Friday, February 28, 2020

Review: "My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream" by Pepper Basham

I have really enjoyed several of Pepper Basham's contemporary romances, and I've heard good things about her historicals, but I hadn't read any until I received My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge as part of a blind tour with JustRead Tours. This made for a perfect "blind date with a book"!

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel's imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel's father's drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

What a great romance! The slowly building attraction between Jonathan and Laurel, the kissing scenes, the winning of each others hearts ... it's practically perfection. I also enjoyed this look at life in Appalachia during World War I. It definitely had a bit of a Christy (the Catherine Marshall classic) feel to it in that regard. The problems in the community saddened me, but I know they were true to life, and I did appreciate that all of the problems didn't magically go away by the end of the novel. (And it really feels like a sequel is in order!)

While it did take me a while to get into the book, once I really got to know the characters, I couldn't put it down. This book is another excellent entry in Basham's catalog! 4 stars.

Buy the book (affiliate link).
Read my reviews of Basham's Mitchell's Crossroads novels A Twist of Faith (3-1/2 stars), Charming the Troublemaker (4-1/2 stars), and A Match for Emma (5 stars), and her Pleasant Gap novel Just the Way You Are (4 stars).

Pepper Basham 
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her upcoming release,
A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media. You may also learn more about her on her website!

Connect with Pepper: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Disclosure of material connection: I received this book from the author through JustRead Tours. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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