A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream Series #2)

A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream Series #2)

by Susan Anne Mason

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Overview

Can an Irish Lass with a Dream
for America Find True Love?

Maggie Montgomery's long-held wish to see America is finally coming true. She'll visit her beloved brother Rylan and his wife, Colleen, and at the same time, escape Neill Fitzgerald's unwanted attention. In addition, Maggie has a secret! She plans to remain in America to seek her fortune and to hopefully find love. While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man whom she thinks is a stable hand. Only when Rylan demands she stay away from Adam O'Leary does she realize he's Colleen's brother, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can't seem to make her heart conform to her brother's request.

Adam O'Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Spending time in jail only reinforces his belief. Now that he's free, Adam hopes to make amends and earn back his family's trust. Falling in love with Maggie Montgomery, however, was never in his plans.

Despite everyone's effort to keep them apart, the two develop a bond nothing can break--but has Adam truly changed, or will the sins of his past prove too much for Maggie to overcome?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441229403
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/29/2015
Series: Courage to Dream Series , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 229,330
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason's historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at www.susanannemason.com.
Susan Anne Mason's debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. Also a member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at www.susanannemason.com.

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A Worthy Heart 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
KBRESLIN More than 1 year ago
As with her novel, Irish Meadows, the first in Susan Anne Mason's Courage To Dream series, the author once again kept me turning the pages in her second, A Worthy Heart, creating believable characters I wanted to either cheer for or cry over. Mason has developed an emotional and gripping story I found difficult to put down until its very sublime resolution. I look forward to reading more about the O'Leary clan in her third series novel, Love's Faithful Promise!
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
 I really enjoy Susan's books. This series is very interesting. I really enjoy historical fiction because I can learn about places and how things were in different eras. This is the second book in the series and I would highly recommend reading the first book, Irish Meadows before you read this one. It will help you keep everything straight in this story. The books in this series keep getting better. I am glad to see the ways that Adam changes throughout the book. He was not my favorite character in the last book because of his attitude. I have enjoyed this series so far. I received this book for free from TBCN. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.
InspirationClothesline More than 1 year ago
I devoured this book. I needed a good Fiction read, and I knew it. I realized all the non fiction I had been reading was beginning to blur together in my mind. Not only did I love the story as a whole but I LOVED the characters individually. I was worried since I began the "Courage to Dream" series written by Susan Anne Mason with A Worthy Heart, the second in the series, but it did not disappoint. One afternoon as my kids played around me I was struck with the sibling connections in the story and so touched by the ties that bound them. Oceans couldn't keep them apart. Traditional roles do not discourage the main character Maggie from pursuing her dream along with other strong female characters. That being said they also formed strong relational connections and the romance felt real and plausible. This is why I was so engrossed. I found myself totally rooting for characters, enthralled where life would take them. I was inspired by their love and faith and by the Montgomery family's commitment to one another. I think some of the pull for me was the Irish heritage that I hold so dear that was so intricately woven into the story. Yes this is a story of an immigrant family but it is also an American story. The bad guy was bad, the good guys endearing. I loved having multiple story lines happening and several characters to cheer on. I identified with the strong females but oh am I sap for a true romance. Some unpredictable twists helped keep the story alive and interesting. It also lead me to want to read the others in the series. I'm certain I'll fall more in love with the family. A Worthy Heart even went camping with me and I was able to complete the story in just under a week. That says something considering I am a mom to three kids under four. I dropped other books, shows, and even left a few things undone (read more about that here) in order to finish and boy am I glad that even though this review is alarmingly late - the book got packed away in our move - I am so glad I still went for it. I hope you will check out the Courage to Dream series and prepare to make a few good friends in these characters. I'm headed to track down the others in the series for sure! I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason is the second book in Courage to Dream series. It is June of 1914 and Maggie Montgomery has just arrived in New York City from Ireland. Maggie broke off her engagement to Neill Fitzgerald and came to America for the summer (or so everyone else believes). Maggie does not plan on going back to Ireland. Maggie is