Gwendolyn, Cecelia, and the youngest, Bonnie, make a pact never to break their father’s heart like their big sister did. Then their determination is sorely tried when suitors show up, and he gets so pigheaded with his rules. Will Henry survive his daughters coming of age? Will they endure and keep their promises to each other?
From one man asking to court her—who Daddy sends packing—Gwen goes to three! How can she ever decide? Cecelia knows exactly who she wants, but she’s still a year away from Daddy’s acceptable courting age. What if her beau doesn’t know or won’t wait? And Bonnie hates being the baby and wants to be grown-up more than just about anything…except her man. She is for sure and for certain in love.
In his life, Henry Buckmeyer has never been so beside himself. His little girls are so young, just babies, too young. He hates the whole idea of men coming to take them away and is inclined to shoot every one of them, but praise God for a level-headed, loving wife and step-mother! She helps keep him sane amidst the female chaos. Packed with fun, romance, deception, action, heartbreak and tears, this delightful Christian novel keeps the twists and turns coming.
Will the Buckmeyer home ever be settled and peaceful again? Will any of his daughters find true love…a man he’ll approve and to whom he can give his blessing?
A loving family, sisters trying to navigate adolescence and each other, more beaus than an ABC reality show ;), and a mild thread of suspense all combine to make up Daughters of the Heart – the fifth book in Caryl McAdoo’s popular Texas Romance series. Much like the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke, the series follows one family – the Buckmeyers -from patriarch Henry’s marriage all the way until the current time frame where his daughters are ready to start courting. The family resides in Texas in the 1800s and this particular book covers 1853-1854. A prolific writer, Caryl McAdoo has several more books planned for the Buckmeyers, including a contemporary series focusing on their descendants.
What I liked:
- The genuine love shared amongst the family. Father, stepmother, children, siblings, even the former slaves that live with them – they truly do care for each other with deep heartfelt affection. It’s refreshing to see that kind of love, especially from a father to his daughters – Henry is not afraid for them to know how much he cherishes them and wants to protect them… even if it does drive them a bit crazy at times lol.
- Some well-written lines that made me chuckle or otherwise stuck out to me. Like:
… the men talked only of Elijah’s planter, while the girls did everything short of waving their hankies to be noticed.
“Her feet threatened to bolt back upstairs, into her room with the chair back in its place, leveraged against the door. But her heart nailed them to the floor.
What I didn’t especially like:
- The characters seemed a bit… two-dimensional. I never really felt invested in anyone except maybe Elijah – I thought he had the most backstory-depth and motivations that made me care what happened to him.
- Along the same theme, while the grammar and such was well-constructed, the story itself seemed quite cluttered and the writing often took a fanfictionish/stream-of-consciousness flow that left me feeling like we were jumping from one thought to the next right along with the author. If I could isolate individual paragraphs, etc., I would say this story was extremely well-written! But when I look at them altogether as a unit, the lack of structure (purpose might be a better word here) made it more difficult for me to stick with the story. At times, there was just simply too much going on – too many subplots and people to fit into one scene – and it was frustrating for me to follow which topic or character we had jumped back to for the moment.
Bottom Line: Don’t let my dislike of the writing style keep you from reading the Texas Romance series. Based on all the 5-star reviews, plenty of people enjoy Ms. McAdoo’s books, and you may very well be another one! The sweetness of the family itself makes it worth a read. Yes, it felt like I was reading fanfiction sometimes, but I didn’t like The Book Thief or Twilight either. So, take my opinion for what it is – the preferences of one (admittedly well-read) avid reader among many and check out Daughters of the Heart for yourself! You may find your next favorite series!!
(I received a copy of this book in conjunction with Celebrate Lit Book Tours in exchange for only my honest review.)
Purchase a copy: Amazon (This is not my affiliate link, just in the interest of full disclosure.)
About the Author:
Caryl, praying her story gives God glory, loves writing for Christian genres–historical and contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and mid-grade especially. In 2014, Simon and Schuster debuted VOW UNBROKEN, a historical Christian romance set in 1832 Texas, and Caryl followed with three additional novels. In April, LADY LUCK’S A LOSER (contemporary, mature, inspirational romance) September’s debut, HEARTS STOLEN (set in 1839-1844), book two of her historical Christian Texas Romances–a #1 Amazon Best-seller, and in November, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, volume one of her new Biblical fiction series, The Generations–also an Amazon #1 Best-seller.
For every good blessing – including ten children (four by birth, six by marriage) and sixteen grandsugars – she gives God the glory. Caryl lives a country-life with Ron, her high school sweetheart husband of forty-seven years and two grandsons, in the woods a few miles south of Clarksville, Red River County seat, located in far Northeast Texas with two grandsons Christian (16) and Benjamen (13). Visit her website to learn more!