Cover Image: The Heart of a Cowboy

The Heart of a Cowboy

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Member Reviews

Jody Hedlund is definitely a favorite author! She can write an amazing book in any genre. This second book in the Colorado Cowboys series was a quick read full of swoon worthy romance and fast paced action that kept me turning the pages. The characters were endearing, especially Flynn, and I quickly became invested in their growth and happiness as the story progressed.

Taking place during Civil War times, this book follows Flynn and his family as they make their way west from Missouri to Colorado bringing a head of cattle to Flynn’s somewhat estranged brother Wyatt. Flynn is a funny, romantic, caring person who is always willing to put others before himself. When he rescues a beautiful woman who has fallen into the river, he is immediately smitten with her and agrees to allow the group of botanists to travel with them.

Linnea is a botanist and desires to make a name for herself helping her grandfather as well the other scientists in their group document the various plants along the Santa Fe Trail. She’s somewhat prone to danger and as a result, when Flynn heroically rescues her from the river, her grandfather hires him to look after her. Despite their sizzling chemistry and immediate attraction to each other, both are leery of entering into a romantic relationship. Linnea’s husband just died and Flynn grew up with an abusive stepfather and watched his mother suffer and eventually die. Despite their hesitations, they build a strong friendship and get to know each other very well as they travel along the trail. Fraught with danger from the weather to Indians to a terrorizing group of Confederate soldiers named the Irregulars, there is never a dull moment as this group tries to make their way west. 

Flynn was such an endearing character. I loved his constant exclamation of “holy horses.” He’s thoughtful, caring, strong, and brave. Even his fears are understandable and sympathetic. Linnea was also a fabulous character. It’s easy to like her kind, determined character who wants to prove herself worthy of her place in the expedition. The side characters were also likable. Ivy, Dylan, and Linnea’s grandfather all added extra depth and enjoyment to the novel as well as Wyatt, Greta, and Jude who show up later on.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this action packed story filled with romantic tension and religious messages of trusting in God’s love and not being afraid to do the hard work to get what you want. While this is the second book in the series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. 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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I am somewhat new to Jody Hedlund's books but she has quickly become a must read author for me. I am fascinated by the way she is able to write books written back in time, alongside books based in today. Or the 1400s/1600s.  I think her cowboy romances are my favorite though. She KNOWS how to write a beautiful, funny, swoon worthy, Christ honoring love story with a  back story behind it, like no ones business!
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It is hard to resist a book by Jody Hedlund and The Heart of a Cowboy is no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Ms. Hedlund and would highly recommend it.  From the first pages, the readers are thrown into a fast-paced adventure following Linnea Newberry a scientist on an expedition in Colorado Territory.  Linnea is passionate about science and exploring nature, but she often seems to fall headlong into danger.  The reader first meets Linnea with a rush of danger as she is swept into a flooded river and nearly drowns if not for the quick actions of a handsome, strong, and quiet stranger, Flynn McQuaid.  Flynn McQuaid never hesitates to help someone in need and is happy to have saved Linnea from a watery grave. Flynn soon realizes the great responsibility he now has of protecting Linnea as her grandfather hires Flynn to act as Linnea's bodyguard for the remainder of the dangerous trek west.  Flynn has determined to not get pulled into a relationship or marriage with any woman. Flynn's mother suffered in her marriage and in childbirth, ultimately dying in childbirth, which left Flynn's heart full of grief and scars as well as his hands full with the responsibility of his siblings. Flynn has heavy weight on his shoulders with his siblings as well as his commitment to deliver his brother's cattle out west.  Will Flynn be able to hold all of his commitments?  Can he truly make it out west and start a new life? Will he be able to keep Linnea safe throughout all the hazards of a journey out west? Can Flynn keep his heart safe from falling for the beautiful and danger-prone Linnea?  Read The Heart of a Cowboy to find out for yourself!      when I started reading this book that it is second in Ms. Hedlund's series Colorado Cowboys. Although The Heart of a Cowboy  could easily be read as a stand alone work, I could see the benefit to reading this book in order. As I continued reading the book, I saw that there was more backstory to Flynn's brother, but nothing that would make this book hard to understand the context.  I will enjoy reading the first book in the Colorado Cowboys series in the near future. ;) 
readers. I love how clearly Ms. Hedlund conveys each character's feelings, struggles, and perceptions. The characters of Linnea and Flynn were very realistic and adorable. I enjoyed their interactions and banter, as well as how they dealt with tragedy, difficulties, and disagreements. I was surprised by how much I related to Linnea in her struggles and attempts to make a way for herself in a very tough world. I loved Linnea's positive attitude, her tendency for getting herself into trouble and lost, as well as her friendliness and sweet naivety. Flynn's character was refreshing to see with his genuine selflessness as a protector for his siblings as well as his loyalty, bravery, and chivalry. I thoroughly appreciated Ms. Hedlund's characters in this work. The plot was very well written and the historical context gave extra depth and dimension to the overall themes of the book. 
The Heart of a Cowboy was a genuinely entertaining, wholesome, and intriguing book with a unique plot full of just the perfect mixture of adventure, heartache, faith, and humor.  I thoroughly enjoy Ms. Hedlund's writings and I highly recommend The Heart of a Cowboy. I hope that you have the opportunity to read and enjoy this work as much as I have. Happy readings!
Disclaimer: Bethany House Publisher graciously provided me with a copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and part of an unbiased review.
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The relationship between Flynn and Linnea blossomed slowly but with a passion that none of them expected. Flynn was a great character: caring, helpful, and willing to do whatever he needed to take care of his family and those he cared about. 

