A most unwelcome guest surprises Diana at her engagement party—the husband she thought was dead!
Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took o for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him in years, Diana is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when Tyson returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.
He agrees with one condition—she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.
About the Author
Bestselling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of more than 75 books, is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an eleven-time finalist and two-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award. In addition to many other awards, she is the recipient of lifetime achievement awards from both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin makes her home with her husband on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillion puppy named Boo and a persnickety tuxedo cat named Pinky. For more information, visit robinleehatcher.com; Facebook: robinleehatcher; Twitter: @robinleehatcher.
Read an Excerpt
Where The Heart Lives
By Robin Lee Hatcher
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2013 Robin Lee Hatcher
All rights reserved.
Boise City, Idaho
To say the least, it was inconsiderate of Diana's almost-dead husband to show up at her engagement party.
Conversations around the dinner table in the Calhoun dining room fell silent as guests began to notice the tall, dashing stranger standing in the doorway, his gaze fixed on Diana Applegate. He wore formal evening attire, as if he too had been invited to the festivities. But this was no guest.
Brook Calhoun, Diana's soon-to-be fiancé, leaned toward her. "Who is he? Do you know him?"
"Yes," she answered, disbelieving the word as it came out of her mouth. "It's Tyson."
"Tyson ... Applegate?"
Tyson smiled at her from across the room, but there was nothing friendly about the expression. An odd humming started in Diana's ears, and she felt as though she was observing the moment from a distance. Was any of it real? Was he real? This couldn't be happening. It couldn't be.
Get up. Get up and go talk to him. Make him leave. Get him out of sight. But her body refused to obey her mind's demands. Do something. You must do something. Now. Now!
She heard the ticking of the clock on the mantle, even though time itself seemed to stand still. Someone cleared his throat. Ice tinkled against crystal. A chair leg scraped the hardwood floor. Then something in Tyson's gaze told Diana he was tired of waiting for her to go to him. He was about to come to her. This at last spurred her to action.
To Brook she whispered, "I'll speak with him." She pushed back her chair from the table and, as she rose, said to their guests, "Please, everyone. Go on with your dinner. I won't be but a moment." Somehow she managed to sound normal, unconcerned. What a lie!
She hurried toward the entrance, avoiding eye contact with her mother. Her heart raced and skipped, and her thoughts scattered in a hundred directions at once.
"It's good to see you, Diana," Tyson said when she reached him.
She felt everyone's gazes on her back. Watching her. Watching the two of them. They were wondering who he was, how she knew him, what business he had with her. A chill shuddered through her.
"We need to talk," he added in a low voice.
This was no mirage. He was real. She felt his body heat upon the skin of her arms.
"Not here. Co—" Her voice broke. "Come into the library." She moved past Tyson and hurried down the hallway, trusting he would follow her to the room at the far end.
He did—and closed the door.
Moving across the room, Diana stared into the fireplace, still unable to calm the tangle of her thoughts. How could this be happening? Tyson Applegate was supposed to be dead. Missing on the battlefields of Cuba, his body never found. The court was scheduled to declare his death a fact tomorrow morning. But now, on the eve of her expected freedom from the husband who'd abandoned her, he'd returned.
Very much alive.
Not injured. Not frail. Not sickly.
She turned around. "You ... you're supposed to be dead." The words came out a whisper—and she hated herself for sounding weak.
"I know. Sorry to disappoint you." Tyson gave his head a slow shake, and his expression seemed to say he regretted his flippancy. "When I learned that you were about to publicly announce your engagement to Mr. Calhoun, I realized it was important that I stop you."
The words didn't quite make sense to her. They should but they didn't. She turned her back to him again and covered her face with her hands. This was a nightmare. Surely it was a nightmare and she would wake up at any moment to find Tyson Applegate gone once more. Dead, the way everyone—including her and his father—had thought of him for the past two years.
"You deserve an explanation, Diana, but perhaps here and now isn't the time or place for it. I imagine you and Mr. Calhoun will have a few things to talk over."
A few things to talk over. She wanted to laugh at the understatement.
"Diana." Tyson's voice was low and near. Too near. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be unkind. This wasn't the best way for you to find out that I'm still among the living. But when I learned the reason for this dinner party, I felt I had no choice but to come at once."
