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The Heart of a Cowboy

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Member Reviews

As always, Jody has written unique and life-like characters and immediately sucked me into the past with this fun new story! I really enjoyed following the characters on their journey West, but I'm even more excited to read the next book after reading the epilogue!
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I was glad this second book in the series finally came out. I really enjoyed the first book so I was excited to read Flynn’s story. However, if you haven’t read the first book don’t worry, you can fully enjoy this one.

Flynn and Linnae are complete opposites so I was curious to see how they would find their way to each other’s hearts. As usually, Jody build the romance up slowly until you can hardly take it anymore.

If you are Jody Hedlund fan and you/or you enjoy historical romance I am sure you will enjoy this book.


A copy of this book was given to me though Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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The Heart of a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund is the second novel in the Colorado Cowboy’s series. And while there are characters from the first novel in the series in this story, it can still be read as a stand-alone in my opinion.
I love western stories, especially those set in this time period. I thought the author did a great job of not only showcasing the beauty (and danger) of the plains but also took into consideration the state of the country at the time and wrote the conflict of the war seamlessly into the novel.
I tend to favor brainy heroines, so I loved that Linnea was a botanist trying to build her career by traveling overland and studying the flora and fauna of the West. I enjoyed learning about their collection techniques and the instruments they used. And I loved how Linnea could see God’s beauty in a simple blade of grass and it could turn her to scripture and her Creator.
Flynn is a handsome cowboy, to be sure. But I loved how his strength and masculinity were balanced by both physical and emotional weaknesses. I always enjoy those tight-lipped, cranky heroes because I love watching the heroine soften them over time. And the friendship that formed between Flynn and Linnea was so much fun to watch mature between their witty flirting and the more reserved conversations about their pasts and future dreams.
Overall, I enjoyed this westward journey. There was history, danger, and (of course) plenty of romance. Any fan of Christian historical fiction, especially those fond of stories set in the West, will enjoy this novel.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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Linnea is traveling out west with a group of scientists that includes her grandfather. He is concerned for her safety and convinces another of the traveling groups to join up with their group to help keep an eye on her. Along the way, Linnea begins to fall in love with Flynn and grows close to his brother and sister. They encounter much along the way including outlaws, the elements, and it seems from within.

Flynn is more concerned with getting his brother’s cattle to him safely to prove he is worth something. He decides to take Linnea’s grandfather up on his offer so he can have a better start once he gets the cattle to his brother Wyatt. He soon finds himself falling for Linnea, but cannot bring himself to act on it due to previous family circumstances.
I really enjoyed reading and listening to this story and hope there is more to the story of the McQuaid family.
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The Heart of a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys #2). By Jody Hedlund. 2021. Bethany House (ARC eBook).

The Heart of a Cowboy is a heartwarming historical adventure set against the backdrop of the Colorado Territory and Santa Fe Trail. Flynn McQuaid, with his younger brother and sister are moving their cattle to their older brother Wyatt’s ranch. Along the way a wagon train of scientists traveling to study and collect botanical specimens cross paths with the McQuaids. Linnea Newbury has had a few mishaps during the group’s travels and her grandfather enlists Flynn as a bodyguard to Linnea as long as the group travels together along the Trail. As the travelers meet with dangerous travel and Confederate Irregulars, Flynn and Linnea each grow to care for the other, but both also reason to keep their hearts guarded. This was my first time reading Jody Hedlund and I look forward to reading more by her.
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This is an incredible historical romance!

I love the main characters! Linnea and Flynn are extremely well developed. They are surrounded by a number of equally well developed and presented secondary characters in their family members. I enjoyed finding out the history of both of them. It really helped me understand their reactions to the situations that they were in throughout the book.

The plot of this story was wonderful. There was plenty of action and danger as the group traveled to Colorado. It kept things very interesting and exciting.

One of my favorite parts was seeing how both Linnea and Flynn grew and matured along the way. They each seemed to know God from the beginning. But they each had a journey in learning to trust Him.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
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We think of cowboys as being strong and courageous, able to brave all situations, but Flynn McQuaid finds his heart in jeopardy as he travels to the Colorado Territory with a group of scientists. One of them is a young woman in need of his protection, but it's soon apparent that Flynn may need protection also. Linnea Newberry could easily steal his heart, if he allows it to happen!

This is another wonderful historical romance from author Jody Hedlund, and it has everything that I love in a book. There are great characters, a wonderful setting, thrilling adventure, and an exciting romance. I absolutely loved that Flynn was so loyal and protective of his siblings, and I understood why brilliant scientist Linnea wanted to be respected by her male colleagues. Best of all, I was delighted that their blossoming friendship appeared to be leading to a deeper relationship. Could Flynn overcome his fear of love and marriage? Would Linnea be able to prove her abilities before her secret was discovered?

