Book Review: Barbed Wire Heart

A heartfelt, exciting, and suspenseful read


This author blurs the line between good and bad and I strongly recommend her books.

Barbed Wire Heart is a novel written by Tess Sharpe, and it follows the story of a girl growing up with her father, who also happens to be the biggest criminal in North County. Harley McKenna’s mother was murdered right in front of her. Her father, Duke, and a man named Springfield had been competing for control over North County since before Harley can remember. With her mother dead, her father becomes paranoid and will stop at nothing to keep her safe. Harley has been working for Duke since she was sixteen. Her childhood consisted of tests, but not the kind schools give out. Duke taught Harley to be loyal, unforgiving, and cautious. He taught her how to be a McKenna. For Harley’s whole life, she’s seen men tear down the town she grew up in. Violence has been the only way. But when something unexpected happens, Harley is on the fast track to inherit her father’s business. She must decide who she wants to be: her mother’s daughter, a woman with strength, honor, and care for all humanity. Or, Duke’s daughter, a cold-hearted criminal who doesn’t think twice before taking a life. 

This book was one of my favorites. The chapters switched between Harley’s memories and the present time. Harley has people in her life that care for her, including her father, who ultimately loves her, but goes about it the wrong way. She’s watched too many people in her life be murdered. The characters are complex. They feel real, each character battles with their own demons. Harley has layers and struggles with carrying her family’s legacy. She also holds onto each death she’s witnessed and begins to think that she’s the reason the people she loves are dead. Each moment of the book was heartfelt, exciting, and suspenseful. It was empowering to women as well. Every man in Harley’s life underestimates her and she uses that to her advantage. She cons almost everyone in her life to make her plan successful. The book shows people that there’s not always a definite good or bad guy. Sometimes, there are just complex people.

Tess Sharpe is an incredible author. I love this book and her other novel, Far From You. This author blurs the line between good and bad and I strongly recommend her books. However, do be aware that her novels do contain violence and mention of drugs.