The Heart's Pursuit

The Heart's Pursuit

by Robin Lee Hatcher


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A Colorado beauty abandoned at the altar. A rugged bounty hunter haunted by his past. In this dramatic historical novel by best-selling author Robin Lee Hatcher, two wounded hearts join forces in a pursuit across the Old West.

Silver Matlock is a Colorado beauty in search of revenge against the man who stranded her at the altar and fled with the remnant of her family's fortune. She is determined to find the man who betrayed her trust.

Jared Newman, rugged as the West itself, is relentless in his pursuit of lawless men—but unable to escape his own tragic past. Hardened by his life as a bounty hunter, he must learn to forgive before he loses his soul.

Joining forces, the two set out in search of Silver's betrayer. The handsome but embittered Jared finds himself powerfully drawn to the beautiful woman whose drive for justice equals his own. But lack of honesty keeps Silver and Jared from fully trusting each other, even as a shocking revelation intensifies their pursuit of the cunning—and deadly—quarry.

"Hatcher delivers another thought-provoking historical novel." —CBA Retailers + Resources

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310259275
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 05/13/2014
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 912,936
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. 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. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

Read an Excerpt

The Heart's Pursuit

By Robin Lee Hatcher


Copyright © 2014 Robin Lee Hatcher
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-25927-5


May 1873

Bright sunlight glared down on the small town of Twin Springs, Colorado, as Jared Newman stopped his pinto gelding in front of the saloon. Silence reigned along the main street. If he hadn't ridden through here three days earlier, he would have thought the town abandoned. Not a soul in sight.

He removed his battered Stetson and raked his fingers through his hair, then stepped down from the saddle. He knocked the hat against his pant leg a few times, shaking loose the trail dust. He was bone weary, and his temper had seen better days. The latter was due to the unseasonable heat. The former was due to the man who rode with him.

"Get down, Peterson. We could both use something to drink."

His prisoner obeyed, sliding to the ground, his wrists cuffed in front of him.

With a jingle of spurs, Jared ushered Lute Peterson through the swinging doors of the Mountain Rose Saloon. The narrow room was dimly lit and musty smelling. Two men, a circle of smoke lingering above their heads, glanced up from their game of cards. A blonde in a dress that might have been the height of fashion a decade or two earlier lounged against the bar.

Behind her, the bartender swirled a white cloth along the bar's hardwood surface. He grinned at the new customers, but his expression changed fast enough when he noticed the cuffs on Peterson's wrists. His gaze shifted to Jared. "What'll it be?"

"Sarsaparilla. Two." He tossed some coins onto the bar.

Peterson cast a look of disbelief in Jared's direction. "Sarsaparilla? How about a whiskey?"

Jared ignored him.

The woman sidled closer. "Haven't seen you in here before. Where you headed? Or are you new to town?"

He glanced at her. A generous dusting of powder and rouge had been applied to her angular face. Like her dress, she might have been attractive at one time, but life had left its mark around her eyes and in the cynical corners of her painted mouth.

When he didn't answer, she smirked. "Cat got your tongue?"

He would prefer to ignore her question the way he had Peterson's request for hard liquor, but he had a feeling she wouldn't leave him alone until he answered. "I'm taking my prisoner to Denver."

The bartender set the two glasses on the bar. Jared grabbed one and brought it to his lips, draining the drink in one long gulp.

"You a lawman?" the woman asked.

"Of a sort." He tossed another coin onto the bar. "I'll have another one."

"You look tired, mister. You should stay in town for the night." She leaned closer, smiling an invitation.

Jared caught a whiff of her cheap cologne and grimaced. "Sorry. We're in a hurry."

"I ain't in no hurry." Peterson grinned as if he were a friend instead of a common thief headed for jail. "I'd stay with the lady if she wants company."

With a shake of his head, Jared addressed the bartender again. "Where is everyone? The town looks deserted."

"Big wedding over at the church." The man poured

Jared another sarsaparilla. "Our fair town's leading family's got a daughter getting hitched. Just about everybody's there."

"But none of you went." Jared tossed back this drink the same way he had the first.

The blonde at his elbow laughed. "Do we look like the type to get invited to a church weddin'?" She snorted.

Jared shrugged, then looked toward Peterson. "Let's go."

"Why don't we spend the night here, like the lady asked?" He grabbed his glass and downed the drink. "Ain't you tired?"

