Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: Defiant Heart by Marty Steere

Defiant Heart
by Marty Steere
Penfield Press (April 15, 2013)
385 pages -- ebook

Defiant Heart is at once a sweet love story and coming of age story in which two teens, Jon Meyer and Mary Dahlgren, find their love for each other pitted against the disapproval of peers. parents and community.  The pressures, arising out of the same angst affecting the entire country in the months preceding American involvement in WWII, escalate to life-threatening.

Jon, recently orphaned. has just moved to this small Indiana town to live with his maternal grandmother whom he'd never met because she'd disowned his mother for marrying his father, a Jew.  Mary's father is mayor and sees her involvement with the Jewish boy a threat to his re-election.  Then there is Vernon, the school's basketball star and a bully who has set his sites on Mary.

As tensions rise the strength of their characters and the steadfastness of their feelings for one another are repeatedly tested as the behaviors of this small town's citizens reflect in a microcosm that of the entire country as it slides inexorably into war.

From the Publishers:

Set against the backdrop of small town America on the eve of World War II, Defiant Heart features two extraordinary characters and one unforgettable love story.

In the spring of 1941, young Jon Meyer's family dies in a tragic accident, and he is sent to live in a small Indiana town.  He arrives to find himself unwanted and shunned.

Mary Dahlgren is the daughter of the town's mayor.  A pretty girl, she could have the pick of the boys in town, including Vernon King, the star of the vaunted high school basketball team.  To the chagrin of her friends, though, Mary has always been more interested in books than boys.  That is, until she meets Jon.

But Jon and Mary are kept apart by an insidious campaign orchestrated by Mary's father, who perceives their relationship a threat to his political aspirations, and Vernon, to whom Jon is a rival for Mary's affections.  For months Jon is subjected to a painful ostracism.  Then, just when the young man's earnestness and perseverance begin to win over many of the townsfolk and it appears that love may conquer all, tragedy strikes.

As the country is caught up in war, so too are the young lovers swept up in events beyond their control, leaving both fighting for their very lives.  If, against the odds, they are to be together, each will need to find the strength, the courage and the resourcefulness that beat only in a defiant heart.

What they are saying:

re Marty Steere's Sea of Crises:

"Steere's high-octane suspense tale takes off with all the intrigue and honor of the best space-age Westerns and political thrillers."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Steere's assured prose is compelling, and the book's intriguing plot will keep readers turning pages until the very end."-Publisher's Weekly

"Author Marty Steere is brilliant!... The action is non-stop and fast-paced and is mixed with just the right amount of mystery to make a perfect thriller.... [The] plot is plausible, the characters are realistic, and the writing is stunning a read that you will be unable to stop reading until the very end."-Readers Favorite

"Sea of Crises is a mystery set amongst exploration, very highly recommended."-The Midwest Book Review

"Marty Steere's Sea of Crises drew me in, held me at the edge, and gave my hand a comforting squeeze when I couldn't stand to see what happened next. This is a thriller with heart that will leave its readers satisfied they followed the Cartwright boys into a dangerous adventure."

"[P]ulse-pounding.... I highly recommend you check out Marty Steere's novel Sea of Crises!"

The son of a career air force officer, Marty Steere grew up on or near military installations across the country and overseas before settling in Southern California, where, when he's not writing, he practices law.  His debut novel, Sea of Crises, was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012.
author links

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts:

2 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 4/17/2013 11:03 PM  

Thanks so much for taking part in the tour and for your thought provoking review!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith 4/19/2013 9:26 PM  

I have been following the tour for Defiant Heart, which I really enjoyed. Thanks for your participation! Dr. Bill ;-)

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