Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank
Independent-minded women are considered highly unsuitable in Kate Donahue’s wealthy Long Island society. Yes, Kate would lead a proper life should she marry, but her dream of practicing medicine would surely be thwarted by her domineering fiancé. To follow her dream, she must take dramatic measures. So when she reads a newspaper ad seeking a qualified small-town physician, Kate embarks on a new life in the Wild West.
Upon her arrival in the rugged settlement of Craig, Colorado, Kate is disappointed to discover that even in the West, no one wants a woman doctor. As she struggles to establish her practice, she is kept busy fending off the unwanted attentions of a local rancher, a man unnervingly reminiscent of the ex-fiancé she left behind in New York. Romantic entanglements are the last thing on Kate’s mind. That is, until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant with whom she feels an undeniable connection. But when their relationship inflames a dangerous land battle, Kate and Lucas find themselves defenseless in a lawless town—a perilous position that may cost them.
Heart of the West is a very enjoyable, fast read, with a spunky main character. My favorite leading ladies are those that don't fit the mold, and Kate was exactly that. She's a well-bred Eastern lady who longed to be a doctor. Her socialite parents were financially supportive through her schooling, but when the time came for her to setup a practice, they were very much against it. Her fiance also wasn't supportive, and she came to realize that he was only marrying her for her family's wealth and social standing. She emptied her savings and fled Long Island for Craig, Colorado, with hopes of becoming the growing town's doctor. She quickly discovered that most Westerners weren't open to the idea of a female doctor, and becoming accepted was a huge uphill battle.
Lots of minds were changed in this story, and it was refreshing (especially in quite a few townspeople once they were given a different option).
I also really enjoyed how several characters gave nearly all they had to help others. And how small acts of kindness made a huge difference in people's outlook.
I was curious about how things ended up with Kate's family (they were mentioned several times throughout the story, but we didn't get closure with them).
Heart of the West was very entertaining, and I can see myself reading it again.
I admit, I was kind of turned off at first by the initial "every man (except one) in this book is a horrible person" vibe that I was getting. Granted, some of them were downright awful, but not all of them. Thankfully, as Kate established herself in town, a lot of that disappeared, and the story became much better.
Kate came to Craig, Colorado, with several demons, and a bit of a chip on her shoulder towards men in general. But she also came with a fierce determination to succeed, and she fought through each stumbling block placed in her path in order to do that.
I was enamored with Lucas' character right away, and enjoyed all of his interactions with Kate. There were so many great supporting characters as well, something that really helps make a story for me.
I admit, I kept waiting for a final showdown between Stanley, Kate and Lucas, but it never happened. It made it feel like something was missing at the end. Other than that minor issue though, I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.
I think it's a good sign that I'm hoping there will be another book. Heart of the West is a super quick read and left me feeling happy. I will admit that the cover (or rather the hues of the cover) didn't do much for me. It is kind of brown and dull, and I was thinking that the book would be the same, but the blurb on the back sounded good. Well, it was good. Kathrine was a good, strong character full of heart, and the women she gets to know in town are fun to watch. I'm really hoping that Rosie gets her own book. That would be a lot of fun to read.
I will admit that I would have liked more with her family, and I actually would have liked a little more with her relationship with Lucas. Don't get me wrong, I like him, he's great, but it didn't seem like they had a lot of interaction before he's confessing love for her, and well...I wanted more. But I appreciate that the author kept everything clean.
I'd read this again, and I'd recommend it to my friends.
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*Jan 11th: https://ldsandlovinit.*Jan 12th: http://reviewsfromtheheart.
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Title: Heart of the West
Author: Carolyn Twede Frank
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book