If he touched her, she wasn't sure what she would do. Scream. Cry. Faint. Perhaps all three.
"Here, Diana. This is where you'll find me."
She looked over her shoulder. He held a calling card for her to take.
"Please come and see me in the morning. There is much we must sort out."
Another understatement. She took the card.
"Until tomorrow." He turned and left the library.
Suddenly weak in the knees, Diana sank onto the nearby sofa. The shaking started deep within and worked its way out to her fingertips and toes. She hugged herself lest she shatter.
Tyson was alive. He was alive and he'd returned. But for what purpose? To save himself from embarrassment. It certainly couldn't be because he wanted her. He'd never wanted her.
"Never," she whispered to the empty room.
The door to the library opened again. This time it was Brook who entered. Wordlessly he sat beside her, but he didn't touch her. Didn't put a hand in the small of her back or an arm around her shoulders. Didn't offer any sort of comfort. Just sat there in stiff silence.
It was a few moments before she had the strength to look at him. "Brook, I ... I thought he was dead. His father thought he was dead. All this time without a word from him."
"What did he say to you?"
She drew in a shaky breath. "He wants me to see him in the morning." She held up the calling card. "At this address."
"He said there is much we must sort out."
That wasn't the response she wanted. She wanted him to hop to his feet and swear he would never let her go. She wanted him to promise to fight a duel rather than let her return to the man who had forsaken her so cruelly. Love might not have a place in her relationship with Brook, on either side, but there was a shared affection. They'd made plans for the future. Their future. She wanted him to demand that she divorce Tyson so they could marry. She wouldn't be the wealthy widow he'd proposed to, but everything else about her would be the same. Surely that would be enough.
She looked down at the card she held in her right hand. "I have no choice but to meet with him." Say you'll go with me. Please, Brook. Say you want to go with me.
"Yes, you must." He stood. "I think it best if I make your excuses to our guests. The less said now, the better. Don't you agree?"
"Yes," she whispered, fighting the lump rising in her throat.
A short while ago, she'd been seated at a table surrounded with well-wishing friends. But there would be no congratulations tonight. There would be no champagne toasts to Brook and his fiancée. Not now. Brook was ending their engagement before it officially began. What else could he do? She wasn't free to marry. Not him. Not any man. The only way she would be free was if she obtained a divorce. And few, if any, men of good society were willing to marry a divorcée.
That included Brook Calhoun.
"I am sorry, Diana. About ... everything."
She continued to stare at the card in her hand. "I know."
"I envisioned this evening much differently."
"Would you like me to send your mother to you?"
"Please." She drew in a ragged breath.
"Good night, Diana."
"Good night, Brook."
After the door closed, she covered her face with her hands and wept.
Tonight, Tyson Applegate had ruined her life for the second time.
* * *
Tyson leaned back in the carriage and closed his eyes, picturing Diana as she'd stood before him in a gown of shimmering gold. He hadn't expected that she would be even more beautiful now than she was on their wedding day. But she was. Stunningly beautiful with her pale, flawless skin and her fiery red hair and eyes the same green as the forests of deepest Africa.
Beautiful and hurt. Hurt by his actions.
He groaned, shame washing over him.
He'd used Diana Fisher abominably. That hadn't been his intention, of course. At first he'd simply been a young man attracted to a sweet, beautiful girl who adored him. But then his father had objected, had forbidden Tyson to ever see her again. She was a nobody. An orphan. Not the kind of girl suitable to become the wife of Jeremiah Applegate's only son. Not a proper wife for a future congressman or senator.
His father's disapproval had been what sealed their fates, his and Diana's.
Lord help him. The things he'd done out of defiance to his father. It was painful to remember. Remembering heaped guilt and mortification on his shoulders until the weight threatened to break him.
He drew a deep breath and opened his eyes. He was a different man today than the spoiled, rebellious, angry one who'd left home and family years ago. He'd come back to Idaho to prove it—to his wife, to his father, to himself.
The carriage drew to a halt in front of the house Tyson had purchased, sight unseen, before coming to Boise. He'd hoped Diana would be willing to furnish it, to purchase those things they would need to set up not just housekeeping but entertaining. He'd hoped she would be willing to give him another chance to be a good husband to her. He'd hoped she would want to help him in the new life he'd planned for himself. Why hadn't it occurred to him that she would have moved on with hers? What had he expected?
