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What the Heart Knows: A Milford-Haven Novel, Book One (The Milford-Haven Novels) Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Purl presents the first novel in her Milford-Haven series, which features a setting of unadulterated beauty. . .and a cast of successful, sexy, sometimes quirkily independent characters . . .romance. . .scandal, and carefully parsed out mystery. . .the novel is poised to convince readers to continue with the series. -- Publishers Weekly

Former Days of Our Lives actress Purl imbues her soap opera finesse into the fictional setting of Milford-Haven, a sleepy California coastal town. This may be Apple Pie, USA, but hearts are on the line, professions are at stake and a possible murder has tainted the landscape. A whirlwind of juicy drama with dangling-carrot closure.-- Kirkus Reviews

What the Heart Knows is an upbeat novel . . .the first book of Milford-Haven. The book opens powerfully . . . Purl does not use external paraphernalia to bring her characters to life. Multiple love stories, friendships, crushes, and. . .Purl's characters are well-traveled, educated, and street smart. -- ForeWord Reviews

...in Mara Purl's enchanting novel What  the Heart Knows...the cast of interesting and eccentric characters is what really draws the reader into the book.  Purl skillfully tackles tough environmental issues such as land development and offshore oil drilling through the lives of her characters and the events that unfold.  - RR Bowker's BookWire

From the Publisher

Few authors are also professional actors. Mara Purl's voice performances run an uncanny range, bringing her several characters vividly to life and making the listener forget she's a single performer. The virtuoso performance is enhanced by original music and a judicious use of top quality sound effects. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Milford-Haven Novels (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bellekeep Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936878011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936878017
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,742,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mara Purl is the best-selling author of the popular and critically acclaimed Milford-Haven Novels which so far have won twenty-four literary awards. Mara is published by Bellekeep Books, an imprint with Midpoint Trade Books in New York, which premiered the hard-cover launch of her series on 10-10-11 with book one, "What the Heart Knows" and continued 10-11-12 with book two "Where the Heart Lives." Book three "Why Hearts Keep Secrets" will be published in 2015, in sequence as Bellekeep brings out all the novels in paperback for the first time. The series also includes Kindle best-selling short stories "When Hummers Dream" and "When Whales Watch". Her beloved fictitious town first appeared as Milford-Haven, U.S.A.©, the first American radio drama ever licensed and broadcast by the BBC where it reached an audience of 4.5 million listeners throughout the U.K. Mara wrote for the Associated Press and the Financial Times of London, among many others. As an actress, she's best known as "Darla Cook" on Days Of Our Lives. Mara is a national spokeswoman for Women's Fiction and matters of the heart. She also speaks on creativity and personal transformation, and performs audio books.

Customer Reviews

It had great character development!
lololsn
Too many characters, stereotypical repetitiveness, predictable sequences and narrative.
Cooperstown nana
The book ends with nothing resolved.
Keowee gal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Judith Briles on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Mara Purl is a welcomed voice to women's fiction. Her characters are smart, sassy and intriguing. A family of sorts that is not related by blood by oh-so-connected. You care about them, wondering what will happen; who will connect with who; who will betray who; and who will go missing. There's romance, there's humor, there's mystery. What more could you want with a companion read? I have the printed book--it's interior design is easy on the eyes, attractively layed out. By the time you turn the final page, you want the next book ... Highly recommended.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robin on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Warmth and comfort reign in this fabulous read. The characters are whole and complete while keeping the reader wanting more. The setting is interesting, reassuring and beautiful. I can't wait for the next in the series. It is so nice to have a warm and comfortable book to come home to after a day in our competitive world. To be encouraged to follow your heart in a world fascinated by someone else s concept of success is wonderful.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Linda on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I admire and enjoy authors who have a gift for portraying characters' personalities in depth while subtly setting a larger stage in which the overall story will occur. Mara Purl has such a gift, and cleverly showcases it in What the Heart Knows. I was immediately taken in with the Christine Christian character, and had an easy time visualizing how the mythical Milford-Haven community came to life using beautiful Cambria as its model.

I found myself wanting to know more about all of the characters... What's Miranda Jones' family like, and how has she avoided their influence? What's the real story of Samantha Hugo and Jack Sawyer's relationship? Where are Zack Calvin and Miranda Jones headed? The characters were a great representation of the divergent circles of people in the community, while tenacles of other relationships headed south to Santa Barbara and north to San Francisco.

I discovered that there were too few pages at the end of the book as I was in full anticipation of what was coming next. Anxiously awaiting book two!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jemma on May 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a waste of money. As for the author, Greedy! She did not finish this first book, just so she can charge you to continue the storyline after you purchase another book. What a waste of time reading about all the designer named products. I wondered if she got a kickback for this advertising. She barely introduced some of the characters and then did nothing with them. I will not purchase any more of her books.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kansas623 on June 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a hard book for me to get interested in to begin with. But I kept reading and it really did get better and then I thought I was missing some of the book. I even went back a couple of pages on my Kindle thinking I hit the forward button by mistake. Here in what I would have thought was the middle of the book are all these character discriptions and some of the characters were not even in the book. Any series I have ever read had a beginning, middle and an end. The books could have stood alone, but made me want to continue reading the series to see how the story and the characters evolve. I felt with this book I really was missing part of the book. I doubt I'll finish this series unless the rest of the books are offered for free or the 99 cent special. The only way I'd pay more is if the second one is free and I feel the books are actually going somewhere.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Burke on May 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...I didn't resent the .99 price because the book was fun, in a soap-operific sort of way. The number of "product placements" was amazing - do writers still do this? Or was that a 90s thing too? The writing and editing really weren't bad - but one ironic typo is revealing: "intelligencia."

I got 60% through, and might have spent the time to finish it because it was pleasantly soporific (I was having some insomnia issues), but decided to read other reviews. They were very helpful in letting me know that nothing is resolved in this book and you're teased into buying the next installments (in the guise of sequels)- so I decided to invest $9.99 in a really good book instead.

PS: I'm an omnivorous reader. I seldom take time to write reviews, but now that I have a Kindle, and have discovered a strange disparity in the reviews (especially the bargains and deals), I feel it's almost a duty to counter the 5-star over-ratings. I do the same for 1-star under-ratings.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Jameson on May 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many writers can tell a great story, and many authors have interesting characters, but few storytellers know the human heart with as much depth and candor as Mara Purl. An observant eye, a listening ear, a sympathetic shoulder are crucial to a writer's ability to create characters that engage and interact the way that people do in real life. Mara Purl has that beautiful gift. We come to love her characters and care what happens to them because Mara loves them enough to bring them alive--with all their talents and all their flaws--on the page. This is why Mara's Milford-Haven series will be treasured and remembered! I'm so tickled that I know Mara Purl, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to know the hearts of her characters. What the Heart Knows is only the beginning!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth L. Alexander on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An enjoyable read. The town of Milford-Haven is alluring and so are the people who live there. I look forward to reading more in this series
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