A Stolen Heart

A Stolen Heart

by Amanda Cabot

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Overview

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites readers back into Texas's storied past to experience love and adventure against a backdrop of tension and mystery in this first book in a brand-new series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410499776
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 05/03/2017
Series: Cimarron Creek Trilogy Series , #1
Edition description: Large Print
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet Lake, In Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.

Read an Excerpt

A Stolen Heart


By Amanda Cabot

Baker Publishing Group

Copyright © 2017 Amanda Cabot
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2860-1


CHAPTER 1

May 1880


No matter what anyone said, she wouldn't believe this was a mistake. Lydia Crawford glanced at the other passengers, wondering whether her hours of sitting here, remaining silent but keeping a smile firmly fixed on her face, had done anything to lessen their hostility. She had considered pulling a book from her bag and spending the day lost in one of Jane Austen's tales but had feared that would only rile her companions more.

Though Lydia wanted nothing beyond a peaceful journey and some pleasant conversation, she suspected that was impossible. The two sisters who were traveling together and the mother and son had given her friendly smiles when they'd boarded the stagecoach in Dallas, but the moment she'd opened her mouth, those smiles had turned to frowns, the friendliness to hostility.

"She's a Yankee," one of the sisters had announced. "Mebbe a sister to one of them carpetbaggers. She's sure makin' a mistake coming to Texas." They both glared at Lydia for a moment, then turned away, refusing to even look in her direction.

The mother had taken more drastic action. Though she and her son had chosen seats next to Lydia when they boarded the stagecoach, once Lydia had spoken and they'd realized she was a Northerner, they'd moved to the less comfortable backless bench in the center of the coach rather than risk being tainted by her presence.

Lydia had endured snubs before, but none of this magnitude. Though she'd tried to slough it off, she'd been unable. Not only had the woman's shunning hurt but it made Lydia wonder if she would face similar rejection in Cimarron Creek. Nonsense, she told herself. Edgar would have warned me if that were the case. But of course there had been no word from Edgar. The night he left, they had both agreed it would be far too risky for him to send a letter or telegram. He would go to Texas and make a home for them, leaving Lydia to join him as soon as the school could find a replacement for her. Though it wasn't their original plan, it was the only one that made sense after what had happened outside the tavern. Surely it wasn't a mistake.

Lydia's gaze moved past the disapproving sisters to the dark-haired boy in the center of the coach. With little else to occupy him, he'd been staring at her. Now he leaned forward, his hand extended as if he wanted to touch her. Lydia shook her head slightly, knowing nothing good would come from encouraging the child. A second later, though his mother had been gazing out the window, seemingly oblivious to the curious looks her son had been giving Lydia, she turned abruptly and yanked him back onto the bench.

"Silas, you stay right here. I don't want you talkin' to that person." She spat the final word as if it were an epithet. Lydia refused to cringe. She'd been called worse, especially once she'd crossed the Mason-Dixon line. Though the war had been over for more than fifteen years, the enmity caused by four years of bloodshed and the disastrous era known as Reconstruction remained, at least in some hearts.

"But, Ma," the boy protested, "she's real purty. I nebber seen hair like that."

This time Lydia did cringe, wishing she'd been Silas's teacher. The boy was clearly old enough to attend school, but his poor grammar told her that if he was being taught, it wasn't well.

Silas's mother continued to frown. "You do as I say, young man, or I'll tan your hide."

"Yes, Ma." But, despite his mother's admonitions, Silas smiled at Lydia.

"Silas!"

He looked up at his mother, his expression one of feigned innocence. "I ain't talkin'."

Though Lydia was tempted to grin at the boy's cheeky response, she didn't want to get him in any more trouble, and so she turned to look out the window. At least the scenery would not protest a Northerner's gaze.

Texas bore little resemblance to central New York. It wasn't simply the heat, although that was far more intense than she had expected, especially since summer hadn't officially begun. The towns she'd passed through were smaller than the ones near Syracuse, with few of the two-story houses so common at home.

Lydia hadn't been able to identify many of the crops, and the trees — she'd heard someone call them pecans and live oaks — were unlike the elms, maples, and sycamores that lined the streets in Syracuse. The grass was different too, and though she hadn't thought it possible, the Texas sky seemed even deeper blue than a summer sky at home.

Lydia shook herself mentally. Syracuse wasn't home any longer. Her family was gone, and she'd resigned her position at the academy where she'd spent most of her life, first as a student, then as a teacher. With her ties to central New York severed, there was nothing to return to. Her future home was with Edgar in Cimarron Creek, Texas. Thank goodness that was only a few hours away She was equally thankful that none of the other passengers would be disembarking there. Surely the residents of Cimarron Creek would be more welcoming.

She leaned against the seat back and closed her eyes, not wanting to see the unfriendly faces opposite her. The journey that had been long and at times grueling was almost over. Before the sun set, Lydia would be with Edgar. By the end of the week, she would be Mrs. Edgar Ellis. It might be four months later than they'd planned, but soon — very soon — she would be wearing the beautiful ring he'd shown her their last evening together. Lydia bit the inside of her cheek, remembering how the ring had gleamed in the moonlight when he'd held it in his bloodstained hands.