looking forward to reuniting with her brother, Rylan and his wife, Colleen. Gabriel "Gabe" Montgomery accompanied his sister to America. Gabe is a fireman and is eager to see the equipment used in the states. Then Gabe runs into Aurora Hastings. Aurora wants to be a nurse, but she is a society lady. Her father, of course, expects her to marry well (like the doctor who is interested in her) and makes sure that Gabe knows his opinion of him. Gabe is attracted to Aurora, but there is little chance of her family approving of the match. However, fate seems to keep throwing them together especially after Gabe rescues Aurora from a fire in her home. Adam O'Leary has just been released from prison and wants to make amends with his family. Adam (he is Colleen's brother) and Maggie meet each other at Irish Meadows. Maggie is warned to stay away from Adam (and Adam is warned to stay away from Maggie). Their paths continue to cross and love starts to bloom. Is there a chance of love and a happily-ever-after for these two couples? The four of them will have many obstacles to overcome. They will need to have faith and believe that God has a plan for them. A Worthy Heart is a lovely novel. It is well-written and enjoyable to read. The story line is predictable (but it did not bother me), but I still liked it. It has a sweet ending that will have you making a happy little sigh (the kind where you close the book and sigh with pleasure at a good ending). I give A Worthy Heart 4 out of 5 stars. A Worthy Heart has engaging characters and a good setting. I liked the time period (1914). The author did a good job of showing what life was like during this time period. It was interesting to learn about early fire fighting techniques. While A Worthy Heart is the second book in the series, you can easily read it as a stand-alone book. However, the first book is a pleasure to read and will help you understand Rylan, Colleen, and Adam. I see more books by Susan Anne Mason in my reading future. I received a complimentary copy of A Worthy Heart from the publisher courtesy of The Book Club Network, Inc. In exchange for an honest review of the novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart by Susan Mason is book two in her Courage to Dream series. Irish Meadows was book one. This book features the Montgomery and O'Leary families and is 400 pages long. While this is a sequel it could easily be read as a stand alone. There are many likable characters, main and supporting, including children. Dialogue flows smoothly and is very well written. The book is packed full of action, romance, history, twists, humor, tear jerking moments that will tug on your heartstrings, inspiration, redemption, and family. This book is simply packed full. The spiritual messages are abundant in this Christian novel. The author addresses forgiveness, redemption, mercy, gravy, love, faith, hope, and family. Anyone that enjoys a love story or historical romance will love this book. It has a lot of things happening in it and a lot of characters. Readers definitely won't be bored. The author has a few surprises and twists. It is a very nice book. Unfortunately I had not read book one before reading this, but I will go back and get it. I could follow along just fine, it is just so well written that I feel like I missed out by not reading Irish Meadows. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend it. A copy of this book was provided by The Book Club Network for my honest review.
eLynda More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart is Susan Anne Mason’s second novel in the Courage to Dream series. Centering around the O’Leary and Montgomery families this novel has much to recommend it including historical insight on New York, immigration, and early firefighting, all while delivering a compelling story that builds on the previous novel without it being absolutely necessary to have read the first installment. This is a complex novel, and it takes a little bit of time to become familiar with the many characters and invested in their struggles. Some readers may become frustrated at the depth of detail, but it necessary to this well-crafted story that contains many twists and turns, and is populated by multi-faceted characters who are very realistic and relatable with conflicting emotions and desires coursing through their veins. I enjoy having two romances in one novel—the way these families continue to intertwine is fascinating. There might be a danger that one would overshadow the other, but it never seems that way to me in this book. Both couples get equal time and face different, though no less threatening, obstacles to their future together. There are several very sweet moments that the couples get, including several beautifully written kisses that may necessitate a fan or an iced tea to recover completely. The spiritual component is strong in this novel, with a pastor who lives his faith playing a supporting role to one of our main characters, reformed eldest son, Adam O’Leary. Forgiveness and second chances, for ourselves as well as those around us, also takes a prominent place in the plot and resolution. I loved that we get to see both positive and negative examples of how people respond to those in need of mercy and grace; both exist in reality. While a little bit of a slow starter, the build-up is vital to helping us understand the characters and their motivations. The story’s complexity is also developed in this time, and the rewards waiting in the latter third of the novel are well worth the pages that Mason invests in the beginning. Fans of family dramas will especially enjoy this book and I highly recommend it to those with an interest in Irish immigrants and New York City history. