Never Settle for Second-Best

I have this thing for books about arranged marriages and happy endings. When I read the plot line for A Hopeful Heart, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Here’s a book for me!’

It begins with Tressa Neill, who was sent away by her aunt and uncle to a school in the west. A school that would teach young ladies how to be good ranchers, or the wife of one. The woman running the place, Aunt Hattie as she likes to be called, is determined to teach these eastern girls the hardships of running a ranch and, hopefully, match them up with fine ranchers who can support them.

But for Tressa, this is her second-best chance. A man has already rejected her because she’s dowryless and her aunt has informed her that this is her only chance for any sort of life and it doesn’t matter that it’s second-best. Tressa doesn’t know what to do, and she’s frightened. Aunt Hattie’s simple yet strong faith affects Tressa, but there’s another in this small Kansas town that catches the eye of Tressa. Someone who reminds her very much of a father and the kind of man she’s always wanted to marry.

Abel Samms got his heart broken by an eastern girl once and she ended up making a fool of him. He’s sworn that that would never happen again. So when Aunt Hattie brings all those eastern girls to her home to teach them how to be rancher’s wives, Abel determines not to have anything whatsoever to do with them. But Miss Tressa is so small and quiet and there’s just something about her and her clumsy ways that catches his attention and raises feelings in him that he swore he would never feel again.

When Gage Hammond steps forward to court her, Tressa is afraid. Due to some incidents in the weeks prior to the girls coming out for courtship, she’s not sure she really wants anything to do with Gage and a fire is ignited in Abel when he thinks that Gage might actually win Tressa’s heart. Not only that, but Tressa has been drawn to Hattie’s faith and she finds herself wanting what Aunt Hattie has.

This book was excellent! I absolutely loved the plot line, the faith aspect and the strength of the characters. You ached for the girls who only want to be happy and were taken by surprise closing in on the end of the book. Things are not as they seemed in this book.

And the message in the story, that we should never settle for second-best, that we should place our faith in God and He will give us the desires of our hearts, was strong and beautiful. Tressa’s journey to the Lord was beautiful and tears stung my eyes when she finally found the Lord and gave her heart into His hand.

This is the second book of Kim Vogel Sawyer’s that I’ve read, and it was almost as good as My Heart Remembers. A Hopeful Heart, was just as strong and beautiful, and it wove a beautiful love story. Tressa and Abel’s journey together develops and grows and each learn a lesson in the end.

If you’ve not read this book, then I suggest you waste no time! A Hopeful Heart is definitely worth reading!

Coming Soon: She thought she married an angel…she never suspected that she’d married a devil. Look for my review of Angel’s Den, by Jamie Carie, tomorrow!!


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