Journey now to Niagara Falls, New York, of 1870 where...
She avoids danger at all costs. He makes his living by rushing headlong into it.
Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.
Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.
On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?
More from My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla's Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella's Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna's Choice by Angie Dicken (November 2017)
About the Author
ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales. These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and through her website amandabarratt.net
Read an Excerpt
Derbyshire, England April 1870
As the coachman loaded her trunk onto the carriage, nausea churned in Adele's stomach.
This was a terrible mistake. One begun that long-ago day when she'd watched her father wobble atop the balustrade framing the roof of their home and take three wavering steps.
Then plummet to the ground below.
She'd been a girl of sixteen then. Was a woman of twenty now. A woman born on that chill October evening when she traded in her carefree childhood for the crushing mantle of responsibility. Her mother had been too weak to handle it, her brother too intoxicated.
So she — Adele Louise Linley — had become overseer of the Linley family fortune. A fortune that now fell faster than her father had.
Hence the reason for her journey.
She wrapped her cloak more tightly around her shoulders, facing her mother who stood in front of their stone manor house. The bitter wind buffeting Rosamunde Linley's slight frame made her appear even more fragile.
"I still cannot understand how you intend to make this journey alone. A single woman. Not even an escort to assure your safety."
"I'll have Nora. And Aunt and Uncle Osbourne will send a carriage to the depot." Adele found a smile, added comfort to it.
Worry pooled in Mother's eyes. "But it's across the ocean. And who knows how civilized America actually is? There might be savages. Or wild men who hunt and fish and rarely avail themselves of the comforts of a bath and clean clothes."
Adele laughed. "There are people like that in England too, Mother."
In our own family, she wanted to say but didn't add. In his pursuit of the gaming tables, her own brother, Tony, often didn't bother to change his clothes or comb his hair for days. "The Osbournes live a very happy life, I'm sure. They have a fine house, same as ours."
"Well, you know best, dear. But still —" The creak of the front door opening cut off Mother's words. Adele turned, her cobalt blue skirt sweeping the graveled avenue.
"Where you off to so early, Del?" Tony rubbed his eyes, as if the wash of morning light proved too much for his no doubt splitting head. What time had he gotten in? Two in the morning? Three?
"I'm leaving for America this morning, Tony. I've told you of my plans."
"Did you?" He approached, gait half steady, necktie splattered with the remnants of last night's drinking spree. "I don't remember."
Truer words were never spoken. Sometimes she wondered how he managed to keep straight the rules of baccarat versus those of whist. Adele could hardly do so, and she was never under the influence of too many brandies.
"I'm sure I told you. At any rate, it matters little now. Everything's been arranged." She pressed her lips together. No one, least of all her brother, would stand in her way.
"When will you be back?" His tone put her in mind of the ten-year-old boy he'd once been. Though the older sibling by two years, Tony never acted like it. Everyone else — family, staff, schoolfellows — had melted under his fretful pouts and winning smiles. Adele had been the only one to see straight through them.
Some things never changed.
"Once I've accomplished my purpose for going."
The wind blew his unruly black hair over his eyes. Standing this close made her even more aware of dissipation's rule over his life. His eyes, once a clear green like her own, were now bloodshot. His complexion had been that of an English country boy, one who engaged with gusto in various outdoor activities. Now hollows stood stark on his cheeks, his lips and forehead pale and sallow.
Long ago, his breath smelled of peppermint candy instead of liquor.
How much worse would things become before she returned?
"I'll miss you, Del." He put his arms around her as he hadn't done since the day they stood beside their father's newly turned grave.
Adele let herself hug him back, her once inseparable friend and companion. Unexpected tears filled her eyes.
"Will you? Then take care of Mother while I'm gone. Spend some time at home, instead of in London. It will be summer soon; the gardens are never prettier." It was useless to say such things. But she did so anyway, hanging on to the narrow thread of hope that should have been snipped long ago.
"You know I don't care twopence for gardens." He released her and stood next to their mother. Adele embraced her next, breathing in the whispery fragrance of lemon verbena perfume. As a little girl, she'd often doused herself in the scent, enamored by the fancy glass bottle and sensation of being a grown-up lady. If only she could go back, look her younger self in the eye, and admonish — Being grown up isn't all it's made out to be, silly girl. Stay young. Where life is all play and you're not fretting about bills and tradesmen and how you're going to reduce the number of household staff. Where you're not about to take a trip across the sea, leaving everything near and dear in the hope of saving just that.