The truth was until earlier this year he'd given little thought to the wife he'd left behind. And even when he had, he'd thought she would still be waiting for him. One more example of the selfish man he'd been—and could yet be if he wasn't careful.
He didn't wait for the driver to dismount and open the carriage door. No need for that. It wasn't as if he didn't know how to take care of himself. He'd had no valet, butler, or footman tending to him when he climbed mountains in Asia or went on safari in Africa or when he fought beneath the relentless sun in Cuba. In fact, he still had no valet, butler, or footman to wait on him. Not yet. But if all went as planned, within a week he should have a full staff hired for home, grounds, and stables.
He entered the house through the front door and made his way in the dark up to the largest of the six bedchambers on the second floor. Once there, he lit a lamp, then slipped off his suspenders and removed his necktie and stiff collar before sitting in a wing-backed chair near the cold fireplace. Though there was a chill in the spring night air, he didn't bother to set a fire.
Memories from his adventurous past, both good and not so good, paraded through his mind. Those weeks in Cuba with Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were among the latter kind.
Tyson had learned many things in war. He'd learned he was a good soldier. He could follow orders, ride fast, shoot straight, and get by on lousy grub and little sleep. He'd also come to believe that war wasn't the better answer, even if sometimes it was the necessary one. Now he wanted to use those lessons he'd learned for the benefit of others.
Which was why he, at last, had returned to Idaho.
Amusing, in an odd sort of way, that the very thing his father had wanted most for him was what he now sought for himself.
* * *
As he had done many times for as far back as he could remember, Tyson stood before his father's massive desk in the library, awaiting the lecture he knew would come. He was eighteen. A man. But his father always made him feel like a small boy.
"We will not have this conversation again," his father said, cold steel in his words. "You will study the law. Knowledge of the law will give you an advantage when the time comes for you to run for public office."
Tyson had no intention of running for public office. He had no intention of living the life his father had planned for him since birth. But he didn't waste his breath saying so. Not again. Jeremiah Applegate didn't tolerate disobedience. Not from his wife. Not from his son. Not from his employees. Not from anyone. But the day would come when Tyson would tell him to—
"Go see your mother. She is waiting to tell you good-bye." His father looked down at some papers on his desk. "I'll expect good reports of your progress at Harvard."
The assumed reply stuck in his throat for several heartbeats before he managed to force the words out. "Yes, sir."
Diana's mother set her coffee cup in the matching saucer and looked at her daughter seated opposite her. "I could accompany you, dear."
"No, Mother." Diana shook her head. "I think it's better that I see him alone."
"I don't like it. I don't like it at all."
Diana didn't like it either, but it couldn't be helped. She had to face Tyson. She had to know what he wanted. Why he had returned after so long.
"What will we do if he casts you aside?" her mother asked.
Would he cast her aside? She wanted to be free of Tyson. But divorce? Divorced and penniless. No way to provide for herself and her mother. Would he do that to her? She couldn't know. Despite the years they'd been married, he was a stranger to her.
She pushed away the plate with her half-eaten breakfast on it. "I'd best go." She rose. "I will return as soon as possible. Try not to worry."
Her mother wouldn't obey, of course. She would do nothing but worry until Diana was home again. Worrying had become second nature to Gloria Fisher since the death of her husband. Diana's adoptive father, Byron Fisher, hadn't meant to leave his wife financially insecure, though that was exactly what happened. At one time, the Fisher family had been well-to-do. But her father had invested heavily in stocks and when the market tumbled five years before his passing, he'd lost almost everything. Perhaps that had been the reason for his heart failure at the age of fifty-five.
Tyson Applegate, on the other hand, had seen the fortune he inherited from his maternal grandmother grow and grow. And if he'd been declared dead, that money would have come to Diana, his widow. With it she could have taken care of her mother, allowing them both to live in comfort for the rest of their lives. Without it—
She felt a sting of shame. She didn't truly wish Tyson dead. Not even for his money. Oh, there'd been many moments when she'd thought she wished him dead—perhaps death coming to him in some horrible fashion. Eaten by cannibals on the Dark Continent or tortured by pirates in the Indian Ocean.
