Thursday, April 30, 2015

Second Chance Hero by Winnie Griggs

Publisher & Release Date: Love Inspired Historical, May 1, 2015

Time and setting: 1897 Turnabout, Texas  

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Length: 281 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart

Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns

Winning the Widow's Heart 

To help his dying sister, Nate Cooper once broke the law—and he's regretted it ever since. Now the ex-con turned saddler hopes for a new beginning in Turnabout, Texas. So when Nate saves a young widow's daughter from imminent harm, he's shocked to be called a hero. 

Single mom Verity Leggett leads a safe life, avoiding danger and excitement at all costs. But her daughter's rescuer Mr. Cooper seems like a perfectly responsible—and handsome—man she can rely on. But when his secrets come to light, will Verity be able to get over his past and see Nate for the caring man he's become? 

Texas Grooms: In search of their brides…

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Vikki’s Musings

I have been a fan of Winnie Griggs for quite some time, so when I found Second Chance Hero on Net-Galley I immediately requested it. As I expect with one of Ms. Griggs books, she puts me in the moment of a small western town at the end of the 19th century. I love her ability to do that.

Verity Leggett is a young widow with a five-year-old daughter. When Joy disappears from her friend’s dress shop, she rushes outside only to see Joy chasing after a little dog. She screams the child’s name and her daughter freezes as a horse and wagon come barreling toward her.

Then the saddler next door to the dress shop shots past her as he dives for the child pushing her out of the way. Once she knows Joy has not been harmed, she realizes that Mr. Cooper did not come out of the near miss as well. Her medical training kicks in, and she checks Nate for injuries. When she discovers he has a deep gash on his arm and his ankle is swelling. She insists on getting him to her uncle’s clinic.

Once the doctor stitches his arm and determines that his ankle is not broken, but badly sprained, Dr. Pratt suggests that he remain in the clinic overnight for observation.  While Verity helps get him settled, Nate cannot help noticing how pretty and sweet smelling she is, but a man like him could never hope to gain the affections of a woman as upstanding as Verity. His past would always stand in the way, especially when he finds out how her husband died.  But the heart does not always agree with the mind.

Is it possible for a cautious widow and a man with a checked past to fall in love and find their ‘happily ever after, or will Verity’s fears keep the walls around her heart firmly in place?
Winnie Griggs has penned a sweet romance, and I fell in love with Nate’s character right away. While he may have had poor judgement years ago, he is now a man who deserves a second chance at life. His tender heart and his helpful attitude made him one of the most endearing heroes I have read of in a while.

Unfortunately, as the story progressed I found myself liking Verity’s character less and less. She comes across as too sanctimonious and too quick to jump to conclusions before getting all the facts for my taste. While I had empathy for her losses, it did not outweigh her judgmental attitude toward Nate. In fact, I do not understand how a nice man like Nate could fall in love with her. Yes, she does have some good points like her desire to help the children prepare for the upcoming festival, but those traits were just not enough for me to like her character.

Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read. The story line drew me in, and the pacing is steady. I liked all the other characters in the book, especially the little girl, Joy. I also enjoyed the dog, Beans, a great deal. He added a bit of humor and liveliness to the story. If you enjoy western romances with a heart-warming hero, then you will enjoy Second Chance Hero. Happy reading!

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