Linnea was a sweet character who quickly bonded with Flynn's siblings especially his younger sister, Ivy. 

I liked seeing their interaction as their friendship bloomed into love and the challenges they faced only made me root for them more. 

One of the major themes in The Heart of a Cowboy was that God takes care of us. Linnea was fond of ruminating on Matthew 6:25-32 which is a reminder that God cares about nature and He certainly cares about us. 

I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.
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I love how Jody hedlund writes historical romance.  She let's you dive right into a scene with action or has meaning through the rest of the book.
In this case we witness a rescue scene that sets the stage for two very different characters to be thrown together. 
The chemistry between Flynn and Linnea was on point and you could feel it even though they each had their own reasons for trying to fight it. Ah such good conflict!
I did enjoy the character arc of Flynn the most,  I really appreciated how he had to learn how to let go of the need to be in control,  a need truly based off fear.
I often find the "lady scientist " character type hard to like because they often times come across as pushy, abrasive and downright rude.  Linnea was a really sweet character and her motivation felt genuine from her love of exploring nature.  I do wish her character grew a little in the area that her identity didn't depend on what she did (I personally believe we are more then a chosen profession).
Well paced and romantic. 
I recieved a complementary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgally.  All opinions are my own and honest.
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In each book in the Colorado Cowboy Series, you will find all the components of a first-class cowboy story, a handsome cowboy, his horse, and a six-shooter. No matter the genre Author Jody Hedlund fills her stories with emotion, inspiration, and great characters all ingredients for unforgettable adventures. The author’s meticulous attention to details transports the reader to the setting of the story. We met the first McQuaid brother, Wyatt in Book One. In this story we meet Flynn, the second McQuaid brother. I look forward to Book Three in the Colorado Cowboy Series eager to learn more about the third brother, Brody. Each book is stand-alone but trust me you will want to read them all. 
I received a copy from the publisher and author. The opinions are my own.
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I absolutely fell in love with Linnea and Flynn's story and couldn't get enough of them!  It was such a blast to go back to the McQuaid ranch and meet another brother.  Linnea and Flynn meet when he rescues her from one of her many mishaps on the Santa Fe Trail. She is traveling with her grandfather and other botanists and he's herding cattle for his brother. They try so hard to stay away from each other...but ya know how handsome and intriguing those cowboys are!  All the extra characters are just as wonderful.  This will go down as one of my favorite series.

