Monday, October 26, 2009
Maggie Brendan's The Jewel of His Heart ~ Reviewed
The Jewel of His Heart
by Maggie Brendan
Published by Revell
Their future is as wide open as the Montana sky. Juliana Brady is alone in an 1890s Montana mining town, with few prospects for making a living. But she is determined not to be dependent on the charity of others.
Josh McBride is trying to scrape up a living from his sheep herd while he builds his ranch. But when he discovers some rare stones on his property, he’s tempted by the prospect of fast money.
When their paths cross, Juliana and Josh must make a choice - the world’s riches and promises, or the eternal value of love.
Maggie Brendan’s characters make this novel stand out among the rest of the historical romance genre. The hero and heroine fast become your friends, and the supporting cast cries out for their stories to be told. Although it follows some of the predictable paths romances do, paradoxically, Brendan weaves in enough of her unique style to keep it unpredictable. I didn’t read the first book in the Heart of the West series, but I’m going to buy it, and I’m looking forward to the third book in the series. This from a reviewer who is not a fan of historical romances. If you are, you’ll love it. If like me, you’ aren’t, you’ll still love it. Novel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan
Editor, Novel Journey
Originally, in reading the first book in the Hearts of the West Series "No Place for a Lady", I had to say: Having a plot line that starts and grows with tragedy, this is a novel that grabs your heart and makes you silently or even sometimes verbally cheer on the heroine to succeed at her current goal. Maggie Brendan has done well with her first novel and I definitely look forward to more. This is easily one of those stories where you are screaming for the characters to see what you as a reader are seeing. There are times where I thought something would come out differently, but with the story coming to a close I could not have imagined anything better than the way it was itself. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!!
My review of the second in the series, The Jewel of His Heart: The romantic prose of Maggie Brendan is very visual and a reader can easily imagine what it was in Montana in the late period of the 1800s. The writing and characterization of the protagonist was good, I could tell, because they aggravated me to no end with the decisions and flip flops of emotions. A slight thing that threw me was some of the serious events that occurred in the lives of our main characters and how quickly the story just seemed to move forward without much time for the characters much less a reader to reflect. This is a sequel in continuing the life of main character Josh McBride from No Place for a Lady yet this story completely holds it's own as a stand-alone. Once a cattle-rancher's son, McBride is attempting to make his own as a sheepherder. The details of the life are intriguing and as a reader going along for the journey one routes for Josh to succeed. Juliana Brady has had it rough and has her pride, but with each day as she grows closer to Christ she learns a bit more of what He has in store. I definitely plan to read more titles to come from Maggie Brendan. This was a great story, I just did not personally mesh with the character's personalities and felt they were quick to jump and assume, but then that just hits a nerve. The romance is vivid and chill bumps present, this is one to read with imagination and time to reflect the lessons within as well as revel in the kisses stolen.
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind