Deep in the Heart of Trouble

( 41 )


A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love

Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she's known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man's eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer's oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore...

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A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love

Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she's known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man's eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer's oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune—not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn't know if she's driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.

That's how life is...Deep in the Heart of Trouble

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Texas bloomer girl Essie Spreckelmeyer (Courting Trouble) is still just trying to maintain her balance. The president of the local velocipede club has had her fair share of pratfalls, but her present situation is unusually perilous. Running her father's oil company in this male-dominated boomtown was difficult enough before arrival of handsome, headstrong Tony Morgan. A robust Christian romance.
Robert J.
Full of fun, romance and lively characters, the plot moves forward at a pace that kept me turning the pages. With each new book, Deeanne Gist earns her place on my list of favorite authors.
—Tina Helmuth
Deeanne Gist has written a romance that will touch your heart. Her research into the early oil industry is impeccable. Essie and Tony's story has inspiration, a little mystery and a lot of romance. The characters struggle between being human and waiting on God's direction. This is the same struggle that most of us have when our human emotions get in the way of God's plans.

Deep in the Heart of Trouble wraps up Essie's story very nicely. It has a little bit of everything, a well rounded story that will make you laugh, cry and cheer for Tony and Essie. If you liked Courting Trouble, you'll love the sequel.
—Trudy Smith
Ms. Deeanne Gist has once again written a delightfully humorous historical romance. After reading the first book in this series of two, I was anxious to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Ms. Gist has done a great job of creating her characters so that the reader can feel part of their lives. Essie has learned some new tricks, but Tony was new to Essie's world. Not only was the primary couple fabulously written, so were the supporting cast. Her father, the young people, and the older women of the town were all incredible and superbly written.... It is a spectacular, feel-good story which I highly recommend. You will definitely be glad you read it.
—Brenda Talley
Library Journal

This sequel to Courting Troublereturns to Corsicana, TX, where unlikely heroine Essie Spreckelmeyer has just won the Best Bicycle Costume Award of 1898. Essie is still outspoken and stirring up trouble wherever she goes. When Tony Morgan, the disinherited son of an oil baron, takes a job with Essie's family oil business, sparks fly. Essie's independent nature and refusal to take a backseat in a man's world have long kept her single, but Tony may be just her match. Christy Award winner Gist's historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real. Recommended for CF and romance collections.

—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764202261
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 636,538
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Deeanne Gist—known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee—has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary romances. Add to this four RITA nominations, two Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you've got one recipe for success. She has a very active online community on her website at and at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Deep In The Heart of Trouble

    Essie surrendered her life to God years ago. With that surrender came the acceptance of her singleness. Now, at age 34, Essie is considered to be an old maid and is content helping with her father's business, running the Corsicana Velocipede Club and spending time with her loved ones. When her father hires Tony Bryant, Essie's under-control world begins to spin out of control - especially when Tony asks for permission to court her! But Essie and Tony both harbor secrets. Essie made a horrible mistake in her past and Tony hides his very identity. Can Essie and Tony both gather the courage to reveal their darkest secrets before the secrets destroy them?

    Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist is the sequel to Courting Trouble and I admit, of the two books, I liked this one better. The plot was filled with romance and at the same time had characters that challenged the reader to grow closer to God. I certainly admired Essie's dedication to God and her understanding that her worth came from God - not a man. She found contentment and was willing to stay that way until God decided otherwise. Gist's writing style was catchy, fun and humorous. Mrs. Lockhart's character was absolutely charming. I loved the way she quoted romance novels to make her point. Overall, a good book that I would recommend for a permanent library. I will definitely be reading it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2008

    A Forward Thinking Woman

    Essie Spreckelmeyer, the town¿s spinster, has a reputation as a forward thinking woman she¿s president of the Velocipede Club, has appeared in the newspaper, runs her father¿s oil company and has the audacity to wear bloomers. When Tony Morgan comes to town, he¿s not overjoyed about having a woman boss, yet she intrigues him on a personal level. Essie refuses to have a relationship with one of her employees, but Tony eventually wins her over. Each has a secret that could destroy their relationship. When a murder and a lynch mop are interjected, anything can happen in the small town of Corsicana, Texas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    A reviewer

