"Within My Heart"
by Tamera Alexander
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: Sept 1, 2010
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Rachel Boyd lost her husband and has been struggling to manage the ranch he left behind along with their two young sons. When her friend and father figure, Ben, becomes gravely ill, she has to put all of her trust in Dr. Rand Brookston, the town physician. Since her father was a doctor too, Rand enlists her help in a difficult surgery to save Ben's life. Rachel is suspicious of Rand, thinking he's as untrustworthy as a doctor, and as disapproving of her, as her father was. Through this hard time, will Rachel be able to allow herself the luxury of Rand being her soft place to fall?
The author has a unique style of writing where she doesn't really tell the reader what happens at the end of a scene and you have to figure it out during the next scene. Sometimes this is effective in building suspense, but sometimes it's confusing.
I really liked Rand and I would have liked to have known more about him, but most of the focus was on Rachel's story. I found Rand's story so intriguing, with all he had to overcome. The prologue was so interesting to me because of the practice of attaching bells to the recently buried's hands, so they could be saved if they had been buried alive. I learned about this practice in St. Augustine, FL, while on a ghost tour, and it was so interesting to see that situation play out here.
This is inspirational fiction, but it doesn't have a preachy message. It's mostly about letting go of the past, letting go of guilt, and allowing ourselves to be happy in the present.
The secondary plot was very sad and difficult to read, and probably prevented me from enjoying the book more. However, it was very moving and I'm sure some readers will enjoy the tearjerker aspect of the book.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Bottom Line:This is a sweet historical western romance that's bound to cause a few tears, but with an uplifting message of hope.