A Heart Most Certain

A Heart Most Certain

by Melissa Jagears

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217517
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Series: Teaville Moral Society Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 506,279
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series and Love by the Letter, a free prequel ebook novella. You can learn more about Melissa, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com.

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A Heart Most Certain 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
ParentingAuthor4 More than 1 year ago
"A Heart Most Certain" is a lot more complex than the description makes it sound. It delves into the rise of prostitution in frontier towns in the early 20th century, and efforts by the churches and governments to control it. Double standards caused people to turn the other cheek when men frequented the red-light district, but the women -- who had often fallen on hard times -- were considered the lowest of the low. Were they to be shunned or run out of town? Or could their lives be turned around through compassion and a helping hand? This moral dilemma permeates the story in this book when Nicholas and the Teaville Moral Society have very different views on how to handle the problem, and Lydia becomes conflicted as to which approach is most pleasing to God.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this book. I loved Lydia and Nicholas. Lydia and Nicholas want to help the poor but in completely different ways. Lydia is trying to impress the mother of the politician that she is dating so she talks to Nicholas to see if he will donate to the charity that the moral society leads. This is how she meets Nicholas but things don't go her way. Nicholas wants her to learn what the poor are really like. This made me laugh and cry. I had a very hard time putting this down. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion.
BBulow More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a fan of Melissa Jegears ever since I read the first book in her Unexpected Brides series. While A Heart Most Certain tells a different type of story, it’s no less poignant, gripping and a deep pleasure to read. I was touched by the giving hearts of the characters, aghast at the injustices that they fought and captivated by the tender romance. Lydia King and Nicholas Lowe are engaging characters and utterly compelling. They both have valuable things to teach one another, but it takes quite some time for them to realize it. Lydia is brave, but not unrealistically so for the time period of the story. She’s no simpering miss, but rather a determined young lady, who wants to do right by her family, but also can’t ignore the plight of those in her community. When the conflict between reputation and being a true help to those in need becomes apparent in her interaction with Nicholas, she must decide what is really important – yes, reputation is everything, but what good is a stellar reputation if she faces potential danger and misery in her future? Nicholas is used to being able to use money to solve many plights and problems, except for his own – for him, while used to the betterment of many in his community – money is a way of absolving himself from his past mistakes. Lydia puts a wrench in his anonymity with her persistence and also makes him questions his own methods – how can he help those trapped in sin in his town, but be unwilling to reach out to the members in his church who need to be shown a different way – a way other than being hypocritical of the very people he and Lydia are trying to help. The interaction between Lydia and Nicholas is dynamic. Opposites in many ways, they also challenge each other. Their more serious conversations cause the reader to think and reflect on their own lives, while their humorous moments are sure to bring a smile to the reader’s face. While this story does have a lovely romantic thread, the highlight is most assuredly the in-depth look at the plight of the women and young girls who are forced into prostitution, yet can find little help when they are delivered from it. Though the subject matter is sobering, the narrative is never heavy-laden or without hope. Other themes are touched on as well, including the double standard between the behavior and judgement of men and women, especially as it relates to social activities and marriage. The unfairness of it all made me truly admire people who fought for those in need despite adversity and judgement. I appreciate how far things have come since then, but this story has left me with the reminder to stand up for injustices, to speak up when something is wrong. In addition, Melissa highlights the need of Christians to fight disillusionment with the church, that supporting the body of Christ is important and necessary to the kingdom. The tenderness of this story’s ending speaks to Melissa’s skill as a romantic historical fiction writer. Readers who love a heartfelt happily-ever-after will be eager to reach the culmination of Lydia and Nicholas’s journey, while at the same time eager to visit Teaville once again. Highly recommended for readers looking for a historical romance, with a poignant message at its core.
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears is in the Teaville Moral Society series and is published by Bethany House. I’ve enjoyed previous books by this author because of her sense of humor, so I was looking forward to this book. I have mixed reactions to this book. For one, the hero greatly challenged and encouraged the heroine in her faith and acts of service, which is something that I personally think makes a hero attractive. However, I’ve read other books with similar plots–two people unfriendly towards each other, need to help each other out for common and mutual benefit, fall in love–but with those other books, the dialogue between the hero and heroine was much more witty and fun to read. Thus, the hero of this book seemed more dull and empty. So on one hand, he sharpened and refined the heroine’s strengths, but on the other hand, he wasn’t very interesting–and I personally believe that he had the potential to be both. I still flew through reading this book, but it was slightly tedious in parts because there was no dialogue that kept me entertained while still promoting the message. All in all, I think that this book did have a good message and was thought provoking, and I would recommend it. Thank you so much to Net Galley and Bethany House publishers for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
A Heart Most Uncertain by Melissa Jagears is the first book in the Teaville Moral Society series. I haven't read any from this author before so was pleasantly surprised with her engrossing story. Honestly, I was in a reading slump since I couldn't find anything good to read, and this book pulled me out of it and had me reading any extra minute I could find. Yay for good authors with fantastic characters! Lydia King was challenged by her future mother in law to get a donation from Nicholas Lowe. Determined to show her that she could be a good wife and helpmeet to her son, she sallies forth to somehow convince Mr. Lowe to donate to the church's project, quilts for the poor. After being turned away again and again, Lydia finally convinces him to help her. But Nicholas has some conditions in exchange for the sewing machines.... Lydia King's character was amazing. Yes, she had things to learn, but so did Nicholas Lowe even though it surprised him. haha I loved how Lydia helped him see that there was more to helping the poor than just supplying for their physical needs but also having compassion and empathy toward their desire for beautiful things, too. Yes, serviceable items work well and you can buy more of them, but what about giving them pretty, nice things to cherish and keep. I really enjoyed this book and how Lydia grew and changed throughout the story. I was given this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
HannahGridley More than 1 year ago
When the author asked if I'd be willing to be an influencer for her new book, I jumped at the chance...because I'd already loved the novella set in this town, and I really liked Lydia and her fascination for books. It was a delightful moment to get this in the mail and realize what sort of enjoyment I was in for! I'd just gotten it started, though, when a sickness and death in the family brought my intelligent-reader brain to a halt. There was no way I could create a nice, reasoned review...so now, this is embarrassingly late! I savored so many details in this story. My favorite part was Lydia's passion for good reading, something I obviously share with her. I was very impressed that Jagears didn't only include known classics of today (which is an author pet peeve of mine, as it is unrealistic) but mentioned others such as Laura Jean Libbey, a popular writer of the day who is mostly forgotten today. +1 for that detail! The little working details were all there, too, careful as worldbuilding in a fantasy (which, indeed, does share many characteristics of a recreation of a historical world). Lydia's good dresses were handmedowns; many of her gowns show careful mending. This in particular is delightfully refreshing, as many heroines are portrayed with lavish and perfect wardrobes. For certain scenes, the horses and carriages/conveyances are mentioned, with a few words of why certain styles are suited to rich men/poor men/etc. Well, then...the hero. I suppose if you've read the back cover, you're pretty sure who he turns out to be. The town's most famous miser is a hero in disguise, only--best part--he doesn't think he really is. A fine man content to hide his qualities under a disguise? One who prefers to help fallen women than to hurt them or censure them? Well, it makes for good reading. I'll stop here, lest I betray too much of the content...but I love it, and if you enjoy history, or just-right romance, or a good bit of page-turning suspense, be sure to give this book a try! Thanks to the author for my free copy.
gatorade635 More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Melissa’s since I read her first novella and I have only gotten more impressed with her as I’ve read each of her novels. This is the first book of her second series and it got off to a great start! Lydia and Nicholas were both very interesting and well written characters. Everyone sees Nicholas as stingy with his vast wealth because he never gives publicly to the church or any of the causes brought to him. But unbeknownst to the town he gives regularly and generously but he prefers to keep it all private and to decide exactly who it will go to. Lydia has a good heart but she's a bit naive. After striking their bargain Nicholas opens Lydia's eyes to the many areas of need including that of helping prostitutes escape the lives they never wanted or no longer want. They both had areas of their heart they needed to work on whether it was realizing that not everyone in the church is a hypocrite and that you can't save the world on your own, or learning to care more about following God and helping those in need than the way others view you. I loved watching their relationship, they were exactly what each other needed and their romance was quiet and sweet. There were several characters in this book that I would have quite happily smacked but there were also a great number of lovable ones and together they made a wonderful story! I loved the way the author clearly highlighted an area that can be hard to hear for some Christians. The fact that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, we can't just assume someone else will be the one to help those in need, God calls us all to be His hands and feet and it is our responsibility to be His light in this broken world. In closing I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can't wait for book two! I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Despite his prickly demeanor, Nicholas is determined to use his wealth to help the less fortunate and in many ways, he’s trying to atone for his past. As Julia tries to figure him out, she perceives him first as a Scrooge then perhaps a Robin Hood. Both of them try to resist the growing attraction between them but there’s no denying their growing friendship and the bond of literature. Watching Nicholas and Julia learn from one another and grow in their faith made me love them both all the more! A Heart Most Certain has a lovely mix of suspense, philanthropy, and romance. I fell in love with Melissa’s style from the first novella I read and can’t wait to see what she has in store next! I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through the Bethany House Blogger Reviewer program. The opinions expressed are my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated the compassion of the main characters in this book. Both Lydia and Nicholas have strong ideas of the most effective way to improve society and the circumstances of the poor, and their differences complement each other as they compromise a little and teach each other a lot. The problem of prostitution is addressed head-on, and many attitudes about it are represented in the various community members. I appreciated that Lydia and Nicholas learned from each other's unique way of solving problems while still sharing a common goal of helping those in need. The first half of the book was a bit slow paced for me, but the author did an excellent job of providing a foundation for the events that came later in the plot where there was much more happening and the suspense is heightened. I loved that Lydia is a voracious reader! She uses her love of books to connect not only with Nicholas but other women from different walks of life. Nicholas definitely reminded me of Mr. Thorton from North and South (but more more philanthropic)- a hard, unyielding exterior but a heart of gold inside, just trying his best in the way he knows how. The feelings between Lydia and Nicholas are a slow simmer through most of the book but when they finally express their feelings it is full heat! Their special moment is descriptive with emotion, words, and action, and it made the book for me since I'm one who reads for the romance ;) (Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Somehow she has written a wonderful romance with a spiritual depth that is often missing. She touches on subjects that could come across as preachy and manages to weave them in to her story in such away that you don’t feel like you are being preached at all yet you will feel compelled to examine your own heart. She has created a wonderful cast of characters, some who will drive you crazy, others you will love, others your heart will break for. This is a must read for any historical romance lovers out there. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Wilani More than 1 year ago
Powerful, convicting, wonderful book. This book had me hooked from the beginning. I was compelled to keep reading. It is well written. The characters were developed to the point I was right in the story with them. Feeling their pain and angst. Cheering them on when they had a difficult decision or needed courage to do what needed doing. I loved the message of forgiveness and doing what was right. I cannot wait to read the author's next book.
