A Stolen Heart #ourgoodlifebooklist

The first in a series, this historical fiction novel, A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot,  takes place in fictional Cimarron Creek, Texas.  Lydia Crawford, a "Yankee" from New York, has the audacity to move to Texas years after the end of the Civil War, while tensions are still tight from the carpetbaggers who swept through town and stole from the residents.  She does get a warm welcome from the Sheriff, Travis Whitfield, who is expecting his father to come home.  His father is the worst of the residents for hating the Yankees, as he lost his leg in the war.

Lydia comes to Cimarron Creek to find her fiance and to marry, but learns quickly that he has married someone else and has disappeared mysteriously.  Thus begins our journey through a windy road of crime that has come to town.  Edgar's disappearance, the rape of a woman, the poisoning of farm animals, all since Travis has become sheriff.  At a loss of what to do, Lydia is saved by Travis' delightful aunt Bertha, who offers her lodging, but a lot more, friendship.  Lydia vows never to marry, since Edgar betrayed her, and Bertha offers her a shoulder to cry on and comfort with sound advice.

The story moves forward with more crime, and with Lydia's increasing friendship with Travis.  The two work together on the crimes, while Bertha helps Lydia open a candy shop.  This is my favorite part of the book, reading about the plans of the shop, the candies they will make, the designs, the interaction of the town's unfriendly women to Lydia.  The only thing that would have made it even better would be a recipe for the fudge!

My skeptical side wonders how a candy story that sells chocolate could manage in the heat of Texas. There weren't many confectionaries during that time and in a small town, these folks seemed to have plenty of money for their treats. We don't hear about kids drooling at the window or coming in to beg for a treat, even though in Lydia's former life she was a schoolteacher.

The book has a Christian background that plays an important part, and it does delve into the evil that can hide in a person's soul.  It isn't all cherries and rainbows.  The author does a great job of making sure that these elements are equally distributed, without getting too dark or too syrupy.

All that said, I did enjoy the book and I plan to read book two when it is out.  I recommend it to you, too, are you interested in reading it?

I was given this book by Revell Reads in exchange for my honest opinion.
Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes

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