter and Nora, but even Karen, Roger, Anna and even Gary bring in something with them to add to the story. What I didn’t like were the few questions that were left unanswered. I realize that there’s going to be a sequel and that these unanswered questions are going to be resolved in the next book – but that means I will have to wait a while to find out about Michael and Anna and Callum!

Brenda Gayle has done an amazing job in spinning a striking web that catches the unaware readers in its tangles. There are many layers to this story that are unveiled one by one. Just when you think that you have predicted the plot, Brenda throws something else at you to ponder about. In the end, what stays with the readers is the message of the importance of Love, Friends and Family in our lives.

I would recommend this book to all who enjoy reading a good romance with a bit of intrigue in the mix.

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of The Hungry Heart? Well, there are two ways to enter...
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Hungry Heart tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.
About the Author

Brenda Gayle has been a writer all her life but returned to her love of writing fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communication—although some might argue there was plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. A fan of many genres, she is drawn to contemporary romance and enjoys writing deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense. Her first book, Soldier for Love, was a recommended read by a number of reviewers. Her new book, The Hungry Heart, is the first in her Heart's Desire series, which chronicles the difficult road to finding love and family acceptance for the three Graham cousins. Brenda lives in eastern Ontario with her wonderful husband, two fabulous children, two Siberian Huskies, a rescued cat, and assorted aquatic wildlife. 

Connect with Brenda

Get The Hungry Heart on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed The Hungry Heart! Your review makes me want to read it, myself :) Hope I get the chance!

  2. Great review (as always), Debdatta! I'm really looking forward to reading this one myself. Thanks for joining us on this tour, and please kindly take a moment to cross-post your reviews to Amazon and GoodReads.

    Em :-D

  3. Thank you for your wonderful review of The Hungry Heart, Debdatta, and for hosting me on this stop. At its core, I always believed the book was about the importance of family--the one you're born with and the one you make. I'm was so glad to see that reflected in your review.