Heart of the Lonely Exile, Emerald Ballad Series #2   -     By: B.J. Hoff
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Heart of the Lonely Exile, Emerald Ballad Series #2

Harvest House Publishers / 2010 / Paperback

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Michael Burke, a strong, dedicated Irish policeman, desperately wants to keep his promise to his best friend Morgan Fitzgerald to marry Nora and protect her. But Nora's instincts urge her to resist Michael's proposal and follow her heart in a different direction..More troubling still, in the midst of her personal struggle, the heartaches from her homeland continue to plague her.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0736927891
ISBN-13: 9780736927895
Availability: In Stock
Series: Emerald Ballad

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Publisher's Description

In Heart of the Lonely Exile, Book Two of BJ Hoff's acclaimed and bestselling Emerald Ballad series, readers will find heroine Nora Kavanagh struggling to build a new life for herself and her son Daniel in America. With help from a wealthy American family and friendship and support from a British gentleman, Nora nevertheless finds herself caught in a conflict of the heart.

Michael Burke, a strong, dedicated Irish policeman, desperately wants to keep his promise to his best friend Morgan Fitzgerald to marry Nora and protect her. But Nora's instincts urge her to resist Michael's proposal and follow her heart in a different direction....More troubling still, in the midst of her personal struggle, the heartaches from her homeland continue to plague her.

Heart of the Lonely Exile continues the saga of the Kavanagh pilgrimage--a journey of the soul in a strange new land, where all those who are exiles and aliens seek to finally find their true home.

Author Bio

BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present. Whether her characters move about in small country towns or metropolitan areas, reside in Amish settlements or in coal company houses, she creates communities where people can form relationships, raise families, pursue their faith, and experience the mountains and valleys of life. BJ and her husband make their home in Ohio.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Nora Kavanagh, a recent Irish immigrant, is caught in a love triangle between the two men who love her and the love she has for another in BJ Hoff's latest installment of The Emerald Ballad series, Heart of the Lonely Exile. Nora along with her young son Daniel have just immigrated to the US from Ireland during the infamous Irish famine. A friend from Ireland desires her affections but so does an Englishman she has met on the journey. Nora, however, has her heart set on a certain Morgan Fitzgerald. True love prevails and so does Nora's desire to follow the Lord's plan for her life. Nora has to decide, however, which man is part of the Lord's plan.

Although the story has its interesting parts, the plotline is difficult to follow at times because of shifting locales and overlapping time sequences. Every few chapters, the point of view switches to a different character and a different setting. Several problems are presented and only a few are resolved. Even though it is intriguing, this book feels as if three different stories are being pressed together as one. The writing itself is simple and easy to read. Hoff accurately develops her characters, turning them into living, breathing people. However, the frequent plot changes can be confusing and often take away from the warmth the characters bring to the story.

One of the more memorable scenes occurs near the end of the novel. Evan, a friend from Nora's overseas voyage, must face the prospect that the Lord may be asking him to give up something he holds dear. He clumsily gets down on his knees and tells God that he will give up everything for Him. Evan remembers the story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac. This story gives him strength to give up his own desires for the will of the Lord. This scene pulls at the reader’s heart as Evan’s pain, sacrifice, and spiritual peace are clearly felt.

These characters are relatable and enjoyable. Their lives and predicaments are interesting. Nora is incredibly strong in character, but also quiet and shy. She nicely balances the bashful, stuttering Evan and the forcible Michael. There are several other characters intertwined in her life, creating a full ensemble of ideas and personalities.

