sneak peeks

and other stuff you won't find in the books

Change of Heart

Copyright © 2018 Jo Rain

Hi, I’m Leah Hart, and you could say I’ve had a change of heart.

The past few years have been a whirlwind of emotions. It all started on the first day of college, which came late for me at twenty-years old, thanks to my old-fashioned parents, who thought I needed “life experience” beforehand. They thought they had my whole life planned out for me. Instead of becoming a photographer, or anything else I might had wanted to be, they considered running the family business my best bet for success—not that I’d ever voiced an opinion otherwise. In fact, up until a few years ago, I never not listened to my parents. Well, except for that one night, which used to plague my thoughts as the exciting and regretful memory it was. So, when the familiar face of always-charming Austin Morgan sat down next to me in class, I knew I’d never be the same.

His cockiness was just the icing on the ruggedly-handsome cake, with a playboy reputation for added decoration. Of course, I fell prey to his swoon powers. How could I not? I wasn’t even his yet, but he treated me as though I already was. He put in some major time and energy, too; all those not-dates, the real dates, the family dinners—I was so naïve. I should’ve known a Morgan can’t change their spots or their ability to be honest. Maybe if he had as much sincerity as he did money, I would’ve stayed.

No, I had to leave.

After Mom broke her promise and what she finally confessed, I couldn’t just keep doing nothing. I signed the papers, ransacked my room, and packed everything I could fit into my giant-sized luggage. I transferred their money and took my own, making one last stop before I hit the road all by myself, trading Montana mountains for North Carolina sandcastles.

My parents probably still think I’m crazy for giving it up. I didn’t ask for it; for any of it…

Eleven states, three hotels, and over a thousand dollars in gas later, I finally said hello to my grandmother’s beachfront house that she had left me in her will. The pain of losing my grandparents when they moved doesn’t compare to losing them for good. But in doing so, they gave me options, and I will forever be grateful for their guidance. If not for them, I wouldn’t be here. Here is where I found myself. Here is where both of my careers started, and where I found Fuzzy Amos. Here is where I met my best friend Minnie, a feisty, fun, and sometimes meddlesome, southern-bell, who has a knack for helping me as much as she gets me into trouble. Well, not exactly trouble—at least not yet. She did, however, push me far enough out of my comfort-zone to catch the eye of a certain dimpled nice-guy.

Ethan was like this unrelenting exception I kept trying to ignore, until that one day, when there was no denying… Though, he had been right here in front of me the whole time. When you know, you know. And I don’t know what I would’ve done without him. Probably not much of anything, because I’d be…

Ugh, I hate talking about it! I hate thinking about it—and I don’t—most of the time, if I can help it. But I can’t control my dreams. Nightmares haunt me; and I wonder if this is how Ethan feels, thinking about his dad and knowing there was nothing he could’ve done to stop it. His situation is different than mine; I shouldn’t compare. Besides, we’ve both moved on.

I’m not the same person, the shy, timid, go-with-the-flow kind-of-girl I used to be. Now I’m the one with the plan and going back to Big Sky. Even after all this time, nothing’s going to change that. No matter what, I’m following my heart, wherever it leads me next.

Heart's Desire

Copyright © 2018 Jo Rain

What was I thinking? Am I really going to go through with this?

I kind of have no choice. 

Yeah, I guess, that will be my excuse when everything comes crashing down.

Heart of the Matter

Copyright © 2018 Jo Rain

It's a decision I don't want to make. I'm only putting off the inevitable, and I'm starting to hate myself for it.

Whatever I choose, I'm losing, either way. 


Copyright © 2018 Jo Rain


He knew.

It didn’t happen in slow motion. It happened before I had time to deny it, before I could try to rationalize that it really didn’t happen at all. But it did happen. In that moment I died.

With an Open Heart

Copyright © 2018 Jo Rain

The heart always wins the war over the mind.

I guess it doesn’t always win, and sometimes it shouldn’t. But in my case, it didn’t just win. It took control.

