MY REVIEW OF
"A MATTER OF HEART"
BY TRACIE PETERSON
(Lone Star Brides Series)
Austin Todd, former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Austin is well-thought-of and admired in the community. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes. Will Jessica choose financial security or follow her heart?
It came as a delightful surprise when I remembered that I had already read the first book in this Lone Star Brides Series, “A Sensible Arrangement.” Now, having read the third book of this series, I definitely want to read the second book, “Moment in Time.” Tracie’s well-honed prose that mixes mystery, romance, and humor during the late 1800’s creates a fascinating read.
Jessica Atherton seems to be left behind when all her friends have married and having babies. Jessica had imagined herself married to a wealthy handsome man and living a life of luxury in a large city. She feels the sting of rejection from the man she had planned to marry, Robert Barnett, who married another. She ponders why and decides the reason might be her own behavior toward others. She realizes she is tactless, hurtful to others, spoiled and selfish and begins to work on changing herself. The first of Tracie’s story is a bit slow until Jessica decides a change is in order and things begin to happen.
Jessica feels she is being pitied during a gathering of friends and family at her parent’s home in Texas. She could barely handle Robert Barnett arriving with his wife Alice and new baby. She thought to herself “that baby should be mine.” Inadequate is how she felt when she overheard comments being made. Her own mother had urged her to draw closer to God and forget about her beauty. She thought her mother simply did not understand – no one did. It wasn’t as though she had not had suitors; she had turned down several proposals.
We meet widower Austin Todd in the middle of a reoccurring nightmare. He feels responsible for the deaths of his wife Grace, his stillborn baby, and his brother. He sees them all in his dream plus the disapproving and accusing eyes of his mother and father. He was a cattle inspector for the Texas Rangers and had formerly worked in Washington D.C. for the Treasury Department’s Secret Service. Ironically, Robert Barnett was the first to visit him with an invitation to a gathering on the Barnett Ranch. Robert’s father had plans to build a railroad spur and a new town and wanted Austin Todd to be the Marshall. The Barnett gathering is where Jessica and Austin meet for the first time – pleasantly aware of each other, but afterward Austin kept his distance.
Another newcomer to this large cattle area is handsome attorney Harrison Gable. He immediately is attracted to Jessica, but there is something about him that seemed untrustworthy. Jessica is drawn to Harrison, but really cares for Austin. Now everything begins to get a bit messy – a lot of iniquitous and mysterious happenings need Austin to investigate.
Some characters and situations have been carried through both novels in this series that I have read. A Matter of Heart brings them altogether through this gifted author’s pen. Ms. Peterson concludes this series cleverly and artfully. You will enjoy the warm feelings tendered and watch a young woman face challenges that will renew her faith and maturity. It is almost impossible for me to conceive the numerous books Tracie Peterson has composed…..she is definitely creating a reputation for herself! (Notice the pun…..Jessica certainly made a new reputation for herself) Now, go buy the series and see for yourself how Ms. Peterson can entertain you.
I was provided this book by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing for my honest review. I have not received any compensation.
MEET TRACIE PETERSON.......
Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 100 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.
Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.
In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell, Kimberley Woodhouse and her daughter Jennifer.
Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer's conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents book line - overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women's conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.
Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love!
Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max..
For information on having Tracie speak at your event - contact Noelle Buss at Bethany Publishers/Baker Books.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV) - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Tracies Website: http://www.traciepeterson.com