Overall, this book encompasses many biblical themes, such as trusting in the Lord's timing and being willing to give up everything for Him. Jeremiah 17:7 states, "But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." This is clear throughout the book as each character, especially Nora, must make a decision to trust in the Lord. Although this book is enjoyable, it does become confusing if the reader has not read the first book in the series. I would recommend this book for anybody who enjoys romance that is not evocative but, instead, focuses on the love and perfect plan of the Lord. – Elizabeth de Graaf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Product Reviews

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  1. Jenny Lazuardi
    Milwaukee
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The historical research was relevant to plot.
    November 21, 2011
    Jenny Lazuardi
    Milwaukee
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This was nicely done. The characters and history was nicely done. I had a hard time putting them done. As soon as I was done with one book in the serries, I had to get the next one.
  2. Diane A. Brown - The Reader's Cove
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 17, 2010
    Diane A. Brown - The Reader's Cove
    Keep your promise or follow your heart, the choice determines the future.Nora Kavanagh, an Irish immigrant to America, fines kindness where least expected. A new life, filled with unlimited possibilities, has opened her eyes and set her heart soaring. When love blooms will it be too late?The characters from the first book continue to grow and develop and take on new personalities. The story unfolds with clear details easy to visualize. The struggle of the heart is portrayed with realism and accuracy. Young love, renewed love, and unspoken love struggle to be expressed. Heart of the Lonely Exile opens your eyes to early immigrant troubles and fills your heart with compassion.
  3. Christy Lockstein
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 15, 2010
    Christy Lockstein
    Heart of the Lonely Exile by B.J. Hoff is the second book in the Emerald Ballad series. Nora Kavanagh and her son Daniel have finally made it to safety in New York, along with orphans Katie, Johanna, and Tom who are under her care, and Englishman Evan Whittaker who became a close friend on the ship across the Atlantic. Sara Farmington and her wealthy father have taken the family into their home and soon find themselves wrapped up in the family's drama. Nora's childhood friend Michael Burke, a police sergeant, proposed marriage to her in a letter before they left Ireland in hopes that he could offer her a safe home, but Nora still doesn't love him as anything more than a friend. Sara and Michael have feelings for each other neither is willing to face as long as Nora is single, but Evan is hoping to do something about that. Hoff adds even more characters in this epic story about the aftermath of the Irish potato famine. There is sweeping romance, major drama as Tierney and Daniel grow to become young men and get caught up in the underworld of the city. Hoff's writing is thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing.
  4. wyn
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 15, 2010
    wyn
    Book 2 in the Emerald Ballad series covers the first year that Nora and her family live in America. Who will she marry, Michael or Evan? Will Morgan survive an assassination attempt? Who is the urchin who follows him from Belfast to Dublin and what effect will the giant man-servant from the West Indies have on him. A great romantic story proving that faith can help provide a healthy sustainable environment no matter what is going on around you. Rather than focusing on the famine in Ireland as the first book did, this one focuses on the horrible conditions many of the Irish immigrants encountered in New York City due to the greed of landlords and the total revulsion of the rest of the population towards them. It also follows the fanatical turn that the Young Irish Party takes in Ireland This second book is a much happier book than the first one but just as interesting and gripping.
  5. Molly Edwards, Book Reviews by Buuklvr81
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 13, 2010
    Molly Edwards, Book Reviews by Buuklvr81
    I was more impressed with book 2 than I was with Song of the Silent Harp. This picked up where the first book left off, wasn't as slow. I was able to follow along easier and become more engrossed in the story so I could enjoy the setting and characters more.This part of the series still takes place during the Famine era, but is more centered around America than Ireland, unlike book 1. We still get to follow Nora as she is searching for where her heart belongs...with Michael who has always loved her, with Morgan who is Ireland and professed his love for her before she set out for America, or Evan-sweet Evan- who has been there for her and has become her dearest friend. Michael is struggling with convincing Nora to marry him, and Morgan...well he's simply Morgan over in Ireland. Evan is such a sweet character and I found myself pulled to him the most in this story. He had difficulties and I prayed for him so much through this story. While all these emotions and struggles are going on in this continuance, the powerful message of following your heart, and seeking God's guidance in all you do, and forgiveness and letting go, is beautifully set among the lines of this book. I felt closer to the characters in this story and felt more a part of history as I read through this second book in this series.This is worthy of 5 stars. BJ Hoff's talent really shined through in this book! I'm so happy that I gave this one a chance after all, it's one I definitely recommend! I will be giving book 3- Land of a Thousand Dreams- a chance in the future, also, and hope this series keeps getting better and better!*This book was provided for review by Harvest House Publishers*
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