Can an Irish Lass with a Dream for America Find True Love?
Maggie Montgomery’s long-held wish to see America is finally coming true. She’ll visit her beloved brother Rylan and his wife, Colleen, and at the same time, escape Neill Fitzgerald’s unwanted attention. In addition, Maggie has a secret! She plans to remain in America to seek her fortune and to hopefully find love. While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man whom she thinks is a stable hand. Only when Rylan demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she realize he’s Colleen’s brother, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her heart conform to her brother’s request.
Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Spending time in jail only reinforces his belief. Now that he’s free, Adam hopes to make amends and earn back his family’s trust. Falling in love with Maggie Montgomery, however, was never in his plans.
Despite everyone’s effort to keep them apart, the two develop a bond nothing can break–but has Adam truly changed, or will the sins of his past prove too much for Maggie to overcome?
I very much enjoyed Susan Anne Mason’s first novel in the Courage To Dream series – Irish Meadows. In fact, I ended up falling more in love with the secondary romantic pairing than I did the first (though I liked them just fine as well.) So I was quite pleased to see that, not only does A Worthy Heart continue the pattern of double the romance, but it also spends a lot of time catching up with Rylan and Colleen from Irish Meadows.
This time around, I’m not sure I could pick a favorite of the two pairings. I was rooting for both Montgomery siblings – Maggie and Gabe – to find their “happily ever after”. Okay, yes…. I do have a favorite. But I’m not going to tell you which relationship it is so as not to bias you toward one or the other when you read it for yourself. And you should. Read it for yourself, that is. And while you don’t need to have read Irish Meadows, the story will be that much sweeter for having done so.
And one more thing while I’m on that topic – the whispered Irish endearments. Be still my heart. Melted into a little puddle of mush, I did.
Perhaps even more important than the romance (I can hear your gasps of shock from here!) is the message of restoration that Mason weaves through the story. It’s evident in several scenes that will have even the least emotional readers wiping away a few tears. Some are obvious. Others are more subtle. But each will touch anyone who has ever needed the reminder that God specializes in the beauty of second chances.
Bottom Line: Suspense, romance, history, family, and faith all come together in the framework of a novel even stronger than its predecessor. The theme of grace and restoration is poignant and sincere yet beautiful in its simplicity. Mason paints her characters with vivid color so that they set up camp in your heart almost before you realize it. If you’re a fan of Dawn Crandall, Carrie Turansky or Pepper Basham, you will want to read this series!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
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About the Author:
Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith”. She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys. A Worthy Heart is her second novel in the COURAGE TO DREAM series, which features the O’Leary family. The first book in the series, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction From the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Authors chapter of the RWA.
Susan lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She loves red wine and chocolate, is not partial to snow even though she’s Canadian, and is ecstatic on the rare occasions she has the house to herself. In addition to writing, Susan likes to research her family history online and occasionally indulges in scrapbooks.
Learn more about Susan and her books at www.SusanAnneMason.com