Jody Hedlund never disappoints!  She's definitely on my top 10 favorite author list!

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review.  All opinions are my own.

Publishes 5 October 2021.
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I love all of Jody Hedlund's books and this book didn't disappoint me at all! I especially loved all the details that she includes about the flora and fauna throughout the Santa Fe Trail.  The main characters, Linnea and Flynn are so dynamic and relatable and I love how much they grow throughout the story; however, Flynn's younger sister Ivy may have stolen the show as my favorite character in this book. I found myself laughing out loud at her hilarious commentary and I loved that she didn't seem to have a filter (she was beyond outspoken). I also enjoyed reading about Linnea's struggles and triumphs with being a female scientist during a time when only men worked in that field. I found myself rooting for her in multiple areas (her science and her relationship with Flynn) and it made the book incredibly hard to put down! I also loved the last chapter of the book, because it was the perfect ending to this sweet and heartwarming story  For me, this story had everything - suspense, a dash of danger and of course romance and I would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. Special thanks to Jody Hedlund, Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for letting me read and review this book – all opinions are my own.
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This book was a very sweet western romance that will melt even the chilliest heart! Jody Hedlund is an old hand now at creating stories with deep, multi-faceted characters and plots that are unique. I would recommend this to anyone, even non-religious readers.
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Oh. My. Goodness. 

This. Book. Is. So. Good. 

I've been impatiently waiting for The Heart of a Cowboy since reading the first book in the series, A Cowboy For Keeps, and I was so excited to get the chance to be on the launch team for this novel as well. Book one was incredible, but I have to say I think book two might be even better. Jody Hedlund never fails to keep her readers invested in the hearts and lives of her characters, and The Heart of a Cowboy is no exception. I was hooked before I got through the first page, and read this story as quickly as I possibly could.  

Recently widowed Linnea Newberry is a brilliant scientist, but she struggles to feel accepted in a world where men thrive and women's ideas are pushed to the side. Having embarked on a voyage with her grandfather and a group of other botanists, Linnea is thrilled to be a part of the discoveries they'll make, but trouble seems to have a way of finding her. When the handsome Flynn McQuaid saves her from drowning in the river, her grandfather immediately hires him, without her knowledge, as a guard for the rest of the trip. But he didn't plan on having to guard his heart too. Despite the immediate attraction he feels, Flynn has sworn off women and marriage forever. He's promised himself that he would never watch another woman he loved suffer like his mother did, and he'll stick to that promise even if it kills him. The chemistry between Linnea and Flynn is apparent from the moment they meet, but a lasting relationship needs more than just sparks and breath-taking kisses. Linnea only married her much-older, now late husband to be allowed to join the expedition, and his recent death has left her confused about how she feels.  Add in the one-sided interests of another scientist and the intense attraction between her and Flynn, and you have a pretty fantastic plot already. But Linnea has a secret; one that has the potential to drive Flynn away forever. 

I immediately fell in love with Flynn and Linnea's stories. Despite the childhood trauma he's endured, Flynn is slowly able to find healing with Linnea's--and God's--help. Linnea has already overcome many challenges, and she isn't afraid to step forward in faith and face what comes her way, whether it's giving motherly advice to Flynn's younger sister or protecting the ones she loves most. Speaking of Flynn's sister, Hedlund has added some incredible side characters once again. This time, we have Flynn's tomboyish sister Ivy and rebellious brother Dylan along for the journey to find a new home near their oldest brother, Wyatt.  Ivy adds humour throughout the book with her rather innocent comments and questions, and had me laughing out loud multiple times. 

I could go on forever, but all in all, The Heart of a Cowboy is jam-packed with thrilling adventure and heart-throbbing romance. As always, Hedlund keeps God at the forefront, and expertly weaves faith throughout the chapters.  If you enjoy faith-filled historical romance, you won't want to miss this one. 