Stop it! she admonished herself. She had resolved not to think about that night and the reason Edgar had fled. When the police had questioned her, she had been able to answer honestly that he hadn't told her where he was headed. But even though no names had been mentioned that night, she'd known his destination. Months earlier, Edgar had shown her a map of Texas and had pointed toward the town where he wanted them to raise a family.

"It's right in the heart of what they call the Hill Country," he said. "Germans settled a lot of towns, but this one was founded by three men from the North."

Edgar's enthusiasm had been contagious, and Lydia soon found herself imagining their life in a new state.

"It'll be warm and beautiful," he told her. "Best of all, we'll be able to open our own business. No more working for others."

Independence had always been Edgar's dream, though the details seemed to change with the phases of the moon. One day he wanted to run a mercantile. A week later he would talk about buying a hotel and restaurant. The one thing they'd both agreed on was that a saloon had no place in their future.

Lydia had soon realized that all that truly mattered to Edgar was being his own boss, and she'd accepted the vague explanations. It didn't matter to her whether they ran a mercantile, a hotel, or something else. What mattered was being with Edgar.

Soon. She opened her eyes again and gazed at the landscape. The bluebonnets she'd heard so much about were no longer blooming, but other wildflowers dotted the grass, and the flat terrain had turned to gently rolling hills. Lydia sighed with pleasure. Texas was beautiful, a place where dreams could come true, where promises would be fulfilled. She'd been right to ignore the advice one well-meaning woman had given her. There was no reason to turn back. In a few hours she would be with Edgar and all her questions would be answered.

It was not a mistake.


* * *

Trouble was coming. Travis Whitfield could feel it in the air as he strode toward the mercantile. The stagecoach was due in ten minutes. As it did each weekday, it would bring mail. Today it would also bring Travis's father, the source of the impending trouble.

Travis tried not to frown, but the fact was, with Pa in Austin, this last month had been more peaceful than any he could recall since the town had asked him to wear the sheriff's badge. Wasn't that a sad commentary? Though he wasn't satisfied with Doc's verdict that Sheriff Allen's death had been an accident and though a man had gone missing, Travis was calling it a peaceful month.

The peace was about to end. Dorcas's latest letter had warned him that not even the sight of his first grandchild had mellowed Pa's temper. He was still telling anyone who'd listen — and even those who wouldn't — that his son had no business accepting the appointment as Cimarron Creek's sheriff when he was already serving the town as a lawyer. Never mind that Travis was doing both. Once Pa stepped off the stagecoach, he'd start haranguing him again.

Tipping his hat to a woman whose overflowing bag indicated she'd found several garments to her liking at the dressmaker's shop, Travis had to admit there were days when he agreed with Pa. He'd known being sheriff wouldn't be easy, but it had proven to be more difficult than he'd expected. For a town of barely a hundred and sixty, Cimarron Creek seemed to have more than its share of problems.

Travis looked down the street. Perhaps he was prejudiced, but he believed his grandfather and great-uncles had chosen wisely when they'd laid out the town. They'd insisted that trees be cut only if absolutely necessary, with the result that the stores on Main Street were shaded by live oaks. He'd seen other towns where residents had to contend with the blazing sun, and the sheriffs of those towns had admitted that tempers frequently flared when the mercury rose.

Travis couldn't blame heat for the latest problem. It hadn't been hot the night the town's newest resident had disappeared. There hadn't even been a full moon. Some folks — his own father among them — claimed mischief was more likely when the moon was full. That hadn't been the case last week. No heat, no moon, just one missing man.

Opal Ellis wasn't going to be happy that Travis had nothing new to report, but it wasn't for lack of trying. When his own search had turned up no clues to the whereabouts of Opal's missing husband, Travis had sent telegrams to the sheriffs of all the surrounding towns. They'd had no more success than he had.

"Howdy, Sheriff."

Travis nodded at the trio of schoolboys lounging against the one empty store on Main Street. With school over for the summer and crops not ready for harvest, they had little to occupy their time. Fortunately, they hadn't gotten into trouble. Not yet. But they would. Remembering his own boyhood shenanigans, Travis knew that was inevitable. He only hoped the antics wouldn't be too serious and that no one would ask him to intervene. He had enough work already, with the missing Edgar Ellis on top of his list.

Travis didn't like unsolved mysteries. That was the reason he'd asked for his cousins' opinions. The three of them had been playing horseshoes in Porter's yard when he'd brought up the subject. As he'd expected, neither man was reticent about expressing his beliefs. What he hadn't expected was that the men who were as close to him as brothers had disagreed.

Porter claimed Edgar had left town of his own volition once he'd learned he was going to be a father.

"Babies are a lot of work," he declared. "I ought to know." As the youngest of what some townspeople called the Three Musketeers but the only one who was married and had a child, Porter liked to boast about his status.

Wrinkling his nose as if he were tired of listening to his brother's tales of fatherhood, Warner disagreed with Porter's assessment. Instead, he speculated Edgar had been run out of town — or worse — by someone still fighting the war. If Pa had been in Cimarron Creek at the time, he might have been Warner's primary suspect, but Pa was in Austin, making Dorcas's life miserable.

