Secrets of My Heart (Willamette Brides Book #1)

Secrets of My Heart (Willamette Brides Book #1)

by Tracie Peterson

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Portland, Oregon, 1879. Nancy Pritchard finds herself a widow with a world of problems when her deceased husband's schemes start to come to light. As she searches through the pieces of her loveless marriage, Nancy realizes there is a lot that she didn't know about this man.

Seth Carpenter is a childhood friend of Nancy's who has recently returned to Portland. He's delighted to see her again, and as a lawyer, he is able to help her sort through the legal aspects of her husband's death. But there's more to him than meets the eye, and his job will take him into a darker side of Nancy's life--a side she didn't even know existed. As they search for the truth behind her husband's death, their attraction to each other creates complications, and the threat to Nancy increases. Can Seth be honest with her about who he really is and why he's come to Portland? And can Nancy bear another betrayal?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493422746
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/03/2020
Series: Willamette Brides , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 16,803
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live near Missoula, Montana. Learn more at
Tracie Peterson ( is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Customer Reviews

Secrets of My Heart 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Lori782 7 days ago
Isn't this cover lovely? I sure think so. Just when you think you know a person then bam! The start of a,good story coming down folks! I just love Tracie Peterson. I love and respect her stories so very much! She never disappoints me. I look forward to her books! Each book has a charm all their own but I think this one is my favorite so far. Nancy and Seth are the most intriguing couple I've ever met. I say this because their relationship started off pretty much like mine did with my husband''s. First friends and you know what usually happens after that. You will recognize some of the supporting characters as you read this book. I cheered when I seen who they were. The conversations in this book sure was lively! Some was about slavery and abolition, animals or whatever they deemed worthy talking about that day. Nancy is stubborn and tends to dig her heals in which is good of course (like my husband) but look at all she's been through! My goodness! But I was cheering for her the whole time! I devoured this book in two sittings some of it on the city bus. I just simply couldn't put it down! I liked Seth. His strength and support towards Nancy meant alot to me. He's good, kind, supportive and looks out after my friend. Friends are important to have. Peterson weaves in faith filled messages throughout her stories and this one is no exception. I like that she doesn't leave anything out! There does seem to be a bit of mystery that was also weaved expertly of course. Who was Albert and why was he so private about his affairs? He sort of reminds me of my husband on this. You'll just have to read this wonderful, amazing, awesome book to find out Albert's secrets. You'll not want to put the book down until you do. I highly recommend this book. My bc thanks to Bethany House and Netgalley for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
KrisAnderson_TAR 15 days ago
Secrets of My Heart by Tracie Peterson is the first book in Willamette Brides series. In a way, it is a continuation of Heart of the Frontier series featuring Grace Armistead, Nancy Pritchard’s mother along with Hope and Mercy. All three ladies appear in Secrets of My Heart. Secrets of My Heart, though, can be read on its own for those who have not indulged in Heart of the Frontier novels. I thought Secrets of My Heart was well-written and it captured the time period. Indians were living on reservations in Oregon and certain people want that land. Other issues addressed in Secrets of My Heart is the education of black children and women’s suffrage. The arguments were realistic and prevalent. I like how the author showed both sides of the issues. We can see that attitudes of people in the 1870s is very similar to those of some people today (which is shocking and upsetting). Nancy is wrestling with God. There are many discussions on the matter along with prevalent scripture verses. I did find it a little much for me. I would have preferred a lighter touch. The mystery of Albert Pritchard was intriguing. It turns out that Nancy knew very little about her husband who was a private man. Unfortunately, the mystery is not fully resolved in Secrets of My Heart. There is a great villain in the story. It is one of those that you love to hate (and cannot wait to see him get his comeuppance). I liked that Nancy established a female boarding house. She had some diverse tenants from the reclusive Mrs. Weaver to the pious and proper Clifton sisters. The romance between Sean and Nancy is sweet and representative of the time. Nancy is naturally reluctant to marry again (her first marriage was not ideal). Sean falls for Nancy, but he is naturally worried about her reaction to the information he withheld from her. I found Nancy a conundrum. At time she claims she is too weak and tired to deal with an issue. Then she gets upset when she feels excluded. I would have liked her to have been take charge with regard to her deceased husband’s business affairs. I thought the book ended abruptly. I would have liked an epilogue that could have been an introduction or lead in for the next book in the series. The Willamette Brides series continues with The Way of Love which features Hope’s daughter, Faith Kenner who is attending medical school. Secrets of My Heart is a complex novel with vile villain, secreted stores, a bounty of boarders, palpable pressure, soul searching, and a tender romantic relationship.
TheCompulsiveReader7 17 days ago
(4.5 stars) - all things happen for good to them that love God When Nancy's indifferent husband dies & her old friend Seth returns, it seems she has a chance for her life to begin anew. Unfortunately, her husband left the tangles of his sins behind & she won't be free (or safe) until the mess is unraveled. Thankfully, Providentially it seems, Seth is there to help. This was such a good story! It was interesting to learn some of our country's history out West after the Civil War. The story is suspenseful & exciting. The romance is sweet & satisfying. And the protagonist's reconciliation with God is the best! *Clean romance level: sweet kisses, nothing graphic
simplyannehere 18 days ago
