The Heart of a Cowboy

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Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 29 Aug 2022
Bethany House, Bethany House Publishers

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

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home.

After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn't need more complications.

When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Howell promptly
hires Flynn--unbeknownst to Linnea--to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As
Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all--falling for a woman he's determined not to love.
When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather...

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ISBN 9780764236402
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Featured Reviews

An absolutely phenomenal second story in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series! The Heart of a Cowboy was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it exceeded my expectations. Hedlund just writes so incredibly well—I always connect with her characters, I always feel inspired, and I’m always enraptured by the stories she tells.

Each book Hedlund writes just impresses me further. Flynn and Linnea are intensely relatable characters, as are the other members of the McQuaid family. I learned something unique from each character, and I absolutely can’t wait for the rest of this series. And we even get a glimpse into Brody’s story, which is going to be so hard to wait for, in this book.

If you like historical romance even a little bit, there is no author I recommend more than Jody Hedlund. Grab your copy of The Heart of a Cowboy as soon as you’re able! 5/5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Once again Jody Hedlund has taken me on adventure. This time we traveled across plains in a wagon train headed to Colorado. Mrs Hedlund never fails to transport me to the place she has set her books. I always leave feeling as if I have just experienced life right alongside the people within the story. For this one I rode along with and befriended a female Botanist named Mrs Linnea Newberry. We traveled the Santa Fe Trail with her Grandfather, Dr Linnus Howell and his team of fellow scientist. When Dr Howell thought Linnea might need a bit of extra watching over he enlisted the help of Flynn McQuaid and his siblings, who were on their way to Colorado to live with family. Along the way things happen that will make you want to hold and will make you want to cheer. I was sad to see this story end, however, I am excited and anticipating the next. The Heart of a Cowboy is book 2 in the Colorado Cowboys series.

** I was given an ARC of this story in exchange for my honest opinion. These words are mine and mine alone.

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What a wonderfully captivating, entertaining addition to the Colorado Cowboys series by storyteller extraordinaire Jody Hedlund. Continuing the saga of the McQuaid family, this book surpassed my expectations which were really high after reading the first book in the series A Cowboy for Keeps.
Once again, Ms. Hedlund excels in bringing the characters to life and making them relatable and memorable. Flynn and Linnea are now on my list of favorite fictional couples! Well-crafted secondary characters add depth and interest. Twelve-year-old, precocious, outspoken Ivy is one of my favorites!
The romance is sweet and sometimes steamy, albeit fraught with complications! The fast-paced plot takes the reader on a gripping journey down the Santa Fe Trail featuring beautifully drawn settings. Extensive research is evidenced by detailed descriptions as botanist Linnea analyzes the flora and foliage of the area. I especially appreciated the thoughtfully integrated, inspiring spiritual truths in the story.
I love the glimpse of the next McQuaid sibling’s story at the end of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it especially for lovers of historical romance!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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After getting a glimpse of Flynn at the end of A Cowboy for Keeps I just knew his story would be immensely satisfying to read and Jody did not let me down. I sat down to start the book and had a hard time putting it aside until I finished it. Jody does a wonderful job world building which makes me feel like I’m a participant rather than just a reader. Her vivid descriptions of the trail scenery painted beautiful mental images that enhanced the overall entertainment of the book. My only somewhat complaint is that she ended with a snippet of Brody’s story and now I have to wait another 6-12 months to hear about it. What am I supposed to do in the meantime??? And don’t get me started on waiting for Ivy’s story…..

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review, the opinions expressed here are my own.

