The truest treasure is found deep in the heart.
Back in her beloved Virginia, Shannon Adair loved nursing injured soldiers back to health. But in Grand Coeur, Idahothe rough-and-tumble place where her father has been called to lead the churchshe's not sure where she fits in. Then a critically ill woman arrives, and Shannon knows her place at last: to care for this dear woman and ease her pain.
Matthew Dubois is the fastest and most reliable stagecoach driver on Wells Fargo's payroll. But his widowed sister is dying and he's about to inherit his young nephew. So he takes a job at the Wells Fargo express office in Grand Coeur until he can find the one thing he needs to get back to driving: a wife to care for the boy.
What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenesand is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Bestselling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of more than seventy-five 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 www.robinleehatcher.com, Facebook: robinleehatcher, Twitter: @robinleehatcher.
Read an Excerpt
HEART OF GOLD
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Robin Lee Hatcher
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMay 1864
Shannon Adair leaned close to the door as the stagecoach slowed, trying to catch her first glimpse of Grand Coeur, wanting it to be more than she had any right to hope it would be. She'd said good-bye to everything and everyone she loved in order to come with her father to the Idaho Territory. She was both scared and excited now that the dirty, bone-jarring, difficult, and sometimes treacherous journey was at an end.
The coach jerked to a stop, and the driver called down, "Grand Coeur, folks."
Shannon glanced toward her father, seated across from her.
The good reverend gave her a weary smile. "We are here at last."
"So it would seem."
The door opened, and the driver offered his hand. "Let me help you down, miss."
"Thank you." Shannon placed her gloved fingers in the palm of his hand. "You are ever so kind."
The driver bent the brim of his dust-covered hat with his free hand, acknowledging her comment.
Once out of the coach, she turned a slow circle, taking in her surroundings. Her stomach plummeted. This was Grand Coeur? Merciful heavens! It was not better than she'd hoped. It was worse than she'd feared.
The street they were on was lined on both sides by unpainted wooden buildings of various shapes and sizes. The boardwalks in front of the buildings were uneven, sometimes nonexistent. And the hillsides that surrounded the valley had been stripped clean of trees, undoubtedly for the wood used to throw up this ugly, sprawling goldmining town of more than five thousand souls.
"Oh, Father," she whispered. "Whatever shall we do here?"
"Don't look so despairing, Shannon."
She turned to find her father had disembarked from the coach and now stood nearby.
"We knew it would be different from home," he said. "And we are needed here."
More than they'd been needed in the war-torn South, where he'd ministered to his flock and she'd been able to help nurse the injured?
As if he'd heard her unspoken question, he said, "I have always tried to answer God's call, even when I don't understand it completely. Would you have me do differently now?"
The lie tasted bitter on her tongue. She would have him do differently. She would have him decide to go back to Virginia, to recognize that God wanted him to be there to help rebuild when the war was over. When the South no longer had to fight for its existence, the Confederacy would need men like her father. He was a natural leader with a head for governing and a heart for the kingdom of heaven. He was strong in his faith and able to forgive and show others the grace of God.
What on earth made him believe the Lord wanted him in such a place as this?
"Reverend Adair?" a voice called.
Shannon and her father turned in unison to see a rotund man in a black suit hastening toward them.
"Are you Delaney Adair?"
"Yes, sir. I am."
The man stopped in front of them and thrust out his hand. When her father took it, the man gave it a hearty shake. "We've been watching for you on every stage for the past week. Welcome. Welcome. We're glad you've come. I'm Henry Rutherford."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Rutherford. May I introduce my daughter, Miss Shannon Adair."
"How do you do, miss?" Henry bowed in her direction.
She decided a simple smile and nod of her head would need to suffice. If she opened her mouth, she was certain she would say something disparaging about Grand Coeur.
"My wife's got the parsonage all ready for you. 'Course, it probably isn't what you're used to. Kinda small and plain. But we hope you'll be comfortable there, you and your daughter."
"I'm sure we will be," her father replied.
Shannon wasn't at all sure.
"I've got some men with me to help with your luggage." Henry turned and waved his helpers forward. The three men were a rough-looking bunch, with scruffy beards and weathered faces. Their trousers, held up by suspenders, were well-worn, as were the dirt-encrusted boots on their feet. The sleeves of their loose-fitting shirts had been rolled up to their elbows, revealing dark skin on their arms. Miners, she supposed, who spent every hour of daylight panning for gold in the streams and rivers somewhere nearby. At least that's how she'd been told it was done.
