The Heart's Journey Home, Harvest Bay Series #1
Three years after the unexpected death of Kate Sterling's husband, she moves back to Harvest Bay, Ohio, with her young daughter. She soon discovers that things have changed in the sleepy little community she grew up in. When she suffers another devastating loss, she finally understands that the One who loves and cares for her has given her a second chance at love. But is God leading her to a love linked to the past... or to one who will walk with her into the future?
This was a very nice, romantic story, with a heroine and two heroes. My qualms with two choices in men, is that I never know who to root for! In some stories, the choice is obvious. But in this one, both had a place in Kate's heart, and I just couldn't choose for her. The characters were believable in their triumphs and struggles, and I loved how the author choose to write them as people we can really relate to and identify with.
The one and only thing I had trouble with this novel was when the author makes it seem that the only thing you have to do to enter the kingdom of heaven is believe. Yes, belief is a first step, but not the only one. Many people "believe" but that alone will not assure you a place in His Kingdom. Other than that, this novel was a wonderful read with solid Christian values and morals.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
November 15, 2013
The Heart's Journey Home is a must read. It will touch your heart and soul in a way you won't soon forget. This author writes a compelling love story in the fictional town of Harvest Bay, Ohio. You will fall in love with Grandpa Clayton and shed a tear with Kate over the loss of her husband. I was not able to put the book down from the first paragraph to the very last page. The characters come to life on the first page.
Not only is it a sweet love story, it is inspirational and full of the love of the Lord. There's a lesson to be learned as you turn each page.
Thank you Jen Stephens, the Lord has called you to be a Master Storyteller----can't wait to read the next one.
March 21, 2011
A Touching Read!
The HeartÃ¢ÂÂs Journey Home is an incredible adventure that takes you down a sad road with Kate Sterling. She still hasnÃ¢ÂÂt recovered from the loss of her husband three years earlier, and raising her young daughter on her own isnÃ¢ÂÂt easy. Moving back to her home town, she prays she can find peace Ã¢ÂÂ both with God and with herself. She isnÃ¢ÂÂt prepared for how much the town has changed or that the Lord would teach her how to open her heart to love again.
This story had an interesting twist almost from the get-go. I felt NathanÃ¢ÂÂs pain as he watched Kate drive off, fully believing that she took his heart with her. And Kate, completely unaware of his affections. The little adventure with the flat tire threw another curveball into the scene as an old schoolmate she grew up with, Adam, came to her aid.
While there wasnÃ¢ÂÂt any fast-paced, edge of your seat action, this story still drew me in. It was hard to put down! KateÃ¢ÂÂs story, of her struggle with letting Ryan go and seeking the Lord, was described so realistically that you couldnÃ¢ÂÂt help loving Kate. Then her struggles over her attractions to an unbeliever Ã¢ÂÂ so realistic! I really appreciated that Jen brought this up in KateÃ¢ÂÂs story. So many stories out there they fall in love and then the one they love suddenly comes to Christ and they marry Ã¢ÂÂ with hardly a mention of the character falling in love with an nonbeliever in the first place. In The HeartÃ¢ÂÂs Journey Home Kate faces this and even resigns herself to the fact that she cannot have a future with a certain character because he isnÃ¢ÂÂt a Christian.
There were a few kisses within the pages of this book. I felt that the kisses were rushed for the characters, but maybe thatÃ¢ÂÂs just me. This book deals a lot with single parents raising kids, which was something IÃ¢ÂÂd never really read about before.
If you havenÃ¢ÂÂt read The Hearts Journey Home yet, I highly encourage you to. Jen Stephens is a wonderful author and I enjoyed her story and the voice she used to tell it so much. I am looking forward to the release of her next book at the end of the year. :-)
March 9, 2011
The Heart's Journey Home was an exceptional debut novel by a fantastic new author. This story was complex and deeply romantic, but also spiritual and incredibly edifying. I learned a lot about the characters, about myself, and also about forgiveness, healing, and following God's voice from this story. Sometimes God leads us places and though we don't realize the full impact of His reasoning until He reveals it to us, if we are sensitive to God's leading He will give us more than we hope for or imagined. This story showed how each Christian needs to realize that what we think is best may not be what He thinks is best, so we have to know His voice in order to be fully in God's will. I loved how this book illustrated all of those things, and so much more. The characters in this novel will all complex and three dimentional. I loved how the author showed how strong love is and how it doesn't have to be mutually exclusive, or limited to one person. She also allowed her characters to feel many different things and to seek God's will in the process. I loved how much of a tender and emotional journey this book was for me. I loved how detailed and intricately complex the heart was portrayed to be. The title for this book was perfect because it did show the heart's journey home and the healing that took place in all of the characters' lives as they were transformed by God's love. I adored this book. It made think. It made me smile. It made me sigh. That's a great novel. I am now a devoted fan of Ms. Stephen's work.
August 15, 2010