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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Heart of a Hero by Marie Higgins

This is a fun, sweet historical western with a strong, if stubborn, heroine.
Heart of a Hero
by Marie Higgins
  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Distributing (January 1, 2010)
  • ASIN: B0051UT9M4
Genre: Historical Western Romance, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
There's a new hero in town... When Summer Bennett returns to Richfield after a five-year stint at her aunt's finishing school, she discovers a lot has changed. Her father has suffered a crippling injury, and Summer is desperate to get the money to pay for surgery that could allow him to walk again.

She hears of a reward offered for the capture of a cunning gang of bank robbers, and her years of etiquette training fall by the dusty roadside.

What Summer doesn't count on in her quest to capture the bandits is the competition from her family's longtime friend, Jesse Slade. Now a deputy marshal and local hero, Jesse keeps thwarting Summer's plans, just like he did when she wore pigtails. She would like nothing more than to use Jesse's head for a slingshot target, but soon Summer finds her aim shifting from his head to his heart. Problem is, Jesse is engaged to her sister Violet.

Summer Bennet was a childhood tomboy always competing with her family’s friend, Jesse Slade. At fifteen Summer went off to her Aunt’s finishing school where she learned how to be a lady although she didn’t lose all of her bold ways. Five years later she is returning home when the stagecoach is attacked by bandits. Summer crawls out the window to help the driver defend against the attack. She is able to disable or kill several but takes a shot herself but then is rescued by a deputy marshal coming from town. She is glad for the help until she discovers the hero is none other than her childhood nemesis, Jesse.

Jesse is shocked to discover the person fighting the bandits is Summer. Although it is clear she is still willing to face danger she has matured into a beautiful young woman. She still immediately takes offense at his rescue but he can’t help but be attracted to her spirit and beauty. He can’t be too attracted though because he is engaged to Summer’s sister, Violet.

Jesse and Violet have been engaged for a number of years but she keeps putting off their wedding date. Some think it is because Jesse is not a man of faith while Violet and Summer’s family rely on their faith in God. Jesse and Violet know that they no longer share a tender attraction but have just a comfortable friendship. They have been reluctant to tell Summer’s family since her father, the local blacksmith, suffered an accident that paralyzed his legs.

Jesse, his older brother Clint, another deputy marshal, and other marshals are trying to catch the bandits. Summer decides that she wants to catch the gang so she can use the reward for doctors for her father. Of course this means sneaking around in her old trousers and getting into dangerous situations that Jesse has to rescue her from.

Summer doesn’t understand her attraction to Jesse and feels especially guilty because of the engagement between Jesse and Violet. Summer and her family are glad to welcome attentions from Albert, a young man of a wealthy family who met Summer while she was with her Aunt. Summer tries to turn her attention away from Jesse but she isn’t totally comfortable with Albert. Jesse doesn’t think Albert is all he claims to be but perhaps Albert can offer Summer more than he can.

This is a fun, sweet romp with interesting tension and misunderstandings between Summer and Jesse. Neither wish to acknowledge their feelings and when they finally try there are more mixed messages. I really enjoyed the bright, strong characters and the underlying faith in Summer’s family. The story is warm and easy, enjoyable reading. This is the second story I have read by Marie Higgins. I enjoy her writing style and look forward to reading more of her books.

I received this title from Walnut Press for review.

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