Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher

Where the Heart Lives

When Diana Brennan’s husband returns eight years after abandoning her, can she find it in her heart to forgive him?

Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for eight years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition––she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

My Review:
One of the first impressions I had with this historical fiction was how difficult life was for women in the late 1800s. Diana's husband, Tyson, just up and leaves her--with no warning--simply to avoid his controlling father! Not a word or a sign came from him for years, until one day, he's listed in the newspaper as someone who died in action while fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Diana therefore, "gets on with her life." When Diana plans to announce her engagement to another, Tyson shows up and "stakes" his claim! Indeed, life was hard.

Not having much of a choice, Diana agrees to participate in a sham of a marriage for six months while Tyson runs for public office. I found it interesting to watch this novel of second chances unfold. Hatcher correctly took time for the characters to vacillate between love and hatre, intolerance and forgiveness.

This is the third in a series and can easily be read and understood without having read the first two titles.

NOTE: At the end of every chapter a flashback helps fill in the backstory. (I loved this unique touch.)

Thank you to Booksneeze for my copy.

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