Secrets of My Heart By Tracie Peterson Following the death of her husband, Nancy is left feeling uncertain. In attempts to move forward, Nancy opens her home as a boarding house. The past, however, is not settled as Nancy discovers her husband was not who he claimed to be. Looking for help Nancy seeks out her lawyer who happens to be working with a childhood friend, Seth. Working closely with Seth opens Nancy's heart to the possibility of love. There is so much to discover of her husband's nefarious life will they be able to navigate a relationship? I enjoyed this read. It was easy to follow the deception and sneaky makings of Nancy's husband's past. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
floraljoy 25 days ago
Another winner: What a great start to a new series that picks up after the Heart of the Frontier series (which followed sisters Grace, Hope and Mercy). Now we get to explore the lives of their children, starting with Grace and Alex's daughter Nancy. Newly widowed Nancy lives in Portland where she discovers her late husbands illegal activities and association with a deeply racist group of people. It was interesting exploring the continued plight of the Native Americans and the deplorable lengths some people went to in an effort to drive them out. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding this and look forward its continuation in future books. Additionally, there is a tender and sweet romance between Nancy and Seth, the lawyer/investigator. Initially it was a little hard for me to bond with Nancy as she is rather closed off emotionally, however I came to very much enjoy her perseverance and spunk. Her struggles seemed authentic and I liked how she overcame them. Overall this book contains a wonderful message about forgiveness and surrendering our lives to Christ. I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
randiloves2read 27 days ago
Following her husband’s, death Nancy Pritchard finds herself in an entangled mess of race issues and criminal activity. She has to protect herself from dangerous men threatening her for information about her late husband’s affairs. Her childhood friend and lawyer, Seth Carpenter, comes to her aid. Secrets of my Heart is installment #1 in the Willamette Brides Series by Tracie Peterson. We get to follow Nancy Pritchard’s struggles following her husband Albert’s mysterious death. He is found dead in the river and seems to have been involved in criminal activity selling fire arms and whiskey to Indians. Now his dangerous accomplices come after his wife Nancy and threaten to hurt her family if she doesn’t do as they ask. Nancy’s childhood friend and lawyer, Seth Carpenter, comes to her aid offering to deal with the late husband’s legal affairs; only he doesn’t tell her the truth about why he is really in Portland. I did not know much about racial issues in Oregon in 1800s. This was the first time I got opportunity to read about it in a fictional work, which I found very interesting. I particularly enjoy books set in the Western USA. Being European I find these plots exotic Nancy Pritchard became a widow under mysterious circumstances. Her life with her late husband was not a happy one, so she is not grief stricken, but she feels very insecure about whom she can trust. Nancy tries to stay active and get back on her feet, so she starts a boarding house exclusively for women. I can relate to her need to be of use after her husband’s death. I find her a character easy to like and she is my favorite in this story. She struggles with anger towards God and feels He has abandoned her ever since her beloved little brother died. Gerome Berkshire is Albert Pritchard’s best friend and local politician. He offers a dodgy presence in the story and I really didn’t like him. While I didn’t like his political views at all it was also pretty clear from the start of this story that he was up to no good. I found the writing flowed well and the dialogue was interesting and well crafted. Tea parties with good conversations on Nancy’s porch appealed to me and they drew me into a feeling of coziness and protection. My favorite part of the story was descriptions of the 4th July celebrations at the time. They seemed to be so nice and entertaining for all. Quite grand and exotic to me, compared to the 17th May celebrations in Norway. There is a strong element of faith running through the story with a number of discussions relating to Nancy’s struggles. I enjoyed Nancy’s process moving from struggle to being at peace with God. Secrets of my Heart #1 in the Willamette Brides Series is a sweet and entertaining story recommended for fans of Tracie Peterson and for readers of historical romance fiction. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for this eARC which gave me the opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own.
Cakt1991 27 days ago
I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I requested Secrets of My Heart in the interest of trying more Tracie Peterson and seeing which ones I like, so I’m not completely giving up on her after one bad series. . And while it’s still somewhat flawed, this might be my favorite I’ve read so far, given its overall focus on its central plot and the two main characters, giving me time to fully become invested in them, while also subtly introducing possible future leads. I found both Nancy and Seth instantly sympathetic, and it helps that the story has one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers, with some added complexities due to Seth’s profession. I enjoyed watching Nancy working to put her life together after her husband died, finding out the dark side of him he his in the process. I also enjoyed how Seth’s lingering affection for her came into play as a conflict to his own mission, as originally he has no idea the man he was investigating was married to his old friend. There did seem to be an attempt at a suspense plot, and it for the most part was fairly solid, but I didn’t find that it had the most satifactory resolution, and I felt the book overall ended a bit too hastily. There is, however, a lot of historical detail, and in it, I saw parallels in the conversations the characters were having in regards to the issues of slavery, abolition, and the equal rights, and some of the arguments, particularly in regard to the 14th Amendment, are quite chilling, in how that has continued to be an issue of discourse today. This was more or less enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing what comes next for this series. If you like sweet historical romance with a Christian/inspirational center to the story, this is a great one.