Starving Hearts

Starving Hearts

Starving Hearts (Heritage Beacon Fiction, May 2016)

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

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  • Janine Mendenhall has written a very intriguing novel in “Starving Hearts”. Not only does Ms. Mendenhall provide the reader with adventure, but also malicious betrayal. The characters relationships are interwoven to the point that finishing the book is a necessity.

  • “Starving Hearts”, by author Janine Mendenhall is a story of hope and faith and love.

  • Starving Hearts is a mix of romance, melodrama and near horror. There’s a heartbreaking scene set on a ship during the middle passage stage of the triangular trade. Peter witnesses the inhumane treatment of slaves during a storm when excess cargo is tossed overboard. The characters are complex, with secrets that make you change your opinion of them. As readers, we are privy to the thoughts and emotions of the villain. When there’s a sudden twist in the tale, we experience it from his perspective and I found myself sympathetic towards him.

  • Baker Kella says:

    I don’t know where to even begin on my review of Starving Hearts!! I loved reading Janine Mendenhall’s debut novel!! What’s not to love – 18th century England (helllloooo Jane Austin!!!), a darling heroine and dashing hero (*wave* to Annette and Peter!!), a tremendous amount of depth and insight into the terrors of slave trading, and the glory of God’s redemptive power!! *sigh* I love love LOVE Starving Hearts!!

  • Starving Hearts was more suspenseful than I anticipated, and I had an overall feeling of trepidation as I read the novel. The villain was despicable and his evil plans were made apparent from the beginning. Annette and Peter were likeable enough, but I wished more character development in the beginning had been balanced with the details of the events occurring.

  • This story has so many twists and turns, times when you think there is no way for the “good guy” to make it through, deceptions and romance, and everything you could want in a classic historical romance novel. I highly recommend it for fans of the genre because it will keep your attention and you will definitely enjoy it. I look forward to reading more by Mendenhall in the future!

  • Does the idea of a delicious romance, brewed amidst risk of social ruin, and based in the late 1790’s appeal to you? Add this book to your Jane Austen collection, or put it beside your Downton Abbey DVDs. As the desperate tangle for estates and suitable matches ensues, though, the suspense builds! The dance of all things proper floods the pages of this book. Approach with gloved hands and your chaperone, if you dare!

  • Starving Hearts is a unique story of hope, faith and forgiveness. The characters move through dark moments in the story to find their own identify and faith. It is well written and paced. I couldn’t put this one down and couldn’t wait to re-read it again!

  • Book Reviews says:

    Janine Mendenhall has creates a book that will have you wishing the next in the series was already out. I cannot wait to read the second in the series as it is based off of a character I long to know more about.

  • Fic Gal says:

    I think this book will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey. It just has that vibe about it and it is roughly the same time period although I think the book might take place a bit earlier than Downtown Abbey. I did enjoy the writing but the book was a bit awkward to hold. It would have been nice to have some flop to it instead of it being a bit stiff but that’s just a minor thing and has nothing to do with the contents which are quite engaging.

  • What a lovely cover! It instantly made me want to jump into the pages of this book. I loved the setting and the overall story line. The ending came unexpectedly and I thought it flowed fairly smooth. The only thing is that I felt disconnected from the characters. I liked Peter a lot I just wish I could have gotten to know him better. I wanted to be more a part of the story and really get what was going through their minds. Otherwise this is a decent read and I look forward to more from Janine Mendenhall.

  • Don’t let the title or description fool you – this book isn’t just a romance. The author has included twists and turns throughout the entire book. The reader will be kept on their toes the entire time.

  • One of the hazards of reviewing books is the frequent addition of new authors to my must read list that continuously increases. At this rate I will never read all the books I want to read. And yes, you guessed that I’ve added Janine Mendenhall to my list. I absolutely adored “Starving Hearts”!

  • The author has written a fascinating read that is sure to leave you breathlessly waiting on the next addition!

  • This was delightfully surprising! I loved the history.

  • Starving Hearts is not only a love story, but an adventure story, too, with kidnapping, peril on the high seas, and even a peg legged pirate. Decades-old secrets come out in a climactic finish.

  • Starving Hearts is the first book I’ve ever read by Janine Mendenhall, but I have to say, I really enjoyed it, especially once it got close to the end and everything really started happening. There were so many twists and turns that I definitely never saw coming, but I have to say, I really enjoyed all of the surprises!