This book is a fantastic addition to the Colorado Cowboys series and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the rest of the McQuaid family. I highly recommend The Heart of a Cowboy to all who enjoy historical Christian romance.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.
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This is book two in the Colorado cowboys series by Jody Hedlund. While you wouldn’t have to start with book one, A Cowboy for Keeps, I would recommend it to fill out the full details of the story.

For all the conflict and complications that arise in this story, it didn’t feel at all heavy or stressful, which is exactly the kind of book I wanted for this particular season of life. I appreciate the Jody can set the stage for trouble without weighing you down with it.

I enjoyed Linnea’s innocent optimism and respected Flynn’s sense of responsibility. The tale wove through a number of heart issues and left you feeling satisfied with the outcomes.

I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a free digital proof of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The Heart of A Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Story Notes

The second installment of the Colorado Cowboys tells the story of Flynn McQuaid and his unexpected encounter with love. 

I enjoyed this lovely story that included action, love and just the right amount of botany to make things interesting. Flynn McQuaid is driving a new herd of cattle to Colorado to build his brother's holdings. His goal is to finish the job well, drop off his younger siblings and then make his own life in the mountains of Colorado. For too long he has been the leader of his family and he is ready to pass things on to his brother and forge his own plans for once. But Flynn's current plans are interrupted when he agrees to be watch-dog over a young woman travelling with her grandfather. Linnea is a scientist in her own right but is hoping to finally be taken seriously by going on a cataloguing trip and contributing to a published botany book. Her grandfather has allowed her this trip as she has been restless since the death of her husband three months ago. But as the trip goes on, both Flynn and Linnea find that love creeps in at the most unexpected moments and the things they thought they wanted now seem to pale in comparison to it. Can they look beyond what they originally dreamed to find even more than they thought possible or will they let it all go in determined stubbornness? 
The return to the McQuaid family story was a welcome read. Ivy was one of my favorite characters, with her outspoken ways and too-smart-for-her-own-good perceptiveness. Her honest questions and answers gave Flynn and Linnea much to ponder over and helped them in more ways than one. The love story was sweet and swoony and I was so pleased with how everything turned out. The sharp and witty banter between Flynn and Linnea was fun to read and I loved how often it happened. They challenged each other in more than just everyday life and both of them found a deeper faith because of their conversations. I will certainly be recommending this book to others in the hope they will enjoy it as I did. I'm also definitely looking forward to the next book in the series to see if Ivy gets her HEA like Wyatt and Flynn.
I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley. I am not required by anyone to write a positive review but am pleased to do so. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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The Heart of a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund is the second book in the Colorado Cowboys series and a definite must read if you love inspirational historical romances.
Linnea Newberry is on the trip of a lifetime. Who wouldn't want to travel the Santa Fe Trail and hopefully help with a botanical expedition all the way to Colorado Territory?
However Linnea is finding more trouble on the trip than making a contribution and her grandfather is threatening to send her back home when she has chance encounter with Flynn McQuaid when he rescues Linnea from a near drowning during a river crossing.
Flynn has sworn off women and marriage forever, but meeting Linnea and becoming her bodyguard has opened his heart up for the possibility of forever love.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series.

I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
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When I read the blurb for The Heart of a Cowboy, it mentioned that the heroine was a botanist, and as a trained biologist, I’m always on the lookout for a scientist heroine. It’s book two in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series, with what I call a ‘Journey’ storyline. I admit I’m not a fan of that structure, so the book dragged in places, but Ms. Hedlund’s storytelling was strong enough to bring me back, even after I’d taken a break from it.

After persuading her grandfather to allow her on this scientific expedition along the Santa Fe Trail, Linnea Newberry is sure she’s going to die. She wanted nothing more than to prove her research prowess on this research trip to study plant life in the West, and now she’ll most likely drown in this cold, Kansas river. In minutes, she’s yanked from the water by a strong cowboy and deposited on the bank, soaked and coughing, but alive.

Flynn McQuaid is traveling with a wagon train along an arduous trail. His responsibility is to drive his brother’s herd of cattle to Colorado where he’ll settle with his younger siblings. As far as he’s concerned, plucking a drowning woman from a river is what any decent person would do. For Linnea’s grandfather, the near-drowning confirms his belief that the journey is too hard for a woman, especially one who takes after him and becomes distracted when a plant specimen catches her eye.