    In 1898 in Corsicana, Texas thirty-four years old Essie Spreckelmeyer is contented with living life her way as a single woman who runs Sullivan Oil and spends as much time as she can in the Corsicana Velocipede Club. The male townsfolk has adapted to the spinster running the key business that employs most of them.------------- Tony Bryant arrives in town looking for work at Sullivan Oil not knowing Sully has given his daughter control. She gives him a job, but they do not see eye to eye. However, as they fall in love, Tony fears he will leave heartbroken once his beloved Miss Essie learns who he is. She will not tolerate him as the son of her business rival his full name is Tony Bryant Morgan. He may be estranged from his father and Morgan Oil is run by Tony¿s half brother, Darius, but his Miss Essie will not forgive his omission. Essie has a secret too that could leave her heartbroken if her beloved Tony fails to accept her past.----------------- This engaging late nineteenth century Texas romance uses oil as the matchmaker and match-breaker as the lead couple each has the liquid gold flowing in their veins. Tony and Essie are a wonderful pairing as they fight, fuss, and fall in love. Readers will enjoy Deanne Gist¿s second trouble in Texas tale (see COURTING TEXAS) as the heart of the matter is not oil but love.--------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    Recommended historical romance

    Independent, quirky Essie meets her match in this novel set in the oil fields of Texas. This quick, fun read will delight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    Good book

    This was a great read. A little predictable but worth reading.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    good read

    like all of her stories, Gist fully develops the story. Beautifully written.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful continuation of "Courting Troubles" by Gist!

    I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed this book from the very beginning to the very end. This book flowed nicely from Courting Troubles right into this one. I was hooked from the start. There was a good variety of characters, ranging from the ones I totally loved to ones I totally despised. It was very hard to put this book down at times. The story was gripping and interesting and contained some unexpected turns. Definitely a must read! The main thing I got out of this book was no matter what circumstances I find myself in, whether from my own doing or that of others, if I just trust God and wait patiently, He will deliver me. He can turn the most horrible and miserable circumstances into something so great and far beyond what I could imagine. Trust in Him always.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Having moved on and accepting being single, Essie has her Bicycle Club and Sullivan Oil. Then Tony Morgan arrives wanting a job and from there, the story gets interesting.

    Deep in the Heart of Trouble continues the story of Essie Sprecklemeyer from Courting Trouble. There were some nice moments between Essie and Tony. Favorite characters are Harley, Melvin and of course Mrs. Lockhart and how she uses her romance books to help in any current situation. Glad that Essie's bicycle club supported her especially near the end. Good ending to another good read by Deeanne Gist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2010

    Everyone will love Esie Spreckelmeier

    Courting Trouble and Deep In the Heart of Trouble are two wonderful books. I've read all of Deeanne Gist's books and when I first started Courting Trouble I didn't think I'd connect with the main character, boy was I wrong. The more I read the book the more I felt that I could identify with the characters. It's a very touching book and I hope Deanne writes another novel with Esie. I also love the historical aspects of all of her novels.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Essie Part Two

    After reading Courtine Trouble, I just had to get started on the sequel. I really liked the message of the first novel - that Essie doesn't NEED a man. Too often people get caught up always looking for someone else that they settle for less or do things they normally wouldn't. Well, in this sequel, Essie is single and proud of it. Suprisingly to all around her, a new guy in town begins courting her and a romantic drama follows. It seems like Essie just might get married now, and maybe she does. For those who don't think the ending will be obvious, I won't ruin it - but it's certianly satisfying. An enjoyable read!

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Incredible sequel to Courting Trouble

    "Deep in the Heart of Trouble" is the sequel to Courting Trouble. They are definitely meant to be read in order. If you skip the first one you will miss most everything that is important that is said, but not quite fully said. Read both and you'll be a very happy reader. *grin*<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>Here we have a girl who messed up on life, but has taken another chance to live. By owning a bicycle club and teaching others various talents as well as running her father's oil company Essie really has an eventful life. She once attempted to find love and found that Christ was the only groom for her. Through this book she continues with that thought until she realizes that quite possibly she is no longer acting solely upon the respect of the relationship she has with Christ, but that perhaps she is using that as an excuse to hide from possible potential.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>Deeanne Gist weaves together an incredible story with fabulous characters that really get into your heart and under your skin. I feel so blessed to have been able to read this story, both in the first volume and now second. The lessons to be learned and the reflections on your own life are quite educational. This series is a must read for most women, and definitely one for discussion afterward.

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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A fun and enjoyable read with a fabulous romantic thread.

