Cover Image: The Heart of a Cowboy

The Heart of a Cowboy

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Member Reviews

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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Such a fun read! I enjoyed the first one, so I was excited to start this one!

A fun sequel and I really loved this follow-up of the Hanger's Horsemen as their story continues.. I loved the humor and banter in this one, as well as getting to know some of the newer characters more, and getting to see a few others from the first book as well!
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I really enjoyed the first book from Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series, A Cowboy for Keeps. I was excited to have the opportunity the next installment, The Heart of a Cowboy. I was far from disappointed. I adored the strong minded but yet vulnerable, Linnea. I admired her determination and courage to make a mark in the world as a woman living in a dominant male world. I love the scenes with her and Flynn. Just a beauiful and inspiring to read. I loved it.

The Heart of a Cowboy will be getting a very well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy clean western, historical and romantic fiction. I can not wait to read the next book from the Colorado Cowboys series.

I received a paperback copy of The Heart of a Cowboy from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.
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Given my love for botany, it was exciting to have a heroine who is a botanist cataloging the flora of the Great Plains and Rockies. It would have been nice if she hadn't spent the book worrying about proving her worth (the trope of a woman proving her worth in a man's profession gets a little old), but it wasn't unrealistic. I always enjoy learning something new, and this time I learned about all the renegade bands of confederate soldiers harassing the trail all the way to Denver--I hadn't realized the Civil War spilled over that far west. 

With the journey on the Santa Fe Trail, it reminded me of the author's earlier work (and my favorite of hers), The Doctor's Lady. They feature different routes west and different time periods, but there's a lot of similar hardship along the trail (and, funnily enough, problems the direct opposite of each other). For me, this one didn't have the emotional punch that loved in The Doctor's Lady, but I enjoyed it. 

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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Oh!  I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  Which is ridiculous to say because I knew I was going to like it.  I love this author and I liked the first book in this series so of course I was going to like it, right?  But I REALLY liked it.  Devoured it.  I had hours of uninterrupted reading time so I had minimal distractions and it was lovely.  

The characters really came to life for me throughout the course of this story.  My heart was bursting for Flynn and all he was dealing with.  What a loyal, hardworking and considerate man.  I wanted to wrap him up in a big mama bear hug with all kinds of "build him up" words.  Fortunately, Linnea is also good at building words and she uses them frequently and with kindness toward Flynn.  Beauty, smarts and kindness- the triple threat.  Flynn doesn't really ever stand a chance against Linnea.

I'm loving this series.  We get a little sneak peek at the next book and wow, I wish I could read it right now.  My heart.  The McQuaid family.  I just love them.

Content:  mild peril, mild violence, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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This story was a joy to read!  I had the hardest time putting it down, and loved every moment I spent reading it.  Love on the Range is the third book in the Brother’s in Arms series, and having read the other two, I was dying to get my hands on this one!  From the very beginning of this series I fell in love with all three brothers.  Knowing I was going to get a story for each one actually made me a little giddy.  Connealy has a way with characters that makes them so unique, still flawed, and yet easy to love.  

This book follows Molly and Wyatt.  Molly tends to take care of everyone, whether it’s cooking or doctoring.  Since Wyatt was shot, taking care of him falls on her shoulders along with everything else.  I loved getting to know both of these characters even more.  Molly had some secrets that she carried, and she tended to see the world through that brokenness.  The chemistry between her and Wyatt was undeniable, and all too fun to watch.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Romance.  Connealy mixes the perfect combination of Romance, Family, and Suspense.  Danger lurks around every corner, it’s a good thing these brothers and their women all have each other.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was in no way forced to post a review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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I have been looking forward to Flynn's story since meeting the McQuaid family in the first book in this earlier this year. This was a fun and exciting read as it has mystery, romance, and an exciting journey all within the book's pages. I really liked Linnea, she was such a fun and unusual character and brought a lot to the story. I enjoyed this story and I can't wait for the next McQuaid family book!

I received this book for review and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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Two hearts that swore never to marry, find their convictions challenged on the trail to Colorado. 

Flynn has been mother and father to his younger siblings, shouldering the responsibilities of a family, and more than his share of the blame. Linnea, recently widowed, is fighting to prove her worth as a botanist in her own right, apart from her late husband and grandfather's shadows. 

An engaging romance, set against the backdrop of the treacherous trail to Colorado, fraught with danger and Confederate Irregulars. Linnea is a modern woman for her time, with a passion for plants and sciences. I liked how she takes Flynn's sister Ivy, under her wing, teaching her about being a young woman. Ivy spunky and full of sass, she says things as she sees them sometimes to the embarrassment of others, easily one of my favorite people in the story!