Though he'd done everything he could, Travis had no idea where Opal's husband had gone. As much as he wished it were otherwise, that was one mystery he was unlikely to solve today or anytime soon.

As he approached the drugstore, Travis pulled his watch from his pocket and nodded. He'd left too early. Since there was no point in standing in front of the mercantile simply waiting for the coach to arrive, he might as well see what Warner was doing this afternoon. Travis pushed open the door and inhaled the pungent smells of the county's only pharmacy.

On the opposite side of the store, his cousin glanced up from whatever he was grinding with his mortar and pestle. As tall as Travis but with hair a lighter shade of brown and eyes that were blue rather than gray, Warner had the firm jaw they'd both inherited from their great-grandfather.

"You don't look too happy," he said.

"Pa's due in with today's mail. Would you be happy if you were in my boots?"

Warner shook his head. "I can't say that I would, but my own boots are feeling mighty uncomfortable today."

Though Travis had hoped for a bit of sympathy, it appeared he'd be the one dispensing it. "Someone didn't like the potion you made for them?"

As Travis had intended, Warner rose to the bait. The town's first pharmacist was proud of his training and insistent that he be treated with the proper degree of respect. He was not, he had informed both his brother and Travis, a pill peddler.

"How many times do I have to tell you they're not called potions? That sounds like something a witch brews. I concoct medicines."

Travis looked around his cousin's obviously prosperous business. Tall glass-fronted cabinets filled with bottles in every size, shape, and color lined the back wall. Many of the bottles were patent medicines Warner purchased ready-made, but others were created right here using formulas Warner had learned during his years of training in Philadelphia.

Raising his hands in mock surrender, Travis conceded his cousin's point. "All right. Let me rephrase my question. Did someone not like the medicine you concocted for them?"

"I wish that was the problem. I could deal with that." Warner continued grinding whatever it was into a floury powder. "You're not the only one with parent problems. My father stopped by to remind me it's time for me to do my duty. I'm expected to marry and produce grandchildren, preferably boys since Porter has already presented Ma and Pa with a granddaughter."

Though his own father had similar sentiments and wasn't shy about voicing them, this was the first time Travis had heard that his uncle was pressuring Warner. "What does he expect you to do — send for a mail-order bride?"

Warner shrugged. "That idea was mentioned. I don't think he cares how I find a bride so long as I do. The gist of the speech he gave me was that as the firstborn it's my responsibility to ensure that the Gray name is carried on." Warner poured the finely ground substance into a small glass bottle and capped it.

"You know as well as I do how unpleasant Pa can be when he's riled, so if you happen to see a beautiful single woman walking the streets of Cimarron Creek, send her my way. I'll make her an offer she won't refuse."

Though Warner sounded serious, he waggled his eyebrows and pretended to twirl the ends of a nonexistent moustache. Travis began to laugh. "Thanks, cousin. I needed a good laugh."

Travis was still chuckling at Warner's parody of a melodrama villain while he waited for the stagecoach. The arrival of a single woman, much less a beautiful one, was as unlikely as Pa suddenly regrowing the leg he had lost at Gettysburg, and Warner knew it. Still, his cousin had joked instead of ranting about his father's demands.

Perhaps that was something Travis ought to do. The problem was, joking didn't come easily to him. Even before he'd assumed the sheriff's badge, Aunt Bertha had told him he took life too seriously He couldn't argue with that. Life was serious, and it had become more so after his mother's death five years earlier. Since then, Aunt Bertha had done her best to cheer him. Lately, though, she'd been so caught up in whatever was troubling her that she hadn't chided Travis, and he found he missed the gentle yet firm advice she used to dole out.

Travis's smile faded. His aunt had supported him when he'd needed her, and how had he repaid her? He'd left her alone, even though he'd known she must be lonely after Uncle Jonas's death. That would end. While being Cimarron Creek's sheriff was important, Travis was also Bertha Henderson's great-nephew. That was important too. It might only be for a few minutes, but he resolved to visit her every day Tonight he would ...

