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A Heart Set Free

(A Heart Set Free #1)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  59 reviews
2017 Selah Awards Winner for Historical Romance In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blo
Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published December 2nd 2016 by Smitten Historical Romance
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✨ Gramy ✨

This was about the amazing journey the heroine experienced after the despair of losing her father, her home, and her job in Ireland. The tale grabs you by the heartstrings and doesn't let go. Heather loses her father, her home, and her job when her brother sells it all off to pay his gambling debts. She chooses to become indebted to the American Colonies for seven years, in order to have a chance at a better life. The reader is provided with a glimpse of some vivid details regarding the horrifi
Kellyn Roth
Originally posted on Reveries Reviews.

Well, that was surprisingly good! I wasn’t expecting much from this free download, but I really enjoyed it. It was a cool historical romance. There was some content (basically, an arranged marriage is involved, and we know that the couple hasn’t consummated their marriage … until they do, which is very briefly mentioned at the end), but not much, which was nice.

I enjoyed the characters – especially Matthew’s children. The spiritual content was cool, too, and
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Heart Set Fire is an excellent read. It reminded me of Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. I'm looking forward to more by this author in the future.
5+ stars
Elaine Cooper
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fleeing her painful past of betrayal and humiliation, Heather Douglas will do anything to leave her Scottish homeland—even indenture herself as a slave in the American colonies.

While she survives the dangerous passage across the ocean, Heather is faced with new fears. She knows her new life will be a challenge. But she is unprepared for life with her new master who bought her indenture…and then stole her heart.

"A Heart Set Free" is Janet S. Grunst’s debut novel and it is a treasure. Heather is
Jodie Wolfe
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heather Douglas flees Scotland for America thinking that a seven-year indenture is a small price to pay for her freedom. The sea voyage takes its toll, and she arrives half-starved and weighed down from the losses she encountered during the journey on the merchant ship.

Matthew Stewart is tired of being separated from his two young children. With nobody to watch over them while he works in the field since his wife died, he's been forced to leave them in town with friends. When a merchant ship arr
A Heart Set Free is a debut novel by Janet Grunst
1770 Scotland, then a horrible ship ride to Alexandria, Virginia

Heather's perceived scandal in Scotland meant she needed to get away and start a new life elsewhere. But with absolutely no money or income, her choices were few, and indentured servitude to America for seven years is the route she took.

Matthew was a fairly recent widower. Because of his need to be out on his farm from sun-up to sun-down, his children were being taken care of by close
Donn Taylor
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shamed by a family scandal of which she is innocent, Heather Douglas leaves her native Scotland to become an indentured servant in colonial Virginia. There her indenture is purchased by a farmer, Matthew Stewart. Matthew's wife has died, so his daughter and son, aged nine and four, have been kept by a friendly family miles away from his farm. Receiving Heather into his household allows him to bring the children home. But there is a catch: if a woman lives in his house, he must be married to her ...more
Clarice James
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Janet D. Grunst’s debut novel, A Heart Set Free, poignantly illustrates life in late 18th century Virginia for a Scottish woman seeking redemption and a man wanting the best for his family. The historical setting is so clearly depicted you’ll experience it with all five senses. The problems of 1770 may seem a lot different from those of today, but people still suffer loss, work through misunderstandings, overcome fear, and handle disappointments. And, like Janet’s characters, we also rejoice in ...more
Carol Stratton
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Heart Set Free captured my heart.

As the main character, Heather Douglas mysteriously flees from Scotland to the New World to work as an indentured servant. Author Janet Grunst keeps the mystery and tension moving in this page turner as Heather strives to put her past behind. It's a poetic struggle and the more the reader knows about Heather, the more he or she wants to cheer on this brave woman.

The story takes place during the historical beginning of our country, with the intricate and realis
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A captivating book!

In Janet Grunt's book, she has written a captivating story of one woman's enslavement of self to freedom of love and forgiveness.

Heather sails from Scotland to the colonies of Virginia as an indentured servant. Once she arrives, Matthew spots with the women and decides to take her home to be his wife and the mother to his two small children.

Both Matthew and Heather learn how to grow in themselves and in their love for each other. Once the chains are released, then a heart is
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books-read
A lovely tale set in Colonial America. Heather Douglas sells herself into indentured servitude to pay for her crossing from Scotland to the British Colonies in America. She's running from her past and will do anything to start over somewhere else. Matthew Stewart is a widower with two small children. While he needs help, he can't buy Heather's indenture and then take her out to the wilderness to his farm. So he marries her. With no options and little choice, Heather has to find a way to either a ...more
Kate Breslin
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this inspiring story!

Forgiveness and the healing power of love are at the heart of this touching debut, set amidst the verdant farmlands of colonial Virginia. Author Janet Grunst will delight fans of historical Christian fiction with this emotionally-charged story of faith, painted in beautifully vivid scenes and with engaging characters that will keep readers turning the pages. I was truly inspired after reading A Heart Set Free, and look forward to more works from this talented autho
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Heart Set Free by Janet S. Grunst, was an enjoyable story. Set in the 1700’s, HEATHER DOUGLAS has no reason to stay in Scotland once her ailing father has passed, especially since she has been betrayed by her brother and a man she loved. She decides a new life is what she needs, so she flees to America by indenturing herself. After a horror-filled trip across the ocean, she finds herself on the servant block, being purchased for a seven year indenture by MATTHEW STEWART, a farmer who has recen ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A Heart Set Free***** by Janet S. Grunst

1770....Heather Douglas stands on the dock in Virginia of Colonial America, having left her native Scotland and the scandal surrounding her far behind. But there is more than her indentured state that holds her heart enslaved, will she ever be free?

