I always enjoy a book written by Kaye Dacus. She has a mature writing voice that is crisp and clean. Her writing is rich in detail, full of imagination and subtle spiritual themes. In Follow the Heart, we get a glimpse into the excitement surrounding The Great Exhibition in 1851. Plus, it's a two-for-one romance! Kate and Andrew are the main couple, but Christopher and Nora play prominent rolls in the story, as well.
Kate Dearing sets sail to England with her brother, Christopher, under the assumption that she must marry someone wealthy in order to save her American family from financial ruin. Of course, she meets two gentlemen who desire her hand in marriage but only one can reign supreme. Will it be the viscount, Lord Thynne, who has charm and sophistication, and plenty of money? Or will it be Andrew Lawton, the landscape architect, redesigning the gardens at her uncle's home, that she's seen in a compromising position with, twice?
The love triangle in this book is fascinating and exciting without crossing the lines of propriety. I could have routed for either gentleman, and if truth be told, I almost wished she would have picked...oh wait. I can't tell. They're both worthy of Kate's love but only by following her heart will she find true happiness.
Christopher Dearing doesn't have any trouble following his heart! Almost as soon as he lays eyes on Nora, he is smitten. But, Nora is a governess and beneath his position as an attorney. Their budding relationship and subsequent secretive courtship is sweet and endearing.
Fans of Historical Fiction will appreciate this well written and captivating story. It kept me wishing that if time travel were possible, I would like to travel back and see the Great Exhibition. It would have been a sight to behold!
Thanks to B&H Publishing, through Netgalley, for my advance reader copy. I was not required to write a positive review.
Kate and her brother are sent to England to live with a relative and find a rich spouse to keep the family from being penniless due to a railroad deal gone bad. Kate is older and knows that her age and the fact she does not have a dowry is going to make it harder to find someone to marry. What she does not expect is to find a handsome garden designer who shares her love for plants. When a viscount shows interest in her as well she must choose her family or her heart.
This is the first in a new series that takes place in the mid 1800's.
What I liked: The story was interesting and I liked the characters for the most part. Though I found the story about her brother and the governess more interesting at times then the main story. I also liked hearing about The Great Exhibition and the description of the glass building was quite impressive.
What I did not like: The story was slow at times and even though the story line was interesting it also felt a little weak. Maybe its just hard for me to understand needing to marry for money to keep the family happy. Her father made a bad choice and expecting his kids to bail him out seemed silly.
Over all it was an okay book. I really liked the ending and felt the last 25% of the book made up for the slow beginning. I am interested to see if the next book in the series has any ties to this book. If you like historical fiction you might like this book.
I loved the clash of characters, the upstairs vs. downstairs type of stuff. It had whispers of Downton Abbey in it, even though it's not the same era, but the storyline reminded me of Dowton Abbey somewhat.
I like how Kate wasn't confident in her looks and she wasn't perfect but when men got to know her they found her beautiful. Isn't that what ever woman wants, to be found beautiful, to be seen for who we really are? And Kate struggles with who she is and how she is expected to act and how she really wants to act.
Love wins, isn't that the type of story we want to read? Love wins over money and over others expectations. Love wins because God is love and nothing can defeat Him.
Kaye weaved two wonderful romances into one story. I can't wait to read another Kaye Dacus book, if this is any indication I have found a new author I enjoy reading.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Kate Dearing and her brother, Christopher, are given only one instruction from their father when they leave Philadelphia for England_marry for money. Both siblings must marry someone of wealth to save the family they are leaving behind. Their father has invested unwisely and lost all his money. In a last ditch effort to avoid selling his home and letting everyone know they are destitute, he sends his two oldest children, Kate 27 years old and Christopher 24 years old, to live with their uncle, a baron in England. The Great Exhibition of 1851 is being assembled as they arrive, but their uncle fears for their safety and advises them not to attend. Christopher is disappointed as he is very interested in the Industrial Revolution. He is a railroad lawyer and figures if he can't marry for money, maybe he can marry for love and work to support himself and his bride.
Once on English soil, the siblings soon fall in love with people completely below their social station in society's eyes. Kate is "on the shelf", and with no dowry can't be picky if any aristocratic gentleman offers for her hand in marriage. Her uncle hosts a month-long house party, inviting eligible men for her to choose from and eligible ladies for Christopher to do the same. Kate immediately finds herself the focus of a 40-year-old bachelor, who is a viscount. Is he an answer to her prayer? He is kind and attentive, but he doesn't love her and she doesn't love him. Respect and admiration are enough to base a marriage on, right? Kate's heart belongs to the garden architect, Andrew Lawton. He loves her, but will that be enough? He can't provide for Kate in the manner she is accustomed to and his future employment is in question.
The reader sees Kate learn, after much heartache, the value of praying to God and listening for His answer. She had been praying, telling God what she wanted to happen and getting no answers from God. I can sure relate to having done that before! This served as a reminder to me to pray for God's will to be done, not mine. I would have liked a little more action and little less gardening to take place in the story. I did like the dual love stories of the brother and sister taking place at the same time. The pages turn quickly and this makes for a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or two.
Americans Katharine and Christopher Dearing have a problem. Because their father has lost his fortune, they must, in essence, sell themselves to the highest bidder and marry money to save their family from financial ruin.
During a time when women of wealth were groomed only to marry money, a life of service for Katharine was out of the question. I must admit, living in the day and age in which we do, I find it repulsive that women and daughters were treated as possessions. Things to be bartered with by undisciplined and selfish fathers and brothers. This created a wave of sympathy and empathy for Katharine's plight. Although her brother wasn't totally unfeeling, he could find a way to be self-supportive and marry whom he chose. Yet, even that would leave the burden of their family's financial issues on Katharine.
Parents who make mistakes are normal, as I myself can attest to. But parents that make the mistakes and then expect their children to clean up the mess? Unfathomable and disturbing. I honestly did not see a way out for Katharine in this book. Her heart had found the man it could love. But poor and obscure Andrew wasn't the answer to her family's financial woes.
Ms. Dacus is a seasoned author and it shows. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Follow the Heart and will be reading more from her in the future. Scenic settings, great plot structure, and imperfect heroes and heroines? Yes please! I love how her characters were flawed. Self-sacrificing, yet flawed in such a way that made the reader care for them and wish they had a fighting chance.