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through the publisher in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream #2)***** by Susan Anne Mason 1914...New York City, New York....A Worthy Heart is book 2 of the Courage to Dream series and can be read as a stand-alone. However, you will get a better insight (feel) of the characters by reading book 1, Irish Meadows, first. This book is filled with strong characters—both honorable and dishonorable (as in the first book) that soon captured my attention and heart: Maggie Montgomery, Adam O'Leary, Aurora Hastings, Gabe O'Leary, the children—love books with children in them and more. I love Maggie Montgomery's character, her strength, determination and heart for others and serving God. She has struggles to overcome or allow them to defeat her. I like how she doesn't let that stop her from living her life to the fullest. Adam O'Leary on the other hand was not a nice man in Irish Meadows and I did not like him at all. He returns to his family a changed man—now a Christian and seeks reconciliation and acceptance from them. I found myself actually liking him and rooting for him in his quest. Maggie and Adam's romance is not the only romance in this book—not going to spoil it for you and tell. Maggie and Adam do not have a smooth time in their potential romance as others try to prevent it at every turn—even danger. They face other challenges and past circumstances that impact their futures—either together or apart. The storyline is easy to follow with surprising twists and turns—some that kept me on the edge of my seat, others had me in tears. I love the historical setting which is described in such a way I felt as if I had stepped out of the pages right into the setting. Many different emotions come into play with the characters and storyline....anger, fear, joy, hate, laughter, evil plots, reconciliation, drama, suspense, danger, love and faith—I love the strong inspirational message of forgiveness and redemption woven in the storyline, making this a captivating, heartwarming story. I patiently await—well not so patiently—book 3 in the series. ~I won a copy of this book from Overcoming With God (OWG) blog and the author, this is my honest review~
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason is book two in the Courage to Dream series. Set in the 1900’s in New York City, the novel continues the O’Leary family’s story. The tale opens with the arrival of Rylan Montgomery’s sister, Maggie, and brother, Gabe, who have traveled from Ireland to see New York City and to visit with Rylan and his family. Unknown to her family in Ireland or in New York, Maggie intends to make this new place her permanent home. Fleeing a controlling man in Ireland, she hopes to be rid of him and to find love in America. Gabe has accompanied his sister on the voyage to America just to see the new place and to visit his family. He is overjoyed when his brother introduces him to the firefighters in New York, and he plans to learn all that he can from them to take back to his home town. The author includes the continuing story of Adam O’Leary, a minor character from book one. Adam has never felt love or approval from his father, and mistakenly chooses the wrong path which leads to a prison sentence. His release coincides with the arrival of Maggie and Gabe. Adam returns home to Irish Meadows to work as a stable hand for his father, believing that he is a persona non grata due to his arrest and imprisonment. Adam has struggled with feelings of inadequacy and lack of approval for years. He has a dream of earning back his family’s trust and, perhaps, starting a business based upon his skill with woodworking. Maggie is looking for love and does not respond well to her brother’s warnings to stay away from the family “criminal”; she and Adam feel a mutual attraction, but Adam does not feel worthy of a lady of her class. Thus, he resists his attraction to her. Gabe immediately is drawn to a beautiful blonde woman whose father feels that Gabe is beneath their station. Just as with James O’Leary, class and station are all important. Can Maggie and Gabe find their place in this new country and find someone to call their own? There are several subplots to this story too, and the underlying theme throughout is the powerful love of God, forgiveness, and reconciliation. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written continuation of the O’Leary family. It was hard to put down, once begun. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
Every once in awhile a reader comes across a book that has all the ingredients he or she loves in a good story. A Worthy Heart was one of those books for me. It was full of adventure and ambitious characters you love from the start. The historical setting was intriguing, the lessons relatable, and the romance…. perfect. ;) The hero and heroine are both strong characters and yet they’re both running from their pasts and in desperate need of a new beginning. I loved their relationship and seeing how God brought healing to their hurts and hope to their hearts. There’s such growth in their characters, even despite the hardships that continually surprise them. There are several different POVs in this story – which took some getting used to at first – but I grew to care for each of the secondary characters just as much. And there’s a nice dose of suspense thrown in for good measure. ;) I read through the chapters very quickly. I missed the first book in this series, but I didn’t feel too lost reading the sequel. In fact, it only spurred me on to want to go back and read Irish Meadows too. Not every sequel has that effect on me, but this book did. I want more of these characters, this setting, the families – everything. This is one series I don’t want to miss and I hope you don’t either. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and Bethany House for my copy.