Before Travis could finish his thought, he heard the distinctive rumbling of the coach and saw the cloud of dust that accompanied it during most of the summer. Girding himself for the coming encounter with his father, he waited until the coach stopped, then fixed a smile on his face as the driver climbed down from his perch and opened the door.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot. Copyright © 2017 Amanda Cabot. Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Stolen Heart 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
A STOLEN HEART is Ms. Cabot's newest book. Lydia comes to Cimarron Creek to marry her fiance who promised all kinds of fresh starts for both of them, but when she arrives, Edgar has gone missing and not only that but he's married!!! What's a girl to do? The sheriff, Travis, expects her to return to New York, to her prestigious lady's school she taught at. But Lydia seems determined to stick it out, despite the fact that she's a Yankee (in a southern town) and despite that fact that all the eligible bachelors are suddenly interested.... Lydia is a strong heroine, knows what she wants and determined enough to work for it. I had to admire her pluckiness. I did find some of the story predictable -- the cover gave one thing away before I even opened the book -- but it was an enjoyable read and like the sheriff and everyone else in town I wanted to know what happened to Edgar. If you like historical romances set after the Civil War, then you'll love A STOLEN HEART by Amanda Cabot. A must read.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy, what a great place to start. I love the authors style and how she develops her characters. I was thrilled to learn this was a start of the series, for I wanted to learn more about some of the characters in her story. Lydia Crawford, a yankee, finds herself at the mercy of southerns when she gets to Cimarron Creek, Texas and things are not what she expects. She is a determined, beautiful woman with nowhere else to go. Lydia must learn to trust men, especially when many strange things are happening in their nice little town. Travis Whitfield, the handsome sheriff, must find all the clues to the many different mysteries and twist and turns taking place in his town and in his life. He is not expecting the beautiful Lydia Crawford to completely change his way of thinking. I loved the many different personalities in this novel and all the mysteries, romance, family, forgiveness and friendships that are in it. I look forward to reading more from this series.
Digging4Pearls More than 1 year ago
Lydia Crawford leaves everything she's ever known to travel from her home in the east, to a small town in the Texas Hill Country to meet her fiancé. She arrives to find not only is he missing, but he has a pregnant wife as well. Even though the Civil War is long over, she's an outsider and many resent Northerners. Lydia is unsure what to do next. Sheriff Travis Whitfield takes his job seriously and that includes welcoming newcomers to his town. While he has no interest in marriage, he determines to make sure Lydia has somewhere to stay while figuring out why she came. "No matter what anyone said, she wouldn't believe this was a mistake." The first line of Amanda Cabot's new book, A Stolen Heart, pulls you in and you don't want to let go when the last page comes to an end. It's a delightful start to Amanda's new series, Cimarron Creek Trilogy and I eagerly await the next one. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
". . . a man would have to be blind in both eyes not to be dazzled." (23) And dazzled you'll be with Amanda Cabot's newest release, A Stolen Heart, the first book in a new series, Cimarron Creek Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. With the reserved hearts of both main characters; one with a broken heart the moment she stepped off the stagecoach, and the other, years of seeing what marriage have done to his parents, we can see what kind of hurdles these two will face. "Men can't be trusted where love is concerned." (136) A story filled with characters you'll love, a love that builds through trust and friendship, and a mystery that sets the plot in motion, A Stolen Heart may just steal your heart. Plus the swooniness of one town sheriff and the sweets of one confectioner will take away any hesitation you have in finishing this story in one sitting. The sweetness doesn't end with the sweets sold in the sweet shop, but the gift that only true love can give, that's priceless. Contrary to the first line of the book, this read will not be a mistake. "Pride may be a sin, but not acknowledging God's gifts is equally sinful." (68) Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Holly More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart was not the book I expected it to be; it was so much more, and it will make you want to re-read it over and over again. From first glance, you think it's just a Christian book where everyone falls in love and everything is just peachy -- but this book is so not that at all. However you imagine small town Texas, 1880, the town of Cimarron Creek is that place. As you get to know the main character, Lydia, and why she came to Cimarron Creek in the first place, you can't help but feel bad for the way that some people treated her because of where she came from. The town is dealing with many mysteries, but Lydia's primary question is why her fiance left town with a pregnant WIFE, which ties in to another big mystery that the town is dealing with. You start to get a hint of what is to come after the big Founder's Day celebration and who is behind everything but still, you won't expect how it will all end. I have never read any of Amanda Cabot's books before, but after reading this one, you can bet that I will be reading the next book in this series! If you are in need of an 1880s, Texas based book with mystery and romance, you need to read this book now!! Thank You to Amanda Cabot for writing a book that made me become a fan of yours from now on! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours!
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
