Book Review: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt

January 25, 2018 Amanda Barratt, Christian, historical, romance 28

about the book

Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where…
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.

On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

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SERIES: My Heart Belongs
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Barbour Books
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2018
PAGES: 256

Other Books In This Series

“He is our help and our only hope is in Him.”

Amanda Barratt’s debut novel is a sweet romance as well as being a powerful story of trusting God – and, what happens when we take matters into our own hands instead of waiting on Him.

I can totally relate to Adele Linley & her need to fix what’s wrong and be in the one in charge. In fact, I think most woman can appreciate that aspect of Adele’s character, though perhaps (hopefully) not to the extremes that she takes it. She is sincere and her heart is good; it’s just the execution of her plans that gets her (and others) into trouble. Part of this stems from her belief that God is uncaring and disengaged and, when viewed from that foggy lens, no wonder she thinks it’s all up to her. Misguided though she may be, Adele is a genuinely likable heroine with some tough lessons to learn.

And then there’s Drew, who is swoony and heroic…. and also has some tough lessons to learn. His sacrificial love for his sister brought tears to my eyes more than once, and his faith in Jesus warmed my heart as it rubbed off on Adele. Did he make all the right choices? Nope. And I love that. Because those of us who love Jesus still aren’t perfect, and we so often forget that we don’t have to do this life on our own. While Adele reflects the mindset of people we might encounter in the everyday, Drew is a realistic reflection of our own hearts and actions. No, I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope to help my brother, but I have been angered by someone’s treatment of him, enough that my purse got twitchy for a whomping. I wanted to jump in and save the day instead of listening to God’s reminder to wait on Him.

Now, I have to give both Adele and Drew some credit here: They don’t sit idly by and wait for someone else to solve their problems. They jump in with both feet and do what needs doing, no matter the cost to themselves. And while this is certainly admirable, they both miss out at first on the blessing of letting God take over – of letting His far-and-above dreams for us play out in His timing. As the consequences for their actions play out on the page, the love story that God – and the author – weaves in their life is tender and uplifting.

Bottom Line: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt is touching and romantic, and it depicts an intriguing time in the history of the Falls. Additionally, the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth – both materially and emotionally – is a very compelling contrast, one that Barratt writes beautifully. Adele and Drew are layered and intriguing, separately as well as together, and their story is one that will hit you in all the feels. Death-defying acts, sacrificial love, gentle romance and well-researched history… This is a great debut, and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story – a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales – from the sweeping coastline of Newport, Rhode Island, to the rugged landscape of Central Texas. Her novella, The Truest Heart, finaled in the 2017 FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, who kindly put up with the invisible people she calls characters.

These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England.

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What about you? Would you walk a tightrope across the Falls if given the chance to help a loved one by doing so?


28 Responses to “Book Review: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt”

  1. Andrea Stephens

    Such a lovely review! I wish I had your gift of words.
    I loved this book. Walking a tightrope…Nope! not even in my younger days.

    • Amanda Barratt

      Thank you so much, Andrea! I wouldn’t want to walk a tightrope either. I’m not coordinated enough. 🙂 And I agree 100% about Carrie’s gift with words. She has a way of writing a review that makes you want to read every book she recommends!

  2. Natalya Lakhno

    Would you walk a tightrope across the Falls if given the chance to help a loved one by doing so?
    Definitely will!

    • Amanda Barratt

      I would do just about anything for my family if they were in danger or sick, even walk across a tightrope, though I probably wouldn’t survive. 🙂 I love your devotion to family, Natalya!

  3. Trixi

    Carrie, I always enjoy your beautiful reviews! I’ve also read this and thought there was so much “meat” in this, spirituality speaking. An awesome full length debut for Amanda, though I’ve read a couple of novellas by her.

    I am LOVING the My Heart Belongs series books!!

    • Carrie

      She did such a great job of giving us deep faith moments without it seeming preachy!

    • Amanda Barratt

      Thank you so much, Trixi! That’s such an encouragement to hear! And Carrie’s reviews are definitely beautiful! Without readers and bloggers like the both of you to “love” on books, writing them would be nowhere near as rich or rewarding. You ladies rock!

      • Amanda Barratt

        I’m with you, Carrie and Paula! Tightrope-across-Niagara-Falls-heights are scarrrry!

  4. Kay Garrett

    There is NO way I could walk a tightrope across the Falls because I have a fear of heights.

  5. Kelly Blackwell

    Fabulous review! I have this high on my TBR list.
    As far as tightrope walking…no. I will figure out another way to help a family member. My purse packs a great wallop. 😉

    • Amanda Barratt

      LOL That’s right on point!

      And as far as TBR piles go, mine is getting pretty tall with all the awesome books out there! Whenever I read Carrie’s blog, I always get a few more to add. 🙂

  6. Caryl Kane

    Exceptional review, Carrie! I’m enjoying the My Heart Belongs series! It is a #mustread!

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