Saturday, September 03, 2016

The Loyal Heart - Book Review

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. 
He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, 
made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. 
If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. 
She was his life, his world, his everything. 

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. 
When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, 
things are worse than he imagined. 
Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, 
everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. 
Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. 
Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. 
He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. 
But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. 
He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, 
and to find some way to help her smile again. 
But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task - 
Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core 
and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.


My Thoughts
From the books that I have read by Shelley Shepherd Gray
I have found her to be consistent with her talented writing and her ability to present a tale 
that is so fascinating that it captures your interest from the very first chapter.
While The Loyal Heart captured my attention at the beginning of the story
it soon fell flat and by the middle of the book I was having a hard time pressing on.
I am very sorry to say that this was not Shelley's best work.
The Loyal Heart was not necessarily bad. . .
it simply wasn't great.
As one reviewer so perfectly said,
"It wasn't up to the standard I have come to expect from Shelley Gray 
(or from her publisher, Zondervan)."

I will say that the characters were wonderful
and I actually fell in love with a couple that were not main characters and
in fact one of those did not present himself until the end of the book.
Since there will be more books in this series
I hope Shelly Gray writes about one or both of these characters
because even though this book {to me personally} was found lacking
I have hopes for the second book in the series.
Robert was the perfect gentleman and it was truly precious to read of his protectiveness
and desire to help Miranda no matter the cost.
He was there for her through thick and thin.
Miranda was delightful and I enjoyed the journey of her self discovery.
With the help of Robert and many others she is able to overcome
 many difficulties, trials, and heartaches. 
When I read of everything she went through and the people she had to go through it with
it reminded me of the blessing of family and friends.

All in all I am giving this book 3.5 stars.
Like I said, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't Shelley's best work.

 ** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
and the Fiction Guild Team for an honest review. 
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, 
a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, 
and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. 
She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, 
bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.  
Find Shelley on her website:

7 comments:

Melanie said...

Thank you for the review. I have several books by Shelley Shepard Gray in my stack to read. I'm hoping to get into the mood to read shortly. Have a great weekend.

Christine said...

I have found most of Shelley Gray's novels to be well written too. Thank you for your honest opinion & lucid review.
Hope you are enjoying your Saturday!

Mildred said...

Happy Weekend! Thank you for the review. With moving and doing some renovations, I have not had an opportunity to read. Maybe soon! I wish you all a fun weekend.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Stephanie!

It's hard to be fabulous all the time, isn't it? I hand it to professional writers from whom much is expected. I hope her next work will dazzle and intrigue her writers! Have a sensational Sunday my friend!

Bethany Carson said...

Sounds like a very interesting story-line.

Anne Payne said...

I find it tough to review a book by a favored author when it's a disappointment but you did a great job! I'm kind of hooked on her Amish stories and hesitated to read this one. I think I'll pass since there are so many others to choose from.

Thanks for your honest thoughts, Stephanie!

Love & hugs, my friend!!!

Daniela said...

I always love your reviews so much, darling Stephanie !
To be honest I'd love to read this book, since knowing Shelley Gray's style, even if this isn't her best work, probably it is not even too bad ...

Hope your week is off to a good start, I'm thinking of you with much, so much love

Xx Dany

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