Jared took hold of Peterson's left arm and steered him out of the saloon. "Mount up. We've got a lot of ground to cover before dark."

Too bad Twin Springs didn't have a sheriff—something he'd learned when he passed through the town the last time. It would suit Jared just fine not to have to ride into Denver to collect his reward. He'd like to be done with Peterson.

As they stepped toward the horses, Jared's hand still gripping Peterson's arm, he glanced in the opposite direction—and stopped dead in his tracks. A young woman raced toward him, a vision in white satin and pearls, her long lace train dragging on the dusty planks of the boardwalk. As he watched, she jerked the filmy veil from her head and sent her ebony hair cascading down her back, then tossed the headdress into the street.

Undoubtedly the daughter of the aforementioned leading family of Twin Springs. But a happy bride she was not. What had caused her to flee the church? A case of cold feet, perhaps. If so, they must be frigid indeed. Despite himself, an amused grin crept into the corners of his mouth.

At that moment, the fleeing bride seemed to become aware of the two men standing in the street beside their horses. She came to a stop on the boardwalk, and her eyes lifted to meet Jared's. Silver-gray in a pretty face, they were awash with tears and filled with pain. His amusement vanished.

"We going or not, bounty?" Peterson demanded.

The woman's eyes widened a fraction before she continued past them in a flash of white, disappearing moments later around the next corner.

Jared was sorry she'd seen his grin. He regretted finding levity in her apparent sorrow—whatever the cause of it. "We're going." He gave Peterson a little push toward his mount.

The sooner they made Denver, the happier Jared would be.


Silver Matlock sat on the edge of the settee, staring at the carpet, her hands balled into tight fists in her lap. Tension gripped the small parlor, as it had gripped the house ever since her disastrous would-be wedding six days earlier.

"Are you telling me we could lose the store, Gerald?" her stepmother demanded.

"The store. Our home. Everything."

"But that's impossible. We couldn't be ... impoverished." Marlene Matlock's voice lowered as she grasped the severity of their situation. "Gerald, that's not possible. We helped build this town. We are the family everyone looks to. We—"

"It's not impossible, my dear."

Hearing the tiredness in her father's voice, Silver looked up.

"We are facing ruination." He ran the palm of his right hand over his bald head. "We've spent above our income for too long."

Her stepmother's ill temper returned. "Are you saying this is my fault? You know we couldn't allow Silvana to be married without a proper wedding."

Gerald Matlock shook his head. "It's much more than the expense of the wedding, Marlene, and you know it. I've tried to make you understand. Business has not been good for a long while. Twin Springs isn't growing as it once did. The money from selling that piece of land was to have paid off the mortgage and our other debts. With it stolen, there's nothing left to fall back on. We are out of options."

Blinking back tears, Silver watched as her father left the parlor, his shoulders slumped.

She knew the family's financial crisis was neither because of her stepmother's spending nor because of the mercantile receipts falling off. Those things hadn't helped, but the current crisis was her fault. All her fault. Hungry for a man's affections and pressured by her stepmother to find a husband, she'd fallen for Bob Cassidy's considerable charms much too easily. Why hadn't she listened to that tiny voice of doubt?

"Whatever shall we do now?" her stepmother whispered.

Silver remained silent. She had no answer.

Her stepmother turned to look at her. "That man of yours has ruined us."

"I'm sorry, Mother."

"We're all sorry. Much good it will do us." She dabbed beneath her eyes with a handkerchief. "Oh, we should have known the minute he came calling on you he was up to no good. Why else would he come?"

Of course they should have known. It wasn't possible Bob Cassidy could have loved Silver. It wasn't possible he'd truly wanted to marry her. Why would he? She was no great beauty like her stepsister. She had no great fortune to inherit from her father—even before this latest disaster—and she hadn't been blessed with the usual feminine attributes used to attract a man's interests.

Yes, the Matlocks should have known Bob was up to no good.

Silver rose and left the parlor. A short while later she entered her father's office at the back of the mercantile. She'd known she would find him there, going over the record books one more time.

"Papa." She brushed her fingers across the back of his neck before resting her hand on his shoulder. "What can I do to help?"

He raised his head to look at her, and a lump formed in her throat. He looked years older than he had only a week ago. "There's nothing any of us can do, Silver. There's no proof Mr. Cassidy is the person who stole from us. And even if there was proof, it isn't likely the authorities would be able to restore our property should they find him. It's all gone. The cash. Your stepmother's jewelry. Everything."