AmyPutney More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book! It's rare to read fiction that challenges you and the way you see people, but this book certainly did! It can be easy to judge others based on appearances and assumptions, but this book showed that doing so is not only wrong, it can also be harmful! Lydia and Nicholas both went on quite a journey in this book, and they both learned a lot about life and people and how they see people. I enjoyed this book so much and could hardly put it down! I highly recommend it! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Friday, August 26, 2016 A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears, © 2016 A Teaville Moral Society novel, Book 1 Isn't this cover beautiful? But... don't let it fool you. This girl has spunk! This is the best of the best! Began reading A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears before bed and took it with me to read a fEw chapters ~ I woke up at 10:50 :D and beginning the 21st chapter. Everyone would have an eyeopener to "You've done it unto Me" ~ a wake-up call. Teaville, Kansas 1905 How could it be that I wake up this morning and my whole world changes! I am sent off with the mission to collect money for two sewing machines to make quicker work of quilts being made by the Teaville Moral Society ladies. Me, Lydia King, setting off to find Nicholas Lowe the oft talked about rich man in our humble town. I am expected to give to the highfaluting, nose-in-the-air do-gooders? I think not! I give to her and the whole town will be knocking at my door. ~ Nicholas Lowe Lydia is an avid book reader. To her advantage, Mr. Lowe happens to have quite a few. As she continues to return to his office to request funding, he loans books to her. I liked how her interests opened up doors of conversation as she goes with him to supply needs directly, rather than his giving her money for her cause. She learned that building relationship brought a greater opportunity to bring change in lives. Stepping out into the unknown brings greater freedom than she had experienced. A character I appreciated was the pastor's wife who quit peripherals of what was expected of her, to gain a greater depth. Realizing and pursuing her need for a closer relationship with God rather than motives of what people would think. Nicholas finds changes in his outlook, the more he spends time with Lydia. Trust factors have kept him by himself in his endeavors. He finds that living for the present is much more rewarding than making up for the past. This story views how others are seen; as an onlooker or in some way extending a hand to help another climb out of an imprisonment they cannot escape on their own. ***Thank you to author Melissa Jagears and to Bethany House for sending me a review copy for the August 2016 Fiction Blogger Review! This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
bsnksmom More than 1 year ago
If you love to read romances with brooding heroes and smart, sassy heroines, run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore and pick up A Heart Most Certain. If you love to read historical novels, ditto on the running. If you love books with suspense, yeah, you’re getting the picture. This book has it all and then some. To say I loved this book seems pretty tame. This book grabbed me with the giggles, reeled me in with that brooding hero and sealed the deal with that historical suspense. I spent WAY too many nights reading “just one more page” (alright, I mean chapter) and endangering first my Sunday morning alertness for the sermon and then my Monday morning work performance. It was worth it, though – so, so worth it. Lydia King is given one task by the leader of the Teaville Moral Society: get a donation out of the town’s richest man, Nicholas Lowe. She joined to make a difference for the poor and she’ll do everything she can to get that donation out of Lowe’s miserly clutches. From what she can see, he doesn’t even tithe to the church he attends. What hope does she have of convincing him that the Moral Society is a worthy charity for his donations? Poor as a church mouse herself, Lydia really has only three things going for her: beauty, tenacity, and intelligence. Will any of those traits sway Nicholas to see things her way? Nick learns pretty quickly that Lydia won’t take a simple “NO” as an answer. Her tenacity in pleading the Moral Society’s case chips away at his equally stubborn stand against making any contributions to the group. When he finally agrees to make a bargain with her – granting three charitable wishes, as long as none of the three go to the Moral Society – he is stunned to see that all three are actually worthy of his attention. As they work together, they find that they agree on far more than just how to help the poor. Can Nick show Lydia the error of the Moral Society’s methods while helping the downtrodden in his own way? Will Lydia be able to escape the future her father has essentially sold her into through his gambling? Expect to be challenged. Expect to see yourself, even in some of the more undesirable characters. Expect to learn something as you read. Expect frequent bouts of laughter but do NOT expect to come away from this book unchanged. You will find that your capacity for compassion – especially for the outcasts of society – has expanded with each page you turn. Don’t wait to start the journey! This book rates among the best I’ve read this year (and according to my Goodreads Challenge that total is up to 118 for the year.) I highly recommend A Heart Most Certain. It’s a 5 star read all the way.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
