Contemporary Fiction, Review

Secrets of the Heart by Lee Tobin McClain

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Secrets of the Heart by Lee Tobin McClainJavier Quintana knows his family’s struggling restaurant, El Corazon, needs help. But when his interfering siblings hire Molly Abbott, a successful food entrepreneur and his high-school sweetheart, he’s livid.

The way their relationship ended wasn’t pretty. And although Molly never married, she’s the single mom of an eleven-year-old daughter conceived right about the time of the breakup.

Molly’s ideas about farm-to-table, health-conscious Mexican food conflict with Javier’s strong sense of tradition, even as her joyous faith convicts him about his own lapse from the church of his youth.

Can a reunion romance bring happiness to two lonely souls who never forgot each other… or will their relationship be derailed by the secrets they both carry in their hearts?

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My Thoughts

What a wonderful beauty from ashes sweet romance! Fresh food and sustainable living are seamlessly tied into the storyline along with weightier issues like faith, forgiveness, legacy, and abuse.

Javier is a quintessential Darcy hero… tall, dark, and broody, devastatingly handsome, occasionally quick to judge, fiercely protective of his family, and he has some pride in there too 😉

As the eldest sibling, Javier is used to running the show and calling the shots in the family business (it’s a first born thing, believe me). I can see his white knuckles clinging to the comfort and security of control and tradition (I might have been helping him just a little bit… it’s always prudent to be cautious when considering possible changes).

Molly is a survivor, a mama bear, and an innovative entrepreneur. She has no intentions of being taken care of (or taken advantage of) ever again. Readers will relate to Molly’s single-minded determination to give her daughter the best life possible.

Secrets of the Heart gave me warm fuzzies and a serious craving for Mexican! Even though my stomach doesn’t benefit, I’m looking forward to visiting El Corazon again soon (fact or fictional, the food still makes my mouth water)!

I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author

Lee Tobin McClainLee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. The PW bestselling author of fifteen contemporary Christian romances, she enjoys crafting emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings.

When she’s not writing, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

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Also Available

Arcadia Valley Romance

 Summer's Glory by Mary Jane Hathaway 
goodreads | amazon


Sacred Bond Friends & Family

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Enter to win this book and an Amazon gift card for the current Arcadia Valley titles on First Line Friday #43: Secrets of the Heart + giveaway


Let’s talk authentic Mexican food! Anyone have a favorite restaurant, dish, or recipe to share? 

31 thoughts on “Secrets of the Heart by Lee Tobin McClain”

  1. We have a Mexican restaurant out here called Mazatlan that is my absolute favorite!! Once you get seated, they bring you out warm tortilla chips & homemade salsa. It’s family owned & their food is out of this world!! My favorite dish from there is Enchilada’s and black beans or pinto beans instead of re-fried. Oh so good!! Makes my mouth water thinking about it.

    My other favorite dish is homemade tamales with anything in them really! I do love the chicken and green chillie ones the best! I just found out that a couple that comes to our church every once in a while, has a little shop downtown and they make authentic Mexican food….I’ve had their tamales…I thought I went to heaven tasting them, oh my!! I may have to blow my budget and get me some of them, they do freeze well, lol!

    Now I’m craving Mazatlan, have to convince hubby to take me there…HA!


  2. My favorite Mexican dish is still tacos. However, I love them fixed at home over any where I’ve eaten them out. I fry the shells (both soft and hard) at home – no precooked ones. And instead of your traditionally scooped ones, I do them flat. Then we layer our ingredients in our plates and eat the shells with them. So technically I guess it’s a taco salad but definitely more meat and cheese than lettuce. 🙂 I think the reason I love them at home is more due to the flavoring of the meat and our HOT sauce to doctor them with.


  3. I have several taco casserole dishes and other Mexican dishes, but this is one of our favorites:
    !-2 cans enchilada sauce
    14 corn tortillas
    2 cups sour cream, NOT lite!
    1 cup chopped onion, sauteed
    1/2 – 1 tsp. cumin, depended on taste
    4 cups shredded cheese – I like to use Mexican cheese but American cheese makes it creamier
    1 1/2 pound browned & seasoned hamburger

    Blend sour cream, onions, cumin, 1 cup of cheese, and mix. Soften tortilla shells either by holding them briefly under hot water or by dipping in oil in frypan for a few seconds. (and pat dry) Dip shells in enchilada sauce and place in broiler pan (without top). Fill shell with hamburger mixture and fold shell in half. Use 2 rows of 7 shells each. Pour remaining enchilada sauce on top and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.


  4. We have a restaurant in our town called Cafe Sabor. They have the best shrimp enchiladas! So yummy! I enjoy Mexican food if it’s not too spicy and doesn’t have lots of cilantro in it.


  5. Our favorite Mexican Restaurant is a local one named Sombra. Each time I think I have a favorite dish, I discover something equally as delicious! Presently, my favorite is Chili Glazed Shrimp Tacos. Really not like it sounds AT ALL!! A very light chili glazing is on the mazzo fried shrimp with corn relish. YUMMY! My other favorite Mexican Dish is Venison Enchiladas cooked by my husband!! DELISH!! I would share the Recipe but I’m not home! ????


  6. Living in San Diego County, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite Mexican restaurant. There are SO many great ones here! It’s also difficult to pick a favorite Mexican dish, but I guess I’ll go with street tacos – any variety – because they were what I ate the first time I visited south of the border and because they are just delicious.


  7. I love the restaurant, Montazuma here in Chambersburg,PA. When yiu sit down they bring delicious warm tortilla chips and sauce. I enjoy going with my oldest son because my husband doesn’t like Mexican food. I always get the casadia with no guacamole.

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com


  8. I have two favorite Mexican restaurants- a little hole in the wall called El Azteca that makes the best carne asada burritos and horchata, and a nicer restaurant in Old Town San Diego called Casa de Reyes that has a gorgeous ambiance with their outdoor seating, and cream filled churros with chocolate dipping sauce.


  9. we love Mexican at our house! A favorite crock pot recipe is Mexican Chicken

    6-8 Chicken breasts
    1 jar salsa
    1 can black beans drained
    1 package frozen corn
    1 oz pkg cream cheese
    Shredded ColbyJack cheese

    Place chicken in crock pot and top with salsa, beans and corn. Cook on low for approximately 8 hours. About 30 minutes before your want to eat, place the cream cheese in the crock pot. I shred the chicken and mix it all up. Then serve over tortillas, tortill chips or rice. Whatever your family likes. And this is great reheated too if there are any leftovers!


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