Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Hopeful Heart
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)

Kim Vogel Sawyer


Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren.


Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one.

Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?

Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice.

When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life--and his heart--to help this eastern girl?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Hopeful Heart, go HERE
Margie's comments: Admittedly I'm a tad bit biased when it comes to Kim's books. She's not only been my critique partner for the past six years, she's also a very dear friend. Still, in our critique group we strive to keep each other true to our voices and writing styles, so I try to be objective when reviewing her books.

A Hopeful Heart has a unique feature with the Wyatt Herdsman School. The owner and teacher, a widowed rancher, is a character who will continue to occupy your attention even after you finish reading the book. Aunt Hattie's eccentricities set her apart from her male counterparts in Barnett, Kansas. But they also endear her to her female students, and she's caught the attention of a wealthy rancher. Since the main goal of the school is to match her students with single ranchers in the area, romance abounds throughout the book.

Kim's gentle style of telling a story gives the reader a quiet, refreshing read. A Hopeful Heart delivers a well-researched story, delightful characters, and a rich sense of history. I especially appreciate the way Kim incorporates a little bit of suspense and intrigue into this story. I highly recommend A Hopeful Heart.

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