Arc Review of Zander – Heroes At Heart Book 1 by Maryann Jordan

Heroes At Heart Book 1
Maryann Jordan


Winter Blog Blurb

The true measure of a man is not in the mistakes he makes…but in how he handles those mistakes.

After leaving the Army, Zander King wants nothing more to do with being a hero. His life plan is to keep his nose clean, work hard to make his bar successful and avoid damsels in distress. Old habits died hard, though, so when a beautiful stranger walks into the bar to drink alone, his protective instincts kicked into high gear. It was a good thing too, because his was not the only eye she caught in his rough-side-of-town establishment.

When a man won’t take no for an answer from her, Zander kicks him out, but he sends the woman, who doesn’t belong there, packing too. Too late, he realizes his mistake in releasing the petite, vulnerable woman out into the neighborhood alone, when he finds her near death outside the bar at closing time.

Racked with guilt, Zander’s conscience won’t let him abandon her until he knows she’ll be okay. At the hospital days later, his sleeping beauty, Jane Doe, finally wakes up, but she doesn’t remember who she is or how she got there.

Zander vows to help her put the pieces of her memory back together, but would regaining her memory only put her in more danger?

A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty.

Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.

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This book is a modern beautiful twist on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

Zander feels incredible guilt after finding the beautiful woman he sent away, beaten and barely alive in the alley behind his bar.

No one knows who she is or where she came from and now in a coma she can’t tell them. At the suggestion of the nurse he visits and reads to her every day from a collection of condensed classics. The book is a favorite, he’d read from it to all his foster brothers. He’d even brought it overseas with him when he was in the service.

This is a favorite scene from the first day he reads to her.

His gaze slid to the whiteboard on the wall, seeing her name listed as Jane Doe. His heart hurt as he viewed the evidence that no one knew who she was. Waiting until they were alone, he scooted the plastic chair across the tile floor to rest next to her bed. But, before he sat down, he reached over and placed his hand on her palm. His gaze moved over her swollen face, noting the reddened area where the dark stitches had pierced her skin. The bruises around her eyes had darkened even more, black and angry. The hospital gown was open at the neck, exposing the upper part of her chest and shoulders, those bruises deepening as well.

Bending low, he stared at her dry, cracked lips. Seeing a tube of lip balm on the tray, he squirted some on his forefinger, hesitating to touch her injuries before rubbing it lightly on her mouth. The flesh was pliant, warm, and his breath hitched as he realized how vulnerable she was.

Blowing out a breath, he whispered, “Hey, princess. It’s Zander… uh… I’m Zander. I’m so sorry… so sorry. But, I want you… well, need you to get well.”

He stared, hoping she might twitch, or blink, or indicate she could hear him. But she continued to sleep.

Sitting down in the chair, he said, “I brought a book to read. I don’t know what you like to read, but this book was given to me years ago.” His fingers moved along the worn cover, remembering when Miss Ethel gave it to him.

“Alexander, don’t you let no one tell you you’re too dumb to learn. You’ve got more intelligence than most and I know it’s locked inside of you. Your teachers are going to go over the basics of reading, but that won’t teach you to love the written word. You and me, son, are going to read through this book. It’s got everything in it… classics… fairy tales… stories of bravery and strength. Stories of love. Stories of life.” Then she opened the book, flipping through the pages until she pressed her hand flat on a page, and I sat at her feet, listening as she opened my world.

As he continued to read, he glanced up occasionally, giving her hand a little squeeze. His voice, soft at first, grew stronger as he hoped she would be able to hear him. Not wanting to go too fast, he enunciated each word carefully. After a few minutes, he came to the description of the princess.

“ ‘The maiden grew up, adorned with all the gifts of the wise women; and she was so lovely, modest, sweet, and kind and clever, that no one who saw her could help loving her.’ ”

As soon as the words left his mouth, his gaze jerked up to hers. The truth was he had very little to go on as to her personality, but remembering her at the bar, he thought about the way she tried to be polite, first to the asshole bothering her and then to him… even when he was being a different kind of an asshole. He remembered the way she tucked her hair behind her ear, her head ducking slightly, having no idea how beautiful she was. Her voice had been soft, even when angry.

“This sounds a lot like you, princess.” Giving her hand another squeeze, he continued the story. After another few minutes, he came to the line,

“ ‘… the beautiful sleeping Rosamond, for so was the Princess called…’ ”

Sucking in a quick breath, his gaze shot back to her. “Rosamond. I know that’s not your name, but I hate like hell for you to keep being called a Jane Doe. So, if you don’t mind, can I call you Rosamond?” Shaking his head, he knew it was foolish to expect a sign from her. Looking down at her hand, he rubbed his calloused finger over her skin. Her arm was covered in abrasions from the gravel drive behind the bar. Grimacing, he forced the thoughts of her attack from his mind, focusing instead on the story. As he came to the climax, he read,

“ ‘And when he saw her looking so lovely in her sleep, he could not turn away his eyes; and presently he stooped and kissed her, and she awaked, and opened her eyes, and looked very kindly on him.’ ”

“Is that what you’ll do with me, Rosamond? Look upon me kindly?”
Maryann Jordan. Zander (ARC copy – not for Sale): Heroes at Heart (A Modern Day Fairy Tale) (Kindle Locations 700-744).

We journey with them as he reads to her, waiting for her to awaken. Passages from the book are shared and bring back many memories for me as well.

A heartrending story as the beauty awakens with no memory and with Zander’s help they piece together her life before she found her way to his town.

A page turner that had me laughing, crying and holding my breath as it makes it’s way to a HEA.

I look forward to reading the fairy tales Maryann pairs with Zander’s foster brothers.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Winter Blog About Author

Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!

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