Annice Steele, known as Neesie to her friends, feels that she has finally recovered from losing the love of her life, Lucas Jones. When she accepts a job as a psychologist at Casey’s School for Troubled Youth, she is shocked to discover that Luke has taken over running the school for the ill director. Neesie has one thought, to leave but finds it impossible to ignore the students who need her so badly. As Neesie struggles to ignore her broken heart and concentrate on her job, Luke is also trying to come to terms with the events that forced him to leave Neesie and their love behind. However, as strange events begin taking place at the school, Neesie and Luke must work together to uncover a mystery that has haunted them both for years.
Francine Craft’s novel, Haunted Heart is a touching story of two people who loved each other and were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. Neesie and Luke are both powerful characters in their own right. The reader feels Neesie’s pain when Luke leaves her and who among has not had a relationship fail? Luke is also an interesting character; at first, the reader dislikes him for leaving Neesie but once his secret is revealed, the reader if forced to accept Luke for what he is, a man with faults and who makes mistakes.
The attraction between Luke and Neesie is obvious from the beginning as is their love for one another. I found the love story to be a powerful one of acceptance and understanding as both Neesie and Luke come to terms with what happened in their past. The trials and tribulations that Neesie and Luke go through prove to the reader that this relationship will last. I was moved by the strength these characters showed during the many twists and turns in the plot of this novel.
I enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it to those readers who are partial to moving love stories of redemption and forgiveness.