    Gist knows how to write a fun and inspiring read. I just loved quirky Essie Sprecklmeyer and the other characters in this book. She was spunky and smart, but also vulnerable and sweet when she let her guard down. The title is fitting, too, and reflects the the theme of the story well. The hero, Tony, is the kind of guy women can't help but like except for the part toward the end when he was upset, but even then it was hard to be mad at him because the author did a great job of helping you understand his hurt and how it all tied in to his other issues. <BR/><BR/>I enjoyed the prior book, Courting Trouble. Even though it had an atypical ending, I thought it fit the story well. This addition to Courting Trouble was a fabulous and satisfying way to end things. The whole scenario with the rivaling oil companies and the external and internal conflicts in this story were well thought out and made sense. The pacing was also good, especially at the end. There was a spot in the middle of the book where my interest waned and I set the book aside for several months. But when I picked it up again and started reading it wasn't long until I was back into the story full swing. <BR/><BR/>My all-time favorite character was probably Mrs. Lockheart. I totally adored her habit of quoting romance novels to solve problems and thought it was a scream how she started getting other people to read them as well for the advice she wanted to convey. <BR/><BR/>Of course, for me the most enjoyable part of all of Deeanne's novels are the stolen kisses and the tension between the hero and heroine. I love the push-pull in romances and this author is a master with showing passion between people in love and yet reigning them in before things got out of hand. Toward the end I really didn't see how they would get out of the mess they were in but Deeanne did a great job dragging out the tension just enough to make you sweat, then offering a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed this read. Except for the lag in the middle it was nearly perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    'Essie's Heart'

    In Deeanne's book 'Courting Trouble' I was first introduced to Essie Spreckelmeyer. (I loved this book!) Essie just turned 30 and was a woman after my own heart right from the start. She was tired of being an old maid. She had waited on God long enough to find her a husband, so now it was time she took this important matter into her own hands. Essie's quest for a man, marriage and children, consumed her. This decision caused her tremendous pain in the end. Essie's father helped her see that she wasn't stuck living in her past she could be forgiven and move on with her life. When we allow ourselves to be forgiven, there is wholeness in Jesus. She discovered He is not out to mold us into something we were never meant to be He wants us to truly be fulfilled by Him. Essie enjoyed riding bicycles and she wanted to teach others how to enjoy riding also. Her father agreed to financially help her with this adventure. This would allow Essie to share her gift, instead of trying to conform to something she was never meant to do in the first place. ¿Deep in the Heart of Trouble¿ picks up with Essie living out her dream to run a bicycle shop and bicycle club, where she could teach people about riding, participating in bicycle races, banquets and a debating society. She was doing it all, even re-creating skirts so women would look fashionable and wear something practical while riding. After her mother's death, Essie steps up to help her father run his business as they grieve together. It wasn't until Tony Morgan came along that things started to change with her father and their business. What was her father thinking when he hired this guy? Tony had no field experience. Her dad would see, Tony will never make it. She submitted to her father's decision, against her better judgment, and hired Tony. Tony Morgan was so shocked that his father had disinherited him but he wouldn't let that get him down. He was a man that was driven to succeed. He would learn the oil business from the ground up if that's what it took. He was defiantly going to stay clear of his boss Essie, or any other woman for that matter. He wanted to make enough money to start his own business and take care of his family. He wants Essie's business to grow and be successful. He suggests they should update their equipment. Essie thinks this is crazy coming from a field worker ¿ she'd talk to her father about all this and finds out Tony already has. She was in charge. Didn't Tony know how things worked around here? At first, Essie's independence and outspokenness really rubbed Tony the wrong way. It took no time at all to see why men didn't want anything to do with her. Then he found himself in one of her biking classes teaching the women of the town. Wow, what a change!! He never would have believed it had he not seen it with his own eyes. Something started to stir in him. Essie starts to feel something too. But this guy was all wrong. How could she court an employee? This just wouldn't work. Being single suited her just fine. Tony volunteers to help Essie with a project that has them working close together. Essie begins to think that maybe being married wouldn't be so bad, but there was so much to consider. Tony thinks that maybe he wants more of a relationship with Essie than being just her employee. Things get complicated. I loved how Deeanne has Tony and Essie go through their own inner struggles when they both considered the idea of possibly courting each other. They were both content on being single and to accomplish their own goals, which did not include marriage. It's great how she shows their hearts turning to God's agenda, which is the most important thing, no matter what, to both of them. There were so many amusing characters in this story that brought 'Small Town' social things to life and had me laughing, as things get a little out of hand. There was Mrs. Lockhart with all her romance novels that were going to give her help in time of trouble (a

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    Unforgettable Characters

    Essie, from a previous book, Courting Trouble, is one of those heroines you don't want to give up. Gist doesn't disappoint us and brings Essie back in Deep in the Heart of Trouble. Essie is at peace now. Or she was until Tony comes into her life. An experienced and talented oil man in his own right, he challenges her in work and in her heart. This is Christian romantic fiction at its best. It's realistic, not expecting human beings to be perfect. They make mistakes, as we all do, but the strong values of their faith stand up to the test and guide them. Deep in the Heart of Trouble is a stand alone wonderful read, but I recommend reading Courting Trouble just for the fun of it. In fact, I recommend all books by Christie award winning Deeanne Gist.

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