A respectful distance away stood Bridges, the estate steward. If not for him, she wasn't sure she could leave her hapless family at all. Forsaking all schoolroom lessons about underlings being kept at arm's length, Adele hugged the man tight. He stiffened, not a surprising reaction, since her behavior bordered on unprecedented.
"Don't you worry, Miss Linley. You just go on and have a fine time." If he'd known what pursuits she intended to undertake once in America, Adele doubted he would have said such a thing. "I'll be here, keeping Linley Park in order." Looking into his angular face filled her with what the other partings had not — a trace of peace.
"You'll have to do everything yourself." Adele stepped back, lips upturned.
"That's my job, is it not?" He returned the smile, his gray eyes softening. "I'll manage."
"You don't know how grateful I am to hear you say that." She pressed his larger hand with her properly gloved one, then turned away, entering the carriage.
The vehicle lurched into motion, taking her down the avenue and onto the road ahead. A sheen of tears blurred her vision. She swiped them away, gaze pressed to the window, fixed on the beloved home she'd held dear since her childhood days. The aged stone walls rich with the splendor of centuries long gone, the gardens soft with springtime flowers. Every tree meant more than roots and trunk spreading upward into leafy boughs. Each possessed some memory, an ode to a past that was no more.
Soon, the familiar sights would be lost to her, exchanged for something altogether new and entirely frightening.
She'd never met Arnold Osbourne — her mother's younger brother and his American family. They lived in New York State, only a short drive away from a popular honeymoon destination. Niagara Falls, she thought it was called.
If all went well, she'd be taking a honeymoon of her own before the year was out. Married to some wealthy American, who didn't mind dipping into his expansive coffers to lend enough capital to see the Linley family back on their feet.
There were riches aplenty to be found on American soil. Tycoons. Fortunes. Scores of them, she'd heard.
Well, she didn't need scores.
All she needed, all she intended to secure, was one.
Niagara Falls March 1870
If this did him in, if he died ... then what?
Hope would lose a brother. The Falls, claim a victim.
It was too loud. Couldn't everyone just stop cheering? And the water, that pounding, teeming froth and fury that bludgeoned whatever crossed its path. Whirring through his brain, dancing before his vision. Dizzying. Nauseating.
"You going to be all right, lad?"
Drew Dawson zeroed in on the voice, forced himself to focus on Henry Godfrey's pool-ball eyes, coattails flapping behind like out of control duck feathers.
"Fine." He swallowed, his tongue dry as cotton batting.
"Then I'd say it's time to begin. Mr. Conway will be waiting on the other side."
"Yeah." He could do this. How many times had he climbed atop the orphanage fence and walked across? Skipped, almost, to the cheers of half a dozen admiring playmates. How often had he scampered over the high wire during his adolescence, while spectators gobbled peanuts and caramel candy?
A few feet off the ground was a million tons of difference compared to what he faced now.
The balance pole clutched in Drew's fist seemed made of lead as he ascended the small platform. The chorus of hurrahs rose to a deafening pitch.
I'd rather not die today, Lord. Though it'd be my own stupid fault if I did.
The first step onto the rope was easier than he'd thought it would be. The tightrope and the guy ropes securing it, stretched and stretched, a giant web meant to ensure his safety. Jaw tight, he steeled his gaze onward, refusing to look down, blocking out the mental picture of what he'd see if he did — the mighty Horseshoe Falls in all their foaming, snarling rage. Daring him to keep moving forward, closer and closer into their grip.
A few more steps. The balance pole became an extension of his limbs, steadying him as wind whipped the air, rattled the guy ropes, and licked his face like a dog, half ravenous. Sweat slithered down his back, though chills broke out on his forehead. The costume he wore — acrobat's tights, shorts, and a thin shirt — wouldn't slow him down. Neither would it keep him warm.
So ... if this killed him, what then? The thought rose again, unbidden and unwanted. He wouldn't get a cent of the one hundred dollars promised by Franklin Conway. And if he didn't, neither would Hope.
Her face filled his mind like a summer breeze, at total variance to the tempest around him. Sweet Hope. The reason for this mad battle against the elements.
Only for her, the sister who held his heart in the palm of her slender hand, would he do this thing.
The closer he got to the middle, the farther the rope dipped downward, sagging like a clothesline weighted with one too many undershirts.
Wind. Stronger. If he fell, now would be the most likely time.
He could sense, though not see, the sizzle of anticipation in the crowd lining both shores. As if he were a gladiator, the Falls a feral beast. They held their breaths, eyes riveted. Waiting. Watching for the merest stumble. Wondering if the next step would be the one that led to his downfall. Literally.
