A Stolen Heart: Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway #LoneStarLit
A STOLEN HEART
Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1
Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Date of Publication: March, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
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“Endearing characters, a tender love story, and intriguing mystery all work together to make Amanda Cabot’s A Stolen Heart a compelling and enjoyable read.”
—Margaret Brownley, author of Left at the Altar
Bestselling author Amanda Cabot takes readers back in time to the 1880s Texas Hill Country in her new historical romance novel, A Stolen Heart. This is the first book in a brand-new series packed with tension, mystery, and a tender love story that readers won’t soon forget.
Cimarron Creek seemed like an idyllic Texas town. But as soon as former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford stepped onto its dusty streets, she noticed a deep-seated resentment of Northerners—like her.
That won’t get Lydia down, though. She looks forward to the day when she reunites with her fiancé—until she discovers her fiancé has disappeared without a trace and has left behind a pregnant wife. The handsome Cimarron Creek sheriff urges Lydia to trust him, but she is having a hard time trusting anyone in a town where secrets and suspense prevail.
Cabot weaves an elegant tale of pure love amidst heartache. With an absorbing plot and engaging characters, A Stolen Heart is a springtime showstopper fit for every historical romance reader.
A Stolen Heart is both romance and mystery, with some Texas history on the side.
Lydia is an interesting character. In a time when women were expected to marry and raise a family, she has no intention of marrying. She is willing to put her previous life as a teacher behind her and start again in a new town. She knows her mind and goes after what she wants. Lydia is a refreshing change from usual damsels in distress in historical romance novels. And how she manages to make any kind of candy in the Texas heat pre-air conditioning is astounding to me. I don’t even turn on my stove between May and September – let alone attempt to make candy.
Travis, as the local sheriff and lawyer, makes it a point to welcome Lydia to town. He is struggling to keep his town safe since becoming sheriff. A string of petty crimes, along with the disappearance of one of the town members, has really confounded Travis. But the one bright spot of his day is walking Lydia to and from her confectionery shop.
I won’t make promises I can’t keep … I can’t promise we won’t have arguments or times of sorrow, but I can promise that I’ll never stop loving you, and I’ll do everything I can to make you happy.”
The secondary characters in A Stolen Heart make a real impression. Aunt Bertha was a hoot. The matriarch of the town, she is constantly match-making and causing mischief.
“He’s close to thirty, you know. A man ought to be settled down by that age.”
Travis’s father Abe is a cantankerous old man who blames any and every Northerner for the loss of his leg at Gettysburg. But Abe turns out to be a real softy by the end of the novel. I’m glad the he had a change of heart about Lydia.
The mystery aspect of A Stolen Heart is what drives the story for me. And there are so many mysteries. What happened to Edgar? What happened to Aunt Bertha’s daughter? Who is wreaking havoc in the town, stealing chickens, breaking windows, poisoning animals. All of the mysteries in town are solved by Travis and Lydia working together to catch the criminal. We still aren’t sure what happened to Aunt Bertha’s daughter. I’m hoping that the next book(s) in the series will provide some answers to this mystery.
The romance between Lydia and Travis is not necessarily the flowery, romantic type of love, but rather, the love that develops from friendship first. Neither character wants to marry. Lydia has trust issues. When she was a child, her father left her mother for another woman. And after traveling across the country, she finds her fiance married to another woman. Travis has seen few happily married couples in his life, especially not his parents. He doesn’t want to end up married and miserable. And he especially doesn’t want to see Lydia miserable. Both characters develop as separate individuals in the novel, instead of just as a couple. As their love grows, they realize that love is true and strong enough to survive anything.
Ms. Cabot’s writing is exemplary. She smoothly intersperses history of the Texas Hill Country, the remaining animosity in a post-Civil War South, and the accurate descriptions of making candy, including how to test soft-ball stage of candy without a modern thermometer. I imagine there is some serious research behind this novel. I was, however, missing an emotional connection with the characters. I’m not necessarily talking about burning desire between the two main characters. I just didn’t click with Lydia and Travis. Aunt Bertha is the only character I really connected with. And I’m not sure what connecting with the town matriarch says about me, instead of the couple in love!
Come for the mystery, but stay for the characters. A Stolen Heart is worth reading.
I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Lone Star Book Blog Tours. The gift of this book did not affect my review of it.
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet Lake, In Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Book + Puzzle + 2lb Retro Candy Box
1ST RUNNER-UP: Book + $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2ND RUNNER-UP: Book + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
March 21 – April 4, 2017
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