GiltBuckram More than 1 year ago
“It must be hard to imagine. You’ve probably never experienced the self-sacrificing type of love that thinks only of another’s welfare.” With a feeling that is Downton Abbey-esque, A Worthy Heart, is one of my new favorite books and deservedly earned my 5-star rating. More than a romance, it’s a story with incredible depth and significance that creates a fictional story demonstrating God’s love. Maggie and Adam’s story is of forgiveness even when it’s the most difficult. New York Harbor, 1914, Maggie and her brother Gabe arrive from Ireland to visit their brother Rylan and wife Colleen who run an orphanage. Maggie’s failed engagement has afforded her the trip to America, but she has secret intentions that she solidifies in her mind on the voyage–she wants to start life anew and doesn’t plan on returning to Ireland. Yearning for his father’s forgiveness and acceptance, Adam O’Leary is in essence the prodigal son. But when a family secret threatens to forever isolate Adam, God intervenes and begins to work on Adam through Maggie. Their friendship grows to love and it seems everyone is determined to prevent the courtship from ever beginning because of Adam’s stained reputation. More than a romance, A Worthy Heart literally left me weeping at the very last page. Susan Anne Mason beautifully crafted distinct characters and their struggles that all have a recurring theme–forgiveness. Although A Worthy Heart is the second book in the Courage to Dream series, it can easily stand alone; I can attest because this is the first book I’ve read in the series. About the author: “Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as ‘romance sprinkled with faith.’ She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys.” (Excerpt from A Worthy Heart) ***** 5 Stars A Worthy Heart: Courage to Dream Book 2 by Susan Anne Mason 400 Pages Published January 5, 2016 by Bethany House Publishers Genre: Christian, History, Modern Literature, Women’s Fiction ISBN-13: 978-0764217258 *Disclaimer: This paperback copy was received from Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review. Gilt & Buckram Reviews . . . the framework that holds adventure.
Kathae More than 1 year ago
In Book two of the Courage to Dream series, we are introduced to Rylan Montgomery’s brother Gabe, and his sister Maggie, as they arrive in New York City from Ireland near the turn of the century. Maggie’s secret desire is to stay permanently in America, while Gabe can’t wait to return to his homeland. During their visit they reacquaint themselves with their brother and forge ties with his in-laws, the O’Leary family. They also fall in love and each must stand against prejudice to pursue their loves. Author Susan Anne Mason seamlessly ties this book to the first in the series, yet this novel stands on its own. One of the highlights of this book was to see how God had worked healing and strength of character in the lives of characters met in the first book, Irish Meadows. The author’s writing was strong. As I read about Maggie walking down the street by herself, I felt creeped out and wanted her to check and see if she was being followed. Themes of restoration, forgiveness, service to others, and family ties drove this book, and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend this book for those who love romance and historical fiction. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Sunday, February 21, 2016 A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason, © 2016 Courage to Dream series, Book 2 Now, on to Adam O'Leary's story. He kept to himself in Book 1, Irish Meadows, scowling when he did appear. Book 2 - A Worthy Heart ~ Adam O'Leary, newly released from prison, searches to make a new life for himself in New York. The feisty Maggie Montgomery, visiting from Ireland, makes him wish he was a better man - worthy of her heart! Visiting for the summer, Gabe Montgomery and their sister, Maggie, join their brother, Rylan, and his family in New York City, traveling from Cork County, Ireland, their home. Gabe has come as a chaperone for his sister. Surprises await them as they take to the change. Gabe is a firefighter back home and volunteers at a nearby station to take back new skills to his station in Cork. Called upon to go with the fire crew to put out a fire, it is the home of a young woman he met at a gathering at O'Leary's Irish Meadows horse farm. (Rylan's wife is the former Colleen O'Leary.) Maggie enjoys being at the orphanage her brother, Rylan, oversees. Working with the children is a delight. One drawback is missing her mother back home. But an adventure, for sure. Especially when she meets the stable hand at Irish Meadows, seeing him for the second time, after sending him flying from watching them at play at the orphanage yard. A favorite character who stood out to me is John McNabb, pastor at the Shepherd of Good Hope Church. He was such an encourager to Adam O'Leary through many dismays and mishaps upon Adam's return to society. He had frequently visited Adam in prison and gave him an open invitation to come see him when he was released. Adam O'Leary's character showed what faith in God and falling back on his own view of himself erupted change ~ for the better or to downfall. The strength that