Blast the wind.
Every muscle in his body cried for relief.
There. Another one accomplished. Still fifty more to go.
Focusing too much on either expanse — the one before or behind — would only add to the agony engulfing his tissues and ligaments.
Drew blinked and he was eight again, doing stunts on the orphanage backyard fence. He'd never looked at the throng of boys, hooting and hollering for him to fall on his face. Instead he kept his eyes on Hope as she clasped her hands in front of her, drawing him forward with the trust in her gaze. Willing him to succeed, and by the strength of her willing, making him do just that.
She was helping him forward now. As surely as air blasted around him, he knew this. For Hope, he would gather strength.
For her, he would not die.
The second the thought flashed through his mind, a cramp seized his left calf. Keeping his breathing even, he took another step, as if by sheer force of mind, he could relax the knotting muscles.
It lingered. The cramp. At any second, he would slip. Not a lot. Just enough to send him into the roiling cauldron that would kill him in an instant, without a scrap of mercy or shred of remorse.
The spasm in his leg eased, as if erased by a divine hand that willed him live another day.
The crowd — cheering, whistling, bemoaning, or exulting — increased in volume the closer he came to the other side. He completed the final steps as if in a trance, body soaked with spray and sweat, joints stiff with clutching the heavy balance pole.
The man behind it all, Franklin Conway, was the first to greet him once dry earth replaced the slender, heaving thread of rope and wire.
"Congratulations, Dawson!" The firm clap the man administered to Drew's back was hardly helpful, though the sturdy hand he kept on his shoulders aided in grounding him.
"Thank you, sir." Drew couldn't help the grin that crept over his lips. It felt familiar, reminiscent of boyhood and the swell of success that came each time he bested his own feats.
He'd certainly done so this time. Not like Charles Blondin, perhaps. No one could best that funambulist. But Drew hadn't died. For that, he let a long and profound swell of gratitude warm his middle.
"You know why the crowds came out today?" Conway steered him away from the mass of people, who, rather than surging forward to show their appreciation, seemed to drift away like wrapping paper pushed aside after the thrill of Christmas morning. As if in disappointment. As if, by saving his own life, he'd done them a disservice.
"Why?" Wherever Conway was leading him, Drew hoped it was in the direction of a mug of strong black coffee.
Conway faced him, his thin ebony mustache forming a half smile. "Because they were just about a hundred percent certain you were going to die. It was a lucky thing, that Spaniard who was supposed to do today's stunt spraining his knee when he did and my finding you that very afternoon in time to get new posters printed. 'Inexperienced Youth Takes on Blondin's Feats!' I guarantee, at this very moment, there are a hundred gambling men who'd like to push you into the Falls for cheating them out of easy money." Conway chuckled as he motioned for Drew to enter the carriage — manned and guarded by a cadre of policemen.
Conway followed, taking the seat opposite. Drew leaned against the plush interior, wanting only to close his eyes and thank the good Lord for granting him another breath of air not fraught by danger.
"Yes, yes, it was a lucky break that brought us together, Dawson. You're quite the lad. No Blondin of course, but people are tired of Blondin the Invincible. Too much of a sure thing. And since he isn't performing here anymore, yesterday's news."
Conway lit a cigarette and blew out a wisp of smoke. "What Niagara needs is a new line of daring. Something along the lines of 'The Gentleman Daredevil.' Now, there would be an act to interest the crowds. Not to mention, fatten the pocketbook." Conway drew out a large leather billfold from a pocket within the waistcoat of his three-piece black suit. Licking the tip of his finger, he riffled through the bills before handing a stack to Drew.
Before they'd scarcely warmed his fingers, Drew pocketed them. It was for the bills, after all, that he'd just battled gravity. The first thing he'd do, after portioning out enough to pay the rent and stock the larder, would be adding the remainder to the jar. The one marked "Hope's Future." It currently held five measly dollars. Not enough for the doctors and proper care. The jar had never held enough.
Yet now ...
"An act." Drew couldn't tell whether Conway was muttering to himself or addressing him. "One that could bring in a good deal more money than what we've made today."
In a rush almost as heavy as the falls of Niagara, the sensations crashed over him. The sense of dangling high above solid ground on ropes that could twist and snap at any moment. The fear, stark and painful, that could make a man shake like a newborn colt. The risk of sacrificing one's very breath and life on the altar of cheap thrills for an insatiable crowd.
"No." Drew held up a hand, body aching with fatigue. "Not interested."
