You've heard the saying... "don't judge a book by it's cover?" This was true of Melissa Jagears newest work A Heart Most Certain (Book 2 in the Teaville Morale Society series). I expected to read a turn of the century romance with some conflict, but A Heart Most Certain didn't just scratch the surface, but went deeper. Ms. Jagears touched on societal views towards helping the poor, having a right heart and motives when helping others, and most importantly having a real relationship with God and not merely paying Him lip service and Sunday attendance. By the end, I was encouraged, convicted, and inspired.
Lydia King is sent on a mission by the Teaville Moral Society to collect a donation from the wealthiest man in town Nicholas Lowe. Lowe blatantly refuses her request. He prefers that his donations/charitable work remain anonymous.
Her persistent in seeking a donation pays off. Nicholas agrees with some stipulations: Lydia is to write down three causes she believes should be funded without discussing them with the ladies' aide society and she is also to accompany him when he grants these requests.
Before reading A Heart Most Certain, I had only read one novella by Ms. Jagears: Engaging the Competition (which is found in With This Ring collection.) and I discovered it to be a delightful novella with unique characters and an engaging story.
One aspect of Ms. Jagears writing that I enjoyed was her references to other literary works. These examples were cleverly and skillfully placed throughout the story. The allusions enhanced the story and didn't detract from it.
"Lydia King took a tentative step into Mr. Lowe's hazy office, feeling like Bob Cratchit approaching Scrooge. Had Cratchit's heart pitter-pattered as fast as hers? Except his heartbeat wouldn't have had anything to do with Scrooge's looks- thin blue lips, pointed noise, and red eyes, per Dickens." (Jagears, 7)
I also appreciated that she had a spiritual element in A Heart Most Certain. Both characters experience some turmoil and testing of their faith. To me this made the characters more relatable and believable.
Ms. Jagears has found her niche in Inspirational Historical Romance and I look forward to reading more of her works.
** A Heart Most Certain was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest review.