A Heart Most Certain is a wonderful story that is not to be missed! As I opened the beautiful cover, I was quickly swept away to Teaville, Kansas, and captivated by Lydia King and the journey she shared with Nicholas Lowe. The situations they faced were challenging and thought-provoking, and I reveled in the history and romance of their story. Entertaining and engaging with a meaningful message throughout, this is most certainly my favorite Jagears book to date! I loved A Heart Most Certain and can’t wait to continue the Teaville Moral Society series! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
I've always considered Melissa Jagears' books to be humorous historical westerns, but this story was so much more than that. While it did have a few light-hearted moments, for the most part it dealt with some heavy issues and had a great theme of true Christian forgiveness and redemption. I enjoyed every minute of this story. It really made me think about how we can be so judgmental as Christians. I loved how Nicholas had a true spirit of Christ, even though he didn't appear to be a great believer in some of the other characters eyes. I thought the author did an excellent job showing the difficulties facing the women who were forced into prostitution by circumstances and unable to return to proper society. Plot: As a member of the Teaville Moral Society, Lydia King has the task of asking the town's wealthiest man, Nicholas Lowe, for a donation to purchase sewing machines so they'll be able to make more blankets for the homeless. When he refuses, Lydia knows she must keep trying. She plans to marry the son of the Moral Society's president, and securing the donation from Mr. Lowe will show she's worthy enough to marry Sebastian Little. Nicholas Lowe decides before he can give Lydia a donation, she must accompany him to visit some of the poor, including some former prostitutes and their children. Recommendation: I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a strong inspirational message. While Melissa Jagears does a great job of writing about prostitutes without crossing lines or getting too detailed, I wouldn't suggest this book to younger readers. It's the first of the series and can stand alone. I look forward to the rest of the series. Rating: 4.5/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Madelyn Cutrone More than 1 year ago
Melissa Jagears took a chance by writing on several sensitive subjects that most Christians don't even want to touch. Prostitution, Christian neglect and hypocrisy, tithing and helping the poor. What a mouthful, and once you read it, a mindful. A mind full of questions. Do we still neglect the poor and needy? Do we shun people for their pasts, even though Christ has already made a clean way for their future? Do we give the bare minimum required of us, and forget about ever giving of ourselves, or giving over and above our call of duty? I think all too often we would be guilty of answer yes to at least one of these questions. So, enough with the long intro! Let's jump into the overview: A Fresh Voice in Historical Romance! Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so when she joins the Teaville Moral Society, she genuinely hopes to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poor house herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that the moral society's president is her suitor's mother. Her first task as a moral society member—to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town—should be easy . . . except he flat-out refuses. Now that that's taken care of let's go on to the list of loves, as always! Honesty Melissa writes with a frankness that isn't often found in historical fiction, even nonfiction. This may not apply much to today's world, but in the novel the protagonist asks this of herself: What is the difference between an upright moral woman who marries a man for his riches, or a prostitute who sells her body for the same? Think about that. Just think. Character Growth Although somewhat sudden and less explained that I would usually prefer, I enjoyed how both characters grew throughout the book, influencing one another and changing one another slowly and gradually. Plot Depth In so, so many contemporary books there's a single conflict/drive. That is to say, one problem that is to be resolved by the end of the book/series. Usually, it's some form of romantic interest, which I (and Joshua) find utterly boring when it's the only focus of the novel. While this was a romance novel, it was in no way bland or uninteresting as the previous scenario mentioned. Mrs. Jagears auspiciously incorporated multiple conflicts and resolved them with excellence. Dynamics Following along closely to plot depth, the characters weren't shallow either. Their dynamics were beautifully worded, and the many deep conversations they had not only kept you interested but challenged you to think deeply upon these sensitive subjects. I can recount more than once setting the book down to ponder the words and concepts Melissa wrote. There's too few a book about which that could be stated. they READ Not just one, but BOTH main characters are avid readers. It can't get much better than that, can it? Oh, but yes, it did. Nicholas, who appears harder than ice and completely uninterested in anyone but himself, not only lets Lydia (the protagonist, who you'll just adore) borrow his books, but discusses them with her. And, and, and... Oh, wait, spoiler. You'll just have to read it ;) FULL REVIEW HERE: http://literarycafe.weebly.com/home/a-heart-most-certain-melissa-jagears
