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on May 14, 2011
Love a good historical mystery? Then you must check out Nike Chillemi's Burning Hearts. Set in Long Island, NY in the mid-forties, it's a tale of motorcycles, mayhem, and murder. When an arson/murder introduces Erika Brogna, a dressmaker's apprentice, to Loren Kincade, a disillusioned war hero, sparks fly. There are enough twists, tension, and 40's flavor to satisfy the most demanding mystery lover. A great read!!!
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on June 7, 2011
Burning Hearts, the first in Nike Chillemi's Sanctuary Point series, is a great thrill ride from start to finish.

Set in 1940's New York, the hero, Lorne Kincaid, meets seamstress, Erica Brogna, under dire circumstances. He's disillusioned after the war and she's devastated by a murder yet when he rides up on his Harley to save the day, Erica falls under his spell. Can they work past their insecurities and protect each other in the process?

Nike does a wonderful job of transporting us back to the 1940's. Lorne is reminiscient of James Dean roaring through town on his Harley. A misunderstood good guy and Erica is a strong, independent young woman with a character all her own.

You'll keep turning page after page when reading this great book!
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on May 15, 2011
Nike did a great job with Burning Hearts. It's the first romance I've ever read without white hats and black hats fighting over pretty girls, saloon fights, and midnight raids on a robber's hideout. Lorne and Erica are strong characters with moral conviction. It's a good read.
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I really enjoyed the fast-pace and riveting mystery of Burning Hearts. It took me back to the time when World War II had just ended. I felt as if I was there in every scene in Long Island, 1946, sitting in diners, listening to the gum-smacking dialogue of secondary characters, and smelling the aromas of this quaint town with its downtown and uptown people. As I read it I felt as though I was watching a movie.

The author makes you identify with the main character, Erica Brogna, right down to her need to straighten the seams along the backs of her nylons. I felt what it was like to walk in the character's penny loafers. The hero, Lorne Kincaid, rides into town on a Harley Davidson, and he's a man bruised emotionally from seeing his buddies die in the war. But what a hero--that tall, broad shouldered young man we either want to fall in love with or have our daughter's marry.

Right from page one I was hooked. Loved all the attention to detail that wasn't intrusive on the story. The plot kept me guessing until the very last chapter who the murderer was.

Burning Hearts was a delightful, suspenseful romp, and had me rooting for the hero and heroine all the way through.
If you like a good murder mystery, with a sense of non-to-distant history, and a warm romance, then I highly recommend this book to you.
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on May 15, 2011
Erica Brogna has just received her first dream assignment--to design a custom dress for Ada Pinter's dress shop. When she arrives at Ada's, though, she finds the place on fire. Unable to rescue Ada, Erica rushes to find help.

Lorne Kincade is riding his Harley Davidson through town when he sees a beautiful woman running out in the street, waving her arms, and screaming for assistance. After Lorne finds out what is happening, he rushes inside the burning dress shop. He manages to carry Ada out of the building.

After Lorne and Erica arrive at the hospital, Erica worries if Ada will survive. Not knowing why, she is drawn to the handsome stranger who saved her employer. She feels safe in his presence.

When the Nassau County Fire Inspector shows up, telling Erica he suspects arson, Erica wonders who would want to hurt Ada, especially since they live in such a small village. To make matters worse, Lorne is one of the prime suspects.

Lorne wonders what he's gotten himself into this time. He considers hopping on his motorcycle and leaving the way he came in, but what if he's been sent to help Erica? Not only that, Erica's different than any other woman he's met.

Filled with great word imagery, warm characters, and suspense, this author has penned a story that will capture the readers' attention to the very end.

I highly recommend this book.
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on May 26, 2011
Author Nike Chillemi's new sweet historical romance, Sanctuary Point Book One: Burning Hearts just released May 15. It's set in Long Island New York, and the hero, Lorne Kincade, rides in on a Harley Davidson and attempts to rescue a woman from a fire. He meets Erica Brogna, and can't shake her from his mind or heart, but someone is out to frame him for the murder of the woman he tried to save. If they can't succeed in framing him, they'll settle for Erica, but he won't let that happen.
The action starts with Chapter One and keeps on going. I don't usually read historical romance novels, since my favorite genre is romantic suspense, but I truly enjoyed this one and wanted to keep reading to see what happened. I loved the way the hero rode in to the rescue on a bike instead of a white horse and turned out to be a true hero in more ways than one. If you're looking for a clean romance, the couple is young and innocent, and the romance has the flavor of sweet, young love that it is. The content of this novel is five-star.
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on September 18, 2012
Author Nike Chillemi's thriller debut novel is well worth reading. The small town of Sanctuary Point is her post World War II setting. The picturesqueness of its Long Island harbor feels like a character in itself with the author's excellent descriptions.

Erica Brogna and Lorne Kincade meet most uncharacteristically. A frantic Erica is escaping from her friend's burning house and hardened war-hero Lorne, riding nearby on his Harley Davidson, leaps to the rescue, but too late to save Ada, Erica's best friend and dress-designer employer.