he portrayed upheld assurance invested by those who believed in him, so much stronger than defeat could prevail. This is a wonderful story of hope and dreams being realized, even with despair and starting over, again and again. Forgiveness and doing right, regardless of how he was received, opened the door to discovery and reconciliation. Adam bent to pick up a couple of flat rocks and skipped them out over the water, watching the ensuing ripples skitter toward the shore. Events in his life resembled these stones, cast out into new territory, each creating its own set of ripples and consequences. Adam might not understand the way God worked in his life, but he had to trust it was all for the greater good. --A Worthy Heart, 274 All of these characters were fittingly portrayed in a story of their own. Very strong building and thought out content. Conflict and support very vivid. I would like to see a further story containing the other two Montgomery brothers mentioned back in Ireland ~ and a continued series of Rylan and Colleen's children. A lot of writing forthcoming, I hope! ***Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a review copy of Susan Anne Mason's second book in her Courage to Dream series, A Worthy Heart. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.*** The third and final book in the Courage to Dream series releases under the title, Love's Faithful Promise, and is the story of the younger O'Leary children when they become adults. The book is ready for pre-order and releases in September 2016.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For some reason, this book didn’t sweep me off my feet as I thought about love. I didn’t hate– and it wasn’t bad! There was a just few things that I think I didn’t like. The book is told from four different point of views, Maggie, Adam, Gabe, and Aurora. Personally (and I really do think this is just my personal opinion), I got tired of so many different people. Especially when– even if there was a decorative thing that warned it was going to happen– it switched in the middle of the chapter, or sometimes, I would get confused of which point of view I was in… Okay, but on to the story. Maggie, I thought, was a realistic character. She was dumb– and while that isn’t always a good thing– it made her more realistic, I thought. (because sometimes people are dumb.) She would ignore her brother’s advice and do what she wanted. Overall, I think the book was fine. I’d probably give it a four out of five stars. :) One thing that I thought was different/interesting was how much the book contained abusive relationships. I got this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart is a captivating story! Susan Anne Mason engaged my senses with her excellent characterization and vivid imagery. I enjoyed hearing the lilting Irish brogue as I read and reveled in the myriad of details and the richness they added to the novel. I was delighted to revisit the O’Leary family, as well as meet the Montgomery siblings. Boasting two romantic story lines, the intertwined plots, along with a wonderful inspirational thread, propel this story forward and make for a most compelling read. I loved this beautifully written family drama and can’t wait to continue the Courage to Dream series! A Worthy Heart is the second book in this series, and I recommend reading Book 1, Irish Meadows, prior to reading this novel. I believe reading the books in order will offer a better understanding of the characters and a greater enjoyment of their stories. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. This is the second book in the Courage to Dream series. I could not put this book down. This is a continuation of the book Irish Meadows. Maggie Montgomery comes to America to escape from a guy who is obsessed with her. She never wants to leave America and enjoys meeting Adam O'Leary. Her family does not like him because he just got out of prison nod needs to make amends to his family and learn to like himself again. Many people learn good lessons and this is so good. I received this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
An absolutely fabulous historical novel! This is the second book in a “true” series. You need to read the first book before this one. I love the characters that Susan has created for this story. The friends that I made in “Irish Meadows” are back and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with what is going on in their lives. But the new ones quickly found a place in my heart. Susan does a fantastic job of developing very deep people for her stories. The level of belief that many of them have in God is amazing. The story that Susan has crafted is incredible. There are a number of twists along the journey of Maggie and Adam’s relationship. They have a lot of heartache and doubts to work through and overcome. They each know what they are feeling and yet society says that they shouldn’t be together. At the same time there are many others with difficulties and issues to deal with that Maggie and Adam get to help with. Though they are the central characters they are not the only ones with everything revolving around them. I found this to be much more realistic. I’m already looking forward to Susan’s next book. I hope that it continues the story of these wonderful friends. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Dawn-Read_Love More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart is Susan Anne Mason's follow-up to Irish Meadows. In this continuation of the Courage to Dream series, after the passage of three years, we look in on the O'Leary family again. We become better acquainted with their extended family, the Montgomerys -- namely Maggie and Gabe, Rylan's brother and sister. And we catch up with Adam O'Leary, the "black sheep" of the O'Leary bunch, whose animosity with Gil was made plain in book one. However, somewhere in that first book, he seemingly vanished. Turns out, he got wrapped up with the wrong crowd and was imprisoned for gambling. Now the Prodigal returns... In large part, A Worthy Heart is Adam's redemption story. Mason does a great job of making a formerly roguish character sympathetic. Though he's returned humbled and repentant, his past is something not easily overcome. At times, it's heartbreaking to watch Adam's efforts to rebuild his life from the ground up. Luckily, though he faces many skeptics and doubters, he finds friends, too. As we look into his past, we learn more about the family history and the contributing factors to the rift between Adam and his father James. Where Irish Meadows featured two main story lines, A Worthy Heart follows three. In addition to Adam, we also follow Maggie and Gabe in their voyage to America. Maggie has fled Ireland in part to escape the unwanted advances of Neill Fitzgerald whom she rejected. She is immediately taken with America and is quick to devise plans for jobs that can help her turn this visit into a permanent stay. But she soon finds a huge and potentially dangerous obstacle in her path. Similarly, Gabe, a fireman back in Ireland, finds employment at a station in New York. When he meets someone special (I won't say who, but readers of book one will know her), he is torn between a desire to remain in America, and what he sees as his duty to join the struggle for Irish independence. Though her book may appear crammed with characters, Mason not only manages to make all the pieces mesh, she finds room to insert more historical detail than she included in Irish Meadows. The result is a compelling further exploration of family dynamics (both past and present), atonement, forgiveness, redemption, trust, and love. Verdict: 4 of 5 Hearts. A Heartwarming Tale of Second Chances. No matter how broken things are, no matter how far you may have fallen, you are never beyond God's loving reach. Susan Anne Mason's A Worthy Heart is a story of love and redemption that ultimately proves it's never too late to begin again. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Bethany House for providing me a free copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart was such a compelling story! It is book two in the Courage to Dream series, but it can probably be enjoyed nicely without having read book one. I am very glad, however, that I have read the first book in the series, Irish Meadows, because all of the main characters from the first book are also in book two. Just like in book one, there are actually two romances that the reader is following. I really enjoyed that! One is more of the main romance, while the other is more of a side story. But, both are important to the novel and are absolutely delightful. And, aside from the romances brewing, there were some other situations and problems that keep me turning pages and not wanting to put this book down. I loved these characters! Maggie is strong and determined, with amazing discernment and insight. She is really kind and has a beautiful heart. Adam is a man that I was not sure that I could like. He was beyond difficult in book one and had such a resentful attitude. However, the author completely turned him around for me! So much is divulged about his background in the story. So many things explained. And, through God, he has truly changed from the man he used to be. Gabe and Aurora’s story was great, too. Gabe was a really good guy who seemed to put his whole heart into everything he did. Aurora was a hard worker and I felt sorry for the way her father always tried to control her. The growth of Gabe and Aurora’s relationship added great feeling to the whole story. I enjoyed A Worthy Heart from start to finish. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart is book two in the Courage to Dream series by Susan Anne Mason. This is only the second book that I have read by Susan and I couldn’t get enough. I am looking forward to reading many more of her books in the future. I was so captivated in this riveting story. A story line so beautifully written and characters that are so mesmerizing. There is always something happen in the story. This book will surely leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put this book down it was so gripping. I felt as though I have lived out the story in New York right along with these characters. There is so much faith, love, anger, hate, frustration, stubbornness and determination in this captivating story. I highly recommend A Worthy Heart! Be sure to order your copy today. 5 stars! I would give it more stars if I could. I received a copy of the book for my honest review.