Conway emitted another low chuckle, smoke curling around his face. "Just think, Dawson. Think of the money, of the partnership. We'd be partners, you know."
Something in the air Conway was polluting must've done something to Drew's brain. He could hardly believe his own ears as his voice answered, "You'd go fifty-fifty?"
The look in Conway's eyes was shrewd and much too calculating for Drew's peace of mind. "You'd get your share, Dawson. Don't you worry none about that."
Stick a man atop a rope over a hundred feet in the air, and getting his share was all Conway thought he'd have cause to worry about?
But something in the exhilaration of having conquered and survived emboldened him as Drew straightened his shoulders and matched Conway's gaze with a hard stare. "Oh, I wouldn't worry. A man would have to be an idiot to do something like that again without it being a sure thing."
It only took a few minutes, more bills coming from Conway's pocketbook and ending up in Drew's hands, some preliminary conversation, for Drew to become exactly that.
Excerpted from "My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York"
Copyright © 2018 Amanda Barratt.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
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
An English beauty on the hunt for a rich husband to save her family from financial ruin, Adele travels to Buffalo, New York, the home of the magnificent Niagara Falls. A chance meeting with a man sets her goal off kilter, as he isn't the secure type. Willing to risk his life to save his sister, Drew hopes to start life on a more secure footing after his next stunt. A good setting for a historical romance, especially one with characters from opposite ends of society, mingling with the crowds of people at the famous falls. The history of the area and its attraction for daredevils doing stunts was interesting. An index with more about Charles Blondin, referred to in the story, would have been helpful. The main characters both carry the weight of responsibility for their family's future welfare, yet Drew alone has faith in God's help and provision. Both main characters seemed to be headed towards a painful end with the choices they made. The lesson of trusting in God, waiting on Him as it says in Isaiah 40, brought hope to the story. "...they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..." It was hard for me to connect with these characters for some reason. The ending made it worth it though. A clean historic romance with a faith theme. 3.5 stars (An ebook was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
'When trouble comes to call, it didn't knock politely and wait to be shown to the parlor. It battered the door, broke down the hinges and pushed its way where it wasn't wanted.' Amanda Barratt is a new face to watch in inspirational fiction. She has written a wonderfully deep and inspiring story of adversity, hope and faith with this novel. Her characters are very well thought out and her plot is well done. Be sure to watch what this young novelist brings next. *I thank the publisher and author for a complimentary copy of this book. My opinion is my own.
Surprises abound in this New York State read, and really didn’t see a lot that happened coming, yes, I was really blind-sided. We see both sides of the spectrum here, from the ultra-rich to the ultra-poor, and a bit in between, and we wear the shoes of both sides. Our heroine is a young lady bent on saving her families estate in England by finding a rich American husband. The author gives us a deep look into her and her family. While she really surprised me by her acts, I wasn’t sure at times if I really liked her. Our male counterpart has a big heart for God and family, but really risks his life in order to make money. His heart is in the right place, but really didn’t think is head was on straight, but he put his faith first, and made me love him. This one is a very different read, and I urge you to keep reading, it gets better and better. I received this book through Net Galley and Barbour Publishing and was not required to give a positive review
Amanda Barratt’s writing is rich and layered, allowing the reader to feel the emotions and experience the settings right alongside the characters. In My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, Amanda’s skills enhance the ambiance of the era in which the story takes place (late 1800’s). Adele and Drew’s story is romantic, but not a bit fluffy. The two come from opposite sides of society, yet are inexplicably drawn together. Many forces conspire to keep them apart, and we are drawn in, page after page, yearning to discover if they will overcome those forces. Each hold in their heart the desire to make something of themselves – yet not for their own gain, but for those they hold dear. In the process, secrets are kept, and decisions are made that lead to unwanted and even tragic consequences. Amanda grabs your attention from the very first sentence and keeps it till the very last, with a satisfying ending that will send you looking for her next story. Amanda graciously provided a copy of this book with no requirements as to a review. The thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
With a spectacular backdrop of Niagara Falls, the most death defying act was soon to astound the audience. Oh my I was hooked as I read what Drew was about to do. Who in their right mind would walk across Niagara Falls on a flimsy pole? I can hear Drew’s heart as the first step was taken. The author draws readers in with the heartpounding adventure of a man who is willing to risk his life . Drew isn’t out to be famous, but to help his sister who he adores. They are desperate for money and he is willing to walk on water for her. I loved Drew so much because he was a humble person who put others before himself. Adele is a wonderful young lady who had it all; well until her family fell on hard times. The family name was once upon a time worth riches and they had outlandish places to live. That all changed when the family becomes almost penniless. I liked the journey Adele took to America. Her hopes were high as she sought after a husband who could save her family from ruins. What really caught my attention in the story was the faith that Drew had as he became a victim of a terrible accident. He never complained, but became more dependent on what God said. As his feelings become more clear towards Adele, she fights to keep hers under wraps. The story is a reminder that God loves each of us and sees the beauty in us. Adele needed to trust that God would be with her and help her in her time of need. The scriptures used in the story were so beautiful to read. I love being reminded that if we wait upon the Lord, He will give us strength. Patience is a hard thing for many of us. We try to hurry things along when God is telling us to wait and trust Him. The author also touches on feeling like you are a failure in God’s eyes. One character will learn just how important they are to Him and be free from the guilt and shame they have carried for so long. This is one story that I savored every word and felt every emotion as the characters faced pain, disappointment and redemption. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk , and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31. I received a copy of this book from the author . The review is my own opinion.
