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About the Book
Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.
Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?
I first read a Loree Lough book in my late teens or early twenties, when I was subscribed to Barbour’s Heartsong Presents line. I still have one of them, The Wedding Wish, on my shelf, in fact. So I was excited to read Healing of the Heart, one of her more recent releases.
And while I enjoyed it, there were a few decisions regarding the resolution of the story and the characters’ actions that made me unable to give this book as a high a grade as I wanted to. I want to be clear that I am recommending Healing of the Heart to those who like Christian historical romance despite a few personal nitpicks!
Healing of the Heart is centered on Ruby McCoy, whose father is a bank robber who is hanged early in the book. She spends the next few years spending all the money he left her and her mother in the towns he robbed, in order to assuage her guilt over her father’s actions. She has now come to Fairplay, Colorado, which is to be their last stop before she can move on with her life.
The hero is Sherriff Rex Truett, and he is a good hero. He’s smart, and initially has suspicions about Ruby and her mother because of their frequent traveling and ability to pay cash for a huge mansion in Fairplay. But eventually he realizes that behind Ruby’s money is a genuinely good heart and he begins to fall for her.
This is one of my problems with the book. Ruby is spending her father’s money to help people and while she thinks it’s to help others who have been hurt by her father, it’s actually because she’s a good person. Ruby, when the entire town and your family is telling you you’re a good person, listen to them! She spends a large majority of the book ignoring that her actions are motivated by her good heart, not guilt. It may have started as guilt, but years later it is because she genuinely enjoys helping people. And her insistence that she’s not good enough for Rex (because of her father’s career and what her father did to his), is one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction. Ruby was a little too self-sacrificing in my opinion.
Rex was a little too perfect and I felt he forgave two big secrets more easily than I expected for how he’d been presented as a character in the majority of the book. The romance had plenty of conflict between the hero and heroine so I felt the outer conflict of the cholera epidemic was a little tacked-on to try to make the story more exciting but I do not feel it was necessary. The story was interesting and enjoyable without it.
The city of Fairplay feels like a real place, with the setting excellently drawn and doesn’t merely serve as a backdrop for the action. The secondary characters are not simply there to prop up the main characters but all have motivations and desires of their own. I especially love Silas, who is Ruby’s “scout” and has become a part of the family.
I give this book 4/5 stars for the excellent writing, the detailed setting, the secondary characters who are not merely caricatures or cardboard, and the message of who is responsible for someone else’s sin. I took away one star for the lateness of the reveal between Ruby and Rex about what her father did to his and for how I disliked a few major aspects of both the hero and heroine. If a quick resolution or the characteristics mentioned above as part of Ruby and Rex do not bother you, you will enjoy the ending of this book more than I did.
Healing of the Heart is the third book in a series but they are all standalones. I will most likely try more books in this series and others available by Ms. Lough. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance that has a wonderful message about guilt and family, great secondary characters, and an excellent setting.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
November 22: Bibliophile Reviews
November 22: Jeanette’s Thoughts
November 23: Neverending Stories
November 23: Lane Hill House
November 24: Reviewing Novels Online
November 24: Christian Bookaholic
November 25: Christian Author: A.M. Heath
November 25: Redeemed Hope Dweller
November 26: A Simple Life, really?!
November 26: Moments Dipped in Ink
November 27: inklings and notions
November 27: Splashes of Joy
November 28: Ashley’s Bookshelf
November 28: Daysong Reflections
November 29: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
November 29: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
November 30: Bigreadersite
November 30: Singing Librarian Books
December 1: Pause for Tales
December 1: Smiling Book Reviews
December 2: A Greater Yes
December 2: Genesis 5020
December 3: Reader’s cozy corner
December 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
December 4: Karen Sue Hadley
December 5: A Baker’s Perspective
December 5: Rhonda’s Doings
In honor of her tour, Loree is giving away her books: Secrets on Sterling Street series, Prevailing Love (3 in 1), Pricilla Hires a Husband, Lone Wolf, and Emma’s Orphans, a KJVER Study Bible, and an Abba pillar candle in a wicker basket! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a81c
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.