Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two-thirds of a great trilogy -- Belonging and Betrayal


In the high desert town of Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community’s new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.

Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm’s inexperience doesn’t sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity’s heart will be broken once again.

A woman who hasn’t known love. A man who lost the love he had.
In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life’s bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.


It’s the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.

Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she’s going to have to trust someone if she’s to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband’s half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door?

The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances.

My Thoughts

Robin Lee Hatcher is a name I've seen around Christian fiction for a while but had never taken the opportunity to try out.  I'm glad I finally took the chance with her "Where the Heart Lives" series.

In the beginning of Belonging, we are introduced to Hugh, Felicia, and Diana Brennan, siblings living in a Chicago tenement in the late 1800s.  After the death of their mother, they come under the care of Dr. Cray's Asylum for Little Wanderers and are each sent to different families out west to begin new lives.  They reach adulthood without seeing each other again.

Belonging is Felicia's story as she leaves a home in Wyoming where she knew no real love and begins her life in Idaho as a teacher.  Betrayal begins with Hugh traveling from Chicago (where he returned in his teen years) to reunite with Felicia in Idaho.  Both their lives take unexpected turns as they find much more than they dared hope for.

Both stories were a delight to read.  I was drawn into the characters' lives immediately and felt that I was right there with them as they found their places in new surroundings.  These are comfortable, feel-good stories with very real people who struggle through day-to-day challenges and draw their strength and wisdom from their relationships with God. 

My only negative comment is this:  Beloved, Diana's story is not available yet.  Now I have to impatiently wait for the conclusion!

(By the way, am I the only one who sees Jane Seymour as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, in the model on the cover of Belonging?)

Thanks to Zondervan for providing these books free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

In fact, the publisher provided two copies of each book, so I will be happy to share a copy of each with someone who expresses an interest in response to this review.  If there are multiple responses by 5:00 p.m. on January 5, I will draw one winner's name randomly.


About the Author

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of over sixty-five books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers. Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for Americana Romance and for Inspirational Fiction, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin currently resides in Idaho. For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com.

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