Shannon's father identified their trunks and one small crate, then he took hold of her arm at the elbow and the two of them followed Henry Rutherford down a narrow side street.
She saw the church first. Built on the hillside, its steeple piercing the blue sky, the house of worship had white clapboard siding, giving it an air of elegance in comparison to the mostly unpainted buildings in the town. There was even a round stained-glass window over the entrance.
Perhaps Grand Coeur was not completely uncivilized if the citizens had taken the time to build such a church.
Her moment of hope crumbled the instant Mr. Rutherford pointed out the parsonage. It was little more than a shack. Crude, cramped, and completely unsuitable.
Oh, Father. You cannot mean for us to live here.
* * *
Matthew Dubois opened the door of the Wells, Fargo & Company express office and stepped inside. At the far end of the spacious room, William Washburn looked up from the open ledger on the desk. The instant he recognized Matthew, he grinned.
"Well, I'll be hanged. Is that you, Matt?"
"It's me, Bill."
"You're not the new agent they sent?"
William rose and came to meet him in the center of the office, giving his hand a hearty shake. "You tellin' me you're givin' up drivin' for the company?"
William cocked an eyebrow.
"My sister's ailing and needs a place to stay—Alice and her son—until she's back on her feet. They don't have any family but me. She lost her husband in the first year of the war."
"Sorry to hear that. Right sorry."
Matthew acknowledged William's sympathy with a nod.
"Can't say Grand Coeur is the best place to bring a woman and young boy, but I reckon you already knew that."
Matthew nodded a second time. Over the years, he'd seen the ugly underbelly of more than one mining town between San Francisco and the Canadian border. He'd known Grand Coeur would be no better. But this was where his employer had sent him, so this was where he and his sister and nephew would live.
"Alice with you?"
"No. I don't expect her and the boy until the end of the week."
"The company told me they wanted a house for the new agent. Couldn't figure out why the spare room upstairs wouldn't do, but I guess it's 'cause of the family."
The comment needed no response from Matthew.
"Might as well show you the place." William turned toward the door leading into a back room. "Ray?"
A few moments later, a young clerk appeared in the doorway. "Yessir?"
"Mind things. I'll be back directly."
"Come on, Matt. I'll show you where you'll be living."
The two men went outside. The Wells, Fargo coach was no longer in sight. Matthew's replacement driver had already taken it to the station to harness fresh horses for the journey back down to Boise City.
William motioned toward the east. "We'll go thisaway."
Matthew fell into step beside him.
"Your sister and nephew ought to be comfortable. The house is away from the center of the town. Up there on the hillside." He pointed as they turned a corner. "Bit quieter in the evenings, if you know what I mean."
He knew. The saloons did great business at night in a place like Grand Coeur, and the center of town could get rowdy. Better to keep his sister—an attractive widow in ill health—away from the eyes of men starved for female attention.
The street they were on carried them up the steep hillside. Up ahead and to his left, he saw a white church complete with steeple. Off to the right were a half dozen two-story homes. Doubtless the residences of the town's more prosperous citizens. And, surprisingly, it was to one of these houses that William took him.
"Bill, you don't mean this for us."
"I do, indeed." He took a key from his pocket.
"I won't be able to afford the rent."
"Yes, you will. The fellow who built it was killed 'fore he could move in. Company got the house, furnishings and all, for next to nothin'. Not sure how or why. Only know they're rentin' it to you for a song. Now I know who they sent, I reckon I know why they're doin' it. They don't want to lose you when the time comes for you to start drivin' again."
Matthew took pride in the job he did. He was one of the top drivers in the country. Maybe the top driver. If a freight company wanted their stage to get where it was going and get there on time with the cargo safe and secure, Matthew Dubois was their man. He could only hope he wouldn't be gone from the job so long that Wells, Fargo forgot they felt that way about him.
William opened the door and the two men entered the house. It wasn't unusually large. Nothing like the palatial homes of many of those who'd made their fortunes in gold and silver around the West. But it was more spacious than any place he'd lived before.
The downstairs had a front parlor, a small dining room, and a kitchen with cupboards, a butler's pantry, and a large stove. Upstairs there were three bedrooms and an honest-to-goodness plunger closet. He'd heard about such things. Just never thought he'd live to see one.
It ought to please Alice.
It would be nice to please his sister. He hadn't done much of that when they were younger. He'd been too stubborn and selfish back then, too determined to have a life of his own that didn't include watching after his baby sister.
