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Set in 1910, Leanna McKee is a schoolteacher with plans to leave the coal mining town. She is having a hard time coping since a fatal mine accident killed her husband. She finds herself falling for miner Alex Pappas. Alex’s parents are Greek and have chosen a more suitable mate for him. Leanna receives a job offer teaching elsewhere and even thought there is are cultural differences between them, now feels she will be leaving her heart behind.
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: My Heart Belongs
Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of ChristmasOlivia NewportShiloh Run Press / 2017 / Trade Paperback$10.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 61 Reviews
$14.99Save 27% ($4.00)
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations
Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husbands life.
Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart...and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.
Alexs Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteachers association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.
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MardellSpokane WAAge: 55-65Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Reviewing: My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate Utah: Leanna's ChoiceNovember 17, 2017MardellSpokane WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3This is the story of forbidden love in a time when Greek mine workers were thought of as less than scum. It is all about two lonely widowed souls caught in the web misunderstanding and class distinction. Leanna McKee is a widowed schoolteacher in the mining town of Castle Gate Utah. Her husband, Jack McKee, wooed her away from her life of privilege in Boston. They thought they would make a difference for others. The difference was Jack's gambling addiction and his lack of making Leanna happy.
Alex Pappas is a Greek immigrant who lived and worked in America for many years. He saved enough to send for his entire family to emigrate to the land of opportunity. They are the proud owners of a successful Greek restaurant in town. He has been passed over for promotions because of his Greek heritage. He was Jack McKee's friend.
Leanna's life after Jack's death was filled with teaching the town's children and trying to survive without Jack. It was when Alex's sister-in-law Penelope's pregnancy kept her on bed rest that he knocked on Leanna's door for help. He needed to hire her to escort his niece and nephew to school. Accepting the extra job allowed her to turn her grief into purpose. It didn't take long for her to become attached to the children and in turn the family. What neither she nor Alex counted on was the undeniable attraction to each other.
The times dictate many of the customs of society and just like other towns with growing industry and immigrant workers, the long time citizens resented the newcomers. Mining in 1910 was hard and dangerous and not exactly with the benefits Greek workers were lured to from their homeland and families.
It was inevitable that Leanna and Alex would receive backlash from the mainstream community. It was through their faith, perseverance and tragedy that things began to change for them.
Many areas of our country were settled by people willing to farm, build railroads and mining for a vast array of ore. Many immigrants came legally to work these jobs. It wasn't easy for them but they learned English and became American citizens and they raised their families. But, it took a lot of hard work and effort to make the American dream come true.
I received this book from Barber Publishing Group through NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
TellNJasmineMontanaAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5From very different backgrounds can they find love?November 14, 2017TellNJasmineMontanaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5What a sweet historical romance! It's really hard to believe that this is one of Angie Dicken's first novels! My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna's Choice is a wonderful addition to this fun series! Entertaining but taking on some difficult issues including prejudice and crippling regret.
Prejudice is the enemy for Leanna and Alex, both of them even deal with it a little bit in their own hearts. I very much appreciated how the author, intentionally or not, portrayed that prejudice comes in many forms and from all directions. Readers will find themselves delighted as love and hope begin to win out over the darkness.
My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna's Choice is a lovely story, slim in size and in many ways a quick read, but definitely an enjoyable one. This book, and the entire series, is a must read for historical romance fans. And I think Angie Dicken will be a new author to watch...
(I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are entirely my own.)
ibjoy1953VirginiaAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5really good historical readNovember 10, 2017ibjoy1953VirginiaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
Leanna McKee was in Castle Gate, Utah because of her late husband, but now that he is gone, tragically taken by the dangerous mines, she has no reason to be here. As soon as she gets word that a position is open in California with her cousin, shes out of here. That was before Alex Pappa as Leanna to watch his brothers children until their baby was born. But nothing can happen between them. He is Greek, she is American.
The main characters, Leanna McKee and Alex Pappas had many difficult situations and struggles as we follow their story. These two were strong and independent characters, I enjoyed her spunk and his strong will. The papas family is adorable, especially the mom. They gave the story a homey feeling! Author Angie Dicken does a really good job of weaving this story together between the Greek workers and the greedy Americans! It has a super ending that will make everyone smile, but getting there is a very difficult road.
A e-copy of this book was provide by Celebration Lit Tours and the author for me to read and review. The opinion here are mine, and mine alone.
tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5"Darkness is but ignorance"November 10, 2017tumcsecTuscaloosa, ALAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Castle Gate Utah in 1910 is a very small coal mining town. There are a mixture of different immigrant nationalities here to work. Some are making their home here and some eventually plan to go back to their home countries. Among the immigrant population are a small neighborhood of Greeks. Alex is a miner, and his parents own a Greek restaurant in the town. So much prejudice abounds in that town it is appalling! I never realized the difficulty some minorities faced in the early twentieth century. Leanna is a fairly new widow, her husband Jack was killed in a mining accident. All she wants to do is find a way to get out of this dirty, coal dust town and find a teaching position with her cousin in San Francisco.
Leanna is teaching English to the Greek children in the community and becomes close to Alex's niece and nephew. Soon Leanna and Alex find they have feelings for each other but it is forbidden because Alex is Greek and she is a blond American. Several people in the small town show their dislike openly for the Greeks.
Their dilemma hit me hard. I really felt for Alex and Leanna. They were afraid to be together because of the danger it would cause them as well as Alex's Greek family. Too many townspeople were against them.
Will anything change their minds or will their love for each other be lost forever?
I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
Mrs ARS4 Stars Out Of 5Love UnexpectedlyNovember 10, 2017Mrs ARSQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have really been enjoying the My Heart Belongs series and Leanna's Choice by Angie Dicken is the first novel I have read of hers. This is a story that runs deep with prejudice between Americans and the Greek immigrants. It seems this is a tired old sin that runs through history up into the present day. Taking place during the year 1910, immigrants are still trying to make their home in America. I appreciated the author's historical background concerning the hostility against the Greeks, and though I was not aware of the prejudice, it did not surprise me.
Leanna, an upper class Bostonian lady has already let her heart be led by love and may hap a bit foolishly by her late husband. Now she is stuck living in the mining town of Castle Gate, Utah living alone with her own bitterness, resentment, and guilt. She even looks at the Greeks as pests until she begins to teach them and gets to know a couple of little ones more personally. As her eyes are opened she sees how wrong she and some of the town residents are to think any race is less then human. And her heart begins to fall for the kind Alex Pappas. But he is Greek.
On Alex's side his Greek parents are very proud to be in America and making a living, more than they had in Greece. However, strong Greek nationalism and pride will not tolerate Alex to follow his heart with an American, even if they love her as a daughter.
There was so much tension between these two just wanting to love each other versus going against what community thought and the family's deeply held beliefs. It seemed almost a constant tug of war. Then we are thrown a couple of surprises and danger lurking in the form of unbending stubbornness when man's inhumanity begins to take over.
There were some really great lessons to take away from allowing regret to take over our lives and bitterness to enter our relationships. Even our relationship with God.
I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.