I do not like romance novels. There. I said it. Too much drama. Too many misunderstandings. It seriously stresses me out.
Historical Fiction, on the other hand? Friend, I’m all over it. I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review for Bethany House, and this book intrigued me immediately. First off, the cover is gorgeous. But the storyline sounded pretty amazing. Yes, it had romance. But it was also packed full of history, and the main characters were Irish. If you know me long enough, you’ll know that our family is very proud of our Irish heritage. So a book with a strong, Irish heroine? Count me in.
(Look at that cover! So pretty. Also, can we please dress that way again?)
With that said, I loved this book.
A Worthy Heart is the second book in the Courage to Dream series. I was previously unaware of the series before finding this book. However, Susan Anne Mason writes in such a way that I wasn’t lost or confused, despite never having read the first book. (The first in the series is titled Irish Meadows, the characters of which are picked up again in A Worthy Heart.) The story centers around an Irish woman named Maggie Montgomery. She and her brother Gabe travel to America to visit their brother and his growing family. While Gabe intends to return to Ireland, Maggie is secretly planning to stay in America; to make her own way in this world and to pursue her own dreams. I fell in love with her strength and her determination. While the book follows her story, it also off-shoots and pursues her brother Gabe’s story, as well as a few other characters who are all interwoven. The result? I became totally enthralled by each character’s journey. Wondering where that journey would take them had me picking up the book to read further with every spare moment that I had. I even enjoyed the romantic relationships that developed!
The most enjoyable part for me, however, was the authenticity of the characters and their relationships with the Lord. Susan Anne Mason did an amazingly beautiful job at fleshing out King Jesus in the lives of these people. The strength that He gives; the grace, the compassion, the courage, the companionship…all of it was perfectly demonstrated on each page. Even though it might be redundant, I can’t wait to find the first book in the series so that I can devour it as well!
Bottom Line: Awesome, clean, deep Christian historical romance.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.