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
First of all… y’all are going to LOVE Lydia. Why? Well, many reasons. But specifically because she’s a READER! She can’t help herself. Waiting in Nicholas’ office for him to return, what does she do? Pilfers a book off his desk and starts reading it. (Can anyone else relate to that or just me?) When she’s struggling to find something in common with a woman she’s just met – a woman from a different socioeconomic background than her own – it only takes discovering this woman’s shared love of books for the walls to come down and an instant friendship to be made. And I know we all can relate to that! Nicholas? Swoony, gruff, more-tenderhearted-than-he-appears Nicholas? Also a READER! Just go ahead and get your swooning couches (or close facsimiles) ready because not only is Nicholas is a reader but he lets Lydia borrow his books. And he talks about them with her. And he wonders what she thinks about his favorite books. And he buys her a … but no. I can’t reveal that part. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. In the process of “reforming” Nicholas, Lydia herself ends up being transformed. Thanks to Nicholas (swoon!) as well as a handful of women from Teaville’s red light district, she not only learns what it means to help the least of these but also gains a deeper understanding of who she is – and who she isn’t. I think that anyone who has ever been stretched out of their comfort zone will instantly embrace Lydia’s story. Anyone who has stood at the threshold of “safe” versus “risky” will identify with both her and Nicholas and their journey. And even though A Heart Most Certain is set in early 1900s Kansas, its message and insights are just as timely for today. Because women and girls my niece’s age and younger are still being forced into prostitution due to a variety of circumstances. Because the church is still full of people who like to be self-righteous as well as people who risk reputation and safety to help the marginalized. Because we still live in the constant struggle between the two sides, in the church and within ourselves. Because “the least of these” could be any one of us with the shifting of a few minor circumstances. And because the same Jesus who died for you also died for me … and He also died for the self-righteous and the marginalized and the prostitute and the impoverished and the corrupt. This theme is what elevates A Heart Most Certain beyond a mere romance (though that aspect to the story is quite dreamy) and makes it a book that everyone needs to read. Bottom Line: A book set over 100 years ago has important things to say to our world today, and A Heart Most Certain accomplishes its message through a delicious love story that will certainly head straight to every bookworm’s heart. Melissa Jagears is at the top of her game with this new series, with these characters, and with this story in particular, and I’m quite looking forward to the next books in the Teaville Moral Society series. (I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
jmcnutt More than 1 year ago
If you are a reader, you come to develop a respect for writers whose books, you know will offer a wonderful story, inspiring characters, and always leave you looking forward to their next book. For me, Melissa Jagears has come to be among my favorite authors, who always meets those expectations. A Heart Most Certain is no exception. The characters, flaws and all are well developed and a pleasure to read. I was fascinated by the unique storyline and inspired by the spiritual beliefs and ministry of the characters, that challenged the views of their peers and ignored by their church. I highly recommend this beautiful, inspiring story that left me examining my own personal views. I received this complimentary book from the author and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
A Heart Most Certain: Teaville Moral Society series***** by Melissa Jagears A Heart Most Certain is set in 1905 in the fictional town of Teaville, Kansas. It sounds like a quaint little town that has a lot going for it but there is a villainous/evil undertone. I like Lydia King's courage in the midst of what is seemingly impossible. She does not give up. She certainly has plans of what her future hold for her but those plans quickly change. I like how the circumstances—some rather dangerous—she finds herself in have a positive impact on her, her future, caring for her family, increases her faith and challenges her far more than she ever would have imagined. I am not sure I would have fared as well. I love the scene on page 256 where Lydia is called-on-the-carpet—upbraided and how she defends herself and her faith—won't say more, don't want to spoil it. I like the way Nicholas Lowe secretly helps those less fortunate in such a way they don't feel as being given charity. He has a strong faith that impacts everything he does. He is kind—although he comes across rather gruff at times. I love his disgust with Christian hypocrites—going against what they would say is inappropriate—choosing rather to do what God desired over men's...sometimes hard to follow. I love what he did with his huge home—not saying more. There are characters that jump off the page with their evil intents and the havoc they place over those in their clutches. They brought a lot of suspense and dangerous situations to the story and had me on the edge of my seat at times. These characters were prospering from both sides of the law and seemed as though they would not get caught. Some other characters had me in tears for the way they lived and how hopeless they felt. I loved the overall inspirational theme of forgiveness and reconciliation within the story-line. The contrast between a hypocritical community—even some in the church and how the Bible shows us to live out our faith for God is striking. This is a heartwarming romance with hardships, heartaches, joys, danger, fear, second-chances, forgiveness, reconciliation, love and faith that is hard to put down. ~I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