Sweet Historical Romance When Lydia Crawford travels to Cimarron Creek in post-Civil War Texas, she expects to be greeted joyously by her fiancé and married within a few days. Instead, she finds his pregnant wife wondering where he has gone. Discouraged but with nowhere else to go, Lydia accepts the reference of the local sheriff, Travis Whitfield, and begins boarding with his elderly aunt. The two women decide to open a candy shop even as half the men in the town want to marry Lydia while the other half reject her as a Yankee. Meanwhile, the missing tavern-keeper is not the only mystery plaguing the town. A Stolen Heart is the first book in Amanda Cabot’s newest series. The setting was one of the first things I noticed. Only a decade had passed since the Civil War, and like many Southerners, the residents of Cimarron Creek refused to let go of the past, which makes Lydia’s job as a Northern newcomer and shopkeeper all the harder. The novel did not dig too deeply into the historical setting, but used the customs and culture of the time to frame a lovely romance between Lydia and the local sheriff. It was obvious from the beginning that the two of them would fall in love, even though two of Travis’s friends set their sights on Lydia the moment she stepped off the train. Travis and Lydia were a cute couple to watch fall in love. Both had initial misgivings about marriage, but they let God and their love for each other overcome their fears, showing character growth. And, yes, I’m giving that away because A Stolen Heart literally speaks romance in the title, so the ending is obvious. Something that is not obvious from the title is the mystery that helps bring them together. There are at least two missing people in the town along with some unexplained vandalism, and since it is the Sheriff’s job to solve the problem, the characters find themselves in the middle of the problem early on. The development of the mystery and the ultimate solution were intriguing and satisfactory. And can I just say that I loved the prose itself? It dragged me into the story and kept me involved from the beginning, banishing thoughts of finishing the other books I was already in the middle of until this one was finished. I recommend this book to fans of sweet historical romance. A Stolen Heart is another fantastic novel from Amanda Cabot, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads, via NetGalley. All opinions are expressly my own.
slm76 More than 1 year ago
Tensions still run high in a small Texas town 15 years after the end of the Civil War and Lydia knows about it before she’s even arrived in search of her fiancé. But even though one of the town’s Confederate veterans persists in calling her the ‘Cursed Enemy,’ she soon learns the war isn’t the only cause of division. Lydia has two men vying for her attention, and two brothers are rivals for their father’s praise. She’s also accused of a rash of thefts taking place in the town, even though she’s also a victim. Her chocolate creations do much to win over the townsfolk, but could they also be responsible for murder? There’s a nice little map of Cimarron Creek at the start of the book and I referred to it often. Since Travis (the “handsome sheriff”) has a large extended family, the included family tree also came in useful. The narrative itself is a mixture of romance and suspense. The crime story builds steadily, sharing space with the romance although playing second fiddle to it. I gradually worked out who might be responsible but the culminating scene is tense and heart pounding. I didn’t know how it would end up. Lydia is also fortunate to develop some close friendships with a variety of women, some of which are unexpected, and these help her as she comes to terms with her fiancé’s actions. A Stolen Heart is the first title in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. A sneak peak of book two, involving one of Lydia’s new friends, is included but it won’t be published until next year. Based on this novel, I’ll look forward to its release. Thank you to Revell for my complimentary copy of A Stolen Heart, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
MAHake More than 1 year ago
Crossed paths lead to cross-county changes and cross purposes. Lydia Crawford leaves New York following the man she plans to marry. Yet when she arrives in post-Civil War Texas, this Yankee schoolteacher finds life does not turn out as expected. The plucky lady seeks to make her own way, but will she ever be accepted in her new town? The endearing characters and touching tale make this book memorable. I enjoyed the plot and its surprises—it’s not just a simple, typical story. The love and growth exhibited offers an example to emulate. I received this book from the author. All opinions are my own.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A mystery starts off the series.... A Stolen Heart Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1 By Amanda Cabot Lydia Crawford is heading to Cimarron Creek, Texas, and heading to a new life with her fiancé. But something has gone terrible wrong - Edgar Ellis has disappeared and left behind a wife who is in the family way. Having cut all ties to her former life Lydia is a Northern in a sea of Texans for whom the resentments of the war that divided a nation have not yet been forgotten. Fortunately for Lydia, she was met by the newly appointed sheriff, Travis Whitfield, who directed Lydia to the perfect place to regroup. With her plans for her life completely undone, Lydia needs to decide what her next move will be. But asking Edgar why is pretty high up on her list. For Travis determining why Edgar abandoned his wife is of utmost importance ~ was it voluntary because of the imminent arrival of Miss Crawford? Fear of his responsibilities? Or was something more sinister involved? And is Miss Crawford indeed who she claims? And what was her purpose in settling so far removed from her old life? As Lydia settles into her new life she finds a unique need that her skills can fill and she becomes an accepted member of the community. But when a series of crimes begin occurring in Cimarron Creek suspicion natural turns to Lydia. Could she truly be guilty of these crimes? And how could she have fooled some many people? Perhaps Cimarron Creek chose the wrong man to be sheriff and needed someone who could look deeper and could protect them from Northern opportunists. This is the first book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and there is a definite mystery that runs through this book though the book itself is identified as a historical romance. Set in 1880, Texas is still recovering from the wounds it received during the Civil War so it is interesting to see how the people all react to Lydia and her Northern ties. The family ties that bind this town have a powerful influence throughout this story. And if you've read and enjoyed Amanda Cabot in the past you don't miss this delightful read! I was provided a review copy of this book by Revell with no expectation of a positive review - all expressed opinions are my own.
Charity_Andrews More than 1 year ago
