What the Heart Knows

The best-selling Book One of the Milford-Haven Saga

“. . . 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

“The story takes place in a beautiful town in California, Purl pulls you into her world right away. With her smart and sassy characters. A local artist Miranda Jones that is finally getting recognized for her work. And is Zack her total love interest? what are they doing? where are they going? I loved the relationship with Samantha and Jack. Purl brings in total strangers from different parts of the world. Why? Why not? they each have nothing to loose. The stakes are high for each of them as they search and struggle to start each of their lives over again. Purls’ new Milford-Haven series is wonderful. I received the book for an honest review. A lovely illustrated cover and I can see why Purl is a National Award-Winning Author. What The Heart Knows is a perfect story to be book 1 in the Milford-Haven Series.”Toni House

“Former Days of Our Lives actress Purl imbues her soap opera finesse into the fictional setting of Milford-Haven . . . . This may be Apple Pie, USA, but hearts are on the line . . . a whirlwind of juicy drama.”Kirkus Review

“A new series set in coastal California lured me into its depths this weekend. I spent an enjoyable, but sometimes unsettling two days reading What the Heart Knows by Mara Purl, a Milford-Haven novel. Mara Purl delves into the psyche of her characters with numerous paragraphs to reveal a character’s thoughts. I especially like that Mara provides a list of characters at the end of the book, and would appreciate if more authors followed this practice. The scenery swims around the characters in the words of Mara and through the eyes of Miranda Jones, an artist. Cattiness and deception flow from many of the women, and true friendship shimmers in the distance. Ruthlessness and aloofness gush from the men, who hide any hint of feeling. I see the characters on a disastrous journey with the ice berg hiding, but ready to plummet the individuals into chaos. Mara utilizes the scenery and nature in the story to provide a sense of calm and danger, as the reader wonders what has become of Christine Christian.”Delphimo

Best-seller on Amazon

#5 in Books

#3 in Women’s Lit & Fiction

#5 in Romance

#1 Contemporary Fiction

#1 Family Saga Fiction



Winner – Romance, International Book Award

Winner, Fiction: Romance – USA Book News Best Book Awards

Winner, Fiction: Romance – National Indie Excellence Award

Finalist, Fiction: Romance – Foreword Book Of the Year Award

Finalist, Silver: Fiction Audio – Ben Franklin Award

Miranda Jones has always used her head. Her artist’s rep and mentors, parents and sister, always advised she must. With her paintings at a major fine art gallery, her journey as a struggling artist is finally paying off. But while her head told her success in a big city was what she wanted, her heart told her a simpler life in a small community would feel like home. Now that she’s moved, deeper questions surface: What is her life purpose? What’s missing? And what does her heart know that her head keeps ignoring?

California’s Central Coast is growing explosively. Now, in the mid-1990s, tourism is up, but so are environmental regulations. Housing is on the rise, but so are water restrictions. Gambling is limited, but the Chumash tribe lobbies for a gaming casino. The stock market is booming, the upwardly mobile are pouring out of Los Angeles in search of a fresh start, or a weekend getaway. In these affluent, pre-9-11 days, it’s a time of infinite possibilities.

Milford-Haven is a town full of characters. Escapees from San Francisco and Los Angeles, New York and Arkansas, Montreal and South Africa, have come here with their own hopes and expectations, agendas and shadowed pasts. The stakes are high: create a new life from scratch. The opportunities are dazzling: own a piece of the California dream. It’s a town of buried secrets and a dangerous mystery, quaint shops and breathtaking vistas, peaceful solitude and spontaneous conversations. What draws people here is the sense that—in their heart of hearts—they know there’s something they’ve always wanted to do. And if not now . . . when? So look for the sign to Milford-Haven, pull off Highway 1 and stop by. Come discover for yourself . . . What the Heart Knows.

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