playlist inspired by the books

Leah Hart's Heart series

Starving-(feat. Zedd) Hailee Steinfeld & Grey

What ifs- Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina

Cruz- Christina Aguilera

Fallen- Mya

Something that I want- Grace Potter

What makes you beautiful- One Direction

Heartbreaker- Mariah Carey

Should've been us- Tori Kelly

Wicked Game- Gemme Hayes

Where it's at- Dustin Lynch

Stay with me- Sam Smith

Collapse- Aly & AJ

I want it that way- Backstreet Boys

Sorry- Justin Bieber

Animals- Maroon 5

Thinking out loud- Ed Sheeran

Any man of mine- Shania Twain

One last time- Ariana Grande

Numb (feat. Angel Haze)- Nick Jonas

Personal- Jessie J

The heart wants what it wants- Selena Gomez

I wanna dance with somebody- Whitney Houston

Star of the show- Thomas Rhett

Leave your lover- Sam Smith

Yes- Demi Lovato

Sound of your heart- Shawn Hook

Relapse- Carrie Underwood

Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko)- Rihanna

Water under the bridge- Adele

Stitches- Shawn Mendes

Not over you- Gavin DeGraw

I don't want to live forever- Zayn & Taylor Swift

Chemical React- Aly & AJ

We don't talk anymore- Charlie Puth, Selena Gomez

Heartbeat- Carrie Underwood

Mercy- Shawn Mendes

Craving You- Thomas Rhett, ft. Maren Morris

Let it go- James Bay

Get away- Jessie J

Unkiss me- Maroon 5

It was always you- Maroon 5

We belong together- Mariah Carey

Run away with me- Carly Rae Jepsen

Delicate- Taylor Swift

Dress- Taylor Swift

Call it what you want- Taylor Swift

Him & Her: an Open Heart novel

Somebody to you- The Vamps, Demi Lovato

Close (ft. Tove Lo)- Nick Jonas

Body say- Demi Lovato

I'll Be- Edwin McCain

So it goes...- Taylor Swift

Somebody to You

Hollow- Tori Kelly

Big girls don't cry- Fergie

Coming Clean- Hilary Duff

Save my soul- JoJo

Wildest dreams- Taylor Swift

Iris- Goo Goo Dolls

Underneath the stars- Mariah Carey

Fourth of July- Fall Out Boy

Bad Things- Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello

I miss you- Grey, ft. Bahari

Issues- Julia Michaels

Free fall- Christopher

Sympathy- Goo Goo Dolls

Life goes on- Fergie

Lights down low- MAX


Leah Hart's Heart Series

Leah Opal Hart


I’m standing by my choice to live here and start a new life, and nothing or no one is going to make me regret that. Even if I end up hating this place —which I don’t think I could ever do— for some reason, I need to be here right now. That’s what my gut is telling me.

Matthew "Austin" Morgan III


“You’re not like the others —and not just girls, either. You don’t seem to care about my name as much as my actions. That’s a first for me. I kinda like it.”

Ethan Luke Williamson

Senior Strategist

“Damn it! I am a man all about the facts; this should be simple, because it is a fact. And I have no concern making a speech in the court room or talking to some criminal—but talking to you…"

Minnie Rose White

Senior Strategist

“Oh, I know, sugar! I know ev’thang roun’ here.”

Fuzzy Amos

Senior Strategist


Write what you know...

finding the fact in the fiction

  • There's a weird cat character, named Fuzzy Amos. Well, I actually had a cat (which you can see his real picture above) named Fuzzy Amos. And he really did **spoiler alert** hump a pillow. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but will forever be remembered in my heart and in my books.
  • The pictures above, I used multiple real people features (like my husband's hair, eyebrows, and shoulders for Austin) along with some celeb inspo and a lot of Photoshop drawing of my own (the faces, I had to sketch them until they had the exact features I wanted).
  • I really did shake my husband's hand (then boyfriend), instead of kissing him...I also used the excuse that I had a cold, because I was too nervous to kiss him...But, hey, he still married me so...
  • Speaking of husband hubs gave me a lot of inspo when creating the personalities of Austin and Ethan. And I'll just leave it at that.
  • My mother really can talk your ear off (sorry Mom). She also paints extremely well. 
  • My dad talks loud with a cowboy accent at any given time, and my parents bicker of the dumbest things.
  • My real-life best friend, however, is not like Minnie. Minnie is more of an alter ego of a non-shy, nosey, version of myself. (I can also have a heavy southern-accent, if I don't try hard not to-especially if I have been drinking...Btw, I am an extreme lightweight when it comes to drinking. In fact, Leah - if she were a real person - could probably drink me under the table).
  • My grandma, like Leah's, says the darndest things. (Yes, she has used the word "scrooby-doo" before, when pertaining to male parts. -I mean, how could I come up with that?) DISCLAIMER: do not get it confused with that famous great dane that solves mysteries, because Grandma's word has an R.
  • At a fair, one time in high school,**spoiler alert** I accidently ripped my jeans, showing part of my ass unknowingly, until my boyfriend (now husband) decided to finally tell me...when we were coming home.
  • Random and unprovoked "bitchy" moments always seem to happen to me, (b/c sometimes people just suck and want to be mean to you). But I don't let them get to me. I instantly make note and write them down for a later use.
  • I've never driven from Montana to Outer Banks, just saying. But I totally would have when I was younger. 

There are a lot of unexpected situations in my books that have happened to me in real life. I know we've all read a book, wondering how the author came up with certain things (because you know even though the author may not admit it, we all draw from some kind of inspiration, whether it's from our imagination or personal experiences). I mean, yes, the majority of the stories I write are completely fabricated and fictional--I just thought it would be fun to let you in on a couple non-fictional details. 

But, of course, I won't be revealing every single one. ;)