*As a launch team member, I received a complimentary copy of The Heart of a Cowboy through the author and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. My positive review is not required.
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Jody Hedlund has captured my heart with her latest novel, The Heart of a Cowboy. I loved the first in this series, A Cowboy for Keeps. But this one is even better.

Linnea Newberry and her grandfather are traveling out west with a group of botanist. They are on an expedition cataloging for the Smithsonian Institute. Linnea seems to always get into some sort of trouble. She has a hard time paying attention to her surrounding, often getting lost.

Flynn McQuaid has determined he will never marry after watching his mother die in childbirth. He will never put a woman through that. But when he saves Linnea after falls off her wagon as they are crossing the river, he is smitten. 

Flynn and Linnea are at a start of an adventure that pulls at heartstrings. Linnea falls in love with Flynn, as he tries not to.  I loved the character of Ivy, Flynn's young sister who is constantly prodding Flynn by telling him he needs Linnea in his life. 

This is absolutely a wonderful story. Action, adventure, LOTS of kissing. But very clean reading. I love how you can feel the drama of Flynn and Linnea's story. 

So now we must wait for Brody's story. We get a taste of it at the end of the book. Can it really get any better?
I received a complimentary ebook copy from the publisher, through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Absolutely fantastic!!! That’s how I must describe Jody Hedlund’s book “The Heart of a Cowboy.” Hedlund has an unmatched skill at weaving intricate details into a story so realistic that the reader feels like a part of that story. I felt myself pulling for Linnea and Flynn to get together. I enjoyed the family dynamic between Flynn and his siblings, especially Ivy. I so much wanted to see Linnea find the approval she so dearly seeks from her grandfather. 

“The Heart of a Cowboy” is quintessential Jody Hedlund. It is impossible for me to say too many great things about this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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I love it when a book has a story with a wagon train in it! To me, it was so exciting to be able to go on a grand adventure such as this one!
Did you know that I-70 is the old Santa Fe trail now? I discovered that when I went to the Kansas Museum of History!
Hedlund has written another believable story along with some interesting characters such as Linnea herself! Definitely a woman ahead of her time!
I appreciate the research that has gone into this story and I know that research takes time for a good story.  Hedlund is that talented. 
I've been a long-time fan since her first book came out several years ago. 
This story deserves 5 stars and more!
Your heart will absolutely melt all the way for these characters. Plus, I believe you'll also learn a few things along the way as well. 
The cover is simply gorgeous as always. 
I highly recommend!
My thanks for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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I feel the need to repeat a little about book 1 before I review book 2 of this series.  I am anticipating at least 5 books before this series is over and I wish I had them all at hand right now!  This is such a fun saga.  

In book 1, Greta accepted a request from Colorado for a mail order bride hoping the climate would be better for her little sister with consumption.  When she arrived, however the prospective groom was missing.  A fellow traveler who lived in the same town, arranged for Greta to marry Wyatt, a struggling local rancher. 

Wyatt had left a bad situation back at his family farm in the East to try and find a new situation for his mother and younger siblings.  

Meanwhile, (Book 2), Flynn, his next younger brother was left holding the bag on the family farm with an abusive stepfather and an ailing mother and all his other siblings to take care of..  His mother died and his stepfather kicked them off of the family farm that had been in their family for several generations.  The Civil war was heating up and one of his brothers snuck off and joined the Union Army.  Flynn took the other two siblings and headed to Colorado driving some cattle Wyatt had bought.  He met up with Linnea and her grandfather when he saved Linnea from drowning during a river crossing.  Linnea's grandfather and herself and the other botanists who made up their expedition started traveling in the same group with Flynn just for protection from outlaws and Indians and other perils of the trail.  

Book 1 was wonderful and exciting.  Book 2 was even more intrigue and action.  Book 3 should be a dandy along with hopefully a 4 and a 5 if there is one for each sibling.  You  need to read these two and put Jody Hedlund on your favorite authors list so you can keep aware of when the next book in the series will be available..  