More conversation reveals that Linnea had started the trip with her new husband at her side, the only reason she had received permission to come, but he had died before being able to undertake the expedition. Now, with only older male researchers for protection, her grandfather is ready to take Linnea home. She argues his research is too important to give up, and insists she’ll be careful. He agrees, but in secret, he hires Flynn to act as her bodyguard. Flynn is uneasy about keeping his role a secret from Linnea, but he needs the money and he’s already worried about the woman’s safety.

The journey continues across the plains, and the travelers encounter snakes, stampedes, marauders, unexplained damage to precious plant samples, and sparse water supplies. Throughout all the hardships and dangers, the romance between Linnea and Flynn grows steadily while both of them struggle against it. Linnea feels she’s being disloyal to her dead husband and is wary of embarking on a relationship that may mean giving up her research. Flynn knows they’ll part ways once the wagon train reaches Colorado, and with Linnea so recently widowed, he keeps an emotional distance. He prays she won’t learn of his arrangement with her grandfather.

The word I would use to describe this book is ‘gentle’. There is plenty of internal dialogue to convey the struggles Linnea and Flynn face, but the tone is of a soft yearning. Description of the country they pass through is well-done and from each character’s perspective. Their faith is introduced gently, with God being a basic part of their support system. The author often chooses words that are of a light quality, with an emotional nudge rather than a punch. Because of this, I could easily put the book down, but was still invested enough to pick it back up, remembering the characters and where I was in the story. Flynn’s young sister Ivy was my favorite character with her outspoken, straightforward approach to life that often led to her elders’ embarrassment simply because she stated a core of truth.

As I said before, I’m not a fan of Journey stories, but The Heart of a Cowboy is one of the better novels of this subgenre. If you’re looking for a solid historical romance with a scientist heroine and a gentle touch, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.

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I am really enjoying the Colorado Cowboys series!
Because of her unconventional upbringing Linnea Newberry doesn't feel like anything should be off limits to her including doing things typically limited to males in her time period.
She is thrilled to be on the trip of a lifetime. Traveling with her grandfather, she is an extremely brilliant botanist studying all the flora she comes across. Though not taken seriously except by her grandfather she is out to prove not only her intelligence in her chosen field but she'll prove she can keep up with the men and not fall behind or get hurt on this trip on Santa Fe Trail.
Oops, she hasn't counted on the mishaps that have put her life in danger a few times and in doing so holding the trip up. Unknown to her, her grandfather hires a man to keep her safe on the trip so she can continue on with the expedition. Flynn McQuaid is the man for the job, this cowboy is delivering cattle to his older brother and there's the task of caring for his younger siblings. Can he manage the added responsibility of being Linnea's bodyguard as well? Who will guard Flynn from himself whenever he starts falling for his charge though?
Flynn and Linnea both have secrets that could have pretty strong repercussions if not handled the right way. Such a beautiful story about acceptance,trust,repentance,faith,understanding and love.
The author has done it again! This is an absolute must read author for me!

Published October 5th 2021
I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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I loved this story, getting to know both Flynn and Linnea was a joy and I wanted to know more. 
Two absolutely independent individuals in their struggle to survive and the belief that love wasn't in the books for them.
I loved the way the author wove the story so beautifully you'd almost believe you're there.
Flynn is dealing with feelings of resentment and anger towards his elder brother and step father and doesn't see having a relationship as worth it since the only example he had was pretty terrible. When he's contracted by Linnea's grandfather to act as her guard, he finds he may have to guard his heart too. 
I also loved Linnea's independence even though she struggled to prove herself to her grandfather, she nearly lost out on what would have been the best thing for her. I love how she was able to use her love for plants to put her in perspective and make her realise God's plans are usually better than your own in the long run.
I was rooting for these characters to learn forgiveness, to let go of past hurts and to open their hearts to Gods best for them which they finally did.
Definitely one for lovers of historical romance 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via the publisher. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
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Flynn and his younger brother and sister are on there way with their business venture of cattle to meet up with their older brother Wyatt. (Wyatt is from the first book in this series and I gave his story five stars.) But this is Flynn's journey out west after the nightmare they have lived through and his poor attempts to stop his younger brother, Brody, from signing up to fight in the Civil war. 

On their way they meet up with a wagon train of scientists who are going out west to study plants. Among them is Linnea Newbury who is also a scientist and knows because she is a woman how hard she must work to keep her position. In a time that this was not the norm for women, Linnea was raised with a forward thinking mother and a loving family. She is traveling with her grandfather, who loves her dearly. She strives to show him and all the men that she can make this trip and be an asset and not a liability.