Flynn has spent his life trying to protect his family,  first from the fists of his step-father, then fields of battle, and now delivering a herd of cattle to his brother Wyatt in Colorado. After reading the last book in the series, I wasn't sure how any of the other McQuaid brothers could measure up to Wyatt, but Flynn easily won me over with his strong protective instincts, and big heart. 

Overall, a fantastic, sizzling with chemistry, and roaring with action, addition to the series, I loved seeing both new and familiar faces in the pages of this book. Especially since Judd was my favorite from the previous book. A engrossing read, with characters that you can cheer for throughout, with an inspiring message of faith and overcoming the past. Definitely recommend for fans of western romance! I can't wait to read Brody's story!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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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 travelling 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.
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When Flynn McQuaid rescues a woman from a flooded river crossing on his way west, he has no idea the encounter will change his life. After watching his mother suffer through childbirth, Flynn has no desire to ever have a wife of his own. Flynn’s brother has asked Flynn to drive a herd of cattle to his new ranch in the Colorado Territory. Keeping the cattle from stampeding and his younger siblings corralled takes all of Flynn’s energy.  

But when Dr. Howell, the young woman’s grandfather, offers to pay Flynn to keep Linnea safe, Flynn can’t refuse, although he feels uncomfortable with Dr. Howell’s insistence that Linnea not know about the arrangement. 

Newly widowed Linnea Newberry, a brilliant botanist, wants nothing more than to spend her time collecting, cataloging, and painting the flora of the West. She finagled a place on her grandfather’s botany expedition and feels as if she has made valuable contributions to science. But things keep happening. 

Accidents with the samples the group collects make her wonder at her own competence. Mishaps along the trail—such as nearly drowning in a river crossing—make her fear she’ll get sent home. When the handsome cowboy who saved her starts hanging around, Linnea delights in their growing friendship. 

Both Linnea and Flynn harbor secrets that threaten their friendship—and their growing feelings for each other. 

Why I Loved this Book

The second in the Colorado Cowboys series, The Heart of a Cowboy chronicles the second oldest McQuaid brother’s experiences. Like his older brother Wyatt, Flynn struggles with feelings of inadequacy and anger due to the abuse inflicted on him by their stepfather. Each brother has reacted differently to the abuse and chosen to handle the situation differently. 

Linnea struggles to establish her professional career and do the things she feels God has gifted her to do. Flynn and Linnea grow as they travel westward and face dangers from without and within their party. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and older adolescent readers would enjoy it, too. Fans of Tracie Peterson and Karen Witemeyer will love Jody Hedlund’s book. Although part of a series, readers won’t feel lost if they read it as a standalone novel.
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I loved Linnea and Flynn story in The Heart of a Cowboy. Most of the time they are traveling; Flynn is trying to keep Linnea safe. This is a historical set during the 1800’s so traveling was by wagon and horseback. I loved how Flynn younger sister was always playing matchmaker. There is so much to the story I don’t want to give anything away. Heart of a Cowboy is a very good book. I really enjoyed Linnea and how brave she was and adventurous.

This is the second book in the series. The book can be read as a stand alone. I do recommend reading the first book also.
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I always love a book about the wagon trains as they made their trek on the trail to another and better life as they are hoping for. Hedlund’s book deals with the Santa Fe Trail to Colorado Territory. The characters are most interesting. There is Linnea Newberry, a botanical scientist, is having her dream of adventure, as she accompanies her grandfather’s expedition. Then there is Flynn McQuaid, who her grandfather asks to act as Linnea’s “bodyguard” during the journey, without her knowing it, just staying near and protecting her as she is prone to “accidents”. Now this presents lots of problems as McQuaid has his own cattle to herd on the trail and keep an eye on his two younger siblings as he is their soul provider and guardian. After watching his mother suffer and die during childbirth, he swears he’ll never marry or care for a woman ever; he needs to focus on providing for his siblings…..But then, his protectiveness of Linnea suddenly has nothing to do with being hired to protect her. The spark between them was undeniable and he was constantly fighting against his being drawn to her, as he couldn’t let his heart love a woman. He had to stay strong for his aim in life, getting the herd to Colorado and delivered to his brother and providing a home for he and his young brother and sister. But true love wins out and faith in God leading their way, makes a most interesting read. I look forward to reading the next book in the series!……. I received this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
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This book has an ammmmazing first line - you're immediately hooked- and then I never wanted to stop reading!! 
This book is such an adventure!! 

