Where the Heart Is by Jennie Marsland
Publisher & Release: Tirgearr Publishing, September 7, 2016
Time and setting: 1861, Rural England
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Length: 199 pages
Heat Level: 1 Flame
Rating: 4.25 Gold Crowns
When Rochelle McShannon moves with her father from Morgan County, Georgia to the Yorkshire Dales, she thinks she’s leaving behind everything that matters to her. Her mother has passed away, her twin brother is going west to avoid the looming Civil War, and her family’s unpopular views on slavery and secession have destroyed her relationship with the man she hoped to marry. If returning to her father's childhood home eases his grief, Chelle asks for nothing more.
Martin Rainnie understands grief. Since the loss of his wife in childbirth, he’s known little else, except anger. He’s retreated to his farm and turned his back on the world, including his baby daughter, who’s being fostered by Chelle’s relatives. With little Leah drawing them together, Martin begins to wonder if he can love again – and convince Chelle to do the same.
But the war overseas has far-reaching consequences, even in a small English village. Can Martin and Chelle overcome danger, loss, and bitterness to make a home where the heart is?
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I always know I am in for a treat when Jennie Marsland has a new book coming out. When she asked me to read Where the heart Is in exchange for an honest review, I eagerly accepted. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Rochelle McShannon and her father leave America because they do not want to become involved in the struggle between the north and the south. It would have been impossible to continue leaving in Georgia when they opposed the reasons the south wanted to leave the union.
They arrive at her uncle’s home, her father’s birthplace, in the dales of Yorkshire. Rochelle hopes it will heal their grief over losing her mother and her additional grief of losing her intended because of the conflict in America.
Matthew Rainnie is grieving for his wife who died in childbirth. Although his daughter lives, it is too painful for him and the child fosters with Rochelle’s family. When he comes close to losing Leah to fever, he realizes she belongs with him.
When Matthew and Rochelle are thrown together while nursing his daughter back to health, he begins to believe it is possible for him to love again. All is not easy for the pair, though. They must overcome much before they can find their happy ending.
I enjoyed the gently growing romance between Rochelle and Matthew. Their mutual love for Leah brings them together and becomes the glue to their budding friendship. There is a warmth and peace in Rochelle that Matthew desperately needs to heal his heart over losing his wife.
Rochelle is patient and feels they are kindred spirits because she has her own grief to bear. Rochelle’s character is a nurturer and that comes through in her love for his daughter. She is also a loving daughter and puts others before her wants and needs.
I truly liked Matthew’s character. At first, I was not sure because he had abandoned his daughter and refused to spend time with her, but as I got to know his character, I could feel the pain he experienced over losing his wife. I liked that once he made up his mind that he loved Rochelle he did not give up until he won her heart.
If you enjoy a romance with an interesting plot and great characters, then you will enjoy Where the Heart Is as much as I did. This book while set in England, and the characters are not lords and ladies, so it gave me a chance to see how the lower middle class lived. Happy reading!