A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society Book #1)
Book 1, Teaville Moral Society
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A Fresh Voice in Historical Romance!
While Lydia King's reasons for joining the Teaville Moral Society might be suspect to some members, her heart is in the right place. Because of her father's debts and her mother's persistent illness, her best chance at a secure future and curing her mother is to impress the politician courting her. Her first task--to ask the town's wealthiest man to donate--seems simple enough . . . until he refuses.
Despite appearances, Nicholas Lowe wants to help others, but prefers to keep his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, but Nicholas still intends to do things his own way. Neither predicts what they'll learn about true charity or foresee the complications their actions will bring to the town, forcing Lydia to decide where her beliefs and heart truly align.
This is first and foremost a Christian book
Note: I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.
Lydia King is determined to succeed. Otherwise, there's no telling where she might end up with her father's gambling ways. She's determined to succeed at becoming engaged to the Mayor's son, Sebastian Little. However, she's been given a task to gain a monetary donation from the stingiest miser in the whole town, Nicholas Lowe. However, as she continues to pursue her donation, she begins to realize that appearances don't necessarily represent reality. Is Nicholas such a tightwad as everyone claims? And, is the Little family the upstanding model family they claim to be? What's the truth?
Nicholas Lowe is determined to do things his way. It's his money and he'll determine where it should go. So, why does Lydia King disrupt his plans so much? Is everything so black and white as he has always believed? Is everyone else the hypocrite he thinks they are? What is God trying to teach him?
This book is first and foremost a Christian book. It's a book written by a Christian author for a Christian audience. It's for those Christians who seek to be both strengthened and challenged in their faith. This is not for mere entertainment, but rather a complete soul searching. It's so much more than a simple romance.
The author's character development is remarkable in that even secondary characters are well developed. The reader witnesses the characters either grow and mature in their Christian faith and seek God's will over that of man's or they reject God's will and plummet further into sin and rebellion. It doesn't matter if they are the "respectable" citizens or not. Each character has a chance for personal improvement or rebellion. The choice is given and theirs to decide.
Themes covered in the book are hypocrisy, true Christian faith, and living a Christ-like life. Central to this message is the dichotomy between the "respectable" citizens of the community and those trapped in the red-light district. The author has done a great deal of research and it shows in the level of raw reality in the book.
Mingled throughout is one of the best written love stories I've read in a long time. The purity and sincerity of it is wonderful to read - how each character learned to give and take and seek the other's wellbeing.
I also loved all the many analogies to the Bible and other great literature. As I was reading, I could visualize the Gospels and various parables that Jesus gave. I also saw comparisons to books such as Pride & Prejudice, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Cinderella, Les Misérables, Florence Nightingale, and Robin Hood. I'd be curious to see if anyone else thought of any other great books that compare.
My rating - 5 stars!
A Book Lover's Feast
When the author asked if I'd be willing to be an influencer for her new book, I jumped at the chance...because I'd already loved the novella set in this town, and I really liked Lydia and her fascination for books.
It was a delightful moment to get this in the mail and realize what sort of enjoyment I was in for! I'd just gotten it started, though, when a sickness and death in the family brought my intelligent-reader brain to a halt. There was no way I could create a nice, reasoned review...so now, this is embarrassingly late!
I savored so many details in this story. My favorite part was Lydia's passion for good reading, something I obviously share with her. I was very impressed that Jagears didn't only include known classics of today (which is an author pet peeve of mine, as it is unrealistic) but mentioned others such as Laura Jean Libbey, a popular writer of the day who is mostly forgotten today. +1 for that detail!
The little working details were all there, too, careful as worldbuilding in a fantasy (which, indeed, does share many characteristics of a recreation of a historical world). Lydia's good dresses were handmedowns; many of her gowns show careful mending. This in particular is delightfully refreshing, as many heroines are portrayed with lavish and perfect wardrobes. For certain scenes, the horses and carriages/conveyances are mentioned, with a few words of why certain styles are suited to rich men/poor men/etc.
Well, then...the hero. I suppose if you've read the back cover, you're pretty sure who he turns out to be. The town's most famous miser is a hero in disguise, only--best part--he doesn't think he really is. A fine man content to hide his qualities under a disguise? One who prefers to help fallen women than to hurt them or censure them? Well, it makes for good reading.
I'll stop here, lest I betray too much of the content...but I love it, and if you enjoy history, or just-right romance, or a good bit of page-turning suspense, be sure to give this book a try!
Thanks to the author for my free copy.
- Category: Religious
- Published: Aug 02, 2016
- Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
- Seller: Baker Book House Company
- Print Length: 400 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, Teaville Moral Society