Hearts of Men
What is inside a man’s heart? I can’t possibly presume to speak for every man, but I can tell you that this question has been a fascination of mine since I was a teenager and I started hearing people say that men weren’t in touch with their feelings and that they avoided letting their emotions guide them. That certainly wasn’t me, and it certainly wasn’t many of the people I knew. Yet this narrative has proven to be a durable one. You see and hear it everywhere – in books, on film, in the media, in coffee shops. I truly believe it is a flawed narrative.
When I began my career as a novelist, I knew that there was only one subject upon which I truly wanted to focus: the hearts of men. I wanted to tell stories from a male perspective that exploded stereotypes and were as honest as I could make them. That has led to this series. You’ll meet many men here. Some are just starting their lives, while others have lived it to the fullest. Some are lovers, some are fathers, some are sons. A number of these men have found themselves. Several are still searching. But all of them are facing a moment of dramatic change – a point when who they are and where they are going will be altered forever and when the only way they are going to face up to this change is to explore what’s in their hearts.
THE FOREVER YEAR
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Jesse Sienna doesn’t believe that love can last. His parents’ marriage was caring but passionless, and his own romantic history tells him that love can burn bright, but that it cannot burn for long. So when his elderly father, Mickey, moves in with him and seems unable to understand Jesse’s no-strings-attached relationship with Marina, his current girlfriend, Jesse barely pays attention. It’s just another example of how different they are – and more evidence that he and his father will never connect on any meaningful level.
But the truth is, Mickey Sienna knows more about love than most people learn in a lifetime. More than half a century ago, he discovered the endless rewards of investing your heart and soul in someone…and he knows the devastating costs of letting the perfect someone slip by.
When Mickey sees Jesse taking an extraordinary woman for granted, he decides it’s time to tell Jesse his story – a story he’s never shared with any of his children before. It is a story that will change both of them profoundly.
At once a stirring family drama and a touching romance, The Forever Year is filled with richly drawn characters and powerful situations. You will respond personally to the people you meet in this novel, and you will find yourself deeply enmeshed in their stories. And you might find yourself looking at love in a new way.
WHEN YOU WENT AWAY
Only a few months ago, Gerry Rubato had everything he thought he needed from life. He was passionately in love with his college sweetheart after nearly twenty years of marriage, he had a bright, independent-minded daughter, and he had the surprising addition of a new child on the way. Then everything changed with stunning rapidity. With little explanation, his daughter ran away with her older boyfriend. Then, only a month after giving birth to their son, his wife died suddenly.
Now, Gerry needs to be everything to his infant child while he contends with two losses he can barely comprehend. And when a woman walks into his life as a friend and their relationship verges on something more, Gerry must redefine all that he knows about himself, about love, about loyalty, and about his dreams.
An emotionally charged story filled with warmth, humor, wisdom, and unforgettable characters, When You Went Away is a novel you will take to your heart.
THE JOURNEY HOME
Joseph, a man in his late thirties, awakens disoriented and uneasy in a place he doesn’t recognize. He doesn’t know where he is and he has no way to contact his wife. He sets out on a journey to find his home with no sense of where he’s going and only the precious, indelible vision of the woman he loves to guide him.
Antoinette is an elderly woman in an assisted living facility. In recent months, her friends seem different to her and the world seems increasingly confusing. So she retreats inside her head. There, her body and mind haven’t betrayed her. There, she’s a young newlywed with a husband who dotes on her and an entire life of dreams to live. There, she is truly home.
Warren, Antoinette’s son, is a man in his early forties going through the toughest year of his life. His marriage ended, he lost his job, and in the past few months, his mother has gone from hale to increasingly hazy. With far too much time on his hands, he decides to try to recreate his memories of home by attempting to cook his mother’s greatest dishes and eat them with her.
Joseph, Antoinette, and Warren are three people on different searches for home. How they find it, and how they connect with each another at this critical stage in their lives, is the foundation for the kind of profound and deeply moving story we’ve come to expect from Lou Aronica.
Ken and Melissa are at the dawn of a magnificent life together. A passionate romance has led them to the doorstep of marriage. While searching for the perfect wedding present for Melissa, Ken stumbles into a mysterious shop. There, he is given an extraordinary opportunity – to look in on Melissa when she was a girl. Ken has always wished he could have known Melissa from the day she was born and this seems like an incredible blessing. Until he discovers a terrible secret in Melissa’s past, one so awful she has found it impossible to mention to him.
Now Ken has another extraordinary opportunity. He can go back in time and change the horrible event that has left an indelible mark on Melissa. He can free her of this burden – but doing so could change things so completely that they might never meet.
Ken has repeatedly told Melissa that he would do anything for her. But would he truly do anything?
CROSSING THE BRIDGE
Hugh Penders has been stuck in neutral for nearly a decade since his brother Chase died in a car accident. He carries with him two secrets that he has never been able to share with anyone: that he believes he might have been able to prevent the accident, and that he was deeply in love with Chase’s girlfriend, Iris.
When Hugh’s father suffers a debilitating heart attack, Hugh must return to the New England home he’s been running away from for the past ten years. One day, he encounters Iris – who has long since moved away – on the street. They begin a friendship and Hugh believes he’s falling in love with Iris all over again.
But the ghost of Chase haunts both of them. And when each reveals a truth the other never knew, their lives, their vision of Chase, and their chances for a future together will change forever.
Charged by the power of desire and the impact of loss, Crossing the Bridge is a soulful, romantic novel that will speak to you deeply.
FLASH AND DAZZLE
What happens when everything you thought was true changes all at once? What happens when each relationship that means anything to you suddenly becomes far more real than you ever thought it would be? What happens when every moment becomes invaluable as all of them pass far too quickly?
Flash and Dazzle is the story of two friends who have known the best of times who develop a true taste for life during the worst of times. It is the story of the friends and lovers who enter their orbit, some for a long time and some only for a moment. It is the story of legacies, burdens, and the kinds of secrets that are only revealed when there’s nothing left to tell.
It is a funny, moving, deeply honest novel that will inspire you to call everyone you care about and thank everyone you know for what they’ve given you.
Dylan Hunter has it made. At 29, he has great friends, a huge job, all the women he can handle, and no commitments. A public relations executive, Dylan has dashed up the ladder of success by mastering the art of the spin – bending the truth to his and his clients’ needs. But when a former lover steps back into his life with a three-year-old girl by her side (no, she’s not his), Dylan suddenly finds himself in a place he can’t spin himself out of. And when Dylan unexpectedly becomes the child’s sole guardian, he finds himself to be like a circus performer trying to keep all of his spinning plates from crashing to the ground. In what seems like a blink of the eye, Dylan Hunter’s life has changed completely…whether he’s ready for it or not.
Alternately humorous and poignant, romantic and tragic, playful and dramatic, Spinning is the kind of wise, touching, emotion-packed novel readers have come to expect from Lou Aronica.
A WINTER DISCOVERY
Returning to the characters of his novel, When You Went Away, Lou Aronica takes us again into the world of Gerry Rubato, a man who has been marked by loss and revived by love, and his son Reese, now six, who celebrates life at a remarkable level but is only now starting to understand that he was robbed of the chance of ever knowing his late mother. Reese is old enough now to get caught up in the excitement of the Christmas season and he throws himself into it with abandon. His sense of celebration takes on entirely new levels of meaning, though, when it leads him to an unexpected and most remarkable discovery.
At once buoyant and poignant, and filled with irrepressible spirit, A Winter Discovery is a story of that will take you to new places in your heart.