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Entertaining and convicting: "A Heart Most Certain (Teaville Moral Society Book #1)" by Melissa Jagears
about the book....
Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy . . . until the man flat-out refuses.
Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.
It is not often that I read a historical fiction novel where, not only do I enjoy being entertained, but I find myself to be utterly convicted by what I am reading at the same time! Such is the case with "A Heart Most Certain", a book where the characters take the expected dance towards affection and love, but in a utterly unique way. Lydia and Nicholas are two strong-willed characters who are stuck in their view of what life - and God - has to offer them - until they meet each other that is! The author does a great job at fleshing out these characters, flaws and all, and allowing them to each experience change in the course of the novel. As Lydia is pushed out of her comfort zone to encounter prostitutes and their children, she finds her worldview forced completely off kilter as the prejudices she has held begin to crumble. The compassion that she begins to experience was inspiring, and I found myself shifting uncomfortably in my chair while reading, as I considered whether I tangibly show the love of God in the same sort of ways that Nicholas, and later Lydia, do. It is so much easier to show love and compassion to those who run in the same socials circles as us, but as Lydia finds out, it is all the harder when you are confronted with the dark side of humanity. And yet it is in those dark places that Jesus' light can shine all the brighter, and I really appreciate how the author brings this truth to light. The author weaves some danger and intrigue into the mix of this story as well, and though I didn't always approve of Lydia's actions, I can certainly understand them.
The first book in the Teaville Moral Society series offers up a solid start to what is sure to be an intriguing series of historical novels. I have no doubt that those readers who love a good historical fiction book will find their time well-spent with "A Heart Most Certain". I award this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
about the author....
Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store,and A Bride at Last,is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at www.melissajagears.com.