This book follows the story of the once wealthy daughter of an English aristocrat and a poor, handsome, American tightrope walker just trying to get by. While you may wonder, how does these two character's stories cross? I can tell you one thing, Miss Amanda has crafted this story and the plot to absolute perfection and it will leave you wondering how you just read the whole second half of the book when you just meant to read one more chapter (Oops!) I was captivated by the first page, as Amanda gives you just enough insight to the struggle Adele is facing to pull you straight into the story and make you feel grounded in each of the characters. If you think you may know what will happen, drop the idea. This story will leave you sitting with your mouth hanging open and your eyes wide (Well, it did me anyway!) Amanda writes with such elegance as each page shines with words that take you far into the world of 1870. Her metaphors and similes are creative and tactful. I must say that my favorite line throughout the entire book had to be: If one had secrets to tell, a coffeehouse scarcely bigger than a closet and occupied with as many cobwebs as patrons, made an ideal location. (Can't you just picture it?!) It was so humbling and heartwarming to read of Drew's determination to earn enough to sustain him and his sister, even if it meant doing the nearly impossible. You will ache for these characters, rejoice for these characters, and feel as if they are a part of you. Adele's silent battle to take care of her mother and brother and English estate is surely a burden for anyone. A burden that Adele tries to carry with elegance. Can you just imagine how hard that would be? I urge you to read this one, my friends. For you will truly be a better person for it. I learned a wonderful truth through the reading of it and am so thankful that Amanda has given us the gift of her novel so that so many can read and enjoy it like I have. What a God given talent she has with words!! I will refrain from spilling and spoilers about the book, but I will tell you that I was shocked by the time that I finished it. Wow. This book will have a special place on my bookshelf for sure.
This next book in the “My Heart Belongs” series is truly worth reading. Author Amanda Barratt fully brings her characters to life and the Niagara Falls book has it all. Suspense, tension, romance, and learning to trust in God. Layer upon layer is revealed in this story as the characters grow. It took be awhile to write a review because I honestly can’t tell you what I enjoyed most about Adele’s Journey. The story was so skillfully crafted that everything flowed together beautifully. All of the feelings were there, and I had to process at the end of the story. Adele is willing to sacrifice all for her family and I had to ask myself if I would be able to do that. Drew also sacrifices all for his family, but in a different way. While the two are at different points on the social economical scale, they are continually drawn together, making for an interesting tale. While there is a lot of history added to this book, it is by no means dry or boring. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down and I hope to see more from Amanda Barratt. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
All of these “My Heart Belongs in… “ books get you with the cover and blesses you with the read of them. My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls New York by Amanda Barrett is a wonderful read of the power of God at work through hearts and lives of people that He draws to Himself. There are cringing moments of tightrope walking and there are moments of defeat and despair but they are so nicely packaged in this story of redemption and hope in God. Without God comes the meaningless pursuit of life and all the empty problems and with God comes the eternal future purpose-filled life. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Adele Louise Linley has headed to an aunt and uncle in New York to try and find a rich husband to save her family's estate in England. Drew Dawson has become a funambulist (tight rope walker) in order to cross Niagara Falls and make a lot of money to enable his sister to get the surgery she needed so she would no longer be confined to a wheelchair. But things don't always go as they think they will. I found the plot line in this particular My Heart Belongs book was more complex and interesting than some of the others. The characters were definitely unique. Adele often made me angry as some of her decisions were so self-serving whereas Drew was always focused on other people especially his sister. He was hardworking, trustworthy, and caring. I did admire when Adele realized how badly one of her decisions went awry that she gave up her plans and stepped out to take care of Drew and his sister taking on tasks that she had never done before. The fully developed characters, wonderful descriptions of Niagara Falls, and the surprises that took place made this a good read.