If their mother was looking down from heaven, she had to be mighty disappointed by the choices he'd made in the years since her death. Maybe looking after Alice and her son, Todd, would make up for some of those poor choices.
Besides, he supposed a few months living in this house and working in the Wells, Fargo office wouldn't be too bad. He wasn't much for being in one place for long. He preferred wide-open spaces to towns with people packed in like cookies in a tin. But Alice would be strong and healthy before long. Then he'd be back on a coach, holding the reins of a team of horses racing along a narrow road, dust flying up behind him in a cloud.
* * *
The parsonage was clean. Shannon could say that for it. Mrs. Rutherford and the other respectable women of Grand Coeur had done their part to welcome the new minister in this way. And the house wasn't quite the shack she'd thought at first, although everything inside was most assuredly rustic and plain. The wooden floors had no rugs. The sofa and beds—donations from members of the congregation, no doubt—were lumpy. And the stove? Oh, mercy! The stove. How was she to prepare a proper meal on it? She was not the most accomplished cook, and until they found a servant who could—
Tears welled in her eyes, and she blinked hard to keep them from falling.
"Shannon, we must thank God for providing for us."
"Yes, Father." She took his hand, bowed her head, and closed her eyes.
"Almighty God, we thank Thee for delivering us safely to our new home ..."
How would she survive in this horrible place? The people she'd met along the way were mostly uneducated, often dirty and unfamiliar with the basics of good hygiene, all too often gruff and rude. And the way they spoke. My lands! Their voices grated on her ears. She longed for the genteel sounds of her native Virginia. She longed for the gallant young men who had once courted her, riding their fine horses and wearing their fine clothes. But they were all gone now, off to fight in that dreadful war, so many of them dead on the battlefields, never to return. Even her Benjamin.
"... and may we be a blessing to the people we meet, O God. Help us to be Thy servants and to think of others before we think of ourselves. In the name of Thy Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen."
"Amen," Shannon whispered, hoping her father wouldn't guess how far her attention had strayed during his prayer.
He gave her hand a squeeze before releasing it. "Well." He turned in a slow circle. "We had better make a list of things we'll need to buy at the store. From what Mr. Rutherford said, we can expect prices to be high, so we will need to be careful with our funds."
As if that hadn't been the way of things for the past three years. Once the war began between the North and the South, if one could find what one wanted to buy—which all too often one could not—it had come at a premium. But Shannon sensed the deprivation would seem worse in this horrid town in the mountains of Idaho Territory.
Why, oh why had God seen fit to punish her in this way?
Chapter TwoMatthew pushed open the restaurant door and was immediately assaulted with the smell of fried foods, tobacco smoke, and the noise of utensils clattering against plates. William had told him Polly's was the best restaurant in all of Grand Coeur, and judging by the crowded dining room early on a weekday morning, he had to be right.
A slender youth approached. The boy was about fourteen, give or take a year, and had a white apron tied around his waist. "You mind sharing a table?" he asked. "We're pretty full up."
"No. Don't mind at all."
"Over here, then."
Matthew followed the boy through the collection of tables to one near the far wall. He recognized the two occupants immediately. The young woman's vibrant red hair—if not her pale beauty—made her unforgettable.
"Want coffee?" the boy asked.
As he pulled out the lone empty chair, the young woman looked up, her green eyes wide.
"Sorry, Miss Adair. Apparently it's the only place for me."
He could see she was even more surprised that he knew her name; her expression said she had no idea who he was or where they'd met. And why would she remember him? She hadn't given Matthew more than a passing glance when she and her father boarded the coach in Boise City yesterday morning, and it had been just as fleeting when he'd helped her disembark upon their arrival in Grand Coeur.
He looked at her father. "Reverend Adair, hope you don't mind."
"Not at all, sir. Glad to have your company. Mr. . . . ?"
Matthew removed his hat. "Matthew Dubois."
"I'm surprised you're still in town, Mr. Dubois," the reverend said. "I thought the stage returned to Boise yesterday."
"It did. Just not with me driving it."
"I'm going to be working in the Wells, Fargo office in Grand Coeur for a while. And what about you, Reverend Adair?"
"Saint Stephen's Presbyterian Church was in need of its first minister, and I was called to fill the role."
Matthew nodded. "I figured as much." His gaze shifted to the reverend's daughter and back again. "You've come a long way?"
As he'd suspected, given the man's accent. "Things as bad back there as they say?"
"I should think they are much worse than they say."
"And you, sir." Miss Adair's voice was soft and as smooth as honey, but her words held a challenge in them. "Who do you support in this War of Northern Aggression?"
