Saturday, October 30, 2021

THE HEART OF A COWBOY by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas and Paula Shreckhise

Jody Hedlund’s books are always a treat to read. She’s a master at making historical fiction come alive. The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in her Colorado Cowboys series, but it can easily stand alone. Flynn McQuaid is a stellar hero—courageous, responsible, and trustworthy. Linnea Newberry is an intelligent scientist who often leaps before she looks, therefore getting into many dangerous situations. I enjoyed seeing their relationship change and grow throughout the tale, as Flynn hires on as Linnea’s bodyguard.

Hedlund portrays realistically the challenges and dangers of traveling in the old West while it was still being settled. I enjoyed learning about the flora and fauna found along the trail. I also liked the snippet at the end of the book previewing Brody’s story. It sounds like we’re in for another fantastic McQuaid tale!
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.
In book two of Colorado Cowboys, we see Flynn McQuaid driving a herd of cattle for his brother from Independence, Missouri to a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. Along the way he comes on a group of scientists who are cataloging plants for the Smithsonian. Among them are botanists Linnea, a young widow, and her grandfather, Dr. Howell. After rescuing Linnea, Flynn agrees to act as a bodyguard and the two groups join for the rest of the journey. Flynn: “ When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.” As much as they try to keep things businesslike, Flynn and Linnea are drawn to each other. Linnea loves plants. They point her to a God of creation, a God who cares for her. “Whenever she considered God’s exquisite design of something so small as a blade of grass or the petal of a flower, she was always able to put her life in better perspective.”

Lots of realism, adventure and danger on the Sante Fe Trail. A realism that included fighting an attraction, dealing with fears and ultimately relying on God for their care. They learned a lesson on reconciliation and forgiveness.

Ms. Hedlund proves to be a very versatile author. I am looking forward to the third book and Brody’s story.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. * 5 stars and an underlying faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home.

After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn't need more complications.

When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Howell promptly hires Flynn--unbeknownst to Linnea--to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all--falling for a woman he's determined not to love.

Bethany House Publishing, October, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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