  • All in all, I enjoyed the way that the author painted a scene and the description that she would go into. There were scenes in the book that were jarring and several twists that I didn’t particularly see coming.

  • If you are a fan of traditional regencies, Downton Abbey, or Jane Austen, you won’t want to miss this one. There is never a lack in the story line and you are rooting for Peter and Annette all the way since they meet formally over dinner. Yet things don’t always work out the way you want and the odds are completely stacked against them from their families, to someone else who has sinister motives at heart. This is a brilliant novel that takes its time for readers to truly know these characters and you really feel like they are real people whom you care about. That is what makes this novel so enjoyable. I can’t wait for the next novel in this series and for certain Janine Mendenhall is on my “Must have” list of anything she is going to write.

  • Janine Mendenhall’s Starving Hearts is the first book in her brand new Triangular Trade Trilogy. Part romance but more suspense, Starving Hearts will hold your attention. Mendenhall writes of 18th Century England with engaging characters, time period dialogue and a steady pace moving a well thought out plot. The cherry on top of this novel cake is that the gospel is clearly presented throughout the story. If you love Downton Abbey or follow Jane Austen, you will enjoy Starving Hearts.

  • Though you wouldn’t know it by the cover, Starving Hearts is more of a suspense novel than a romance. I felt a sense of foreboding as I read—I was just sure something awful was on the next page (and sometimes it was). The suspense built the farther I got into the novel, and that’s what kept me reading.

  • …The story read very movie-like, and though that is usually something I like, as it makes the reader feel like they are truly experiencing the story, I found Starving Hearts to be a bit wordy and tedious to work through. I had a hard time connecting with Annette, though I found quite interesting the people’s perception during that time period of a health issue such as hers…

  • Starving Hearts is an intricately woven tale of sordid secrets and dastardly deceptions. Steeped in historical themes and elements, this story blends intrigue and romance and leaves readers wondering what will happen next as the Triangular Trade Trilogy continues.

  • I loved the way that the story all came together in the end with the unexpected way that the truth comes out and hope is restored. Annette and Peter learn a lot along their journey and grow as individuals.

  • Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall was a great book. I usually am not the biggest fan of historical fiction books but I loved this author’s writing. She was able to make me feel like I was there with the characters and I understood everything that was going on.

  • But she has also been able to grasp the needed technique to bring to publication a compelling story of mystery and gentle romance that takes place at the height of the controversial slave trade and the families of wealth in England.

  • This book was compelling. I wanted to keep reading. I was frustrated by some of the characters. I was surprised by the motivation of some of the “bad guys”. I was dismayed at some of the descriptions of the slave trade activities and conditions. Some of it was shocking. While the slave trade didn’t take center stage, it was, in some ways, central to the storyline….

  • Calling ALL Downton Abbey and Jane Austen fans!!! Starving Hearts is the book for you! This book is based in 18th Century England and features a great heroine and hero duo!

    But it’s even more than what it seems like at first glance! It is full of suspense, fear, sadness and even a look into the slave trade.

    This book will really take you through a maze of emotions but it will definitely appeal to fans of books set in old England.

  • This book reminds me of Jane Austen’s books. There is romance as well as a few twists and turns in this book so you get a little of everything. This book moves along quite nicely and we get to travel to multiple countries. The main character goes through so many emotions from a tragic event to finding happiness. I liked following the characters along through their journey. An interesting book. If you are a fan of Jane Austen or Downton Abbey then I think you will enjoy this book.

  • Overall, Starving Hearts is a decent debut for a new author. While it’s not the greatest romance novel ever written, I did enjoy reading it, despite it’s obvious flaws.

  • Moments says:

    “Starving Hearts” immediately drew me into the story and transported me back in time and to England and the way of life centuries ago.

  • The story is captivating, and the characters are real and appropriate to carry the story for the most part. If I have any criticism is that no one but the main characters seems to see people as they truly are. Some of the villainy seems a little over the top. For example, while Peter’s brother’s demise adds a twist that Peter doesn’t want to deal with, it also seems inevitable. Overall, however, Starving Hearts is a pleasurable and satisfying read.

  • Starving Hearts is quite different from anything I’ve ever read, and while my feelings were mixed, I appreciated that aspect of the novel very much.