Silver touched the necklace beneath the collar of her dress. "I still have Great-Grandmother's locket. You could sell it."

"It would never bring enough to make a difference, my girl, but thank you for offering. I know what it means to you." He patted her hand.

"Perhaps the sheriff in Denver can find ..." She trailed off as her father shook his head.

"I doubt it." He sighed. "Sheriff Cooper promised to do what he can, but I'm afraid it will never be enough."

"God will help us, Papa. He'll show us how to save the store and our home." She said the words with more conviction than she felt.

And if He doesn't help us, I'll find a way to do it myself.


Excerpted from The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher. Copyright © 2014 Robin Lee Hatcher. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Heart's Pursuit 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Andrea_Renee_Cox More than 1 year ago
by Andrea Renee Cox "Can't any of us undo our past." ~The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher When a jilted bride hires a bounty hunter to help her track down her thieving former fiance, trouble's bound to be hot on their heels. What she doesn't know is that the bounty hunter has some unfinished business that could upstage her plans. Will their adventures turn into a clash of wills? The Heart's Pursuit might be my first Robin Lee Hatcher book, but it most definitely will not be my last. She has a fresh, entertaining writer's voice, and the details of the story were shared in a way that kept the pace quick, which I really appreciate. And her characters! They could have stepped from the pages of a history book, they seemed so realistic. Flawed people seeking a better life... and finding joy through the trials they face... What a beautiful reflection of reality.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
5 stars ***** out of 5 Historical Fiction Robin Hatcher's novels, no matter which style she uses to bring across the theme of the story, are well loved and must reads. Twists and turns that happen during the pursuit, hardships that are faced and endured, misunderstandings that can result in disappointments, sneak peeks at victories all work to keep the reader eagerly turning pages and subconsciously trying to help the characters along.  Beauty, money, marriage, and eligiblitly, not necessarily in that order were deemed of utmost importance to survive in the wild west.  Through the use of vivid imagery of what each of the people were seeing I was able to clearly visualize the terrain and the incidents they found themselves. Just like Silvana (I love that name) and Jared were motivated by something that gave feet to their actions, so do I. Theirs was revenge.  Hopefully that is not mine. I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to you. I received this book free from Christen at Litfuse Publicity Group and Zondervan Publishing as well as Fred at The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
A good historical novel  --   I started out feeling sorry for Silver, for more reasons than one, then admired her for her fearlessness to go after what belonged to her family at all cost. Jared's reason for becoming a bounty hunter was heart wrenching and I liked how he allowed Silver to travel with him, he felt he didn't have a choice, even though he knew he shouldn't. Robin kept me on the edge of my seat at times, sometimes I found myself thinking she shouldn't to do that, she has to do something, he told her not to, DARN, I can't tell you if she did or not, you'll have to read the book! The book moves right along even though there wasn't much talkig to each other except for one giving orders and the other taking orders, or does she?
VicG More than 1 year ago
Robin Lee Hatcher in her new book, “The Heart’s Pursuit” published by Zondervan brings us into the lives of Silver Matlock and Jared Newman. From the Back Cover:   A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin. A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past. An arduous trek toward justice–or redemption. Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family–even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort. The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next? Robin Lee Hatcher never fails to deliver a great story that we know in advance that when we sit down to read it we are just going to enjoy ourselves immensely.  Both Silver and Jared want vengeance for different reasons from the same man and, together, they are tracking this man across the West.    Both of them are emotionally wounded individuals who are filled with hurt and anger and they are going to have to come to terms with this before God so that He can heal them and they can have a healthy future.  It is getting to that point that puts all the fun and excitement in the story.  A jilted bride, a bounty hunter, danger, mysteries, and surprises are just some of the ingredients that Ms. Hatcher has incorporated into this book.  On top of everything there is a romance.  Ms. Hatcher has given us characters that are marvelous, meticulously crafted, and each one literally breathes on the pages.  Robin Lee Hatcher has written a well done novel that I liked a lot.  I hope there will be a sequel. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Robin Lee Hatcher is a fantastic author. This book is no exception. In her note to readers, she says that this book is out of the norm for her. Since I've only read one other book by Robin, I wouldn't have known that. The story is written masterfully. It flows well. The descriptions of the characters, the towns, the adventure and message was wonderfully crafted into a story that kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen in the end. The characters were well developed. Silver Matlock was a woman ahead of her time. She was strong, independent, opinionated, and stubborn. She was not your typical "simpering miss." Her fault was not trusting or believing in herself, because her entire life she hasn't been made to feel like she was enough. Jared Newman is a man bent on revenge. He's based his entire adult life on tracking down the man who brutally beat and killed his sister and family. Though he thought he left his old self behind, traces of his former upbringing start to show when he meets Silver. Their romance is sweet and wonderfully written. The message for both characters is learning to trust God with everything, instead of taking matters into your own hands. How often do we mess things up because we don't put our faith in the One who knows all, sees all, and cares for us? "Revenge is mine, saith the Lord." Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will definitely read more books by this talented author! **I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
Good Book Silver finds herself left at the altar and the man she was to marry has stolen money from her father's business. If she can not get the money her family may lose everything. Jared is a bounty hunter with a personal mission to hunt down the man who murdered his sister. Silver hires him to find her exfiancé and ends up joining him in the hunt. Can these two find what they are looking for or will revenge win out? What I liked: The storyline was interesting and I liked the characters. The interacting between the two of them made it funny at times. This book had a good mix of romance and suspense. What I did not like: I don't want to give anything away but how who Silver was looking for and who Jared was looking for was resolved seemed a little far-fetched.      Overall this was a good book and I enjoyed reading it. It did have an interesting ending. If you liked western romance you should give this book a try.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
The Heart’s Pursuit was a thoroughly enjoyable read! There are some pretty deep and troubling crimes that happen throughout the novel, but never once does the book get overly gruesome or dark in the descriptions of the events. I was able to read this book very quickly and enjoyed the short chapters. That made it easy for me to set the book down and attend to other things, then easily jump right back into the story. I also really liked the cover. It has beautiful colors and a really neat texture. Both of the main characters are strong. Silver Matlock is a jilted bride who wants to track down her thieving fiancé. Jared Newman is a bounty hunter who could help her do just that. But Jared has a hidden agenda to attend to and another criminal he is determined to catch. I enjoyed these characters and the storyline was very interesting. I thought the author did a great job of describing what it was really like for Jared and Silver to be out on the trail together. The romance that develops between the two was sweet. The Heart’s Pursuit is a nice, historical romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Resolving in her mind that she will undoubtedly grow old as a spinster, never being the married wife and having children like her stepsister, Rose. So it should have come as no surprise to her when Bob Cassidy rode into town and quite literally swept her off her feet, that warning signs were going off in her head. Leaving her standing alone at the altar was bad enough of an embarrassment for Silver Matlock, but Bob also robbed her father's store with the last mortgage payment. Without that money, they would lose not only the Mercantile but also their family home. Even selling her grandmother's gold and diamond locket wouldn't be enough to hold off the bank collecting on the debt now looming within 90 days. But sometimes you have to take a chance when things look the darkest. Silver would find someone to locate Bob Cassidy before he had the opportunity to sell off her family's jewelry and the cash he had stolen from the store's safe. She knew she had just enough money to find someone willing to take the time to find the man she knew could save her family if he could be found in the next 90 days. Jared Newman has been holding out his own personal revenge in finding the man who murdered his entire family leaving him not only an orphan but with his own personal need to find the man responsible. His only clue was a crescent shaped scar on the man's neck and in the last six years, Jared has been as lucky as he had hoped as a bounty hunter. With all his money tied up in pending rewards, Silver's claim might just be the ticket in locating two men at the same time, seeing as they both seemed to be headed west. Only the last thing he imagined he'd be agreeing to when he decided to take her case, was taking her along for the ride. Her family has sent her away due to the rumors circulating in the small Colorado town of Twin Springs, especially with her taking the initiative to hire a bounty hunter to find her father's money before they were destitute and without a home seeing as they were the wealthiest family in town. Silver finds that accompanying Jared might be the only way he can find Bob with nothing more to go on than a faded picture and the description of just about every man in town. It will take more than luck for them to find him before time runs out. I received The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher compliments Zondervan Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. Robin Lee Hatcher has been one of my favorite Christian Western authors and every time I see her name on a request, I immediately agree to review them even before I know what they are going to be about. They are simply that good! I love her attention to detail from the wording she uses on her character's dialogue to the detailed descriptions of the towns her characters ride in to. I love strong female characters that aren't afraid to take on whatever responsibilities life tosses their way and such is the case of Silver Matlock. While she is afraid of the unknown, she is willing to take chances most women wouldn't like riding out late at night to convince a bounty hunter, she's going whether he agrees to it or not. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 western stars in my book. Can't wait for more from Robin!!!
