Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blog Tour: A Love of Her Own (Review)

It’s here, in Lewiston, Montana, where April McBride travels to attend her brother’s wedding. Still cautious after a broken engagement, she fully intends to guard her heart.

One look around the small mining town convinces April that doing so won't be difficult—just a bunch of dusty shops, bad service, and ill-bred cowboys. But a run-in with horse trainer Wes Owen opens up vast possibilities for frustration, embarrassment, friendship, and . . . love?

Can April and Wes see past their differences to envision a future together? Or are they destined to live the rest of their lives alone?

So What Did I Think?
This is the second "Hearts of the West" book I have read by Maggie Brendan. In the first review - of book 2 - I said Brendan's work could become a "movie of the week" by Michael Landon Jr. I still think that is the case.

In this novel, Brendan has captured the transformation of a spoiled, rich girl - as she moves away from that existence and begins to experience life - and faith in Jesus in a new way.

I do have one suggestion - I really think if you are starting out new to the series - you will get more out of the stories if you start with book number 1. While book 3 can "stand alone," there are subtle themes which weave through the entire series. It's hard to keep up with the "back stories" unless you start out at the beginning of the series.

I was a bit frustrated by April's character - but not because of Brendan's writing. I struggled with her attitude and approach to life. I do think Brendan was successful in showing an "old" way that was transformed into something "new" through April's life.

I also liked how she developed some of the other characters - especially the young boy, Billy. I wish some of their stories could have been developed a bit deeper, but alas, in a limited number of pages, that couldn't happen.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with five being the highest, I definitely give this a 3.5 to 4. It's definitely a good summer-time read!

Meet Maggie Brendan
Maggie Brendan (the pen name for Brenda Lott) is a member of American Christian Writers and the American Fiction Writers Association. She is the author of No Place for a Lady and lives in Georgia.

Brenda chose her pen name because she wanted something that "sounded like an Irish romantic name."

"I also wanted to maintain a way to write non-fiction under my real name," explained Lott. "I almost went with my maiden name, O’Neal, I’m part Irish, but I really like my pen name. Maggie was my mother’s name and my granddaughter’s name is Maggie. I was nicknamed Maggie years ago by sister-in-law and it stuck."

According to her blog (click her for additional info) When Brenda is not writing, she likes to paint, scrapbook and be with her four grandchildren. She is also a member of a large sanctuary choir.

Online Resources
Read an Excerpt Online 
Purchase it at: Amazon,, Barnes& and/or a local bookstore.

The Heart of the West Series
Book One: "No Place for a Lady."
Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley amid the splendor of a high country June in 1892. After the death of her father, Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch.

Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman doubts her abilities. Just when she thinks she's getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes the ranch.

Crystal will have to tap all of her resolve to save the ranch from a greedy neighboring landowner. Can she rise to the challenge? Or will she head back to Georgia defeated?

Book Two: The Jewel of His Heart
Their future is as wide open as the Montana sky.

Juliana Brady is alone in an 1890s Montana mining town, with few prospects for making a living. But she is determined not to be dependent on the charity of others.

Josh McBride is trying to scrape up a living from his sheep herd while he builds his ranch. But when he discovers some rare stones on his property, he's tempted by the prospect of fast money.

When their paths cross, Juliana and Josh must make a choice--the world's riches and promises, or the eternal value of love.

Click here for my review of The Jewel of His Heart.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Publishing. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. 

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