Pub Date: May 2011, Bethany House
Format: eBook (Nook)
Source: Purchased from BN.com
Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?
Well, it would seem that Karen Witemeyer is quickly becoming a new favorite Christian fiction author of mine. I loved Short-Straw Bride when I read it last month and I enjoyed To Win Her Heart just as much, if not more! Witemeyer has a gift for telling a breathtaking story with a definite Christian theme, but without preaching to the reader via the oft-used method of one character seemingly preaching to another or trying to change the other person. I read this book in one sitting -- I absolutely couldn't put it down until I read the last pages and yes, I even got a little teary at the end. Thankfully, they were tears of joy and satisfaction, because you know how I can't stand to read a sad story!
Can I tell you how much I loved Levi Grant? I'll admit I wasn't particularly crazy about Eden Spencer, but then I suspect that Witemeyer wrote her character a little less favorably on purpose. Not only has Levi come a long way in his own life and faith, but Eden learns a few lessons along the way and transforms herself, as well, by the end of the book. But without a doubt, it is Levi who steals the story (along with the heart of the person reading it). As I read, I anxiously awaited the moment when Levi's past would catch up with him and without giving too much away, I'll just say that Witemeyer gives him a bit of a double whammy when it finally happens. There are interesting side plots that definitely helped to round out the story and develop both Eden's and Levi's characters -- not to mention providing some excitement near the end of the book.
But it is the final chapter and epilogue that will leave you deliciously satisfied and certainly filled me with emotion. The end of the story is beautifully written and I thought that Witemeyer closed the book perfectly. I can't wait to get my hands on every other book she has written and if you enjoy Christian historical fiction (particularly that set in the early Western United States), then you will want to give this book a try and see if you don't feel the same way.
Read this book...
~ If you like any of Karen Witemeyer's other books
~ If you enjoy Christian Historical fiction in a Western frontier setting
~ If you love books by Tamera Alexander, Janette Oke, Colleen Coble, Kelly Eileen Hake, etc.