Linnea Newberry and her grandfather are traveling across the Santa Fe Trail with Flynn McQuaid and his siblings. Due to the number of scrapes Linnea constantly finds herself in, her grandfather secretly hires Flynn to be her bodyguard along the trail.

"When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart."

The meet-cute is so so good! Flynn is the strong silent type, and is basically a single father to his younger siblings, and I'm here for it! Linnea is awwwwsome! She's smart and forward-thinking and so kind and understanding! And Flynn and Linnea are so good together!! The tension and romance is goooooood! 🥰 (Jody Hedlund knows how to WRITE a kiss!!)

But Linnea and Flynn resist the love.  they each tell each other their reasons for why they don't ever want to get married... sooo they agree to be "friends"...😉😉

Can they overcome past fears?! Future dreams!? Strained family relationships!! Will they survive the trail and make it to the new lands of Colorado??

You have to read this book and experience the glorious adventure for yourself! Its non-stop action and romance and I loved it so much!
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A handsome cowboy, a wagon train and author Jody Hedlund means a wonderful book! Linnea is a woman (and widow) determined to make a name for herself as a female botanist. She has led a sheltered life and is rather scatterbrained! Her misadventures add humor to this story! I admired Flynn for looking out for his younger siblings after their mother's death. He is attempting to drive a beef herd to his brother's ranch in Colorado and caring for his precocious young sister but still takes on protecting Linnea! Linnea is keeping a secret even from her wealthy grandfather who is leading the botanical expedition! The Heart of a Cowboy has many wonderful characters. There is much excitement in The Heart of a Cowboy. I recommend The Heart of a Cowboy to others! I received an early e-book through NetGalley and the author. This is my honest opinion.
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Loved this book so much!  I have been looking forward to this book since reading A Cowboy for Keeps and the wait was totally worth it. 

Flynn and Linnea are both complex characters with trauma in their pasts and some healing to be done.  I loved their interactions and how they were always willing to give the other what they needed most. Their chemistry was off the charts from the beginning but I appreciated how their feelings deepened as they grew to know each other and fell in love with the other for so much more than their physical attraction! 

The rich historical details of driving the cattle west and of Linnea and the team of botanists were fascinating and helped round out the story.  I loved having a heroine had dreams and ambitions of her own!

I have yet to meet a Jody Hedlund book that I did not enjoy and this cowboy series is shaping up to be one of my favorites.  Looking forward to Brody's story next!
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Pioneer stories are what got me into historical fiction, so when I saw one of my favorite authors had one I had to read it. This one is set on the Santa Fe Trail (cue Newsies singing "Santa Fe are you there..." except their goal is Colorado--visiting the brother from the first one in this series--except this one totally stands alone. 
Linnea and all her troubles are funny. How pretty is her name by the way? Her character has book smarts, but not street smarts I guess you'd say. and some secrets keep the story interesting. River crossings, rattlesnakes, buffalo, it's everything you ever wanted in a pioneer novel. 
So yeah if you like pioneer, cowboy, adventure, or were obsessed with The Oregon Trail then you'll appreciate this one. And as always with Hedlund's books, the chemistry is sizzling. Definitely a solid novel worth reading.
Thank you netgally and Bethany House for the copy!
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I love when I find a great western story that takes me on an adventure in another time and place.  This book does just that.  I was on that journey with Flynn and Linnea.  Both had different reasons to be on the Santa Fee Trail but with time they discovered what they were both looking for.
Certain characters stood out for me more than others.  I loved Ivy and her pure joy in life.  She had no filter and said what came to her mind.  She was usually right on target with her observations.  Judd, the ranch hand, was one whom shared his words of wisdom.  Thank goodness, Flynn listened to him.

Linnea held on to her faith in good times and bad.  She prayed and gave thanks throughout her ordeals.  Flynn struggled and questioned his faith. 

I can truly say that I loved the story and look forward to the next installment about Brody.  

Matthew 17:20 

New International Version
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
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The Heart of a Cowboy 
by Jody Hedlund 
Pub Date: October 5,2021 
Bethany House Publishers 

Jody Hedlund is one of our top authors requested by our patrons.  We always make sure we have her latest release on our shelf. They go out quickly. 
Thanks to BethanyPublisher and NetGalley for the ARC. 
This is a great #2 book in the series and it did not disappoint. 
Make sure you read it! 

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