Here's a description of the book from David C Cook:
"Miri Brayden teeters on a razor's edge between placating and enraging
her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is
unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a
secret, or he'll be committed to an asylum—and she'll be sent to the
Ethan Goodwin has been on the run all of his life—from
family, from the law ... from God. After a heart-changing encounter
with the gritty Reverand John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than
to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict
charged with murder.
When Ethan shows up on Miri's doorstep, her
balancing act falls to pieces. Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web
of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the
asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free."
Michelle Griep's books are gritty, suspenseful, and romantic. I fell in love with her time travel stories (Gallimore and Undercurrent), so I was eager to get my hands on whatever she wrote next! A Heart Deceived brings the reader completely into the past (no time traveling here!), but it doesn't lessen the stakes or lower the tension. With confused hearts and blurred lines between lunacy and normality, this is a story that is both gripping and challenging.
I appreciate how Griep causes the reader to look deeper at situations, along with the characters. There are some horrible facades and some more pleasant ones, but no matter the first impression, things are more complicated than they seem. Griep doesn't shy away from torturing her characters or having them experience the darker side of life, and that makes the hope all the brighter and the love all the stronger.
I really enjoyed getting to know both Ethan and Miri, although I confess I would have liked a little more time with the two of them together. (The romantic in me always begs for more!) I also confess to being a little uncertain regarding how I really feel about certain outcomes and the portraits of certain characters. It's an intriguing story involving some harsh and terrible situations that make the reader think.
I remain a huge fan of Griep's and can't wait to see what she writes next, whatever the genre! Although, if she has any other time travel books up her sleeves, I really wouldn't mind reading some more of those. ;)
*With thanks to David C Cook and NetGalley for providing me with a temporary e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Note ~ This book will be released in e-book format on June 20, 2013.