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Wow! This book was even better than the first book! I am always amazed by all of the books that Jody Hedlund has written, they are so good! The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. I was excited to read this story because I wanted to learn more about Wyatt’s family and finally get to see Flynn. The Heart of a Cowboy was such a sweet and heartwarming book.
Flynn wanted to prove that he was better than his older brother, Wyatt. He was determined to deliver cattle to his brother no matter the cost, he would keep the cattle alive. Linnea Newberry is loving traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She wants to prove to her grandfather and the others on the team that she was trustworthy and just as capable. What Linnea and Flynn never expected was to grow a bond as they travled together.
Flynn was an awesome hero, he wanted to protect his family and do his best to bring his brother’s cattle to him. I loved his relationship with his siblings and how he tried to be the best big brother he could. He was strong but he had to learn to trust that he could not save everyone or stop bad things from happening. He was grappling with how to care for his family and let them grow. It was sweet to read about him falling for Linnea, she was fearless and helped him see the good in life again.
Linnea was really cool. She was a botanist in a time where women could not do much. I adored her and I loved how much she loved God’s creation. It was also fun to read about her interaction with Ivy, Flynn’s younger sister. However Linnea had to learn to trust God’s plan and stop trying to worsen her way of things. It was so cool to see Linnea grow in her faith. She was a lovely character
Linnea and Flynn were cute together. They balanced each other. They were able to talk to each other, which I always love. Bantering is one of my favorite things that can be written into books, and I really enjoyed Linnea and Flynn’s bantering. I liked the progress of their romance and also the balance with the rest of the story. I was really interested to read about them transporting cattle and to read about Linnea’s rescue. There was so much going on and I kept on wanting to read more.
Some of my favorite things about Hedlund’s books are the great quotes. Here are two of my favorite quotes: “If we tuck tail and run everytime we’re scared, we’ll end up running in circles, never getting anywhere.” This quote reminded me that sometimes we have to push through the hard things and just try our best. The second quote was “Was it finally time to stop trying so hard in her own strength and to let God carry her where He would, working thighs out in His way?” I loved this quote because it reminded me that I need to trust in God’s plan and not my own.
The Heart of a Cowboy was a great book! There were some twists and turns and I ended up staying up late reading. I am excited to read Dylan’s book, I know it is going to be good! I would totally recommend The Heart of a Cowboy! It is a clean christian romance but it is a little heavier on the romance so I would probably recommend it to at least 13 and up.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

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This is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s new Colorado Cowboys series. It will help if you read the first book, A Cowboy for Keeps, before this one, since the hero in this book, Flynn, is brother of Wyatt, the hero in the first book. There’s a lot on family relationships and responsibilities in The Heart of A Cowboy, and how one person’s perceptions may not be the actual situation.

I liked the “setting” of the characters traveling to Colorado with a wagon train and a herd of shorthorn cattle. There are plot twists to keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat, swoony kisses, obstacles to the relationship between Flynn and Linnea, villains intent on killing people or cattle, and irrepressible younger siblings to keep everyone on their toes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and can’t wait for the next book!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. #TheHeartOfACowboy #NetGalley

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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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'He was about as good at parenting Ivy as a hen was at mothering a porcupine.'

I have loved Jody Hedlund's books since her very first. She is very adept at switching genres, and I love each one she does. This series, her cowboy one, she proves yet again how great a writer she is. Fromm crafting believable characters and wonderful plots, when you sit down to read a Hedlund book, you can be sure of a pleasurable reading experience. Well done1

My thanks to Bethany House for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not expected to write a positive review and the opinion here is my own.

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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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What an interesting unique story! Flynn is heading West with his brother and sister to meet his estranged brother, driving cattle. They meet up with a group of scientists heading the same way. The beginning starts with quite the action! Linnea is a scientist and not very observant to her surroundings when she’s observing fauna and floral. As you can imagine this can cause some issues traveling the Santa Fe Trail. There are some twists and turns and things each character overcomes. An enjoyable read and also a reminder of what those who settled the West went through, Danger, weather, Supply shortages. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All views stated are my own.

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I've read a couple of books about wagon trails to west America in the last year or so. They're often full of pain and suffering. And sure, maybe every good story needs some pain and suffering. But I don't always like to go into a story expecting it. I like to be as surprised by it as the characters are. Anyway, I said that to say that I wasn't stoked to see The Heart of the Cowboy focus so much on the journey to Colorado. But it makes sense. Wyatt needs more cows added to his herd. Flynn, Dylan, and Ivy need a reason and way to travel to Colorado. And so it just makes sense.

Flynn was easy to love with his struggles. He has seen so much. His dad died, and his mom remarried an abusive man who stole their family farm out from under them. Then his mom has struggled from one stillbirth to another. Flynn decides that he won't ever put a woman through childbirth. He also couldn't prevent his younger brother, Brody, from heading off to enlist in the war. And he and Wyatt have always had tension and disagreements. So he's looking forward to starting a new life in Colorado, but also, he needs to distance himself from his past. I could also relate to his struggles to parent Dylan and Ivy. They both need a parent...or better yet, two parents, but the harder he tries the more they rebel or resent him for it.