psoccermom More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book that will touch your heart. This is book two in the series Courage to Dream. It is about forgiveness, betrayal, courage, strength, and the power of God's love. I couldn't put it down, I loved the story line and characters. I am definitely getting book one! This book is set in New York in 1914 prior to WWI. Maggie Montgomery and her brother Gabe are coming to America from Ireland. They have come to see their brother Rylan and his wife Colleen and their adopted daughter Delia who is 8. They run an orphanage. Gabe is here just for a visit because there is Civil War brewing back in Ireland and he wants to fight if needed. Maggie on the other hand is staying in America but hasn't told anyone of her plan. She wants to stay and teach and play music as well as find love. As soon as they land she is off looking for work but soon runs into her ex fiancé Neill Fitzgerald who can't seem to take NO for an answer! You would have thought that an ocean would have worked??? Despite this she perseveres and soon comes face to face with Adam. A man that from the start everyone is telling her to stay away. But there is something about him that draws her in and despite him being a criminal she sees the good in him. She knows there is kindness in his heart. Will Maggie be able to help him see the good in him and that he is worthy of forgiveness and love? Everyone seems to be finding more on this adventure to America. Then tragedy strikes the orphanage, a typhoid fever breaks out and spreads. The O'Leary's and The Montgomery's will face a lot and need to stick together. They will have to forgive, be patient, and most of all pray. God will show them they have not been abandoned. This is a wonderful Historical Christian book that will have you from page one till the last and beyond. I can't wait for book three later this year. I recieved this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.
MeezCarrie More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed Susan Anne Mason’s first novel in the Courage To Dream series – Irish Meadows. In fact, I ended up falling more in love with the secondary romantic pairing than I did the first (though I liked them just fine as well.) So I was quite pleased to see that, not only does A Worthy Heart continue the pattern of double the romance, but it also spends a lot of time catching up with Rylan and Colleen from Irish Meadows. This time around, I’m not sure I could pick a favorite of the two pairings. I was rooting for both Montgomery siblings – Maggie and Gabe – to find their “happily ever after”. Okay, yes…. I do have a favorite. But I’m not going to tell you which relationship it is so as not to bias you toward one or the other when you read it for yourself. And you should. Read it for yourself, that is. And while you don’t need to have read Irish Meadows, the story will be that much sweeter for having done so. And one more thing while I’m on that topic – the whispered Irish endearments. Be still my heart. Melted into a little puddle of mush, I did. Perhaps even more important than the romance (I can hear your gasps of shock from here!) is the message of restoration that Mason weaves through the story. It’s evident in several scenes that will have even the least emotional readers wiping away a few tears. Some are obvious. Others are more subtle. But each will touch anyone who has ever needed the reminder that God specializes in the beauty of second chances. Bottom Line: Suspense, romance, history, family, and faith all come together in the framework of a novel even stronger than its predecessor. The theme of grace and restoration is poignant and sincere yet beautiful in its simplicity. Mason paints her characters with vivid color so that they set up camp in your heart almost before you realize it. If you’re a fan of Dawn Crandall, Carrie Turansky or Pepper Basham, you will want to read this series! (I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
This historical romance was a pleasant, easy read. It is the second book in the series Courage to Dream. Even though I have not read the first book, it didn't make it difficult to follow the story, though reading the first book would have made this bit more enjoyable. The characters were well developed nd easy to understand. Even the minor characters were more than just names, you feel like you actually understand them. A well editied book is always a plus in my estimation. This book didn't disappoint. The edititing was fantastic. The words were easily understood, another plus for me. The story also showed the forgiveness of God. It was well developed in the plot. There was a bit of mystery, a small touch of violence, family turmoils and romance, all neatly wrapped in this book. The one thing that disappointed me was that I was left wondering about one of the minor characters. It was hinted at what my have happened, but never fully explained. I would recommend this book. I was given this book in exchange or my honest review through bookfun.org.
