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The Strength of His Heart

Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Enhanced, Book 4
Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

"To protect and serve...." 

All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Police Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organization.  

Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investigates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.  

Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.

©2019 Dreamspinner Press (P)2019 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

my fav of the four!

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO version of this book.
This is book 4 in the Enhanced series, and it’s not necessary to have read/listened to the other three books, but it might help give you a better picture of what it means to be Enhanced, and what this team means to Vance.
All Vance wanted to do, as a child, was follow in his father’s footsteps and join the police force. Waking up with the mark on his face put pays to that, but he was one of the lucky ones. His family did not treat him any differently, and they love Vance, period. Sam’s upbringing is very different, never knowing his father, and his mother dying when was he was a small child. Joining the DEA as an undercover agent helped him get over that, but now he wants out. Meeting Vance and the members of HERO is a dream come true, and Vance himself is a wet dream come true for Sam. But Sam won’t be drawn into anything with the much bigger man, he suffered before and will not again. But when Sam is kidnapped and Vance’s undercover gig is blown, they have to trust each other’s heart will be strong enough to get them out of this.
Vance is a sweetheart! Oh, I loved him here, once we get into his head. He really just wants to look after people, even though his gift was size and strength, he doesn’t want to use it. And Sam? Sam pushes all of Vance’s buttons and then some, he really does. Vance is smitten, right from when we met Sam in book three, and being partnered with Sam here? Vance is in heaven. At least till Sam and Vance have an encounter that ends all kinds of wrong for all kinds of reasons and neither man will talk to the other.
Sam’s past comes back to kidnap him here, and when it’s discovered WHO? I did NOT see that one coming, let me tell ya! But what they are doing with Enhanced adults and indeed some children, is awful, and it’s difficult reading, it really is.
This is far less explicit than the other three books, but I think it didn’t need to be. There is enough of Vance and Sam’s emotions to keep you going!
We meet Vance’s brother here. And while I had him pegged as the partner of a certain nurse, it turns out I am wrong and one of the team is strangely affected by Daniel. Their story, I *think* is next and I cannot wait to read it! Or listen, rather, cos I don’t like to flip between listening and reading in a series!
Nick J. Russo again narrates.
I am loving the combination of Ms Sue and Mr Russo, I really am!
Russo’s voices are clear and consistent across all four books, and his reading voice is deep and even. I have no trouble keeping up with multiple person conversations.
It’s the EMOTIONS I find, that Russo gets across. You can’t always pick that up when you read a book, no matter how well it’s written (and these books are VERY well written!) but hearing someone’s voice, telling you about their rotten childhood and what they had to do to survive, it gets you, right in the heart. I had to stop what I was doing many times, just to LISTEN, you know?? I had to concentrate on what was being said, cos it got to me so much.
I hope that Russo will continue to narrate the books that Victoria Sue continues to write! Cos you know, everyone needs to be happy, and they ain’t right now!
5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Love the narration, not my favorite in the series

Sigh. There is so much I love about this world and this series – but there is so much that I get frustrated with as well.
In this case – I was really unimpressed with Vance and Angel’s romance – which was a drag because I really thought Angel would be one of my favorite characters’stories based on his presence in other books.
I find myself skimming a lot these days and I think the author could use a strong hand with an editor to really make these stories leaner and more powerful. There was just so much thrown in here that I found myself confused a lot which led to frustration and finally to indifference. Frankly, it was too much work to figure out who, what and where with this - even though I'd read all the books leading up to this book.
There is an awful lot of telling and not nearly as much showing as I’d like and the end result is more of a luke warm romance than something that really sets the heart/pages on fire. When I read the next to last sex scene I was ready to be done with the entire series - it's really awful - and if it hadn't happened just near the end I would have DNF'd the book - it felt almost like non-consensual contact- though it wasn't - and it happened almost at the end when our MCs are already supposedly in love and happy... it felt really uncomfortable and we didn't get nearly enough Happy to make up for it.
2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

Audio
I super love Nick J Russo. He makes any book better just having narrated it. I really enjoy his ability to do a plethora of characters with a variety of accents including women and children. This is a series with a metric ton of characters and Nick does an excellent job of giving each of them a unique sound. I enjoyed in particular his version of Luis and was able to make it through this story as an audiobook despite my reservations from reading it.
I’m still a big fan of this series and I definitely recommend the audiobook as a terrific way to enjoy this story.