Linnea. Bless her. She's a magnet for life threatening situations. She's an educated botanist. But she's rarely taken seriously because she's a woman. She convinced her grandfather to let her join on his expedition to catalog the plants on their journey to Colorado and back for a manual he was compiling with a group of other scientists. No matter how hard she worked, her contributions weren't appreciated by the group. And despite everything stacked against her, Linnea was just a sweet character. She was also easy to love.

Desire was rampant between these two. And I don't often find that Christian authors touch on this too frequently. So it was nice to see these two have to struggle with this. The tension between them was glorious. And it felt like the relationship was the driving force of the story. I always prefer books where this is the case.

I was happy to get to know Wyatt and Flynn's siblings a little bit through this story. Dylan is quite the ladies man, so I can see his struggles coming from a mile away. Ivy is a firecracker. And I can't wait for her story. Brody's book will come next. And we didn't get much about him except a chapter at the end of The Heart of a Cowboy to set up his book.

Also one quick note, I liked how the Native Americans weren't the bad guys during this wagon train tale as they so often are.

Favorite quotes:
-“I could never be like you.”“And you don’t have to be. You just have to be the truest form of you.”

-Did a man need to cast aside all chivalry in order to respect a woman’s worth? Or was it possible for men to regard women with high esteem while also valuing their intelligence?

-The God who took care of the grass and the flowers and the trees had taken care of her just as He’d promised.

The Heart of a Cowboy was the first book this month to really hold my attention from the beginning. Of course, it helps that the opening sequence is Linnea basically drowning and being rescued. Linnea and Flynn were both easy to love. And I can't wait to read more from the McQuaid siblings. The Heart of a Cowboy gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Heart of a Cowboy? What did you think? Let me know!

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I read the first book in this series at the start of a holiday break and once again I found myself at the end of a big and exhausting term and I picked up the second book in the series. Perfect timing indeed, because once again, slipping into a Jody Hedlund historical romance was exactly the way I needed to start my school holidays.

The second book in the Colorado Cowboys series can be read as a standalone novel, so if you haven’t read the first book don’t hesitate to read this one.

I love when historical romances give me the taste of the past with all the comfort of today’s views and opinions. The Heart of a Cowboy does just that. Linnea is a botanist and an excellent scientist. She is travelling with her grandfather and a group of scientists on a botanical expedition to Colorado. Despite her excellent scientific discoveries and abilities, she had to twist her grandfather’s arm to allow her to accompany the expedition and he worries greatly about her safety - and not just because she’s a woman. Linnea can become so distracted by her work she wanders off and finds herself in all sorts of danger. Like when she falls off the wagon during a river crossing and needs to be rescued by Flynn McQuaid. Flynn has no need for extra people to rescue and look out for. He is already managing the care of his younger brother and sister, while driving a herd of cattle to Colorado for his older brother and mourning how he couldn’t stop his other younger brother from joining the war. When Linnea’s grandfather asks Flynn and his family to join the expedition and employs Flynn to keep an eye on Linnea, Flynn thinks it will be easy - just another body to look out for. But caring for Linnea, as Flynn soon finds himself doing in more ways than just physical safety, puts everything he has decided for himself and his future at risk.

If this isn’t a swoony romance, I don’t now what is. Flynn and Linnea have incredible chemistry and the many mishaps she finds herself in and the many times Flynn has to rescue her give them plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal. Of course, while Linnea is prone to mishaps, she is no wilting flower. She is strong, intelligent and kind. Her kindness towards Flynn and his family, bring the McQuaids out of their grief. She also demonstrates how being a woman is not going to stop her or her dreams for her future.

Readers of the first book in the series will likely find Flynn’s last name familiar. We followed his older brother in the first book and things look set to join the next brother in the third book.