Widowed Matthew Stewart needs someone to help him raise his two young children, could God be leading him to an indentured servant as the answer? Taking a leap of faith, he purchases Heather's indenture, marries
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Heart Set Free by Janet Grunst--what a fascinating story! I, too, pitched and rolled with waves of emotion along with Heather on her voyage to Virginia and in the coming waves of hope, spiritual growth, disillusionment, fear, severe disappointment, desire, and love. The storyline of
A Heart Set Free moved along quickly with diverse characters who became pivotal figures in Heather's challenging new life. I was always eager to read the next chapter--even after midnight! I certainly hope a seque
Terry Lowe
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don’t normally read novels of this genre, but my wife convinced me that I would enjoy it. I did.
The historical aspect was very interesting and the faith lessons were applicable to my life. In addition, alternating the present and past stories kept me involved in this easy read until the very last page.
I grew up in Virginia, so it was fun to imagine these familiar places as they might have been 250 years ago. I look forward to future books by this new author.
Susan J
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well Done

Loved the whole of it. Location, plot, Heather, Matthew and the sweet children. Worth your time and your money and looking for more from this author. I would be happy to live in this world with these kind of genuinely good salt of the earth folks. Real issues handled well with scriptural messages of wisdom and familiarity from my upbringing. Not preachy but with Traditional values good works and sensitivity.
Marie Pinkham
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I hated to see it end

I loved this tender and wonderful story. Amidst all the hurt and misunderstanding, we find forgiveness and grace. And along the way, we see love, slowly evolving, making its way into hearts that have been closed off due to hurt and loss. I found myself slowing down my reading as I approached the end because I just didn't want the story to end.
Kathy Stackhouse
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Heart Set Free by Janet Grunst takes you on an exciting journey with a young woman from Scotland to Colonial Virginia. She ends up being indentured to a young widowed farmer and has a secret she is afraid to reveal. Can she learn to trust God, forgive and love again? A Heart Set Free is an inspiring and fun read.
Marjorie Hill
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heather Douglas leaves Scotland under a cloud to find freedom in the Colony of Virginia. She indentures herself to Matthew Stewart, a widower with two children. Janet S. Grunst grabbed my attention from the first page. She weaved a story that kept me reading to the end. Great writing. I highly recommend it.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting book from beginning to end. The first chapter gets one hooked on what is going to happen to Heather as she leaves her life and past in Scotland bound for an unknown life on a transatlantic trip to the colonies. If you are looking for a good book to curl up with, this one is for you. I highly recommend it.
Elaine Stock
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love stories of hope and new beginnings, and if set in a historical time period, Colonial America is fascinating since it also was a new beginning for many. A Heart Set Free by Janet Grunst was a delightful read and kept me captivated throughout the story. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author! ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Very sweet debut novel from this author. I enjoyed watching the development of the relationship between Matthew and Heather. I wish there would have been more one-on-one interaction between the two of them and the miscommunication between them was driving me nuts😣... The book definitely kept me reading though cause I had to see them find a happy ending!
Regina Smeltzer
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading my copy! Great story. Well done. Will there be a sequel? I fell in love with the characters.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read

Good storyline, well written, interesting well developed characters who are very believable. I would definitely recommend this book to Christian readers.
May 31, 2017 added it
I had a hard time putting this book down. I found it to be well written and the characters true to life. The story was interesting and I will be looking for more books by this author.
Angie Thompson
Nothing at all wrong with this; it just wasn't quite my style.

The characters confused me a bit, and I felt like they bounced back and forth from "I can't trust him" to "he doesn't trust me" to "he loves someone else" with very little reason or explanation. It was also a bit hard to understand Heather's reactions to things when we didn't have her full backstory until the end. It made her progress and the lessons she was supposed to be learning a little hard to follow.

I could tell that the details
Diane Horne
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Heart Set Free By Janet S. Grunst

Five stars ,this is an excellent Christian romance story...She had to learn to forgive herself and to trust..Her family and the town people were there to support her...Good ending
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Era 1770, in Virginia during colonial days, about a young girl, Heather Douglas who lived in Scotland. She had a bad family life and decided to come to America to become an indentured slave for seven years not knowing whether her situation was going to be good or bad.

Coming off the ship, she went straight to the auctions and was sold to a man that married her that day without a bath or being able to clean up, everything she owned was dirty after making the long trip on the ship. After saying th
J.E. Grace
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heather, in order to escape a horrible scandal, flees Scotland aboard a ship headed for America, but is her voyage a worse choice? As an indentured servant, what fate awaits her?

The storyline is very heart-wrenching at times, and then so inspirational and uplifting at the same time. The characters were wonderfully fleshed out. I admired Matthew for his dedication to his children and the family farm. I had to also admire Heather for her courage to embark on a new adventure marrying a stranger.

I l
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Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free was the 2016 Selah Award winner for Historical Romance. The second book in the series, A Heart For Freedom was released 2017. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desi ...more

Other books in the series

A Heart Set Free (3 books)
  • A Heart For Freedom (A Heart Set Free #2)
  • Setting Two Hearts Free (A Heart Set Free #3)

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“He became more than my Savior, who would forgive me my trespasses when I died. He forgives me whenever I go to Him with a repentant heart. It is the Holy Ghost that I carry with me everywhere. He brings my sins to my conscience when I have erred. He is my comforter, teacher, and yes, my friend. My faith has changed from being a religion” 0 likes
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