5 of 5 for the narration

4 of 5 stars overall

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love, trust, family and forever

I was really really excited to get Vance’s story. ☺️ Not gonna lie, he’s probably my favorite after Talon in the series. Vance is just a big, kind softie and he definitely deserves a happily ever after of his own. ❤️ And we got teases of Sam and his story in the previous book from mischievous Miss Victoria Sue. 😁 So I was really really hyped up about this audio. And now, onto reviewing. 😉

All Vance wanted to be was to become a cop just like everyone else in his family. But when he turned out to be an enhanced in his teen, his dreams of ever becoming a law enforcement officer was crushed and destroyed. Until he met Talon Valdez, the leader of FBI’s H.E.R.O team and he became a member of FBI’s special team. But he has another dream, to fall in love and have a family with the man of his dreams. And “Samuel” Angel Piper is definitely his dream man, edgy, snarky, a bit prickly but oh so adorable and his type. Sam isn’t looking for true love and white picket fences. After all, he’s too busy battling with his own inner demons very single day to think about everything else. And Vance just grates so many wrong nerves for him. Nobody can be that good and kind, right? Vance definitely must have ulterior motives. Sam has to realize soon that if he keeps running away from Vance, one day he’d stop chasing him too and he would lose his only short at true happiness.

Look, I get it why this story is so controversial. Oh boy, Sam did test my patience countless times. 🤦‍♀️ I was listening and shouting in my bedroom like a headless chicken several times because I wished I could slap some sense into him. 😂 Yes, he had a difficult and ugly childhood. But direct quote to CBS show “Two Broke Girls”, that doesn’t give him a bitch pass to everyone. He’s stubborn, extremely insecure and didn’t have a clue what he really wanted. And the way he played my poor, innocent Vance. 😭 I really wanted to whip his arse hard. 🙄 But in the end, he’s a victim of domestic abuse and PTSD. 😶 I know that doesn’t make up for what he did to Vance but that’s one of the reason we have to give credit for. And although I was a bit frustrated with this book romance wise, I was extremely happy and satisfied with this book’s plots and twists and storywise. 😊 A lot of the unanswered questions in the previous books in the series are answered here and many frustrating knots were untangled here. Especially the half of this book, man, talk about dramalama!!! 😱😏 That hospital/secret lab scene was super creepy and terrifying but necessary for the sake of storyline nonetheless. If you asked me whether Sam redeemed himself in the end, I’d have to say he “barely” did it. 🙂 But I’m very happy for Vance because now he has a chance for shot at happily ever after with the man of his dreams. 💙 As always, Nick J. Russo deserves a shout out for his amazing narration. 👏 He and Miss Sue combo always rock my world! 😍 I hope we will get more books in this fascinating world because I’m definitely not done with my H.E.R.Oes. 😉


4 love, trust, family and forever stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️






Audio rating

Story - 3.75 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟
Narration - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Performance - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Overall - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great book.

this book is a Very good book. it shows that everyone she be loved. 💞

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

just ok for MN e

it seemed many of the choices sounded so similar, I was confused a lot .

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Paranormal / Science Fiction

I love Nick J. Russo and they way he makes every character come to life, but there's a lot happening in this and the story itself sometimes felt disconnected to the way the rest of series has flowed for me.

I've been looking forward to Vance's romance with Sam since Vance first met him as "Angel" when Sam was undercover for the DEA in Beneath This Mask and while I loved the narration, the story was a miss for me.

The first time I read this I thought there would be far more romance than there actually was between them, but there isn't any real romantic pay off or relationship building. Please make sure when buying you understand this is a Paranormal / Science Fiction story and not a romance. In all, the writing feels rushed and disconnected from the other Victoria Sue novels I've read - including the rest of the Enhanced series.

I was hoping that listening to it might help me, and while I absolutely loved listening to Nick J. Russo, I'm still left with more questions than answers and without the romance I was craving for Vance and Sam.

Paranormal / Science Fiction with dual POV, action, HFN ending.

Story - 2.5 stars, Narration - 4.5 stars; Total: 3.5 Stars

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fabulous addition to a brilliant series.

The Strength of His Heart is the fourth novel in the Enhanced World Series and can not be listened to as a stand-alone. Each story builds on the previous one, with new characters being added and the expectation that the listener is already familiar with existing characters, couples and their history. Beginning with the establishment of the aptly named Human Enhanced Rescue Organisation (HERO) the series covers the organisation’s gradual expansion and the development of its growing reputation for solving crimes and apprehending extremely dangerous criminals and organisations. It is an incredibly engaging world and if you haven’t already listened to the first three you are in for an amazingly engaging ride.