Ten years after the Civil War, Lydia is a Yankee that’s unknowingly engaged to a married man, traveling South across the country to start completely over and reinventing/finding herself in this beautiful book. I mean, come on! Look at that gorgeous cover!! Tell me you don’t want to pick this one up! Amanda Cabot has a way of intertwining spiritual matters, deep characters and beautifully vivid visuals in her writing. You can see it all so clearly. I absolutely loved reading this book. Through all the trials Lydia has to work through, there’s hope and a spirit of determination. Most importantly, there’s no whining and I LOVE that! You will fall in love with the citizens of Cimarron Creek as they fight for their way of life and learn how to love a Yankee. Be sure to pick up a copy of this great read! Thanks for this fabulous book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion! Here’s to many more!!
KatrinaEpperson More than 1 year ago
This is a story that immediately swept me back to 1880 and brought the Texas Hill Country to life. This story brings engaging characters like Lydia Crawford, Bertha Henderson, and Travis Whitfield that weave their way into your heart quickly. The small town of Cimarron Creek was founded by three families and Bertha Henderson is one of the oldest living relatives. Lydia left New York with great hopes and dreams, but her arrival in Texas shattered both. Lydia must face the fact that her life is about to change in ways she never imagined. Her strength of character is shown through her resilience and determination. Bertha is one of the town leaders and holds a lot of influence over the town. Travis comes from one of the founding families, but he's never tried to use that to influence anyone. The story has elements of faith, forgiveness, mystery, romance and trust. This is the first book set in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and a great way to start a series. I look forward to reading the next books in the series. I would recommend this to anyone who loves small town intrigue and a clean, feel good romance. **I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart was a historical tale that took me by surprise by the plot and the intricacies of the suspense. Lydia sets out toward Texas to reunite with her fiancé, Edgar, only to discover that he had not waited for her. Not only that but discovers his very pregnant wife is having the sheriff, Travis, look into Edgar’s disappearance. That is only the first of a slew of strange and foreboding crimes that is happening in this idyllic little town. Ms. Cabot really brought me into the setting of her story by describing the town and the residents of Cimarron Creek and giving us the history behind its founding. She has even included a family tree at the beginning of the book to help us see who is related to whom and who is from the original founding families. This is a story of new beginnings but also touches on the prejudice that still existed several years after the Civil War ended and the affect the Reconstruction had on the South and its people. Lydia being a northerner had many obstacles to face in addition to her broken heart. The romance was a nice slow buildup of two people getting to know each other on a daily basis and working towards a common goal of finding the evil person/persons involved in making the town less safe for its residents. The thread of mystery and suspense was very well done. I had not guessed the culprit/culprits at all. As the story went along, it almost seemed everyone had a shady past and could be the villain(s). That being said, my only quibble was that the story wrapped up to neatly at the end. I felt something was missing, the crimes solved too easily especially in the wake of some very shocking plot twists. There are still a few loose threads that I hope the author will address next in the series. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
LadybugChronicles More than 1 year ago
As we venture in this first book in the Cimarron Creek series we get to know Lydia, a Yankee from New York coming to Texas to marry her fiance'. Until she realizes he has already married and he's missing. Lydia decides to stay in Cimarron Creek even if it's just to find out what happened to Edgar. She didn't realize that she was in the middle of a town mystery. Things aren't right and the new sheriff is trying eagerly to put an end to all the crime and place order back in their small town. One thing leads to another and love and mystery are full in this wonderful first book by Amanda Cabot. You will not want to put it down until you've read the last page and even then you can't wait to read the next one. I know I am..
Debragg More than 1 year ago
"A Stolen Heart" by Amanda Cabot is a story that will grab your attention from the first page. Lydia Crawford used to be a teacher. She has come to a new town and she is looking for her fiancé. Will he be there? She finds that he has already married someone else and he is gone. Now what is she going to do? Where is he? Is he okay? Who is she going to turn to? This is a story of faith, hope and love. But, there will be many trials and many questions along the way. I give this book a 5/5. I was given this book for a review by Revell Publishing Company and all opinions are mine,
DaphSelf More than 1 year ago
Of all the Amanda Cabot books, I really enjoyed this one too. I can always count on her to bring forth a compelling story that has layers and layers of depth to it. The historical tidbits are researched and quite accurate. The characters are well developed and the reader will watch them grow in personality and beliefs as the story progresses. This book introduces a well known setting with new people. And I do look forward to the next book as it will finish a story line that was hinted at in this book. There's always a little bit of mystery in Amanda Cabot's books. It adds to the conflict along with the characters' conflict with each other. There's also a bit of heartache in this book, but it is handled well and strengthens the story even more. As usual, Amanda Cabot delivers a great book!
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
A Christian, crime, mystery, romance, historical novel, who would think it could be done!? Author Amanda Cabot did and she has succeeded with this wonderful novel! The author really showcased her writing skills with this new book! Poor Lydia Crawford uproots herself from her New York home, quits her job as a school teacher, and heads to Texas to meet the love of her life, finance, Edgar. Upon arriving with engagement ring in hand, not only does she find that Mr. Right has disappeared but has also left behind a pregnant wife! In the face of the shock and pain of this betrayal, she also finds that even though the civil war has been over for 15 years, the hostility of the town people toward Yankees had not abated. Little did she know the handsome and very helpful sheriff, Travis, who meets her at the stagecoach, was going to be her protector and new romance? As the story progresses you see how perfectly matched they were to each other, both, kind, giving and caring people. He senses her dilemma and immediately finds her a place to stay and work with his great Aunt Bertha. Aunt Bertha is rich, and has strong influence. Someone the residents dare not cross. This gives Lydia protection from the cruelty and acceptance in the community. An added blessing is the closeness the two quickly develop. Lydia is a strong woman of faith. She trusts God and believes she was brought her to here for His purpose, but she has no idea what that is. Though the town is small it harbors many mysteries and Lydia aims to discover them. Soon after her arrival a string of minor crimes begin to occur. She teams up with Travis to get to the bottom of it. The characters were well fleshed out and delightful. You feel as if you knew them personally. The descriptions of the town and activities of the characters were vivid. I like feeling as if I am there and a part of the story. The plot was entertaining and intriguing. You will be kept guessing! A great book. I was very happy to see that this is a trilogy so more books are to come! I was provided a copy of this book by Chosen books, with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. .