  • EmpowerMoms says:

    I did like how the author shared alot about faith and hope through out this story. She also mentions in the back part of her book, that she hoped her story would help those struggling with their faith and recognize that we can not get through this life alone.

  • A sweet story with lots of heart. It definitely read as a debut author and the characters weren’t entirely loveable. It was a sweet story and definitely worth taking a look at if you enjoy period books.

  • This is the first time I have read a book by Janine Mendenhall, but I found it captivating, infuriating, and difficult to put down especially as we got closer to the end of the book.

  • Janine Medenhall’s debut is just fantastic! From start to finish this book kept me interested and guessing until the end. This book took many twists and turns. This story has a little bit of everything to offer, action, suspense, romance, and heart break.

  • This is a wonderful book that really drew me in didn’t let go. This is the first book of a trilogy so it was fun to read the first book and I’m definitely looking forward to the next two books!

  • This is the author’s debut novel. I applaud the work that she accomplished and look forward to seeing what she will do in the future.

  • Fabulous.

    This debut novel by Janine Mendenhall was remarkable, with something for everyone- romance, history, and suspense. There were many contrasts throughout the book- luxury vs. poverty, good vs. evil, hope vs. despair.

  • I liked how issues of the day were brought into the story. It was also fascinating to learn about the customs of the time. There were some cute romantic moments and some great spiritual discussions. I really liked the message about trusting God, even in difficult circumstances and when all hope seems lost. I would recommend it for it’s strong spiritual message and if you like Regency.

  • The author kept me guessing until the end on how this would all play out. I admit to thinking there would be a little bit more catastrophe behind door number three before my happily ever after would be found.

  • When a novel has it all–romance, heart, faith, a dastardly villain and mystery–to say it hearkens to mind the work of Jane Austen doesn’t do it complete justice. It’s just that good!

  • So much to love about this story – It is *not* an everything-is-perfect, boy-meets-girl, they-fall-in-love-and-live-happily-ever-after story. It is how your faith and strength is tested in the hardest of circumstances, when all seems to be lost, and you don’t know how anything will be okay again story – which means that redemption is a theme I picked up on in this book as well as trust.

  • I enjoyed the characters. The main characters were heartwarming. Annette’ character was sweet. She was headstrong and knew what she wanted. Peter’s character was strong and steady. He was devoted to God. Even the villian character was endearing in his own weird kinda way.

  • With this debut, Janine Mendenhall shows that she shows promise and is sure to capture an audience with the next two instalments in this series. Some passages and phrases came across as overindulgent bordering on superfluous with the author clearly trying to adopt the vernacular style of the era, but perhaps slightly overshooting. Because of this, as I reader I felt disconnected from the story as it was more of an observant rather than an immersive reading experience.

  • Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall is a book that will move you too tears. This book touches on a subject that many people tend to ignore. A wonderful piece of historical fiction that will have you turning page after page in anticipation of what will happen next.

  • Starving Hearts was set in a very interesting time period. There were portions of the book that had me on the edge of my seat and very concerned for the characters. While at other times, my interest waned and I struggled to stay connected.

  • Initially, the first three to four chapters were disjointed with interrupted thoughts and conversations that made the reading of the passages and dialogue difficult for me. However, I encourage readers to not give up or they will miss a truly good debut story from this author!

  • Janine Mendenhall’s debut novel, Starving Hearts, is full of adventure, suspense, and of course romance. A new historical novel, Janine’s story of pain, heartache, loss, and love will speak to its readers. It is interesting to see the different events that cause the paths of Annette Chetwynd and Peter Adsley to cross and to see their relationship develop throughout the novel. This story is told from the view point of both Annette and Peter bringing to light different events. I enjoyed both the exciting story and the delightful characters that Janine developed. I would recommend this story to readers that enjoy historical-romance.

  • This book gives a clear message of the gospel, and faith in God, with a verse quoted in each chapter.

    Historical fiction loves, romance loves, mystery lovers, this one has it all!

  • The overall plot and suspense are entertaining and in many sense foreboding enough to have you turning the pages. As a debut novel, I think the author gave us a good start to a trilogy worth exploring.

  • Secrets and undercurrents abound in this book. Sometimes I thought I knew what would probably happen next. I didn’t.

  • Cara Putman says:

    In Starving Hearts, Janine Medenhall creates a richly layered time piece that has so many conflicts keeping the hero and heroine apart I wondered how they could ever find their way together.

