Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Jewel of His Heart

Author: Maggie Brendan
Publisher: Revell Books
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3350-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical

Juliana Brady is tired of being a laundress to the miners, but she sees no change in her situation. Her father has abandoned her and her mother to search for jewels, and her mother is not well. But when Juliana goes to town to have lunch with a friend, the last thing she expects is to be summoned to the local doctor because her mother has suffered from a heart attack.

Josh McBride wants a bride, but even more, he wants to prove to his father that he is able to make a living on his own, and not living off his father’s laurels. Josh’s luck seems to have changed when he finds some beautiful blue stones on his property. When Josh finds out that they are sapphires and quite possibly worth a lot of money, he is torn. Give up his sheep farm and mine? Or what?

When Josh goes to town to file a claim on the area he found the sapphires, he meets the lovely Juliana. Juliana has just landed a job working at a local newspaper, and she is excited that her luck seems to be changing. They are each attracted to the other, but how can they make a choice between riches and promises, and the temptation of love?

THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART is the second book in Ms. Brendan’s Heart of the West series, but it easily stands alone. I couldn’t help but care for Juliana (even as I chafed over the death of her mother, what is it with historical fiction starting with a death?). And Josh is an absolutely amazing hero, kind and generous, but he is suffering from a “not-good-enough” complex.

I enjoyed reading THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART and getting to know Juliana and Josh and their friends. There was also a kind of unexpected twist toward the end of the book. If you enjoy historicals then you won’t want to miss THE JEWEL OF HIS HEART. There is also an interesting author’s note at the end of the book. $13.99. 330 pages.

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