KathrynVoss More than 1 year ago
Wow! Having just completed Melissa Jagears A Heart Most Certain, I can honestly say it is her best work yet! I utterly loved every aspect of this book - the compelling message, the endearing and villainous characters, the tender romance, the riveting plot... This work, though a historical piece of fiction, depicted a social situation and depth of story that touched so close to home, I couldn't help but be completely enthralled. I almost don't know where to begin in describing how perfect this book is. But what struck me the most was the plot revolving around rescuing women and children from prostitution. Jagears expertly outlined the tremendous pressures - both socially and religiously - these victims face if they try to escape their livelihood. The desperation, hardness, and pain of the situation was all too apparent. And through this, Jagears saddened my heart by revealing the unfortunate hypocrisy of the church in embracing these wounded souls. I was challenged to look at my own thoughts, considering if I am more concerned about my image or about glorifying the One who has showered me with undeserved grace and mercy. I do not come away from this book unchanged. Without being preachy, Jagears delivers a solid message all too relevant in A Heart Most Certain. I was so impressed by this book and am greatly anticipating her next release in the series. I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
BlueJeansAndTeacups More than 1 year ago
WONDERFUL READ, FILLED WITH FAITH & LOVE Melissa Jagears has captured my heart with her newest book, A Heart Most Certain. Her story is so rich with prayer and growth of faith, and held my interest throughout. I cannot recommend it enough. The story takes place in Teaville, Kansas, 1905. STOP! Seriously? Well, be still my heart… what a perfect name for a town! It takes a hard look at how the poorest parts of town survived by being a “red light district”, and the very difficult attempt some made to climb out of that life. It also shows how the middle and upper class viewed those people as so much “less-than” believing they were at fault and did not deserve any grace or mercy. However, that is not the case for every citizen. Nicholas secretly gives charity and does good works to better their lives and make a difference. Lydia King, although quite poor in her own right, also does her part, by being a part of the Teaville Moral Society and sewing quilts for the less fortunate. When the group decides they need sewing machines to increase their production, she is tasked with requesting a donation from the town’s miser, Mr. Lowe. This story was packed with detail and deceit. But it was also rich with people desiring to better themselves for God's glory, and a beautiful love story stitched together over time and circumstances orchestrated by the hand of God. 5 stars © 8/2/2016 Bethany House, 388 pages I received a copy from Bethany House Publ., in exchange for my honest opinion, with no other compensation, which I am privileged to provide. Reviewed: 8/15/2016 SERIES: TEAVILLE MORAL SOCIETY
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
A Heart Most Certain is the first book in the Teaville Moral Society series. I have read several other books by Melissa Jagears and enjoyed every one of them. The story takes place in Kansas in 1905. This book goes places where many are afraid to go, the clash between actually helping those that need Jesus, and just yelling at them telling them to repent. Marching down the street telling others they are wrong, but doing nothing to demonstrate Gods love for them, doesn't show the world His heart. I found it interesting that Jagears wasn't afraid to point those things out. Lydia and Nicholas were fun characters to get to know, and I enjoyed that they weren't without fault. Lydia King is on a mission to extract some money from Nicholas Lowe. Mr. Lowe isn't known as being generous, and Lydia knows she has her work cut out for her. Getting this money for her moral society will help fill a need, and she makes it her personal mission to be the first person Nicholas bends to. Little does she know he can be just as stubborn. Nicholas is tired of everyone asking for a handout. He likes to do things his own way, and in his own time. When a agreement is struck neither of them know how their lives are going to change. Will they learn to lean on others, or let their pride get in the way? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance. This book is a one of a kind look into being the hands and feet of God, and actually helping spread the love of God to the hurting. I enjoyed how Jagears showed that what you see on the outside can be deceiving, and that we all fall short of keeping Gods word. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