The hero in the story is a strong, likable man, as is his sister. The main female character, Adele, who tries to solve all her problems by her own finagling, has a harder road to travel to become more likable by the end of the story. There are some issues that don't seem to be fully fleshed out, but by the end of the story there is more action and tension and a happy ending. I learned a new word along the way--funambulist. Niagara Falls and tightrope walking made for a very interesting setting. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York is a delightful story penned by an author whose love of history emanates through her words. Details of times gone by in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY paint pictures of the perks of high society and challenges of lower-class living that bring this story to life. From a flower-filled estate in England to refuse-filled Canal Street; from Adele Linley’s beautiful dresses to Drew Dawson’s sparse living accommodations and everything in between, I envisioned it all as I turned the pages of this entry into the My Heart Belongs series. A small cast of characters fills the pages of this moderately paced story. Heroine Adele Linley and hero Drew Dawson come from opposing sides of life; however, their desires to protect the ones they love and their selflessness to do what they think will make their loved ones happy demonstrate that who people are has very little to do with material possessions. Of the two main characters, I identified with both but felt a much stronger connection with Drew. His compelling backstory and desire to take care of his disabled younger sister made for strong characterization. Adele’s story, while moving, didn’t impact me as much because I felt like a wall removed any sort of emotional connection I could have made with her. Supporting characters Hope and Delany endeared themselves to my heart by the end of the story. I’d love to see a sequel starring these two.
I really enjoyed this Christian historical romance by Amanda Barratt, set in 1870 in Niagara Falls, New York. There is a great diversity between the very rich and the very poor. Amanda did a great job with all the characters. The personalities of each was well delivered. My favorite was the hero Drew Dawson. Growing up in an orphanage with his younger sister, Drew never found life to come easy. Adele Linley an English aristocrats daughter, after losing her father, has a plan to solve her families financial problem. She will go to America and marry a rich man. As you will see in the story, she often acts before thinking things through. Adele learns too late that her choices and actions bring consequences. She believes falsely that “God helps those who help themselves.” It is hard for her to believe that the best way is to wait on God and not take matters into our own hands. There was so much I enjoyed about this story. Drew was so loving and caring. He would do anything to provide for his handicapped sister. Here is a quote from Adele to Drew when she learns he is “One of those Blondin-type fellows. “Hmm, Fascinating. I don't suppose you fear falling off, Mr. Dawson? Danger is a funny sort of guest. Calling at unwanted hours, overstaying its welcome, and making off with far more than we intended to give it. Here he is again caring for Adele in her time of need. The moment the flood began, he wrapped his arm around her. He was there, cradling her in the midst of it all. And she let him, holding on tight, her face against his chest. …..No matter how great the tempest, it always turns to gentle rain. He let the thought strengthen him, whispered it against her hair on the chance that it would do the same to her. I truly found this book to be of interest. It takes us through some dark places, but it doesn't leave us there. I received a complimentary ARC book, provided by the Publisher and Net Galley. My thanks to them. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York is a delightful book. Adele Linley leaves England and comes to America to find a rich husband who will be able to save her family home. She is not quite sure what to expect when she arrives at the home of her uncle and aunt...where her reception is lukewarm at best. Adele is introduced to the best that 1870 Buffalo society has to offer and soon falls under the spell of a wealthy but somewhat sinister Franklin Conway. On an outing to Niagara Falls with her family, she meets a handsome young stranger whose face she can't seem to forget. Will either of these men offer a solution to her financial problems? Will Adele find true love or will she settle for security? This is a story with many twists and turns and a lot of good historical information as well. Who knows what a funambulist is? I'm not sure that I did before I read this book! I enjoyed it very much. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Un-put-downable! Yes, yes, I did go there. How could I not? This book is just that! Very hard to put down! I loved Ms. Barratt's captivating writing style and her historically rich plot line. I was up long into the night reading this novel and didn't want it to end. I could feel myself following the characters' journeys, seeing Niagra Falls come to life before me. Getting to know Adele and Drew was refreshing. I loved their characters each equally. Drew's character really reminded me of a tender hearted guy that I could fall hard for. The love he had for his sister was evident and really made for a swoonworthy man. Adele, bless her, I loved how I could "hear" her English accent when she spoke to Drew. I loved that, since my mom's best friend is from England and I love to listen to her talk. Seeing Adele and Drew together.....well, I rooted for them until the end! The journey that Adele takes isn't an easy one. It's a long, bumpy ride for sure. But, Ms. Barratt throws in the perfect amount of twists, and a whole lot of love and understanding from God and creates a wonderful, soul stealing story. This is definitely a book I would recommend to all with a 4 star, two thumbs up, hats off praise! Ms. Barratt did a phenomenal job with her addition to the MY HEART BELONGS series, and I can't wait to add more of her books to my shelves. She's truly talented and definitely knows what to give readers who are looking for a "up all night, page turning, heart capturing" novel. Bravo, Ms. Barratt, bravo! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
