Saturday, May 14, 2011

To Win Her Heart

Summary: Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets...
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Levi's renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she's finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

My Take:  Karen Witemeyer creates some of the most appealing heroes in the business. This book is no exception. Levi is a complex man with a past he hasn't totally forgiven himself for - even if he has made peace with God. He settles in to the new town, determined to keep a low profile and somehow trouble just keeps finding him. A man picks a fight with him - bringing back old memories and guilt. Then he's brought work from the mine - and he'd sworn to stay as far away from that as possible. The worst thing is the librarian. She is as prickly as a hedgehog but he can't seem to stay away from her. The sparks fly between them like striking hot metal. Levi believes in his heart that his past makes him unworthy of her and he decides to stay away...

Eden is strong, driven and intelligent. She has been hurt badly before by a man who just wanted to use her for her father's money so she doesn't trust easy. Living out in these towns has also shown her too many men willing to resort to violence to get what they want. She doesn't want anything to do with criminals and fighters. She despises people who push her around and try to control her - like the Sheriff of their town who insists they are betrothed when she has no interest in him at all. She likes Levi but he seems to be keeping secrets from her and that's one thing she can't abide.

Both these people grow over the course of the book and learn from each other and from Chloe, a girl Eden takes in that Levi helped rescue. Faith is challenged and there are some who learn a valuable lesson about what it means to be "rock toters" instead of those who share grace. Having said all that, this is not one of those books that beats you over the head with preaching and the romance was realistic. I truly enjoyed it would suggest it to anyone who likes this genre.

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