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Innocent Hearts

(Prairie Hearts #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  955 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A young woman from Boston faces the hardships and hard choices of life on thefrontier in 1860s Montana territory.
Paperback, 212 pages
Published March 31st 2002 by Renaissance Alliance Publishing
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  955 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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I really enjoyed this story so much more than some of her recent books being released. It was a sweet story and for a Radclyffe romance I would say a slow burn as in it took more than two weeks for the characters to say "I love you."
Also, I found it free online. Whether it is significantly different from the published version I don't know, but free is always good in my book.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is sweet, if not a little stereotypical for a Western. But, you'll notice I gave it five stars because I don't give a damn. In fact, the clichés and the predictability made this enjoyable. It's all too often that lesbian novels are some art project. They're married, there's a huge age gap, they're going to end up dead or miserable because this book has to mean something really deep, and so on. Or, it's one of those lesbian novels where it is just a lighthearted and/or simple story to ...more
So, I came to this novel after reading Kicker's Journey, Backwards to Oregon, Hidden Truths, and Jae's collected short stories in the Oregon series, hoping to find another historical lesbian romance of similar quality. This is not that. There is very little period detail here of any kind, aside from the occasional mention of Levi's, and this version of 1860 Montana appears to exist in an alternate reality where most people are just totally A-OK with queer romance. I'm all for sexual ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happen to have read the 2nd book in the series before and my love for that made me search for this. Still loving the old western lifestyle depiction but the intensity of love wasn't as rooted as the 2nd book. That said I still applaud Radcliffe and have a growing respect for her multifaceted stories.
I'm so glad I read this book! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy in a drinking chocolate while playing with kittens sort of way. It's a tender romance between two people who respect each other and a total breath of fresh air for me.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
5 “oh my God, my heart” stars. I ship Kate and Jessie soooooo hard and also I’d let Jessie teach me how to ride at her ranch anytime. Did I just write that? Yes I did. This ain’t Shakespeare but omg the romance, the drama, the steamy love scenesssssss. 10/10 can imagine secret lesbians in 2003 reading this and having it blow their minds. What a time to be alive. ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Very sweet love story!
Radclyffe knows how to describe the magic of first love.
Romance at its best. Also the beautiful and sensual love scenes make this book a pleasure to read.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like lesbian romances/historical fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebekah WSM
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking for a lesbian romance for a really long time, but I could never really get into the plots. I really enjoyed this book. Radclyffe covers really sensitive subject matter in a very conservative time and still manages to create a believable love story. It also helps that I love historical fiction. I would definitely recommend this book.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few Radclyffe books I've truly enjoyed. It's a western (extra points for that), self-contained, and the characters are unique and believable. There's an actual romance in this book that builds rather than her trend of the lead characters jumping each other the first chance they get. This was a great, quick summer read.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Radclyffe seems to have a habit of writing around action. We as the reader don't get to see a lot of the important events in her books, we only get to see the emotional fallout afterwards. It seems we are not meant to have our own feelings about what happens to these characters, we are only meant to experience the emotions of those watching. It's frustrating.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nope. Nope. Nope.

I didn't like it at all. Both characters did not have the chemistry I expected. There was nothing wrong with the writing, the story was just boring. I was disappointed, plain and simple.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this, just finished reading it for the second time :) Kate & Jessie's story is beautiful, and wonderfully written. Highly recommended! Definitely one of my top 5 Romance novels of all time :)
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe its just because I'm a prairie girl, but this was fantastic.

Lots of shy, oh-shucks interactions in a cute, not frustrating, kind of way. Not going to let anyone or anything stop their love.
Kim Ramirez
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great story by Radclyffe! I enjoy western themed stories, that era creates a whole new dimension to what it must have been like to be a lesbian way back when. I very much enjoyed the story!
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never want to see the word “trembling” again. Ever.
But other than that, loved the story. Wasn’t quite prepared for the last few chapters of roller coaster feelings, that was interesting.
Sarah Fisher
This is a nice straight-forward romance novel which I read as a wanted a different take on a western. Really likeable characters and well written if a little overly dramatic in parts.
Not Radclyffe's best work, to say the least.

I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to reading a new kind of romance, with a different storyline that takes place in the 19th century. But it fell so short. It didn't feel real at all, it was such a cliché... the cowboy butch, the excited femme, the prostitute, the saloon, the influenza... I just think there could have been more to it than what we see in western movies.

Radclyffe can be so inconsistent, it's really hard to know if I like
Kate travels west with her parents, Martin and Martha, and falls in love with Montana. She also befriends Jessie, who defies virtually all of the restrictions that were imposed on Kate back in Boston. Jessie owns a ranch and commands the respect of the townspeople. Kate begins to have some seriously conflicted feelings about Jessie.

I really like the idea of this story: two young, spirited, independent girls falling in love with one another at a time when there wasn't really a word to describe
Rae Storey
Wild frontier lesbian novels are very much hit-or-miss on believable, dynamic characters and engaging, quality writing. Radclyffe has absolutely delivered both with Innocent Hearts. Kate is an independent young woman who loves and respects her family but also wants to be her own person. And Jessie is a strong-willed and hard-working young woman running a successful ranch who didn't realize how lonely she was until she met Kate. Radclyffe has allowed the chemistry to develop organically between ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well written, although very simply so. I would have loved a little more substance - historical details, more fleshed out secondary characters. But I really can't give a bad rating to a book that had me smiling all the way through. The romance is beautiful and sweet and our two main characters are vibrant souls. The story is set over the breathtaking backdrop of Montana in the 1860s which lends its own kind of energy to the story.

A quick, easy, and fun read - it's a book I would
Naomi Stebler-stock
Radclyffe is a brilliant writer. All her books are gripping & I couldn't put down!
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gblt, erotica
Surprising setting and characters...but it was actually really well written and a very sexy read.
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It only took me ten days to go through this book. No words added, you can figure out the rest...
3.8 stars.

This is a solid, sweet love story. It was a little on the simple side and the characters were all pretty two dimensional but it's a decent, feel good read.
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Radclyffe and I love a good Western. It's been awhile since I have read it but I give it two thumbs up.
Svetlana Wesley
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my top3 favorite books of Radclyffe. After Loves melody lost and When Dreams Tremble
Jane Shambler
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book and a great story.
Sad in places but the underlying warmth is really worth your time.
Very cheesy romance novel, overuses the word "beautiful".
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Radclyffe has written over forty-five romance and romantic intrigue novels, dozens of short stories, and, writing as L.L. Raand, has authored a paranormal romance series, The Midnight Hunters. She has also edited Best Lesbian Romance 2009 through 2015 as well as multiple other anthologies. She is an eight-time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery, and erotica—winning in both romance ...more

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