If you enjoy a good adventurous and very romantic historical novel, then you are sure to enjoy The Heart of a Cowboy - I know I did. And now I think I’ll just wait and see if book three aligns with a future holiday break, hopefully in the near future, because I can’t wait to slip into this time zone and delightful family again.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

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Oooh, ooh, ohh, I love Hedlund's cowboys and their heroines!

I've been looking forward to continuing the Colorado Cowboys series since I first read "A Cowboy for Keeps" and let me say that I loved it just as much as I expected! Flynn was even better than I expected and Linnea was just the sweetest!

I won't spoil anything but I highly recommend "The Heart of a Cowboy" for western romance lovers!

And, that snippet of the next book... Ahh, it hurt not to have the book in hand yet!

16/18+ for romance.

Content warning: a good bit of attraction, kissing, suggestions that a character went too far with an old girlfriend before marriage, romantic content, a scene with the guy removing his shirt in front of the heroine, suggestion of immoral conduct.

I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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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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This is a *Must Read* book! This book was an absolute wonderful read. The author brings the story to life with her words and makes you feel like you are there. I can't say enough good things about this book without letting a spoiler slip out, it's a heartwarming read that you don't want to miss.
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House and Jody Hedlund via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Jody Hedlund does not disappoint with this new read, set on the Santa Fe Trail, we are headed west bound, with a different group of people than the usual Western travelers!

The author has paired up scientists with cowboys bringing a herd of long horns to Colorado, along with a group of scientists studying the plants that grow in this country. We are along for the journey, and what a journey we experience!

We are given a young woman whom is trying to prove herself in a man's world, and a young man fulfilling a promise to his mother. There is danger with renegade confederates, this is Civil War Time, sabotage, and throw in a bit of sweet romance.

This quickly became a page turner for me, I needed answers, and in the end I wanted more!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in Colorado Cowboys series. The first book gives us a glimpse of Flynn's character and sets up the journey west with his brother and sister. I don't think you need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, but you learn his older brother's story and why Wyatt is the way he is. And it was a good book, so why not read it first? I'm not a huge fan of western's in general, but I am a huge fan of Jody Hedlund so if a western theme isn't your thing, I would recommend giving it a shot because this is a story worth reading! Full of clean romance, a well-muscled yet tender-hearted hero, a damsel who is always in some sort of predicament, and a dangerous journey to Colorado. I was completely glued to the pages. Jody Hedlund is such a good story teller, I always feel immersed in the story, like a bystander, seeing and hearing it unfold in my minds eye. Such a satisfying read, and the teaser for the next book has me already counting the days until I can "visit" the McQuaid family again.

Thank you Bethany House and Net Galley for the free DRC of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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#BookReview: THE HEART OF A COWBOY by Jody Hedlund

You are in for an adventure with this second book in the Colorado Cowboys series. It’s nice if you have read the first book, but I think it can still be read as a stand alone. This is much better though in my opinion.

Historical romance lovers will surely appreciate Flynn and Linnea’s story. Set in 1863, Flynn was on his way to Colorado to bring cattle to his brother, Wyatt. Flynn was a responsible and caring brother. He would also offer help to anyone who needs it. Linnea was a botanist on an expedition with her grandfather and some other scientists. She gets distracted easily and often finds herself in unfortunate situations. Well, Flynn and Linnea met in one of her misadventures. He was her hero.

They came from different backgrounds but this trek to the west made them appreciate each other’s finer qualities. The way they made each other smile and laugh brought joy to their challenging circumstances. Their chemistry and conversations were a delight to read.

The banters among the McQuaid siblings were fun. Ivy was a typical younger sibling and liked to tease Flynn. I anticipate what the future holds for her.

Flynn had to learn to let go of his fear and to forgive. They also had to learn that despite all the difficulties, God has always been there for them and their loved ones. I am glad how Linnea’s career path turned out.

This was a romantic and enjoyable read with some suspenseful incidents. Ms. Hedlund is a great storyteller. Flora was so cute and I can’t wait to read Brody’s story next. 4.5 stars

Thank you Bethany House and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I was excited to read this book because I enjoyed book one and the McQuaid siblings. I thought I wouldn’t like Flynn more than I did Wyatt, but I was wrong.

Flynn has so much on his plate and though he doesn’t always handle things perfectly, he’s trying. That is so appealing! I loved that he was trying to do right by his brother and sister and help his older brother.