Vance Connelly is an enhanced human with inhuman strength as his ability. His father and brothers are all members of law enforcement in one way or another and he grew up dreaming of being a police officer. When he became enhanced those dreams were shattered as only non-enhanced humans were permitted to join. With the establishment of the FBI’s first HERO team he was finally given his chance. There is a sweet gentleness to Vance that seems at odds with his enormous frame but somewhere along the way he’s convinced himself that his dream of a family and a white picket fence is unattainable. With a big accepting family, many friends and a job where he can serve and protect, Vance still believes he can lead a productive happy life. When he is allocated a new partner, however, Vance begins to hope for something more than friendship.

Samuel (Angel) Piper is keen to leave the DEA undercover work he has been engaged in and move on to the more challenging world of the FBI and the HERO team. He is highly ambitious and this seems like the perfect stepping stone to a career in the FBI. When he’s teamed with Vance he has difficulty seeing past his enormous size and the frightening memories from his past that Vance triggers. Samuel is determined to bury that past, however, and use this golden opportunity for advancement. Allowing himself to trust and let down his walls with this gentle giant won’t be easy but as dangerous adversaries emerge from both the present and past, trusting Vance may be the only thing that can save him.

The Strength of His Heart follows Vance and Sam’s journey, along with the other members of the HERO team and their families. It is a fast paced, action filled tale with the two men gradually learning to trust each other and the possibility of a HEA, though with evil people and organisations battling to use the enhanced and bring down the HERO’s it won’t be an easy journey. There are some fabulous moments of payback that had me cheering and the way in which the author bought some closure to our hero’s as they fought to keep the city safe was both brilliantly plotted and written.

Nick J. Russo is a superb voice actor and his narration of this novel was flawless. Having read the novel previously I can honestly say that the audiobook took the story and its characters to a whole new level. I was on the edge of my seat throughout and so riveted that I could not stop listening until the incredibly satisfying conclusion. I recommend setting aside a whole day to listen because I found it impossible to stop before the end.

The Strength of His Heart was all that I could want in an audiobook; a superb novel beautifully narrated. Highly Recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great addition to this series

What can I say? Victoria Sue has done it again. If you have never read a book by this author before, you are in for a treat. My first book by her was Alpha Heir and I was like "WOW". It was such a great book. This Enhanced series is no different.

Warning--- Possible spoilers.

First of all, Nick J Russo's narration throughout this series has been awesome. All of the characters were brought to life and they never seemed to have deviated throughout this series. The voices fit their personalities perfectly to my jaded hearing. As I listen to a ridiculous amount of audio books and at this point, the narrator has to be great to hold my attention.

Victoria Sue has the ability to pull you through a story with all the feels from anger and heartache from all the injustice the enhanced are going through. To compassion, comfort and happiness at the couples finally finding each other in the end.

This story was good but not my favorite. Not because it wasn't well written, although there is one inconsistency that I am confused about when it comes to where the team lives. It has been mentioned a couple of times throughout the series that the agency pays for apartments for the team, but some of the members are in bad neighborhoods or can't find a place to live? That detail confuses me just a little, but it's just my hang up. NO bearing on the book.

The reason this was not my favorite is that Victoria Sue's characters are so well written that you actually like or dislike them based on how well they are written. Much like a great actor who plays a role so well, you kind of dislike him in real life. Lol. Anyway, I did not like Sam's character at all. I can see all that he went through but he was still very selfish and kind of a user. I felt like Vance was strong but he had such a gentle soul.

Having said all that, this was as usual with her books, such a great listen/read. I cannot wait to read Eli's story. Foreshadowing like in all the other books that kind of show the next story leads me to believe that it will be Eli and Vance's brother, Daniel. I am looking forward to reading their story.

Very long review, but I only put stars on the other 3 books before this one. I felt I needed to review at least one.
Read this series. It is awesome.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kindleaddict
  • 04-17-19

Love this series

This is an awesome series to both read and listen to.
Vance has always been a favourite and Sam? Well, his issues are ongoing and make him skittish. But with Vance and the team to support him, the ending is just what I wanted.
Nick J Russo is perfect for these books, enhancing them beautifully.