Today I am doing a requested review of Hidden Under Her Heart by Rachelle Ayala.
Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He’s smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher’s son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.
Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby’s DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.
The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne’s life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.
A 99,000-word women’s fiction, HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART deals with the consequences of rape and abortion.
My Review: This is very timely book about a controversial subject, abortion. Not just abortion but aborting a pregnancy due to rape. Maryanne, a nurse, is given a date rape drug while at a party of the pastors son. Not knowing what happened she woke up the next morning sick and in someone else clothes dumped in the parking lot. Trying to put the incident out of her mind becomes impossible after a tape is released to you tube showing her in a drunken state and then apparently getting raped in a darkened area. All of this comes about just as she is starting to build a new relationship with the man of her dreams. Each new development tears them apart just after they find each other again. Maryanne wants to opt for an abortion after she finds she is pregnant but Lucas the boyfriend is violently opposed to abortion for religious and personal reasons. The author does a good job of delving into the emotions involved on both sides of the issue. I had a little issue with her not wanting a rape kit done since she could not recall what happened and since she was a nurse and knew how important it might be. Also the question of STD and HIV exposure was never addressed which is always a big issue with any rape case. But all in all it was a good story. I give the book 4.5 stars.