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Secrets of the Heart (Mail Order Bride #1)
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Secrets of the Heart (Mail Order Bride #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Kathleen O'Malley Stallworth a mail order bride? Not likely! But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Her parents and siblings died in the great Chicago fire; her husband was killed by a mugger; now her fabulously wealthy in-laws have taken her daughter Megan from her, claiming she's not fit to be a mother. In a newspaper ad for a mail order bride, Kathleen sees a chance to ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 29th 1998 by Multnomah (first published January 1st 1998)
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(showing 1-30)
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Courtney Calvert
Jan 17, 2012 Courtney Calvert rated it it was ok
Shelves: at-library
I thought the idea for this book was a good one but the book didn't flow naturally and I felt like there wasn't a convincing portrayal of emotion. The dialogue was choppy and felt forced. I also didn't like how quite a bit of the book was spent going through what was told on the back cover. The book got less and less believable as it went on. It wasn't totally awful, but it definitely isn't something worth writing home about.
Nov 26, 2016 Kaitlyn rated it it was amazing
I almost put this book down after the first six chapters but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did!!

This book is about a fine young womacn who loses everything in the Chicago Fire and has to face hard times. Through a interesting situation she meets a fine young man and they marry. After her child is born and her husband is killed her parents in law take her child away.

Answering a call to a mail order bride message she meets another fine young man, marries, and together they win back her daughter
Dec 18, 2016 Carolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Worst Christian fiction book I've read in a while, the writing was poor, and did not tell the story very smoothly. It was too preachy, and very predictable.
Feb 28, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it
Mail order bride stories always seem interesting to me, and this one was no exception. I enjoyed the storyline, and being set during the Chicago fire also made it interesting to me. Loss of loved ones, class bias and prejudices, faith, selfishness, greed, spiritual growth diligence, determination, forgiveness, and second chances all play a part in this one. Historical details seemed to be very well done. The writing was ok, but in some scenes it seemed to be a little stilted or unrealistic, espe ...more
Jul 31, 2010 Alice rated it did not like it
Series potential (mail order brides) -- A
Background research (Chicago's great fire) -- B
Plot idea (secrets from a past married life) -- C
Plot implementation -- D-

The big scene revealing the "secrets of the heart" occurred basically as follows (dialog not word for word, but almost):

Wife: "Oh Darling, you have discovered my secret. I have a daughter from an earlier marriage and I've been planning to take half your money to go back to Chicago and rescue her from my hateful in-laws."

Husband: "That's
Feb 23, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it
I read this when I was younger, probably age 11 - 13. I remember a fire and other parts, but for the longest time I couldnt remember the title of the book, only that it had something to do with mail order brides — which didn't make sense to me, because the main character, to my recollection, is not one.

l remember really liking it, but I imagine reading it today would be a completely different experience. This is the only of the series I've read. I don't know how or why I had or was given the boo
Lillian Bittle
Apr 08, 2016 Lillian Bittle rated it it was amazing
Wow! This was a terrific book! Normally mail order bride books will start out with the bride on the way to her new groom. Not these! These authors tell you the story of the lady and guy's life before the even thought about becoming a mail-order bride. It was a story I never really though about before, but one worth the telling.

This story was about Kathleen and Tom. And about the trials and hardships they went through before they found each other. A touching tale of true love, redemption, family
Jun 21, 2011 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Another great series of books with lots of history behind them. It's hard to imagine women becoming mail order brides.......traveling from somewhere back east out to anywhere in the west to become some man's bride with only knowledge of each other through letters & photo exchange. The Lacy's weave a different setting and tale in all ten books that hold your interest. Mrs. Lacy helps in adding the romance to each tale. (smile)
Oct 23, 2015 Kelsy rated it did not like it
This just wasn't good. The writing was choppy and flat, there was no imagery, the plot made me want to roll my eyes, and the main character was annoying. It had potential, but fell far short of delivering. I don't usually write such scathing reviews...perhaps I should have waited longer before writing this. I'm still too annoyed that I waisted my time reading this.
Wendy Sparkes
Jun 01, 2012 Wendy Sparkes rated it liked it
Quite a sweet story, but very predictable.

I prefer Al Lacy's Civil War series, especially Shadowed Memories Battle of Shiloh (Battles of Destiny, #4) by Al Lacy.
Apr 17, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This was such a riveting story/novel! I really enjoyed the setting in the late 1800s and the history about the Chicago fire, mail-order brides etc. I am looking forward to reading more of the Lacy's writing.
Teresa Ruckman
Really good at showing how God goes before us and works out His plan in ways we could only dream of. Puts a smile on m face thinking about it. Again the authors do a great job explaining in detail a true historical event - the Great Chicago Fire.
Rebekah Tooley
Mar 16, 2016 Rebekah Tooley rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This had a completely different feel to it than any other mail order bride book I have read. This book shows her life before (spoilers removed) and what she has to do afterwards. This book showed a very strong Christian message for which I greatly enjoyed!
Mar 30, 2012 Anita rated it really liked it
It is a typical Al and Joanna Lacy style book. I enjoy them for entertainment. Predictable plot and good ending, no negative stuff, will make you cry and smile.
Mar 25, 2009 Jodi rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
I liked the basic plot line but I did feel like the religious part of it was kind of shoved down your throat. It didn't seem like a real natural part of the story somehow.
2.5 stars. This is a romance novel centering around being a mail order bride. The historical fiction part I ate up; I love that sort of thing. The writing is average.
Meadow Frisbie
Nov 13, 2009 Meadow Frisbie rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I give this a four star because the writing style wasn't the best. But the story was very good. The plot and different aspects of her life were very interesting.
Dec 05, 2011 Sheila marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Karlee Nist
Dec 20, 2010 Karlee Nist rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book because it gave me a perspective of how things were back then. Things were much different and its a great love story
Amy Blakelear
Amy Blakelear rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2013
KitP rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2013
Kimberly rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2011
Wendy rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2015
Beverly rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2012
Emilyn rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2014
Dawnmcd rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2012
Pat Hillis
Pat Hillis rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2015
bill konrad
bill konrad rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2016
Grace rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2010
Brittney rated it really liked it
May 13, 2015
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Al Lacy has written more than ninety novels, including the Angel of Mercy, Battles of Destiny, and Journeys of the Stranger series. He and his wife, JoAnna Lacy, are coauthors of the Mail Order Bride, Hannah of Fort Bridger, and Shadow of Liberty series. The Lacys make their home in the Colorado Rockies.
More about Al Lacy...

Other Books in the Series

Mail Order Bride (10 books)
  • A Time to Love (Mail Order Bride #2)
  • The Tender Flame (Mail Order Bride #3)
  • Blessed Are the Merciful (Mail Order Bride, #4)
  • Ransom of Love (Mail Order Bride Series #5)
  • Until The Daybreak (Mail Order Bride, #6)
  • Sincerely Yours (Mail Order Bride, #7)
  • Measure Of Grace (Mail Order Bride, #8)
  • So Little Time (Mail Order Bride, #9)
  • Let There Be Light (Mail Order Bride #10)

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