Diana gave her head a slow shake. She didn't want to be the sort of person who wished such things on another human being. Not even on the husband who'd abandoned her. Which didn't mean she'd forgiven him. She hadn't. She couldn't.
She made her way out of the house and down to the corner of their quiet street, where she hailed a hansom cab. The journey from the modest neighborhood where she and her mother rented a small house to the affluent boulevard listed on Tyson's calling card was not a long one, but they seemed worlds apart. It surprised her a little, to find him living in such a place. It was much more his father's style than Tyson's.
He must have been watching for her arrival because he came to the street and personally opened the cab's door. When he held out his hand, she stared at it, not knowing what to do. Take it? Don't take it? Let him help her? Refuse to touch him? The air around her crackled with tension.
If Tyson knew the turmoil swirling inside of her, his expression didn't reveal it. He waited with apparent patience until Diana, at last, placed her hand in his. After helping her to the ground, he paid the driver. She was grateful for that, of course. Her circumstances had changed drastically from yesterday morning to this. Could she even afford the cab fare home? Much depended upon what Tyson had to say during the course of this meeting.
"Thank you for coming, Diana."
The hansom cab moved away from the curb.
What choice did you leave me? She pressed her lips together. Better to let him do the talking for now.
"Come inside." He motioned toward the front door.
She moved up the brick walk, Tyson following behind her. Feeling his gaze on her back was disconcerting, although she couldn't say why. Most men watched her. Most found her beautiful. But this was different. This was Tyson. This was the man who'd broken her heart and taught her to guard it well in the future.
Keep your wits about you, Diana. He mustn't get what he wants unless you get what you want. But what exactly was it she wanted? What kind of future remained for her?
Another surprise awaited her inside the house. It was nearly empty of furnishings. On her right no books or desk in the library and no table, chairs, or sideboards in the dining room. Only two upholstered chairs and a small, round table with a lamp on it in the spacious parlor to her left. Her footsteps echoed off the bare hardwood floors, making the house seem cold and unwelcoming.
Excerpted from Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher. Copyright © 2013 Robin Lee Hatcher. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The premise was interesting... the book, however, was not. I really enjoyed the first two in the series so it was a let-down to not connect with the characters in this final book. There are flashbacks to the past throughout the story, but the basic content of the flashbacks had already been explained in the present-day text, so I felt it was repetitive and slowed the story down in a major way. It also brought Tyson's selfishness and indiscretions into the limelight, as well as Diana's hurt and role as the victim. It was difficult to feel compassion for Tyson when such a great deal of the novel was spent rehashing his mistakes, and his redemption was explained rather than shown. I found the romance lacking as well- Tyson was afraid to pursue his wife so he wouldn't scare her off, and Diana spent the majority of the novel keeping him and her feelings at arm's length (not that I blame her). The overall theme of forgiveness is an important one, and it was most compelling in the relationship between father and son. The story could have delved so much deeper if not for the bulkiness of the unnecessary flashback scenes. (Thank you to Zondervan Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
I usually really enjoy books by Robin Lee Hatcher, but this one just seemed pieced together. Many of the plot points were mentioned once, then you were left to wonder what exactly to think about them. The ending seemed a big abrupt and stereotypical. Honestly, I didn't like the romantic interest, Tyson. I thought he left a lot to be desired. Some people may love this, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
"To say the least, it was inconsiderate of Diana's almost dead husband to show up at her engagement party." This may very well be the best first sentence ever. And the rest of the story is just as good. This is the third book in the trilogy about the Brennan siblings. It is a great way to end the series. I like the way Ms. Hatcher gives us a glimpse of Diana's and Tyson's past at the end of each chapter. It is a great way to show their journey. I would recommend this book and this series. I received this book in an online giveaway and was not required to give a review.
Let Go and let God... First I read to find out how a "dead" man can appear to spoil his wife's engagement to another man. Then Hatcher quickly draws the reader in like a cool stream in summer beckoning to a barefoot kid. You can't help becoming deeply immersed in this story of love, betrayal, and lust for power. Both orphans and rich, all find the need to rely on God for change and/ or forgiveness. A poignant reminder that life is full of hurt that must be let go, traded for God's forgiveness and love, if indeed we are to thrive the way He desires for us.