RuthieJonesTX More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart is an absolute delight. The characters are dynamic, and the plot has the right balance between mystery and romance. While the overall story is fairly lighthearted, A Stolen Heart does include a hefty dose of prejudice and its inevitable and unfortunate effect on everyone involved. Lydia Crawford is an outsider because she’s from the North (the Civil War is just too recent), and Opal Ellis is looked down upon because she works in a saloon, married a northerner who has mysteriously disappeared, and is pregnant. While small-town residents can be welcoming, curious, and friendly, they can also be known for their unforgiving gossipmongering, relentless judgment, rampant jealousies, and fickleness. And Cimarron Creek, Texas, is no exception. What I love most about A Stolen Heart is that the author, Amanda Cabot, doesn’t overload the story with the standard mystery and romance clichés. Of course, the tried and true clichés are there, but Cabot wields them sparingly and beautifully. The mystery aspect is well constructed, and the romance between Lydia and the town’s sheriff and lawyer, Travis Whitfield, is sweet without becoming too sappy. The pace becomes quite brisk in the last few chapters, leaving the reader heartbroken, aghast, outraged, and hungry for more. While all the characters are well developed, I have to admit that Abe Whitfield (Travis’s father) is one of my favorites. Yes, he’s cantankerous and full of bad attitude and prejudice, but his development as a character is wonderful to behold. A Stolen Heart is fast paced and exciting, and the sweet shop Lydia opens will have the reader hankering for some fudge and chocolate creams throughout the entire book. Mystery, romance, and chocolate: a decadent combination!
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart is the first book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. After reading this book I am looking forward to what Amanda Cabot writes next. This book was set in the 1800s and I enjoyed visiting this small town from back then. It was interesting seeing the tension between what people call the Northerners and everyone else. This story follows Lydia and Travis as she accustoms to a new town with the help of the sheriff. This trip has turned out way different than Lydia was planning. Thinking she was going to finally marry her fiancé she is shocked to find out that not only is he already married, but also missing. Determined to find out what happened Lydia isn't leaving no matter how she is treated. Travis the town sheriff is also anxious to find out what happened to one of his residents. Can they work together to solve the mystery? Or will they only get in each other's way? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Romance with just a little mystery mixed in. I really enjoyed the characters and can't wait to see them again in the next book. I had fun trying to solve the mystery and was dying to see what was going to happen next. I received a copy of this book from Revell publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful western historical romance. I fell in love with Lydia, Travis and Aunt Bertha. I loved how Lydia decides to open the candy shop. All of that just sounded so delicious. I did not want to put this book down. I loved the romance and the slight tinge of suspense. I am so looking forward to the second book in the series. I received a copy of this book from Revell reads for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart is a story of prejudice. This is also a story of mysteries of fires, death of animals an people, missing people and misunderstandings and believe it or not even worse than that - if that is even possible. Lydia faces a lot of North/South prejudice on her journey to Texas to her Aunt's. She goes there to meet up with her fiancé but she gets there to find him gone and married already. She meets the sheriff and good that she did - personally and well not so personally. This book is brilliant, exciting, exhilarating, mysterious, grievous, infuriating, and flamboyant. You go through so many emotions with this book and you definitely love this book when you are done. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ReginaFujitani More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot Lydia Crawford is moving to Cimarron Creek to be with her fiancé Edgar. During her travels and as she arrives in town, although the Civil War has been over for years, she is dealt with racial stigmatism because she is from the North. When Lydia arrives in town she discovers her fiancé is missing. But she discovers a lot more than a missing fiancé. Lydia meets up with Travis, the town sheriff, and Aunt Bertha. Both of them welcome Lydia with open arms. But Lydia is more reserved with Travis. Cimarron Creek is full of secrets and mysteries that will keep you guessing about the townspeople. This novel is fast moving, it has some great people who have a heart in this small town – you just have to know who you can trust, the story is filled with forgiveness, and love. Amanda Cabot will not disappoint her readers or new readers with A Stolen Heart! Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
HelenM0 More than 1 year ago
