In this, the fourth of Warren’s Deep Haven novels (“romance and adventure on Minnesota’s North Shore…”), we meet Isadora Presley, a young woman whose life fell apart when a horrific car accident took her mother’s life, sent her football coach father into the local care center as a quadriplegic, and left Issy the victim of PTSD. Three years later, no one in Deep Haven (except for Lucy, Issy’s loyal BFF) knows that agoraphobic Issy leads a secret life as the hostess of the nationally syndicated talk show, My Foolish Heart. She coaches listeners to hold out for their perfect “ten,” reminding them that their perfect match might be right next door. Except in her case, which she especially knows to be true when a new neighbor moves in—a man whose goal appears to take over her father’s position as the high school football coach. Instead, she falls for a caller to her show, whose humor, warmth and vulnerability completely win her heart—and leave her more certain than ever that true love could never come knocking on her own front door.
Warren is one of the most respected writing coaches in Christian fiction. (You can check out her website, My Book Therapy, linked to this blog.) And in this romance, I was pleased to see that she follows her own good advice, achieving the perfect balance of deft description, sparkling dialogue, and tension on every page. She never holds back a reveal, and as a result her plot ticks right along. While I can’t say that My Foolish Heart made me want to read more romance novels, I can say that Warren’s mastery claimed my respect and admiration. But for those who do love the genre, listen up: this novel’s for you.