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
First thoughts: This book was more enjoyable than the first of the series, Irish Meadows. I always enjoy stories that have multiple perspectives and relationships. The characters were strong, the plot was original and the story moved along at a great pace. There was plenty of conflict as family secrets are brought to light and many lives are in danger from diseases, fires and stalkers. This was an excellent read that kept me guessing. Plot: Maggie Montgomery is visiting New York from Ireland with her brother Gabe, a trip she felt necessary to escape from the unwanted attentions of a man. Although her family doesn't know it, she has no intention of returning home. Adam O'Leary has made some mistakes and has a prison record to show it. Recently released and a new man, he returns home, hoping his family will take him in, especially the father he's always had a strained relationship with. Gabe Montgomery dreams of becoming a fireman and longs to return to Ireland and fight for his country's freedom, but an encounter with the wealthy banker's daughter, Aurora Hastings may change his plans. Setting: The story takes place in New York City in the early 1900's with a brief jaunt to Ireland. I enjoyed learning a little more about this time period in history as I haven't read many books from this era. This story picks up a couple years after Irish Meadows, so it was fun to catch up with the previous characters and see what's been happening in their lives. Characters: I enjoyed getting to know Adam O'Leary as he was rather briefly introduced in Irish Meadows and I had many questions about his past. Maggie was a fun addition to the story, as she added spunk. It was also great to see Aurora make an appearance, as she got her heart broken in the previous story. She has a second chance at a happily-ever-after with the charming Gabe. Series: This is the second book in the Courage to Dream Series. It can stand alone, but I'd suggest reading both books in order if you'd like to get the background of the secondary characters. This story picks up a couple years after Irish Meadows, so it was fun to catch up with the O'Leary family and see what's been happening in their lives. Recommendation: I'd highly recommend this story to those who enjoy historical romance with faith and heart. Rating: 4.5/5 stars
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
This read had such powerful characters, a strong redemption message, and an enjoyable plot line. Following two love couples is rare, and there are so many characters in this book that I thought I'd get confused. Amazingly, the read flows so well that I was able to easily follow the story. This book was hard to put down. I admired Adam's zealous working to restore himself to his family. He was my favorite character because he didn't blame his condition in life on anyone but himself. I highly recommend this read for historical romance readers. I was brought to tears in a few scenes, and that is incredibly rare for me. This has many touching moments in it, many different kinds of characters, and a wonderful historical setting. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next read by Susan Anne Mason.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Heart, Book 2 in the COURAGE TO DREAM series by Susan Anne Mason continues in much the same way as the book before it. Drama, rifts, and forbidden romance. This story centers on Maggie, the sister of Rylan Montgomery (from the first book), who comes to America from Ireland with her other brother, Gabriel. Adam O'Leary, also from Irish Meadows, is a main character as well. Just having gotten out of prison, he's feeling pretty low and not sure if he can face his family and townspeople. Gabriel plans to stay in America for the summer, and then go back to Ireland, where unrest is high. But certain people and circumstances may change all plans. As I mentioned above, it was similar to the first book. Different main characters, but two more forbidden romances. Having four main characters was a little difficult for me because ... I don't know ... they all seemed the same? Sometimes I got them mixed up! O_O James O'Leary, the father of Adam, sort of slips back into his slightly villainous role from Book 1. That annoyed me. He could be so cruel sometimes! (That being said, I did get into Adam's past, redemption story, and all that. He was a character I liked!) Um, by the end of the book, a lot of things are resolved in the family, which was wonderful, and heartfelt. ^_^ Anyway, I believe I enjoyed A Worthy Heart more than the first book. I didn't skim. And though a lot of things were the same, this book did have a spiced up ending. Some action and suspense! That got my attention and had me breathlessly turning pages to see if everything would turn out alright! Unfortunately, though I liked A Worthy Heart, I'm more convinced now that Susan Anne Mason's stories just aren't to my taste. I most likely won't be continuing this series. But fans of romance novels in a historical setting will probably enjoy it! I received a copy of A Worthy Heart from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.