When the ashes settle, a surprising friendship develops between Erica and Lorne, but they've more questions than answers about the fire. Could the fire have been more than an accident? And if so, who would have started such an inferno? Ms. Chillemi quickly pulls the reader into the story, builds her plot nicely with plenty of surprising action and keeps `who done it' a secret to the end.

I enjoyed the characters and the setting very much. This is a historical novel and is authentic in its 1940s touches, even down to the lime-green Jell-O with pears. I would like to have seen a flaw or two in Erica's nurturing family of parents and brother. It would have made them a little more believable.

Also, the relationship between Erica and Lorne seemed to have too many starts and stops, especially when they really did care for one another, but Lorne, so accomplished in his role as soldier, had to struggle hard to feel worthy of Erica and her family's love. But redemption shines brighter on a darker canvas and we're treated to a sweet ending.

I don't think you'll be disappointed with Burning Hearts. I look forward to book two.
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on October 5, 2011
Love and hope rise out of the ashes of tragedy.

Erica and Lorne's lives come crashing together the morning Erica discovered Ada's house on fire. Lorne had my admiration from the moment he entered the scene. Without a thought for his own safety, he was willing to run into a burning house to save a woman he didn't even know. While Lorne was too late to save Ada's life, his selfless act firmly established him as a hero in my mind. After the initial shock of the tragedy is over, Lorne and Erica find themselves drawn to each other. However, they both had some personal issues to work through before they reached their happy ending.

Erica was a very easy character to like. She deeply cares for her friends and family and will go to great lengths to protect them. She's also very smart and motivated. She struck me as one of those people who always needs to be doing something. I have a feeling that whatever Erica puts her mind to, she'll have no trouble accomplishing. Erica is also very resilient. While Ada's death shook Erica to her core, she came to realize that life goes on and focused her energy into helping find Ada's murderer.

Despite all Erica's strengths, she's in the midst of a crisis of faith. She'd been questioning the validity of her belief in God for a while, but Ada's death has made her take a hard look at her faith. I loved that Erica's search for God didn't come in any hard and fast answers. Instead she found solace in prayer and in her family and friends who formed a tight knit community of believers who were there to listen and support her when she needed them.

Lorne was a true hero from the moment he entered Erica's life. Not only did I admire his act of bravery, but he was also very caring and tender toward Erica. Like Erica, Lorne has issues with his faith. His life had been marked by tragedy from an early age and the war was just the most recent horror he'd had to endure. Lorne had left God behind him a long time ago, but as the story progressed, Lorne began to realize that God never left him. As with Erica, there were no easy answers to Lorne's questions. I really liked the fact that Erica's family and friends are Christians who gently lead by example. Their lives aren't perfect, but they all have a strong faith and are willing to open their hearts and homes to Lorne.

In the search for Ada's murder, Erica and Lorne came across plenty of unsavory characters. They each had a main suspect who would certainly have fit the bill. I never thought either of their suspects were the true culprit. I was constantly searching through the secondary characters in an effort to solve the mystery before the story was over. However, I was truly surprised when the murderer was revealed. I won't spoil the ending, but I must say that I felt like the revelation came out of the blue. My only complaint with this is, when the story ended, I didn't feel as if I truly understood the killer's motivation for taking Ada's life.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the story was the romance between Erica and Lorne. They were attracted to each other almost immediately, but were unwilling to act on it. Erica had just lost her best friend and couldn't begin to entertain thoughts of romance. Lorne felt he wasn't worthy of Erica's affections. However, as the story progressed, the connection between them slowly began to grow. I liked that they never rushed into anything. They went on some lovely dates and really got to know each other. It was a delight to see them excited and full of butterflies at the thought of dancing together, or simply seeing each other again.

I enjoyed reading Burning Hearts. It is an inspirational story full of love and hope. Anyone who loves a good mystery paired with a sweet romance should certainly pick up a copy of Burning Hearts.

Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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on March 13, 2015
Great story! I read this series out of order (don't ask), so it was great fun to go back to the beginning. The characters are real and gritty, nothing fake or fluffy about them. Just when I thought I'd figured out whodunit, a new plot twist surprised me and kept me up for another hour. A great series for anyone who loves romantic suspense.
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on May 23, 2011
For me, reading Burning Hearts was a lot like watching those old movies I like from the 1940s and 50s that used to play on late night TV. Nike Chillemi has written the characters so well that I even found myself `casting' who would play the parts. In fact, as I read I was picturing the story at times in black and white on a small screen. Just like with those old movies, I couldn't put this book down until way after what should have been bedtime.

This story includes a great collection of good guys, bad guys, and everything in between. Lorne Kincaid is someone you'll cheer for all the way. Clearly a special kind of guy, he's just humble enough to be the hero who everyone would root for. As the story builds, you just know that he and Erica Brogna should be meant for each other. With all the twists and turns, though, you're not sure both of them will live through to the end and if true love and spiritual awakening will finally grab hold in their lives.

The period atmosphere in this book is rich. Nike's details make this read feel like it's truly taking place in another time - a time when women were women, men appreciated them that way, and God was ever present.

I'm thankful I picked out this book to read and can hardly wait for a sequel. I look forward to again feeling like I'm turning on the old Philco TV, putting my feet up, and turning on Chanel 11 for a great show.
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