Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting award-winning author Jennifer Wilck’s latest release A Heart Restrained, book three in the Scarred Hearts series, a contemporary romance.  Be sure to read my review.  And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.


Title: A Heart Restrained
Series: Scarred Hearts, book three
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 378 pages
Release Date: March 27, 2023
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:  Caleb Zeno, a wealthy and successful media mogul, refuses to allow emotions into any aspect of his life, especially his entertainment corporation. When his company’s lifestyle website runs into competition from a small boutique company, the most logical solution is to buy out his rival.

Fiona Hamilton’s lifestyle website succeeds due to her loving and caring treatment of her clients, who have become like family to her. She has no desire to sell to anyone, much less a tattooed, muscled, automaton.

At odds professionally, Caleb and Fiona come together as a favor for Caleb’s sister. Sparks fly and sexual chemistry abounds. But Caleb can’t let go of his abusive past and be the man Fiona needs, and she is unwilling to risk independence and financial security for anything less than a perfect happily ever after. Can they put their differences aside to find a viral kind of love?


He rubbed sweaty palms against his jean-clad thighs before ringing Fiona’s doorbell. Of all the favors his sister asked of him this was, by far, the most ridiculous. And he would have said no if he could. But he never could, and here he was. When Fiona opened the door, he reminded himself he never let others see his emotions.

“I told you casual.”

She frowned. “I see we’re starting off on the right foot again.”

His heart rate increased, and he cursed to himself. “Hello,” he said.

“A little better. Hello to you, too. And this is casual. We’re going for Thai food.”

“No, we’re not. You should change.”

She scanned his body, and he suppressed the urge to fidget. When she folded her arms, he resisted staring at her breasts. Well, maybe a glance or two…

“I’m not doing anything or going anywhere until you tell me what the plan is. This ‘do this, wear that’ might work for others, but not me.”

Why was he such a beast around her? He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “You’re right, sor—” Noise from inside her apartment distracted him. “Am I interrupting something?”

She paused and then understanding dawned. “No, the racket is my TV. You might as well come inside. Seems like we’re going to be a while.”

She led him into her living room. Two walls were painted red, the other two a warm cream. Colorful modern art hung on the walls, multi-colored blankets draped a sofa, chair, and ottoman, and plants covered most surfaces. Some Spanish language program played on the television.

“You speak Spanish?” he asked.

He pointed to the TV, and she shrugged. “I love telenovelas. They’re so dramatic and filled with emotion. Even without the subtitles turned on, I can understand what they mean.”

She might not need to understand Spanish to understand the program, but he needed a Fiona translator to understand her.

“Now, tell me where we’re going so I can decide what to wear, since you seem to have a problem with this,” she said.

“We’re going clamming. And you need to wear…clothes for clamming.”

Her beauty captivated him. Shaking his head, he refocused on his task. This was a favor for his sister. Her beauty was irrelevant.

“We’re going clamming?”

Why did she repeat everything he said and was this alarming trait a habit? And did she expect him to answer her every single time?

She said, “You said seafood.”

This he could handle. “Clams come from the sea. Seafood.”

“What am I supposed to wear clamming?”

Why did women everywhere ask men this question? He’d said casual clothes. He wore jeans and a shirt. How difficult was this? He looked at himself and spread his arms.


I previously read and reviewed another book by the author, so when this one came up for review, I was in.

First off, the title is very appropriate, because it describes Caleb Zeno to a tee.  He’s successful, protective, and quite controlling.  But he can also be accommodating.  Whereas Fiona Hamilton wears her heart on her sleeve.  She’s built her company from the ground up, and she did it with a personal touch that leaves every client who crosses her threshold feeling better about themselves.

Naturally, when Caleb proposes to take over her company, Fiona says no.  These two don’t get off on the best foot.  But Caleb shows how accommodating he can be when Fiona weasels past the iron fence he has built around his heart.

The duo is in for a tough ride because Caleb’s past haunts their budding relationship.  Both have trust issues.  Both are in the alpha zone.  And both don’t like giving an inch.

I thought the characters were well-developed by the author.  They have their good points and some very bad points, too.  Fiona is quick to jump the gun because she’s emotional and ruled by her emotions, while Caleb is cold and doesn’t allow his emotions to impact his decisions.  He’s all about weighing everything to achieve balance in his life.

So yeah, watching these two try and build a relationship was interesting since it’s a tough hill for them to climb.

The secondary characters add the right touch for us to get to know the other sides of Fiona and Caleb’s personalities.  I especially enjoyed Lexie, Caleb’s sister, who also happens to be Fiona’s neighbour and best friend.

The middle of the story really lets the reader deep into the budding relationship and the author did a great job of building the connection between the two.  As for the ending, it did seem a bit rushed, because I was left feeling like these two are going to continue to have the same issues that sank them before.  But Caleb came a long way from what he once was.  It’s a great read, a well-written story, and a book I recommend.

The author is a great writer and she creates real characters with real problems that take you deep into the novel and their world.


Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.

Follow Jennifer:  Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up


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17 thoughts on “Jennifer Wilck – A Heart Restrained

  1. Ally Swanson says:

    I really enjoyed reading the excerpt!! Sounds like a very interesting and intriguing book!!


  2. I love Jennifer Wilck’s “Serendipity” book series.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beatrice LaRocca says:

    Thank you for sharing your review of A Heart Restrained, this sounds like a book and series that I would love to read.
    I left a comment here yesterday but it seems to have disappeared, I would really like to know why that is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YW, Bea. As for your comment, they are auto-approved. I don’t know if WordPress ate it or what is going on. Sorry abou that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beatrice LaRocca says:

        That’s okay. It just drives me nuts when they disappear, lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I found you, Bea. Somehow Word sent you to spam. I don’t know why. Anyway, I corrected it. The comment should be showing now.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie P says:

    This sounds like a good read.


  5. sherry1969 says:

    Sounds like a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Piroska B says:

    Thanks for the great excerpt. The book sounds intriguing.


  7. Cali says:

    I like the excerpt and giveaway. 🙂


  8. Rita Wray says:

    Thank you for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by!


  9. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I always love readers who come back for more. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed getting to know Caleb and Fiona.


    1. Thanks for organizing!


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