Will fortune & fame win out...or true love? When one thinks of Niagara Falls the first word that usually comes to mind is 'honeymoon'. But My Heart Belongs In Niagara Falls: Adele's Journey delves into another important and fascinating aspect of the natural wonder's history. Dozens of people tried to tame the falls, from tightrope walkers to those that attempted to ride the falls in barrels, most did not succeed and some even lost their lives. It's not often, especially when they get equal page time, that I like a book's hero better than the heroine. But I did this time. Drew is genuinely a nice guy, kind, loyal, and a man of faith. Adele loves and will do anything for her family which causes her to make some questionable decisions. Through key characters readers see both the consequences of wresting control from God, taking matters into one's own hands, and the opposite, how faith can keep a person going when the going gets tough. My Heart Belongs In Niagara Falls: Adele's Journey is an entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking historical romance. This is Amanda Barratt's debut as a full-length novelist and it is an enjoyable read. Fans of this fun state inspired historical series will find this book to be a must read! (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
From the first page, I could feel the mist of Niagara Falls floating through the air. This story takes the reader on a journey of family dedication to finding unexpected love. Good story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Amanda Barratt’s My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls Captivating and emotional!!! My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls is a well written, deftly described book. You will hear the rush of the Falls, feel drops of splashing water as if you accompanied the characters to the Falls. Intriguing, well plotted book with twists and turns that hold the reader mesmerized. Adele Linley leaves her English home to travel abroad with the facade of visiting her relatives. She plots to live with them while looking for a rich man to marry who will provide for her and her English Home where her mother resides. Drew Dawson grew up in an orphanage. He cares for her sister who is wheelchair bound. They live in a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression and danger around every bend. He made his mark by tightroping across Niagara Falls. Now his main backer has scheduled for Drew to cross again. This story is power packed with emotion and family issues, fear to love again, loss and grieving, forgiveness, personal growth, friendship and love. The story shows with faith in God everything will work out at just the right moment in time for the good of all. Highly recommend this story. Be sure to read!! I volunteered to read My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls. Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy of the book. My opinion is my own and under no obligation to be posted.
very good book.. I held my interest .. It is story of Adele Linley who is the daughter of an English aristocrat with no money. Adele makes a trip to America to her uncles home in search of a rich American to marry in hopes of saving her family's home . She meets Franklin Conway who takes an interest in her and ask her to marry him. She also meets Drew Dawson who is quite honest with her about his work. When she finds he is one who walked tight rope across Niagara Falls she becomes upset as she has fallen in love with him. But she accepts Franklin proposal. She is very confused but in end follows her heart. You will have read book to find what happens in between events. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York, written by Amanda Barratt, is a fun read! I was drawn to it because the location to begin with. I've never been to Niagra and would love to go someday. My favorite character, Drew. What a guy! I'd love for my girls to meet a guy like Drew. Very dependable. Always caring. Lived a God-honoring life and still had to deal with problems. My least favorite character, Adele. She made some poor choices. She wasn't where she could be spiritually so I understand the reason she made poor choices, but I didn't like her nearly as much as Drew. I'd love to see a book about Hope! I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All thoughts and comments were my own.
I enjoyed this story with the romantic Niagara Falls in the background. Adele has arrived from England to look for a rich husband to save the family estate. Drew was a daredevil going to make a name for himself by crossing the falls on a tightrope. They meet at the Falls and the story goes from worse to even worse! Secrets lead to misunderstandings, a death, and to an well, almost surprise ending. Interesting, not real fast moving, but enough different scenes going on that I would recommend Adele's Journey.. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review." My review is voluntary..