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from NetGalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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The second book in Jody Hedlund’s book is just as engaging and exciting as the first book. Flynn Mcquaid is tasked to drive his brother Wyatt’s cattle west. A difficult task but after saving a beautiful redhead named Linnea,  he is also asked by her grandfather to guard her throughout the trip. Little does he know he will have to guard his heart as well. Can Flynn and Linnea set aside their reservations against marriage to see a future together?  Find out in this heartwarming story.
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After enjoying A Cowboy for Keeps so very much, I’ve been waiting impatiently for The Heart of a Cowboy! Flynn and Linnea’s story did not disappoint! 

The story opens with immediate action… poor Linnea Newberry finding herself being swept down the river. But handsome Flynn McQuaid comes to the rescue and that is only the start of their harrowing adventures on the Santa Fe Trail in 1863. 

Linnea and her grandfather are traveling with a group of botanists on a mission to complete a guide to the flora on the way and in Colorado once they get there. Flynn and his brother Dylan and sister Ivy are bringing their oldest brother Wyatt a herd of cattle for his new ranch. Turns out their pace is just right for the scientists, and unbeknownst to Linnea, her grandfather strikes a deal with Flynn to be her guardian during the trek. Flynn doesn’t think it will be all that hard… but he only just met trouble-magnet Linnea! 

I became so invested in the outcome of the expedition right away. I’ve read books on the Oregon Trail, but I don’t know remember any set on the Santa Fe Trail before this one. Jody Hedlund did wonderful research to highlight certain perils and topography, along with what must have been copious amounts of research on plants they would have encountered! She uses Linnea to oh-so-subtly educate us about them as we go. 

I was also immediately swept up into rooting for Flynn and Linnea’s relationship. After watching his mother have stillbirth after miscarriage and eventually die in childbirth because of his brute of a stepfather, Wyatt has made the decision to never marry and subject a woman he loves to that possibility. Linnea married an older man- one of her grandfather’s friends- to be able to be a part of the expedition in the first place. But his untimely death has left her confused and at a bit of a loss dealing with the unwelcome interest of another scientist and her sizzling chemistry with the reluctant Flynn. As the dangerous trail continues to drive them together, a secret of Linnea’s threatens to drive them apart. 

As always, Jody Hedlund’s secondary characters shine. I immediately fell in love with precocious twelve-year-old Ivy and I just know her story is going to be extraordinary when we get to it. I also felt like Dylan’s personality is going to get him in a bit of trouble later! And while Brody doesn’t physically appear until the epilogue, we already deeply care about the quiet, sensitive, stubborn young man determined to fight in the war through what we know about him through his siblings. And of course reconnecting with Wyatt, Greta, Astrid, and Judd from the first book was a joy.

I couldn’t stop reading and finished this story in a day. Jody Hedlund’s ability to pull me in to a situation and become invested in characters is one of the things I love most about her writing. This story is like a Colorado sunset- beautiful colorful characters shining through an equally stunning but treacherous landscape. Action-packed and wonderfully romantic, The Heart of a Cowboy is full of heart and adventure. You are not going to want to miss this story or this series- set in one of my very favorite settings by one of my very favorite authors!