This story puts forgiveness in a different light, using marriage as the base was grand. Marriage, something that is usually said as true love that never breaks, most of the time that's not the case.This is a grand novel, love it
Excellent book! I love Robin Lee Hatcher. I am looking forward to all her future books.
I enjoy reading Robin L Hatchers books because I know the story line (s) are going to come together in the end. What I especially liked about this book, is the story is unique from book 1 & 2, making the last book a satisfying read!
Great Story Diana thought she had found love when she was younger but the man she married only did so to spite his father. After leaving her for years and being presumed dead she is planning to remarry as soon as the courts declare him deceased. The night of her engagement party the man she thought was dead walks in and claims her once again as his wife. Being almost penniless she does not have much choice other than to stand by his side as he runs for office and then he promises she can have her freedom. The only hitch is he wants to win her heart back. Tyson has returned a changed man. He is now a believer and wants to right his wrongs. He knows the road to winning Diana’s heart again will take time but he is determined to try. This book is the third in a series. I have not read the first two books but this book can easily be read as a stand alone. What I liked: This book has an interesting writing style. The author starts in the present but every few chapters she jumped to the past and told the story from the beginning and then jumps back to the present. I was not sure if I was going to like the style but it worked very well in this book and was quite enjoyable. Tyson and Diana where very real characters. I liked how Tyson works to win back the trust of his wife with patience not forcing her. I also like how the relationship between him and his father healed. A very good book about forgiveness and how God can work in one’s life to bring peace and forgiveness. What I did not like: Not much this was a very well written book. I liked this book a lot. I highly recommend it. Like I said above this book can easily be read by itself but if you have the time go back and read the first two book. The last chapter of this book the other characters come into play and left me wanting to know their story too. This is the first full novel I have read from this author and I look forward to reading more from her.
Another great book by Robin Lee Hatcher. In this book we meet Diana Brennan Applegate, she is an Irish immigrant, and ended up on the orphan train. Diana ended up with a good family, but married young when dashing and wealthy Tyson Applegate sweeps her off her feet. He on the other hand has married her to get his inheritance. In the end, thinking only of himself, Tyson takes off and travels around the world. In his travels he finally ends up in Cuba, he is serving with Theodore Roosevelt, and the Rough Riders. When Diana has word her husband is missing and presumed dead, she is angry with him. As the years past she moves on with her life, and the day before she can finally have Tyson declared dead, she is at a party to have her engagement announced. You can probably guess, but Tyson shows up at the party. He claims to Diana he is a changed man, and now follows his God and Savior. Of course she does not believe him, she is still so hurt from her abandonment. Tyson offers her a deal, if she will come and be his wife, in all ways but one, he will let her leave in November, and provide an allowance and home for her. He wants to run for US Senate, and needs her. Of course, he hopes that being with him will bring her back to him. We find her setting up the household and having dinner parties, and doing her job, but can she control her heart? Will Tyson, and her staff, be able to put up with all the strays she brings home? We are ready for a variety of animals and people!! She has such a big heart for those in need. Will Tyson be able to convince her that he has changed, what about his controlling Father? There are a lot surprises to be found here. It is one fast paced, and interesting read, and you won't be able to put it down. I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Diana Brennan was one of many children, which also included her two siblings that rode the orphan train west. She was one of few that actually found loving adoptive parents. Then her world fell apart when Tyson Applegate her husband and love of her life deserted her and he was later presumed a casualty of war. She vowed never to give her heart to be broken to another man. Then Tyson Applegate returns to the surprise of Diana and his father. He finds she is engaged to be married and puts a stop to what plans she had for her future. He proposes for Diana to remain his wife for at least six months while he campaigns to run for the senate. She grudgingly agrees but only as a business arrangement with a chance for him to change her mind about him and remain as his beloved. Can she forgive him for deserting her and breaking her heart? Their faith and trust in God is the way to their redemption. This author never fails to entertain me. The only problem I had with the book was that I did not want it to end. Robin has written a touching story of broken will and mistrust of those whom should have been trusted with their heart and future. As in the relationship between Tyson and his father which stemmed a similar situation in the relationship between Diana and Tyson. If you are looking for a good read about family, romance, forgiveness, and redemption this is the series to read. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan/Litfuse Publicity Group for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is my honest opinion.