"I don't know that it rightly matters to me who wins, as long as they get things settled soon."
She reacted as if he'd slapped her; her eyes flashed with anger. "How can it not matter to you? Everyone in this country must place their loyalty with one side or the other."
"I've lived most of my life far west of the Mississippi. I figure it's none of my concern what's made folks back there mad enough to kill one another. They'll have to fight it for themselves. I'll take care of me and mine right where I live."
"That is a fool's way to think."
"Shannon!" the reverend said sharply.
She lowered her eyes. "I'm sorry, Father."
"My daughter is tired from our journey, Mr. Dubois. Please accept our apologies."
"No offense taken."
A glance in Shannon Adair's direction convinced Matthew that she wasn't the least bit repentant for her words—and he couldn't help but like her for it. A woman should know her own mind. Leastwise one who lived in a rough-and-tumble gold town.
But even with a mind of her own, he doubted Shannon Adair—or her father—would last long in Grand Coeur. If he were a gambling man, he'd wager the Adairs were from money and had a pedigree as long as his arm. Not the usual kind of folks drawn to this rugged territory.
Excerpted from HEART OF GOLD by Robin Lee Hatcher Copyright © 2012 by Robin Lee Hatcher. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. 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
Really enjoyed this book set during the civil war. There was romance, sadness and heartache along with action and adventure. Would highly recommend.
This story really flowed for me and I was able to really connect with the characters. Shannon Adair has traveled to Idaho Territory with her father, a reverend. She is not happy to have left her home in Virginia, which is currently embroiled in the battles taking place during the war between the states. Matthew Dubois has also recently moved to this gold-mining town and has been joined by his dying sister and her young son. Shannon starts filling the need of nurse to Matthew’s sister and although these people come from different backgrounds, on opposite sides of the war, deep feelings begin to develop. I really enjoyed these characters and the setting for the story. There was a little action and adventure in the story, a sweet romance, some sadness and heartache, and God’s providence throughout the story. I am so glad to have read this.
Heart of Gold, de Robin Lee Hatcher During the American Civil War, Shannon moved with his father, who is pastor to the West, following the gold rush, and will need to learn to live in the town of Grand Coeur, far from her beloved Virginia. Despite all the disorder of war between southerners and northerners, the trip takes place without incident. In town, the Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois have to live with an imminent threat that his widowed sister is dying, leaving a son which he has to take responsibility, but how can he care for the child and continue with his work if he does not have a wife? When Shannon and Matthew meet, many things can prevent them from being happy. Heart of Gold is a historical novel, but not only that, it also has suspense and a story well-founded. The way the author writes makes you hold on to the book and did not want to put it down until finished, not to mention the religious character is inspiring. I highly recommend it.
I requested the ebook version of this Women of Faith novel and read it rather quickly. It was an easy read and kept me entertained throughout. I will say, however, that I did not find the main character very likable. I found Shannon to be spoiled and rather rude, which put me off somewhat. For a minister's daughter, she seemed to lack the character traits one would expect, particularly for the time period. She did grow more mature as the story progressed. The other characters in the book were interesting and enjoyable. Although this was set during the civil war era, there was more focus placed upon gold mining in the west than the war in the south. All in all, it was a fairly good read.
Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher is a delightful faith-based historical romance. This novel takes place in Grand Coeur, part of the Idaho Territory during the Civil War. It touches on the north and the south, immigration, and accepting through faith people from all walks of life. At its heart it shares the struggles of Shannon Adair as she follows her heart. Shannon is a minister’s daughter, who thanks to her deceased mother was raised in privilege in southern Virginia. She has lost her fiancé to the war, and has spent the past few years working as a nurse for the South. When her father feels a calling and accepts a job as a minister in the western gold town of Grand Coeur, Shannon makes the journey with him. She is heart-broken about leaving her friends and shocked by the people she meets. She meets and takes an instant dislike to Wells Fargo drive Matthew Dubois when he declares, no alliance to either side of the war. When Matthew seeks the minister’s help in finding someone to care for his dying sister and her young son; Shannon accepts the position. She soon realizes her opinions of Matthew may be wrong. The tale that unfolds is delightful, as the dying sister sets about finding a mother for her son and a wife for Matthew. The romance that develops between Matthew and Shannon is sweet but not without competition as a young southern gentleman, looks to court Shannon as well. It was a delightful experience watching Shannon discover that there is more to a man’s character then where he was born. Hatcher captures this raw territory and the people who reside their beautifully. I found the tales regarding the Wells Fargo stage coach and the war to be fascinating. She touches on the trials of the gold rush, the brothels and the troubles Chinese immigrants faced in the West. While this novel’s faith-based message was a little too heavily salted for my taste, I still enjoyed the tale. The characters, especially Matthew’s sister touched my heart and made the love story all the more surreal. I want to thank Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
"Heart of Gold" is a historical fiction that takes the reader on a wonderfully adventurous journey to west during the heart of the civil war.Even though Shannon Dailey moves to Idaho territory with her father who is a minister.Her heart is back home in Virginia where the Civil War is raging. There she had an important job of nursing injured soldiers, and can't help but wish she was back home. She wonders if she will ever feel at home in her new home, but when an ill woman needs her help she finally realizes what her purpose is, it's to take care of the woman and help ease her pain.Matthew Dubois is one of the best drivers for Wells Fargo, but when his sister Alice tells him that she is sick and needs his help he goes to her and his nephew. What he finds out is that Alice is dying, and he is going to have to care for Alice's son Todd, he knows he is going to need help, and the help is Shannon. How will things work out for Shannon, Matthew and what about Todd? I really enjoyed the setting of this story, the author really pulled me right back in time. I really enjoy historical fiction that is set around the civil war and this one fit the bill. The characters were very easy to like in this story, I found that the story that revolved around Alice was the most heart wrenching, knowing that she was dying and wanting the best for her son Todd. This book also deals with prejudices and accepting people for who they were. The romance that develops between the main characters was slow to build and sweet, very well written for an inspirational romance. A great story for anyone who enjoys historical fiction that weaves together a bit of romance and inspiration into the mix, the fact that the story takes place around the civil war was an added bonus. My first book by this author but certainly it won't be my last.
After her mother's death, Shannon Adair and her minister father, move from Virginia to a small, dirty town in Idaho. She disdains it; nothing is as good as it was at "home," and she longs to return. However, bit by bit Shannon begins to appreciate her new home and to learn to live with people of all races. The characters are believable. I enjoyed this plot. There are enough twists to keep me reading. I recommend this one! Reading Group Guide included. Thank you to Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson for my copy.
Well, we have all had that feeling like a fish out of water, right? Like for instance you have just moved to a new place and everything just seems foreign, the people, the places, the way they do things. Well that is how the poor heroine Shannon Adair of Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher feels as she is starting a whole new life with her widowed father Reverend Delaney Adair as they are trying to get settled in Grand Coeur, Idaho, this rather –rougher –than- what -she’s- used –to- type of place, so much different than where she was raised in Virginia. The setting is 1864 smack dab in the middle of the civil war and her Southern allegiances are strong. Her father feels firmly called to this new community of less refinement and sentiments both towards the union and the confederacy, but people he feels called to minister to; Shannon is not so sure. Thus begins her struggle to surrender to God in this new place. Shannon soon finds purpose to her time in the gold mining town of Grand Coeur by drawing on her nursing skills honed back home in Virginia while tending to many wounded soldiers. But as there is no battlefield here, just a critically ill woman who has recently arrived in Grand Coeur herself, seeking to reconnect with her brother Matt Dubois and with her young son in tow, she is in need of much care and help caring for her son. Shannon immediately has compassion on this woman and a friendship is forged. Not at all impressed by her brother Matt Dubois at first, as his political views did not line up at all with hers, she is not immediately inclined to pay much notice of him, but as time goes on, her interest in Mr. Dubois grows as does his interest in her. I enjoy books in the civil war era for sure- such a confusing, complicated time for our country at war against itself. I really enjoyed this book and especially liked the character of Reverend Adair as he was a man who really loved God, and although a southerner at heart, he still took a stand with regards to the South’s view on slavery and how he did not feel it was right. He also was very in tune to the prejudice in this small town towards the Chinese population and was taking steps to try and remedy that. I just enjoyed that the character was able to look beyond what the North thought, what the South thought and try to be more concerned with what God thought concerning, people, politics and the church. I thought that was very well done. The romance between Shannon and Matt had a good flow to it and even that moment of crisis (a couple of them) where you hoped that all would turn out right in the end , but you weren’t sure to which I will not divulge how that ends up! For those that enjoy a good civil war, historical fiction read, this one is for you. Robin Lee Hatcher delivers a lovely read once again. 4 stars I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions expressed were honest and my own.