I received a complementary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review.
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I love a good Western, so this book is right up my alley. If I had not had other responsibilities, I doubt I would have put it down except for essential things like eating. To be honest, I did let a few things slide so I could read. Linnea, the heroine, kept the action lively because of constantly getting in trouble, like falling off the back of the covered wagon during a river crossing and almost drowning. Flynn, the brother of Wyatt in the first book, is the hero of this story. He agreed to deliver about two hundred head of Shorthorn cattle to Wyatt in South Park, Colorado. His younger brother and sister were making the trip with him. I enjoyed the way his sister Ivy held nothing back. If she thought it, she said it. I reckon it would have been different if she was my sister, but she could liven things up in her own right. Besides having an unusual name, Linnea was different from most women of that era because she had studied to become a botanist and was traveling with her grandfather to identify and document the many plants they found along the trail. Flynn had been a farmer back in Pennsylvania but he gained a lot of experience with cattle as they made their journey along the trail to Colorado. You will especially enjoy this story if you like action and romance mixed with faith and good values. Preceding the first chapter is a verse of Scripture that talks about the grass of the field. What a fitting verse since Linnea, her grandfather, and the other botanists were studying all the different kinds of grass and other plants encountered while Flynn was constantly on the lookout for good grazing areas for the Shorthorns. I received an advance copy of this book from the author. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
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I sincerely hope that Jody Hedlund is having as good time writing this series as I have been having reading it.  

Flynn is taking his younger brother and sister, and a herd of shorthorn cattle west to another brother's ranch in Colorado. 

Linnea and her grandfather are on a botanical expedition for the Smithsonian Institute along with some other botanists.  Linnea is newly widowed and all she wants to do is prove her mettle as a botanist to the point that she sometimes loses herself in her work and neglects her environment. 

In order to keep her safe, Linnea's grandfather pays Flynn to keep her out of trouble and act as a bodyguard, but Flynn is not to tell Linnea about it.  This arrangement gives Linnea and Flynn a lot of time together. Flynn begins to fall for Linnea but he thinks he doesn't want a wife.  He doesn't want to  put a woman through what his mother went through with his stepfather.  

The Heart of a Cowboy takes childhood trauma, and delicately moves through the healing that must happen for health to come.  It also takes on dealing with girls growing up without mother figures and feminine influence. Flynn has had to be both mother and father to his younger siblings since his mother passed away and his stepfather kicked him off the farm.  

There is a bit of "romance formula" in this book, but it is not so overwhelming to the story that it detracts from the plot, but it adds credibility to the plot.  It is ultimately an enjoyable read that will give a few hours of solid entertainment.  Four Strong Stars. 

Bethany House and provided the copy I read for this review.  All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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THE HEART OF A COWBOY by JODY HEDLUND is not only a cowboy story, it is a beautiful romance novel which takes place in 1863.
Linnea Newberry is a botanist who is on a scientific expedition headed by her grandfather, Dr Howell. She is hoping that her work will be recognied, particularly because she is a woman. Having been brought up by a liberal mother,  ahe says things that could  be seen as shocking, but she gets away with it due to her beauty and enthusiasm for life  The scripture she holds on to and which helps her trust in the Lord is Matthew 6:30, “Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Because of her habit of wandering off in search of flora, and having been saved from drowning by the handsome cowboy, Flynn McQuaid, her grandfather hires Flynn to guard her.
Flynn is travelling with his sister Ivy and his youngest brother Dylan, heading for his brother Wyatt’s homestead with a herd of cattle. Flynn is very kind and helpful, but does tend to “play God” in the lives of his loved ones. Will he ever get over the guilt he feels for not being able to stop his brother Brody from joining the army, his hatred for his stepfather for the way he treated his mother and the fear of women dying in childbirth!
The journey is dangerous and you will be kept on the edge of your seat.
I am not going to tell you any more as I do not want to spoil things for you.
I highly recommend this book for the exciting story, unforgettable characters and strong Christian message.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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Excellent new story from Jody Hedlund! The plot and pacing were well thought out and believable. Perfect blend of seriousness and humor. Flynn and Linnea were refreshingly real in their strengths and flaws, and their chemistry was undeniable! Appreciated that while it was a clean romance, it was still passionate. 

Great job by Ms Hedlund in putting some twists and turns that I was not expecting. Not your average, predictable romance…and I loved it! While this book is the second in the series, it can still be read on its own. (Readers also get a bonus at the very end by getting a sneak peek into the next story for the McQuaid brothers. I’m already looking forward to it!) 

I received this book as an advance copy from the author and Baker House Publishing with no obligation for a positive review.
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