Unfortunately for Linnea she seems to be accident and danger prone. And Flynn seems to be rescuing her from one scrape or another. There is a secret bargain struck between Flynn and her grandfather that is beneficial to both, however it might just come back to haunt Flynn.

I really liked Flynn and Linnea and their obvious chemistry both try to dance around. Flynn is a loyal and protective man. Not overly so but it is enduring and sweet. Linnea is a woman and she is not ashamed of that. She realizes she is weaker in some ways and she is not headstrong or stubborn that she can't take and heed advice. That was refreshing. They really did treat each other as equals.

I am really enjoying this series and this particular story had a few twists and turns that made for a memorable wagon train out west. 

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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Jody Hedlund's Heart Of A Cowboy is a beautiful story about Linnea Newberry a scientist and a proponent of woman's rights and Flynn McQuaid an overprotective cowboy. I enjoyed reading about their journey west. Flynn has vowed never to marry, while Linnea, recently widowed will only settle for love. I loved watching their faith grow as their love for each other also grows. The plot is fast-moving and the characters are believable.
I suggest you fix your favorite coffee and settle into a cozy chair for an awesome read.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.
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Normally I enjoy Jody's books, but this felt weak. If felt it lacked enough character development and the high romantic awareness seemed unreal. I'm writing this review here on netgalley, but I do not plan to write it on retail sites as I know others may like it.
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The Heart of a Cowboy, by Jody Hedlund, is the second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. As a western, historical romance, this novel is exceedingly special. With captivating characters and a gripping plot, this book is thoroughly engaging and beautifully written. From the first sentence to the last, elements of history, adventure, and romance are woven together expertly to create a story that entertains and inspires.

Spanning miles of Western territory lush with prairie grasses, muddy rivers, and wide-open sky, the setting of this novel is thoughtfully described and adds depth and meaning to the story. The setting, with its rugged and perilous features, provides myriad opportunities for the characters in this book to face their fears and nurture their faith. As they overcome obstacles that threaten their dreams and goals, these characters are moving and memorable. Their authenticity and vulnerability is compelling. 

With a writing talent that seems effortless, Ms. Hedlund has successfully crafted a story that is worthwhile and engrossing. Page after page, there are plenty of surprises and unexpected moments that are truly thrilling and delightfully endearing. Scenes filled with danger are balanced by scenes of hope, and the story is strengthened by enduring themes of courage, resiliency, forgiveness, trust, and second chances.

As a piece of well-written fiction, this novel is very enjoyable. From beginning to end, Ms. Hedlund successfully demonstrates her talent for crafting novels that are rich in descriptive detail, integral settings, complex characterization, and riveting storylines. The Heart of a Cowboy is a stirring novel and a genuine pleasure to read. Abounding with history, romance, adventure, and heart, it offers an unforgettable reading experience, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I am definitely ready to read the next book in this series!

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
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We meet botanist, Linnea Newberry as she’s being swept downriver after bouncing out of her wagon on the Santa Fe trail. Proving herself to be a magnet for trouble, Linnea’s grandfather hires Flynn McQuaid to watch over her while their parties are joined together. Flynn and Linnea’s simmering attraction as well as the dangers of trail life in Colorado Territory kept me turning page after page. The characters were captivating, particularly Ivy with her teasing and no-nonsense honesty. The final chapter has me longing to get my hands on the next book in the series ASAP! 
	
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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A fantastic and original story, this book was such a fabulous read! Jody Hedlund has completely hooked me with her swoony cowboys. If I thought I loved Wyatt McQuaid, Flynn just solidified his spot as one of the best heroes ever! I can't even tell you enough how excited I am for Brody's story now too! Those McQuaids are some of my most favorite fictional characters. 
Speaking of wonderful characters, I absolutely loved the characters in this story. Both Flynn and Linnea were so well-developed with deep personalities and relatable fears and dreams. I enjoyed their chemistry and that while there was a definite physical awareness and attraction, it was as they truly got to know one another along the trek west that they really fell in love with one another. The themes were fabulous, the setting brought history to life, and I enjoyed the light Christian messages throughout the story that felt uplifting and motivational while never being preachy.
This series just keeps getting better and better. I am so impressed with Hedlund's ability to craft stories that leave an impact and make you fall in love over and over. 
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I cannot recommend this author enough and definitely recommend this book and the first one in this series.
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved seeing the characters needing to overcome their fears and be vulnerable in order to be together. I liked how Jody showed what was happening at the time and how that effected people who were on the trial going west. I also liked the christian aspects of forgiveness and seeing the characters change. I really enjoy this series and thought Jody did a great job.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
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