Robin Lee Hatcher in her new book, “Beloved” Book Three in the Where The Heart Lives series published by Zondervan brings us into the lives of Diana Brennan and Tyson Applegate. From the Back Cover: A most unwelcome guest surprises Diana at her engagement party — the husband she thought was dead! Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for seven years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead. But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition—-she must give him a chance to change her mind about him. Beloved. I think this is one of the most romantic words we have. If all husbands and wives called each other that way we could eliminate infidelity. God calls us His beloved and, again for me, it speaks of tenderness and faithfulness. Tyson is none of those things and when the time comes for Diana to declare him legally dead he shows back up again. ”Beloved” is a book all about change. Tyson changes because he has grown close to the Lord, however he has to prove it to Diana. Diana is not the same person he married seven years ago. Both of them have to learn to trust each other and to heal from their mistakes. It takes God to break through the pain and start the healing process that only the power of love can provide. Ms. Hatcher has given us characters that are marvelous, meticulously crafted, and each one literally breathes on the pages. Robin Lee Hatcher has written a well done novel that I liked a lot. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
Robin did it again and has another hit with this book. There is a little bit of everything in this book from romance to suspense. The characters were very well developed and the scenes were written very well so you feel as if you are write there with them. I like that this book get me turning the pages as it was a good read for me. I think Diana was a strong person and can not imagine what she felt when she found out her husband was not dead. This was a fitting end to the series I just wish the series was continuing.
I was immediately drawn into the story when, in the first few pages of the novel, Tyson (Diana's husband who is presumed dead) shows up just as Diana is about to announce her engagement to another man. For reasons she is not even certain of herself, Diana agrees to reunite with Tyson for six months while he runs for political office. This certainly isn't your typical romance novel storyline! Diana immediately struck me as a strong and complex character. While it seems that she's overcome many of the challenges of her childhood, it's obvious that there are plenty of new challenges in her adulthood. She wants to do the right thing but often acts out of fear and resists vulnerability. Of course, though, as she continues to welcome "strays" into her life, those fears are constantly challenged and vulnerability is required. Tyson too is an intriguing character. He has a wild past but by the grace of God he is determined to be an honest, upright man. I loved how he often reflected on the mistakes of his past as he made decisions about his current circumstances. Mrs. Fisher, Mr. Applegate, and Ned were great additions to the story as well and gave the book a well-rounded feel. I also liked the way the story alternated between the past and present. It was easy to follow and a unique way to give some of the back story that I definitely wanted to know! Robin Lee Hatcher has delivered another great novel! With characters that are easy to love and a story full of raw emotion, I enjoyed every moment spent with the story. I highly recommend! [4.5 stars] I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Beloved is the third book in the Where the Heart Lives series. Robin Lee Hatcher finishes her series off with finesse. Diana lacks the ability to trust and it's understandable after what she has been through. In her young life her father deserted his family, her mother died when she was only six, she was seperated from her brother and sister and her husband abandoned her and left her broken. So, yes, she had trust issues. But she was also a woman that loved completely, with her whole heart. I loved it when she finally stopped being meek and found her backbone. She had her doubts about God because of all of the things that had happened to her but in the end she rejoiced in where He had led her. She went from uncertain to positive of her Creator's undyling love and ever flowing Grace. Tyson got my ire up with the way he had treated Diana but, as the story progressed, I came to understand just why he did the things he did and I became his champion. I so wanted Diana to hurry and give him a break and I laughed out loud when Tyson discovered Ned, the homeless boy that came to live with them, had a dog. The following paragraph reads: "A wife, Tyson had wanted. A widowed mother-in-law, he'd expected. But a cat, an orphan and now a stray dog as well? What a menagerie! Exactly when had he lost control of his household?" LOL Poor Tyson! But in the end he showed himself to be a man that Diana admired. He would move mountains for her and that makes for a good romance! I have never been disapointed with one of Miss Robin's books yet. This was a beautiful story of, not only rekindled love but rekindled faith as well. I was led on a journey from beginning to end and when I reached the final destination I was thoroughly satisfied with the story as a whole. Love, romance, a spiritual awakening and a little suspense thrown in. There is something for everyone among the pages of this book. If you haven't read it yet, I guarantee you won't be disappointed!