I also liked the way he interacted with Linnea, being more amused than annoyed. He was able to see her in a way no one else (not even her grandfather) did.

There were a couple of times that I was bothered by Linnea’s actions, but in the grand scheme of things, considering the times, I could understand why she did what she did.

All in all, another good book and one that has me looking forward to the next McQuaid sibling.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.

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Travel West in a covered wagon with botanists and cowherders during the 1860s, in The Heart of a Cowboy, the second book in the newest historical fiction series by Jody Hedlund. This story chronicles Linnea’s journey as she navigates the journey as a new widow with an interest in plants and Flynn McQuaid.
The Heart of a Cowboy is a great addition to Hedlund’s new Western series but can also be read as a standalone. I recommend The Heart of a Cowboy to readers who enjoy sweeping family sagas with a Christian message. Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and the publisher for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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The Heart of a Cowboy is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Grooms series. This book follows the next eldest brother, Flynn McQuaid, as he drives his older brother’s herd to Colorado along the Santa Fe Trail. He meets up with a botanical exposition after he saves the party’s lone female from a dangerous river.

The sparks fly at once, but both have their own reasons for not wanting to encourage the connection. I’ll admit, the author’s heat level is on the edge of what I generally prefer, however, one reason why I not only keep reading her books, but love them, is because she doesn’t shy away from the difficult topics surrounding the desire she shows within her stories. The Heart of a Cowboy addresses that discussion head on and I love how it makes me think.

The Heart of a Cowboy can stand alone, but it part of a series that will help add depth to the story if you read A Cowboy for Keeps first. With the way this story ends, I’m excited about book three and the next McQuaid it features!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.

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Another wonderful western story delivered by Ms. Hedlund! At first, I wasn’t sure if her Westerns were going to be as good as her Historicals, but they’re just as good! Every one of her books always surpasses my expectations, and I think I like this one even more than the first (of which I raved)!
Linnea Newberry, a botanical scientist, is having her dream of adventure, as she accompanies her grandfather’s expedition along the Santa Fe Trail to Colorado Territory. She wants to be recognized as the asset she is, and not as a burden, just because of her gender. But after her life seriously threatened, Dr. Howell, her grandfather, fears for her safety and wonders if he should send her home. Until she meets Flynn McQuaid, the man who just rescued her from drowning… He sees in him an honest, decent man, so he asks him to act as Linnea’s “bodyguard” during the journey, without her knowing it; just staying near and checking her out. He’ll pay a good sum for his services. Flynn wants to reject the offer, but he needs the money if he wants for him and his siblings to arrive -along with the cattle- safe and sound to his older brother’s ranch in Colorado. But he promises himself he will not soften his for this woman he already is starting to admire. He wants to prove Wyatt that he’s capable and trustworthy. But after watching his mother suffer and die of childbirth, he swears he’ll never marry or care for a woman ever; he needs to focus on providing for his siblings. What he doesn’t know is that befriending and getting to know Linnea may just change his mind, and he finds himself wondering what is riskier, the dangers of the trail, of the danger of falling for a woman he is helplessly trying to resist?
Oh, I loved this story! I just fell in love with Linnea and Flynn. Both so different, yet so perfect for each other! Flynn had a heart of gold, he was selfless, he sacrificed everything to raise his younger siblings after his ma’ died. He is still aching over not being able to stop one of his younger brothers from enlisting for war. His heart is hurting and he’s vulnerable, but he can’t help himself in being attracted to Linnea’s cheery and bright personality that seems to lighten his load whenever he’s around her. Also, she seems to know how to deal with his siblings and tame their rebellious nature. Linnea is a strong and courageous woman, trying to prove her mettle in a world dominated by men. She’s recently widowed, after marrying an older man, a colleague and part of her grandfather’s team who promised to take her on the adventure of the trail, but died too soon after they started. Yet Linnea didn’t get a chance to really know what true love is. Until she meets Flynn. Her heart seems to want to brighten his life. His siblings are so endearing, she can’t help falling in love with the small McQuaid family. I also loved Linnea’s propensity to mishaps personality; she was just a genius, capable of observing nature with amazing detail, yet oblivious of what happens around her when she focuses on something. Flynn and Linnea’s growing relationship was a sight to behold. I loved how Flynn resists so much until he just can’t. And his protectiveness of Linnea suddenly has nothing to do with being hired to protect her. The spark between them was undeniable. Their romance was clean, sweet yet swooning, and my heart melted. They had enough danger-rescue opportunities to grow close and their chemistry to turn into something more. And I also fell in love, as Linnea, with Flynn’s family. Ivy was the best, so funny, outspoken and witty.
The plot is very engaging, with unexpected twists and turns that kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. The dangers they face made it all a real adventure. I really couldn’t put the book down. The description of the Santa Fe trail and the landscape was so vivid that I felt I was there, like a western movie. And the lovable, relatable characters made me feel part of their struggles and root for their seemingly difficult happily ever after. There is also a faith inspired message that flowed naturally. About letting go of the pain, letting God heal you and trusting Him with your life and letting Him guide you.
This is definitely a book you don’t want to miss! Highly recommended to western and historical fans! Just hold on to your saddle and join this heartwarming adventure!
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the Publisher, but wasn’t required to post a positive review. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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What a wonderful historical romance! I loved being on the trail with Flynn, his siblings, Linnea, and the group of scientists traveling west. This is book two in the Colorado Cowboy series, yet can be read and enjoyed even if you haven’t read the first book, A Cowboy for Keeps. However, having read book one in the series, I was happy to get to see what was going on with former characters toward the end of The Heart of a Cowboy.