4.5 stars Amanda Barratt’s debut novel is a sweet romance as well as being a powerful story of trusting God – and, what happens when we take matters into our own hands instead of waiting on Him. I can totally relate to Adele Linley & her need to fix what’s wrong and be in the one in charge. In fact, I think most woman can appreciate that aspect of Adele’s character, though perhaps (hopefully) not to the extremes that she takes it. She is sincere and her heart is good; it’s just the execution of her plans that gets her (and others) into trouble. Part of this stems from her belief that God is uncaring and disengaged and, when viewed from that foggy lens, no wonder she thinks it’s all up to her. Misguided though she may be, Adele is a genuinely likable heroine with some tough lessons to learn. And then there’s Drew, who is swoony and heroic…. and also has some tough lessons to learn. His sacrificial love for his sister brought tears to my eyes more than once, and his faith in Jesus warmed my heart as it rubbed off on Adele. Did he make all the right choices? Nope. And I love that. Because those of us who love Jesus still aren’t perfect, and we so often forget that we don’t have to do this life on our own. While Adele reflects the mindset of people we might encounter in the everyday, Drew is a realistic reflection of our own hearts and actions. Now, I have to give both Adele and Drew some credit here: They don’t sit idly by and wait for someone else to solve their problems. They jump in with both feet and do what needs doing, no matter the cost to themselves. And while this is certainly admirable, they both miss out at first on the blessing of letting God take over – of letting His far-and-above dreams for us play out in His timing. As the consequences for their actions play out on the page, the love story that God – and the author – weaves in their life is tender and uplifting. Bottom Line: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt is touching and romantic, and it depicts an intriguing time in the history of the Falls. Additionally, the juxtaposition of poverty and wealth – both materially and emotionally – is a very compelling contrast, one that Barratt writes beautifully. Adele and Drew are layered and intriguing, separately as well as together, and their story is one that will hit you in all the feels. Death-defying acts, sacrificial love, gentle romance and well-researched history… This is a great debut, and I can’t wait to read more from this author! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Adele is a bit of a hot mess. She puts on a good façade, but her desperate circumstances lead her to desperate measures, and even more desperate choices. I appreciated the setting and learning a little history of Niagara Falls, but there was something about the story that prevented me from fully enjoying it. Perhaps it was Adele's duplicity and hypocrisy- taking the moral high ground over the tightrope walkers "exploiting" the Falls, while she pursues Mr. Conway for his wealth even though she can't stand him. I liked Drew and his devotion to his invalid sister and her care, but felt like there was a lack of chemistry between him and Adele, even thought they kept coming across each other coincidentally in order to bring two people from separate classes together. Drew's sister Hope was sweet and I would have liked to see more of her in the book. I was curious to see how the author would bring these two star-crossed lovers together in the end, and it was a bumpy ride- Adele's choices getting worse and worse until her final attempt to redeem the consequences of her betrayal. There was a spiritual message of trusting God but even though Adele went through the thought process, her actions proved that she still relied on herself and herself alone. While the ending included an epilogue, there were several loose threads that never got tied up, leaving me feeling dissatisfied. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
This was a very good story that starts in England and ends up in Niagara Falls, New York. Adele believes that the only way she can save her home in England is to move to the United States where her Uncle lives and marry a rich American. It is sad that people think this way but the story is very well done. I enjoyed Adele and Drew. I also enjoyed Drew’s sister and would love to hear more about her. I loved the romance and the bit of suspense. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and gave a review of my own free will.
What a fun way to spend the afternoon! I had the delight of reviewing My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey, by Amanda Barratt. Like all of the other My Heart Belongs titles, this one was historical fiction with an interesting plot involving Adele, a poor daughter of an aristocrat, Drew, a tightrope walker, and Franklin, the wealthy man employing Drew. While this wasn't riveting fiction and was a bit predictable, many fiction books are meant to just provide a fun escape for a while, and this one did just that. An enjoyable blend of romance, intrigue, and a good storyline, I would recommend this, and really all the My Heart Belongs titles, to someone wanting just a quick and fun read. Happy reading! *I received a complimentary copy of this book by Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey, by Amanda Barrett. I enjoyed the setting, the plot, the character development, the themes, and the spiritual message. I have never been to Niagara Falls, but I would love to go. The author gave a great historical account of the European discovery of the Falls as well as descriptions of the awe, the beauty, and the danger. The main characters were unique and believable. I have to admit that I had never heard of the term "funambulist" before. (Sounds like an SAT vocab word!) Great storyline there. The secondary characters were frustrating--especially some of the family members. Of course there had to be a slimy bad guy too. They all made it easy to cheer for the unlikely couple. The author tackled class warfare, family responsibility, poverty, physical disability, personal accountability, consequences of rash decisions, perseverance, faith, and love. There is a lot packed into those 254 pages. Overall this was a great read. It moved along nicely and kept my attention. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.