Wanda_Barefoot More than 1 year ago
1873, Colorado "God must grow quite weary trying to fix me." -Silver Silver Matlock never could seem to do anything right. She had thoughts, dreams and ideas in her head that women just weren't supposed to have and men didn't always accept. When Ben Cassidy asked her to marry him she thought her life was finally turning around--until he left her at the altar and cleaned out her father's safe. Now her parents were going to lose their home and their business unless she found Ben and the money and jewelry he stole and who better to find a thief than a real-life bounty hunter? On her mad dash down Main Street in her wedding dress, Silver sees Jared Newman bringing in a prisoner and later realizes he's the man for the job. Will he help her restore what was lost? Jared Newman has been tracking a killer for seven years. After his parents and his sister Katrina were brutally murdered he vowed to track down the man responsible if it took the rest of his life. With only one clue to the man's identity it's been a long, hard battle to bring him to justice but he's not about to give up. With his funds low he agrees to track down a thief for a gray-eyed beauty named Silver Matlock for a smidgen of his usual fee. That was the first clue he was getting soft. Clue number two was agreeing to let her accompany him on the journey to track down a criminal. When a misunderstanding sends them on their separate ways will they find their way back to each other and the love they both feel growing between them? "Time isn't always what makes two people draw close to each other. Sometimes the heart understands far more than the mind, and much sooner too." -Whitney I loved Silver Matlock. From her gray-eyed gaze to her bravery and gumption she was the perfect heroine as far as I am concerned. She had determination and grit and through her entire journey she set aside her fears to bring security and peace back to those she loved. The very first scene where we meet Silver is what first made me fall in love with the book. Silver is running up the street in her wedding dress and rips the veil from her head and casts it to the wind with her hair flying behind her. It brought to mind one of my all-time favorite movies, Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. I could see this scene unfolding so vividly and it just made me smile. Silver had a very pronounced problem seeing her self-worth. She never felt like she was good enough or pretty enough or just plain wanted. I can relate to her character and I'm sure lots of other women can as well. Jared was such a wounded man. He was wounded in spirit and tired in body. He had put every ounce of energy in searching for a nameless, faceless killer so he could exact revenge and bring justice to his murdered family. He didn't think he was capable of loving someone the way they deserved and had come to believe that being a bounty hunter was forever in his blood. It was great to see his heart open little by little to let others in. He also had to learn to trust God all over again because somewhere along the way he had stopped. He was a tough, yet tender, bounty hunter that was slowly finding his way to a future he thought was forever out of his reach. She's trying to reclaim her future while he's trying to avenge his past and the end result is a superior work of fiction that will make you fall in love with an outspoken beauty, a justice seeking cowboy and the rugged but beautiful landscape of Colorado. I have been a fan of Robin Lee Hatcher's since the early days of her career. I loved her then and I love her now. The Heart's Pursuit is the perfect example of what I love so much about her writing. It's entertaining and sometimes heartbreaking but it's perfection from the first page to the last. You can't go wrong with this book and, if you're not a fan already, you soon will be. I very highly recommend this book to lovers of historical romances or anyone that just loves a great story! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and there was no compensation received.
Suzie_W More than 1 year ago
Silver Matlock has managed to put her parents in financial hardship. At least that’s the way she sees it. When she is abandoned on her wedding day by the man who was to be her groom, she believes he was also responsible for stealing the money out of her father’s safe that was to be used to pay off the mortgages of their home and their store. Determined to find the man who stole from them, she hires Jared Newman, a bounty hunter who is one his own quest for revenge. He has been searching for the man who murdered his family, intent on bringing him to justice. As Silver and Jared travel from Colorado to Nevada on horseback, neither of them wants to admit they are growing closer to each other. Silver was just burned by a man, and isn’t ready to put herself in a situation where her heart will lead her wrong again. Jared is used to being on his own, but the stubborn woman who refuses to follow his orders is changing that. Will the two of them be able to let go of their past hurts and let their hearts heal enough to find the love God intended for each of them? "The Heart’s Pursuit" by Robin Lee Hatcher is a bit of a departure from her normal settings, but the different, almost western, style works. Readers will still enjoy the relationships and the settings that Hatcher is known for. This is another fantastic Hatcher must-read for her fans. ****BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any manner for either a positive or a negative review.