Lydia King wants to prove herself to the Teaville Moral Society and in particular the society’s president. And in order to do so, she must secure a donation from one of the wealthiest citizens in Teaville. The problem is that Nicholas Lowe is notorious for his stingy ways. Despite appearances, Nicholas is actually very generous but prefers to donate in his own way and he dislikes the attitudes of the Teaville Moral Society. But Lydia is very persuasive and tenacious, so he decides to donate but she must first meet his terms. As their alliance deepens, circumstances grow more difficult and complicated. Lydia discovers that her perceptions and attitudes of the people in the town are completely inaccurate compared to reality. And Nicholas begins to understand Lydia might have a hold on his heart more than he wants to admit. This is such a well-written book in so many aspects. The characters are complicated and the plot is engaging and creates a sense of mystery. I thought the author was adept at describing the tension in the relationship between Lydia and Nicholas and the uncertainty that neither were quite sure what the other thought or felt. At first I didn’t especially like Nicholas because he seemed a bit self-righteous. He was bent on teaching Lydia a few lessons about the unfortunate and came off as being arrogant. However, as the story progressed, other things about his circumstances and past were revealed showing he was a flawed individual like Lydia. And that is one of the things I liked about these characters. All of the characters were very human in the sense that not everything about them was perfect. In fact, just the opposite, even the peripheral characters in some way were struggling with sin. Another aspect I appreciated about them, is the transformation that takes place in the hero and heroine. They mature throughout the story. One of the main themes in this book is that of prostitution and perception of the church toward it in the early 1900’s. The author did a great job with balancing the immorality of it with the need for compassion toward the individuals that worked in the profession. I would recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
eLynda More than 1 year ago
Jagears Best to Date! I started reading Melissa Jagears’ work with her first published novel. I enjoy the stories she tells of life in an earlier, though not necessarily simpler, time. A Heart Most Certain begins a new series that takes place in turn of the (last) century Kansas, and with this first installment, she has blown her previous novels out of the water—the storyline is by far the most engrossing and the prose more emotional than in her earlier books. I loved this book, my new favorite written by her! I adore the characters, but especially Lydia—she is a woman after my own heart! Her love of books, questioning whether she’s expecting too much of life after reading too many novels, and the shock when she realizes that God’s plans for her are so much better than her own had been, in a direction she never envisioned—all of this makes her relatable on so many levels. This is one character I would like to meet outside the pages of this book! I appreciate that no one is perfect in this novel; both of our main characters and the vast majority of the secondary players have both positive and negative qualities the shape the story as we learn about their pasts and read about their present circumstances. We watch them fight old habits and misconceptions, growing and learning along the way. The layers of backstory and characterization add depth and complexity, giving the story more punch than it would have otherwise had. The spiritual content is convicting for me and this is another instance where I can relate to Lydia as she begins her journey to becoming a more loving Christian. I would like to think that by experiencing her story, I am helped along in my own walk without the trauma of living it myself. I certainly find that I look at others differently than I did before. And not only others, but I look at myself through an altered lens: I ask more often if I am truly trusting God or somehow only looking to Him to boost my own efforts, furthering plans I have devised without consulting Him first. If anyone reading this worries that the book comes across as one overlong sermon, nothing could be further from the truth. There is a lot of humor within these pages; wry comments and thoughts keep the narrative from becoming bogged down by difficult circumstances and seemingly hopeless situations. Book nerds like myself will enjoy the numerous references to Austen, Gaskell, Twain and other literary icons. And the complex plot contains enough mystery and action to keep those pages turning well into the night. For me, after all of the investment in the characters and plot from the earliest pages, the conclusion brings it all together in an outstanding fashion—one of the best I have read recently. I hate rushed endings, but this one wraps things up nicely and allows the reader to enjoy the resolution for more than a page or two, even following these characters a few years into the future. And while the main storyline wraps up in this novel, I see several threads I hope the next book will pick up. I can’t wait to read the next installment in this new series! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher to facilitate this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.