  • Right off the bat of Starving Hearts, I could see that Janine Mendenthall is a fan of Jane Austen. She did her best it seemed as to try to stick to the style of writing. The story for me did start off a little slow, but in all honesty, reading Austen did too.

  • Starving Hearts is a bit of a dichotomy for me as a reviewer – while it might not be a book I would read again, it was also a book that I couldn’t put down and a series I will continue to follow. It grew a bit long-winded and slow for me in the beginning, but somewhere around the late middle of the book things really start picking up and I was completely engaged until the end. And though I never connected with the main characters, the “villain” – though I despised him for a majority of the book – so intrigued me that I’m anxious to see what becomes of him in book two.

  • Books,Dreams,Life says:

    I really enjoyed this book. The story was well written and had lots of adventure and excitement. I am looking forward to more.

  • With this being Janine Mendenhall’s first novel, I was not sure what to expect. However, I was hooked after reading the first few pages. This is a delightful and sweet love story that leaves the reader with a little taste of Jane Austen. I absolutely loved it.

  • The book had an interesting story line and kept you guessing until the very end. The story was filled with historical themes while fusing elements of mystery, romance and intrigue. However, towards the middle of the book I found Annette and Peter to quite annoying and tiresome. A good book if you like stories around this time period but it just wasn’t for me.

  • Starving Hearts is definitely for fans of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. It is really that good. Full of twists and turns, romance, and learning to overcome your not-so-good current situations.

  • My mom read Starving Hearts before I did. I heard her mention a couple times that one of the characters made her angry, so she’d have to take a break from reading. I actually found a couple characters who annoyed me.

    I enjoyed the setting of late 1700s England.

  • More suspenseful than romance which I liked as I like suspense. Would satisfy a Regency Romance lover.

  • History fills the pages of this book. I had never heard of the Triangular Trade, so it was very interesting. It saddened me to read of the slaves, but it endeared me even more to Janine.

  • Book by Book says:

    More than the simple romance I expected, Starving Hearts features mystery, suspense, and drama, with a hearty dose of the issue of slavery’s abolition, in its plotline. It starts a little slowly and picks up its pace by the second half, becoming quite an interesting historical read with a fascinating villain to dislike.

  • The main characters are people you want to root for, the villain is very, very twisted and dark, but the author even manages to wring out a LITTLE sympathy for him, however undeserved it might be. My only complaint with this book is that the pacing seems a little off. It starts out a little slow, and the end seems a little rushed.

  • This book is book was a superb read, it was a unique Regency book which made it all the more fun. I immediately liked the main characters and even though there wasn’t a huge mystery as to who Annette’s mysterious rescuer was. Still it was a well developed story with a lot going on to keep the pages turning.
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • This book. Wow. I’d never read anything by Janine Mendenhall before and really wasn’t sure what to think of the book before beginning. Now, I want to find more. I want this story to continue on. It’s amazing! Seriously.

  • Starving Hearts is a historical romance and it grows on you as you fall for the charming Annette and gracious Peter. Smooth, serious, full of love, faith, and a kaleidoscope of emotions is what Starving Hearts is all about. We have the alluring and very vocal Annette as the heroine. Peter is the hero, savior and the victim all rolled into one. That he is a pastor and hopes to spread the Lord’s word makes him more upright and a thorough gentleman.

    The author has a merciless villain and the inhospitable era of slave trade as the backdrop of this book. Slike is a man of many shades and vices, he propels the story forward with his conniving and conceited plans. That he has a softer side is rarely shown and yet for me the villain had almost overshadowed the hero in a couple of places.

  • This book definitely reminded me of a Jane Austen style novel, which means it was right up my alley! Romance, intrigue, suspense – what’s not to love?!

    The author also tackled subjects like hope, forgiveness, and faith; as well as dealing with the moral failings and ethical quagmires of the time period. Great character development and just a well written work. Looking forward to reading more from this author!

  • Miss Annette Chetwynd has been assaulted and now she she will never be the same person that she once was. The nightmares will not go away. Will she ever know who helped her when she needed it? Mr. Peter Adsley needs to find a wife that will help him when he starts a new life as a in the clergy. This story is full of hope, romance and love. But it also has some suspense. Will Peter be able to help her? Will she be able to let herself move forward, or will she be caught in the past? I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group and these are my opinions.

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