Flynn was a great character. He had such a heart for his siblings and wanted to protect them and raise them right. He felt that he had failed to protect his mother, who died in childbirth, as well as a brother who had run off to join the war. He carried guilt as well as trauma from his mother’s death, yet he still had a heart for others. His kindness toward Linnea and her grandfather spoke to the sort of man he was.

I loved the way the relationship began developing between Linnea and Flynn. They both kept trying to keep their interactions based in friendship, but there was a deep attraction that kept developing, even as both of them pushed against it. There were some big obstacles between them and only by putting their trust in God did they have a hope of a future together. I loved this book from start to finish and look forward to the next in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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The Heart of a Cowboy continues Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. Shortly after Flynn McQuaid begins his journey to deliver cattle for his older brother, he flys into action to save Linnea Newbury from drowning. Linnea is traveling west with her grandfather on a scientific expedition. Before Flynn knows it, Linnea’s grandfather hires him to protect Linnea from the dangers along the trail!

These dangers not only involve poisonous snakes and former Civil War soldiers looking for a gun battle, but also the warm feelings that seem to be growing between Flynn and Linnea, due to their close interaction!

Hold fast to discover if Linnea will set aside her dreams of scientific achievement to discover what God has in store for her. You may surprised to see where Linnea and Flynn land by the final page of this tale!

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With The Heart of a Cowboy, Jody Hedlund has crafted a sweet love story between a brilliant female scientist and a cowboy with a heart of gold.

From the end of A Cowboy for Keeps, I was intrigued and excited about Flynn’s story. So when I had to opportunity to read The Heart of a Cowboy, I was stoked. And I was not disappointed.

Hedlund grabs you from the first line and pulls you into the story of the Santa Fe Trail. For those who love stories about wagon trains, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Hedlund puts a nice twist on it, though, because Flynn and his crew aren’t traveling to Oregon but are driving cattle to his brother’s ranch in Colorado. And Linnea, a female botanist ahead of her time, is with an expedition studying plant life in the west. These two disparate agendas come together when Linnea’s grandfather asks Flynn to protect her. This creates one of the most unique plots I’ve ever read.

There is a lot of discussion about physical attraction, which may be off-putting to some readers. But Hedlund uses this to make an important point about boundaries Christians should not cross. I liked that the physical attraction isn’t the only thing that draws Linnea and Flynn to each other. They also enjoy talking to one another and appreciate aspects of each other’s personalities. For example, Linnea admires Flynn’s selflessness, and Flynn admires Linnea’s kindness and zest for life. This really rounds out their relationship.

A Cowboy for Keeps is still my favorite of the series, but then again, I’m a sucker for a good marriage of convenience story.

Overall, The Heart of a Cowboy is a sweet, original, and action-packed romance historical fans will love.