A Stolen Heart, written by Amanda Cabot, is book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. Lydia Crawford is engaged to Edgar Ellis. She has left her home and job in Syracuse, New York and traveled Cimarron Creek, Texas to start a new life with him. When she gets there, she finds out he has married some one else and they have a child on the way. But Edgar has mysteriously gone missing. Sheriff Travis Whitfield is waiting for his father to return on the coach. What he find though is Lydia. When he finds out that she has no place to go, he takes her to his Aunt Bertha's. Lydia and Betha become very good friends and business partners. Strange things are happening in Cimarron Creek. Shops are stolen from. Animals are poisoned. People are hurt. The citizens of Cimarron Creek are now thinking Travis is not the person who should be sheriff. Travis need to find out who is committing these crimes. Mix that with friends who are arguing over who gets to court Lydia. It seems like there is always something happening in Cimarron Creek. This is a great Historical Fiction story. Perfect to curl up with and get lost in. I like the “who done it” parts of the story. I also enjoy the focus of family and friendship. But the parts that stand out the most to me are the ones that show us things happen for a reason. Aunt Bertha tells Lydia she always loved the verse Romans 8:28, “God does have a plan for us, and he does bring something good out of even the worst times in our lives.” The story does a great job of bringing this out, even with all that is happening. The story also has a touch of romance written within it. This story would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys Christian Historical stories, especially is they like mystery and romance. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.
TrixiO More than 1 year ago
A delightfully told story filled with unexpected surprises, starting a new life, a little bit of mystery and a whole lot of character....not to mention, sweet confections and love at last! Lydia Crawford travels to Cimmaron Creek, Texas, to join her betrothed and start a blissful married life in a new town. Little does she know what's in store for her! The first kind soul she encounters is sheriff Travis Whitfield, who delivers the blow that will change the course of her life! Taking refuge with his great-aunt Bertha, Lydia begins to unravel the mystery of her betrothed and fight against the prejudices the town has for Northerners. With the help of Betsy & the sheriff she begins to build a new life and occupation as the towns first sweet shop owner & confectioner. And just maybe in the process, find new love! I enjoyed this story very much! I think I really liked getting to know Betsy, she's a warm-hearted widow with a heart of gold. She extents hospitality to all who come her way and treats them like family! She reminded me of my own grandmother. I felt a bit sorry for Travis as he tries to be fulfill the role of town sherriff , much to the consternation of his dad. And as cantankerous & stubborn as Abe can be, you can see he really does have a soft heart! All the characters made this story feel like I had stepped into the book with them. There was also a mysterious thread woven throughout that kept me guessing until the end. A great afternoon read you can sit down with and forget the world around you! * I received a complimentary copy from the publisher on behalf of the author. A favorable review wasn't required and all opinions are strictly my own. *
GeeDazee More than 1 year ago
I want to know more about Lydia.  She was all alone in a place she wasn't wanted. She had made a promise, kept a secret and was headed for a new life in a distant place. Having left her position as a teacher in an upscale girls school in Syracuse, Lydia was poised and mannerly however her beauty was not always appreciated. From her first step off the stage coach in Cimarron Creek, her life was not at all what she had dreamed.  Her fiance was gone, his promises were not kept, and she found herself all alone.  The only kind face in town that afternoon was the town sheriff, Travis Whitfield. who would help her unravel a mystery even to him she could not reveal.  Though Lydia had done nothing wrong, her secret had to remain a secret, as she tries to find the man she had agreed to marry. The war was over, for some, but others would not accept her as the scars of the Civil War were still fresh. Lydia was the second unwelcome northerner in town and the first was still missing. It was the Sheriff's job to find out why. Their friendship grows along with their trust in true love and faith in God. Opal, an entertainer in the local Silver Spur Saloon, and Catherine Whitfield, of the established Whitfield family become close friends with Lydia as they all try to find their way in this small town. The further I read, I learned to appreciate their true feelings for one another and understand their commitment to their friendship. Revelle Books are so well made. I knew this book would be easy to hold, have larger print than most, and would lay open when I set it down. All of which I find important when I choose a book to read or to give for a gift. I want to feel the quality in my hands. A stolen Heart, a book by author Amanda Cabot, is the first in a trilogy set in Cimarron Creek, a small town in Texas around 1880. Amanda Cabot has won me over as an author. She tells a well written story that kept me interested, sparked my detective skills and drew a picture of life in the 1880's.  The characters remained true, and built lasting friendships that I want to understand and follow. I am excited to know that their lives will be continued in the following two books at Cimarron Creek. And that Lydia's story will continue. Amanda Cabot is a well recognized author.  For more about her you can go to her  website: http://amandacabot.com/index.htm facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.cabot Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AmandaJoyCabot/ I am going order the rest of this trilogy as it becomes available. I found this book to be a pleasure to read and I am looking forward to reading others that Amanda Cabot has written. Her story telling skills are admirable, easy to follow and imagine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of A STOLEN HEART by Amanda Cabot from Revell in exchange for an honest review. It is book one of the Cimarron Creek trilogy. This was my first dive into the series, and I found it delightful. It was also my first Amanda Cabot book. She has a beautiful storytelling flair. Some historical fiction novels feel too modern, as if they are taking place in some backwoods community where people still have access to modern television (hence the modern talk) but rely on horses for transportation. A STOLEN HEART immerses the reader directly into the past, in this case Texas in 1880. I would love to see this as a Hallmark mini-series. I felt bad for everything Lydia endured with her horrible fiancé and the local hatred for Northerners. Some parts broke my heart for her. However, there were many more endearing moments, and I finished the novel with a smile on my face. I recommend this to fans of Christian fiction, historical fiction, and tender romance. My only complaint is a petty one. I didn’t really care for the title. It is too similar to other books I’ve seen, that involve “Stolen Hearts.” By the way, I loved the inclusion of the map and family tree!