Sunday, April 24, 2011
A Heart Renewed by Karen Baney ~ Review
Headstrong. Unconventional. Until life turns upside down…
Julia Colter struggles to accept life under her controlling brother’s greed. The suitors he selects would benefit him, but are far from the ideal husband for her. When her rebellion against her brother puts her life at risk, she turns to her friend for help.
Adam Larson longs to train horses and plans to head west to the Arizona Territory to see his dreams fulfilled. When his sister’s best friend shows up in the middle of the night, he agrees to help her flee. The decision changes his life, in more ways than he expected.
Can Julia forget the pain from her past and open her heart to love?
My take on this book:
"A Heart Renewed" is the second book in the Prescott Pioneer series and picks up right where the last book left off.
It is the story of Julia Colter, the youngest of the Colter children. Her brother Will is settled in his new home wih his bride Hannah, and Julia wonders why she never received any letters from him. They had been very close all thier lives, but when her father's will stated that she was to be left in the care of her brother Rueben, Will had no choice but to follow his wishes. Rueben is a smooth talking charmer who has fooled everyone around him except for Will and Julia, they knew he was ruthless and had no qualms doing whatever he desired regardless of who he might hurt. When Rueben's debts are more than he can pay he decides that he will find a wealthy man marry his sister off, actually it was more like "selling"her. When Julia finds a way to thwart her first suitors attentions, Ruebens wrath is merciless, but when he finds another suitor and Julia wont go along with his plans, he decides he will break her spirit and commits an evil act that will change Julia forever. When she runs to the Larson ranch and tells Caroline what her brother has done, the only answer is for Julia to leave with Adam, who had already secured a job with Will as a horse trainer at the Colter Ranch in Arizona.
Will Julia finally find safety with her brother Will, and will she ever be able to let go of her past and find true love?
I couldn't put this book down. The author easily pulls you into the story of Julia. My heart totally broke for the mistreatment she suffered at the hand of Rueben. The fears and feelings that Julia expressed were totally expected for someone who had been through such an ordeal.While she had a fear of men, she was able to rely and depend on Adam, and as their feelings develop for one another Julia is plagued with doubt that once Adam really knows what happened,that he could never love her. Adam was such a good, kind man exactly what Julia needed. While Julia questions her faith she comes to the realization with the help of her friends, that the only way to find peace is to forgive.
I enjoyed following Hannah through her pregnancy, and seeing Will, the strong rancher become such a worrywart where his wife was concerned. The secondary story of Thomas was quite interesting, and I loved the flavor of the civil war that was woven into his story. I did wonder what happened with Rueben, but I am sure we will get the answer to that question in the next book.
While this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone work, the author provides enough background information that you don't feel like your lost. Although its such a great series I highly recommend picking up the first book titled A Dream Unfolding. The authors next book in the series titled "A Life Restored" is due out later this year, and I for one am totally anxious to read it. If your a fan of historical romance, set in the west that has a nice christian theme you should certainly add this series to your reading list.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.