Heart of Gold, by Robin Lee Hatcher, is the story of a young woman who moves with her minister father from the Confederate South to Idaho. Her southern sympathies are challenged as she meets people with differing viewpoints. She finds that she must better know her own mind as she makes a place for herself in her new world. I was expecting a simple romance when I picked this book up, and certainly it is a light read. However, the issues of racism and brother-vs.-brother give the plot more depth than a run-of-the-mill romance. It is also a coming of age story, as the heroine learns to question the ideals that she has always thought to be right. The readers journeys with Shannon as she learns to guide her decisions with thought and prayer instead of emotion. And, of course, there is the romantic aspect of the book. Will Shannon choose the dashing stage-coach driver who frustrates her with his lack of emotion about the war? Or will she pick the gentlemanly fellow Southerner with whom she has more in common? Either way, it's an enjoyable read that won't leave you disappointed if you like period romances. Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher was a good read. However, I had a difficult time with some parts of it concerning death. It always seems to happen that when some tragedy happens in my life, the book I am reading either closely resembles it or gives me some insight into the Lord’s will. This book did a little of both. I was quite pleased with the scripture passages that were present throughout the book. Passages that remind us of God’s faithfulness. Shannon Adair and her father move from Virginia to Idaho so that her father can pastor a church. Shannon grew up in the south and therefore loves the south, however, the war is in full swing, so it is quite remarkable they get out when they did. Matthew Dubois is a Wells Fargo Driver and has a sister and nephew who are coming to live with him in Idaho for awhile. His sister, Alice, is suffering and is close to death. When they arrive in Idaho, Shannon, who is a trained nurse, cares for Alice and she and Matthew become close. In this story, there is not much of a climax, however, the plot and the characters are well developed. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to more…as always! I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest opinion.
Incredibly CUTE – as in home-cookin’ comfortable. This book was like eating my childhood favorite comfort food. For one, Shannon is NICE. She means well, although she has a few faults, like stubbornness and independent thought – which was a “fault” for the time period. Her father was SO nice, he was almost unbelievably nice, letting his daughter grow at her own pace while seeking to fulfill his destiny, praying constantly to God and talking to his deceased wife out of familiarity. The wonderful Matthew is a wheelbarrow-full of NICE, too. His only fault is former thoughtlessness, which he repents of almost from page one. So, there’s a lot of super-nice people tossed into a dusty, dirty town, which also appears NICE. Yea, there’s ruffians and some "fisticuffs" resulting in stitches and black eyes, but it’s all delivered so NICELY… because the writing style is NICE. Sometimes it was so cute, I paused and reread the line wondering at the confidence of the writer to just spit out such layers of cute on top of each other. Lol. There's more. I found beautiful outfits, fine dancing, delicious fried chicken and pensive thoughts about the civil war from the perspective of the confederacy. Shannon has brilliant red hair and green eyes. Plus she's just coming to "marriageable age". Whereas dating was fun before, suddenly she feels heart throbbing. Too cute. I found two nuggets of gold in this mining town historical Christian romance: The relationship between Shannon and Matthew is absolutely delightful and skillfully unfolded. There’s no guessing with love triangles or confusion about what sort of struggles will come up, it’s all very laid out, clear from the beginning (with one small surprise, which doesn’t take away from the trail but for a chapter). But it’s adorably cute. Mashed potato with sour cream tastefully spiced CUTE. And plenty of butter. CUTE. It’s worth reading the book, the romance is so darn cute. The second nugget is Matthew’s sister, Alice, is dying from cancer, and I can’t call her progress “cute” but it’s heart-tugging. Oh yea, I cried… that delicious sort of “I know, but that’s sad” sort of cry. If you’ve ever read a historical Christian romance that you liked – you’ll definitely like this one, too. If the idea of “historical” and “Christian” makes you hesitate, that’s probably a good call. Unless… you have secretly wished to be a southern belle transported to an old mining town shopping for totally CUTE dresses with lots of petticoats and falling in love with a tall, strong, broad guy with dark hair and brilliant blue eyes who steps into the middle of a fight to save a stranger from getting picked on, well, then you should read this book, too. :-D Cover Commentary: Perfect. Looks like a Christian romance set in pioneer days - wala!! The title is amazingly appropriate - like too cutely perfect for words. My Rating: Cute lands a solid, enthusiastic 3 in my world, but the romance was 4 without question, so I'm giving Heart of Gold a 3.5 - definitely worth the time.
Against Shannon's wishes, love stakes its claim in her heart. Will she discover treasure or treachery? When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she's certain she'll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war. Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn't sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon-so he'll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he's away. Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?