"Boise City, Idaho May 1900, To say the least, it was inconsiderate of Diana's almost-dead husband to show up at her engagement party. Conversations around the dinner table in the Calhoun dining room fell silent as guests began to notice the tall, dashing stranger standing in the doorway, his gaze fixed on Diana Applegate. He wore formal evening attire, as if he too had been invited to the festivities. But this was no guest. Brook Calhoun, Diana's soon-to-be finacè, leaned toward her. "Who is he? Do you know him?" "Yes." she answered, disbelieving the word as it came out of her mouth. "It's Tyson." "Tyson...Applegate?" "Yes." "Great Scott!" Tyson smiled at her from across the room, but there was nothing friendly about the expression. An odd humming started in Diana's ears, and she felt as though she was observing the moment from a distance. Was any of it real? Was he real? This couldn't be happening. It couldn't be. How could this be happening? Tyson Applegate was supposed to be dead. Missing on the battlefields of Cuba, his body never found. The court was scheduled to declare his death a fact tomorrow morning. But now, on eh eve of her expected freedom from the husband who'd abandoned her, he'd returned. Very much alive." (pg 5). In book three of the Where the Heart Lives Series, Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher takes readers back to the late 1800's where Tyson Applegate returns home to find his wife on the verge of announcing her engagement to another man. She and the rest of his family had believed that he was dead and now he returns home to convince them all to give him a second chance. But how can you simply pick up the pieces of a broken heart left long ago when Tyson left every single one of them without looking back? Now that he is running for the office of Senator as a write in candidate, he offers a compromise to Diana and her mother. If they will move in to his home, and attempt to act as his wife and mother in law for six months, long enough for him to win the election, he will provide them with all they will ever need in the way of money unless he can convince them that he's a truly changed man for the better and wishes to win the heart of his wife again. But is that even possible now after all this time? I received Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher compliments of Zondervan Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are solely my own. This is truly a novel about becoming a new person through the acceptance of Christ. When Tyson left he was searching for happiness and acceptance in every area except through God. When he found Him, he realized he couldn't spend his life running from his arrogant and controlling father and the new prodigal son returns home to face the consequences of his actions. What he finds there shows us all that redemption can be found if we are willing to take the time to see the changes God can bring about in everyone. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and found myself rooting for Tyson all the way despite the odds stacked against him.
This was a fantastic book. I loved the characters. Tyson Applegate knows he messed up. He knows he made a lot of mistakes in his past, including deserting his wife, Diana. Seven years after leaving, Tyson shows back up a changed man. Diana Applegate thought she'd gotten over Tyson after he was declared dead three years ago. So, imagine her shock when he shows up alive and well on the night of her impeding engagement. Diana is skeptical of Tyson, as any woman who had undergone what she had would be. What will it take for Tyson to prove himself a changed man to Diana? The story is interesting. It was easy to follow and intriguing. I loved watching the change in Diana and Tyson's relationship. I loved how easily Tyson fell back in love with his wife and tried everything he could to win her affection and trust. I also like how the author provided the flashback scenes. It helped put everything into perspective. It allowed me to understand what the characters were feeling and why they acted the way they did. The characters learn several lessons throughout the book about pride, letting go of control and giving it to God, and learning to trust that God has them in His hands. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone to read! I will definitely want to read the first two books in this series, and I want to go back and re-read the other book I read in the past. I have a new respect for Robin Lee Hatcher and can't wait to immerse myself in more of her books! **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review.**
One of the first impressions I had with this historical fiction was how difficult life was for women in the late 1800s. Diana's husband, Tyson, just up and leaves her--with no warning--simply to avoid his controlling father! Not a word or a sign came from him for years, until one day, he's listed in the newspaper as someone who died in action while fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Diana therefore, "gets on with her life." When Diana plans to announce her engagement to another, Tyson shows up and "stakes" his claim! Indeed, life was hard. Not having much of a choice, Diana agrees to participate in a sham of a marriage for six months while Tyson runs for public office. I found it interesting to watch this novel of second chances unfold. Hatcher correctly took time for the characters to vacillate between love and hate, intolerance and forgiveness. This is the third in a series and can easily be read and understood without having read the first two titles. NOTE: At the end of every chapter a flashback helps fill in the backstory. (I loved this unique touch.) Thank you to Booksneeze for my copy.