(Note: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to review. I was not required to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.)

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Jody Hedlund once again knocks it out of the park! I have greatly enjoyed this series so far and this second book is a wonderful addition to the series. I really liked Linnea for her spunk, her tenacity, and her passion. The chemistry she has with Flynn is perfect and the right amount of romance for this western tale. The author did a great job of balancing the independence of Linnea against the knight-in-shining-armor heroism of Flynn. There is some exciting action packed among the romance and the Civil War era is interesting to read. I also liked the theme of trusting in God despite our own human fears. I really loved this novel and look forward to the next one. Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Do you like historical western romance? Then you will love this book. You don’t like historical western romance? Give this one a try! What’s not to love. A young lady, that has a strong drive to becomes a great botanist. Her Grandfather that believes in her and is willing to take her on an expedition. A rugged attractive cowboy, that swoops in to save her from a raging river. Danger at every turn, bad guys, beautiful scenery, and horses. Not to mention, they can’t take their eyes off each other! This is a swoony clean romance. I say swoony, for some suggestive interlude's that could give it a PG13 rating. But nothing crude or revealing. It has some Christian references, but not preachy. Wonderful writing, strong characters and great story. It is the 2nd book of the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Although the glimpse of the next book, will have you waiting with anticipation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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The Heart of a Cowboy, a historical, western romance is the second book in Jody Hedlund’s Colorado Cowboys series. This book can be read as a stand alone although I personally think it’s better if you read the first book, A Cowboy for Keeps.

Western is typically a genre that I’m not drawn to but I will read anything by Jody Hedlund and especially after reading the first one I couldn’t wait for this one. It did not disappoint. Jody Hedlund excels at every book she writes no matter what the subject matter is. The characters and scenes are so well developed that you feel like you personally know the everyone and actually are traveling the Santa Fe Trail with Linnea, Flynn and their family. If you are looking for a 5 star book to read look no further.

My gratitude to the author and publisher for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.

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The Heart of a Cowboy is a fantastic story of daring rescues and sweeping romance that should not be missed by anyone who loves a good western! In this second installment of the Colorado Cowboys series, intelligent and independent Linnea meets strong and protective Flynn McQuaid when he saves her life on the trail out West. Linnea, a botanist, keeps running into trouble on her scientific expedition, so Flynn is secretly hired by Linnea’s grandfather to protect her as they travel together towards Colorado. Through the weeks of the trip, we see plenty of dashing rescues and romantic moments that made me want to swoon! However, I really appreciated the deeper spiritual element that Jody Hedlund brought to this story. Flynn battles some deep-seated fears of starting a family because of his mother’s death in childbirth, and he uses that fear to place barriers between him and Linnea. It is not very common to see a hero work through such crippling fear as a vital part of a plot, and I thought Jody Hedlund did a wonderful job of depicting Flynn’s battle to trust God and pursue a happy ending despite his own fear. I also loved how Jody Hedlund balanced chivalry and feminism in this story. She paired the intelligent and independent heroine with a strong hero who respects her intelligence but also strives to protect her. They work together to support each other, and it is a wonderful depiction of a relationship built on mutual respect and love. The character development in this book was excellent, and when you mix in some adventure and romance, it is the perfect recipe for another wonderful read by Jody Hedlund.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author for review purposes, but my thoughts are my own. I really did love it!

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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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The Heart of a Cowboy touched all the right places in my heart. Hedlund has a way with words that makes my heart blossom, my toes curl, and my mind dwell on story lines long after I finish. In this second book of the Colorado Cowboy series, we meet Linnea and Flynn. The opening scene grabbed my attention and left me endeared to Linnea’s affinity for trouble. I love her brilliant mind and her determination to have her work seen, valued, and recognized, even if she is a woman. Flynn is equally drawn to her, but his heart is so guarded and protected that he determines to be immune to her charm. Until he realizes he’s not. Everyone loves Linnea, and for good reasons. I love how she helps draw him out from the walls he’s built around his heart. They bring good balance to each other. As their friendship deepens into something genuine and true, I began turning pages with bated breath. I was torn between wanting to hurry up and get to the end for resolution and never ending so their story would go on. This story is so well crafted you will not be disappointed.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.

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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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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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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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