I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.A Heart of Gold by Stacy Henrie
Published by Mirror Press on 2020-09-15
Length: 267 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Reading Challenges: 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
They'll have to conquer more than the Klondike Trail to reach her father in time—they’ll have to overcome their past too.
After months of silence from her father in the Klondike, Tava Rutherford finally receives word from him. Only the outdated letter reveals that her father is ill and may be dying. Desperate to discover his fate, Tava resolves to make the journey to the wilds of northwestern Canada. But Jess Lawmen, her ranch foreman and the man who broke her heart, insists she doesn't go alone. Jess intends to keep his promise to look out for her—even if that means traveling thousands of miles with Tava, the woman he claims to feel just friendship for but has never stopped loving.
With their own ragtag group of travelers in tow, Tava and Jess confront one challenge after another as they join the hundreds of stampeders scrambling to reach the goldfields. But as the two of them come face to face with their past hurts and mistakes in their race to reach Tava’s father, they will have to decide whether to cling to safety or risk their hearts for something even greater.
Sweet, second-chance romance….my favorite! A Heart of Gold by Stacy Henrie is a standalone, historical romance that takes you to the rough terrain of the Klondike Trail during the height of the gold rush. This exciting, and often-times, breath-taking adventure is filled with hope, love, and laughter as Tava searches for her ill father with the man she can never have.
Octavia Rutherford, Tava for short, grew up working on her father’s ranch. Her mother died when she was young, and it was only her and her father after that. This shaped Tava into the woman we know. She’s tough as nails, but kind and gentle when she needs to be. She can do anything a ranch-hand can, most likely, do it better. Tava isn’t like the other women in town. She’d rather be in work clothes than fancy dresses, and she isn’t searching for a beau either because she gave her heart away to their foreman years earlier.
Jess Lawmen came to the Rutherford ranch when he was just a kid himself in a heap of trouble. If it wasn’t for Tava’s father, he wouldn’t be the man he is today. Jess credits him for straightening out his life. While we aren’t given the whole story up front, it’s clear to the reader this is a tortured man. He berates himself for the sins of his past and breaking Tava’s heart years earlier. He feels that he will never be good enough for her and takes the choice out of her hands. Jess is a good man, the man we know anyways. Every action he takes is in the benefit of others. He never does anything without thinking through the consequences and how it will affect those in his company, especially Tava.
The plot of the book follows Tava and Jess as they travel to the Klondike after news that her father has taken ill and may already be dead reaches them. Devastated and determined to find him, Tava is ready to set off on her own, but Jess will not allow that. He offers to go in her stead, but the stubborn Tava won’t allow that. So they find themselves traveling together. The tension between the two is palpable, and at times I hurt for one or both of them. They so clearly care for one another. I love how the author allows their story to unfold at a natural pace. The trials of the Klondike adds suspense and danger, keeping me turning the pages long into the night until the book was finished!
Overall I really enjoyed A Heart of Gold. Tava and Jess are two characters that I won’t soon forget. The excitement of the gold rush adds to the story as our travelers meet others on the trail. I liked the side characters just as much as the two main! If you enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend it.