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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream

(My Heart Belongs)

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  190 reviews
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 tend ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Barbour Books
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Average rating 4.64  · 
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Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who love my books.
Wow. I’ve read a lot of Pepper’s books, and I always adore her writing style—but this one is my favorite to date! Satisfying from page one until the very last page. Sweet, lyrical writing, raw emotion described so perfectly... and some of the best orchestrated and well-placed kissing scenes. ❤️
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Dream, girl, but trust God to take better care of your dreams than you ever could." (p 139)

Sometimes you come across a book that defies description and this is one of them. I've been grappling with words that won't come because I don't think anything I say can do justice to the depth and breadth and overall bookiliciouness of My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge : Laurel's Dream.

I wish I had Laurel's 'lyrical phrasing' to help me. "She's always got the mullygrubs but down deep she's as soft as fr
Beth Erin
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review on

Much like the dreamy rolling peaks of the southern Appalachians, this story invites the heart and mind to meander and soak up the extraordinary beauty of every day. Laurel's Dream honors the legacy of a vibrant culture with the innocence of a coming of age tale, the universal appeal of family drama, and the irresistible draw of sweet romance.

Laurel's open, honest, and innocent personality is so refreshing in a world which seems to be increasingly jaded and cyn
Deanne Patterson
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read by Pepper D. Basham. I know she has others out but haven't had a chance to read them yet. I aim to change that now that I've read this historical!
Taking place in Appalachia in the late 1910's where the mountain folk are poor but proud. Change does not come easy and is definitely not welcomed! This is why they are not welcoming to the new male school teacher, Jonathan Taylor. When Johnathon fails his English father once again he joins his uncle's missionary endeav
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
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 ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
A culture shock awaits Jonathan Taylor as he enters the rustic small town set in the Appalachian Mountains. He has come seeking redemption from an overbearing father, not being "fit" to serve in WWI and the squashed dreams of becoming a Doctor. He needs to feel as if he is making a difference, somewhere.

Life turns out to be different than he expected. Instead of finding a society of "backward" people, he realizes that joy doesn't come from possessions, but how you live your life. The best exampl
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Sweet historical romance set in the Blue Ridge Mountains during WWI (1918). Laurel is pure heart and charm. Jonathan comes from England to serve as the mountain school's new teacher. He wants to be a doctor, but was released from the military due a physical impairment. Their chemistry and heart toward helping others was lovely. ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I absolutely loved this book. Basham brings every aspect of the Blue Ridge mountain people to life from their speech, to their many mountain wisdom gems ( I highlighted quite a few), to the taste, smell, and feel of the mountains themselves. By the time I finished I wanted to immediately book a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Basham's prose read like poetry and drew me into every page of the story. Laurel, the beautiful, young mountain woman who aspired to go to college to become a teacher, so
Courtney Clark
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though mountain life might seem simple on the surface, it is anything but that for Laurel, her family, and her neighbors. While she dreams of an education and better opportunity for her own generation and beloved siblings, she grapples with a people and a culture dear to her yet challenging and wary of anything new.

Jonathan is the embodiment of such a challenge to her life. Through an unlikely friendship, he and Laurel learn just how similar their ambitions for betterment and common goals can he
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Blue Ridge Mountains seems to be far removed from from World War 1 when new school teacher Jonathan Taylor arrives from England to face the culture shock of living among the mountain people. Jonathan was a praying man. One of his first prays after his arrival was, “Dear Lord, please give me the strength to help make a difference.”

Laurel McAdams was certainly an unexpected ally. They shared a comradery that started with brothers serving in the war and a love of eduction. Laurel was lacking in
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"Yep, kissing thoughts could give a coon dog competition for perseverance."

Kissing was about the last thing Laurel McAdams had on her mind at the moment. Getting the new lowlander teacher far, far, away from the lion's claws, mountain lion that is, immediately took precedence, even if the man was easy on the eyes. What in "tarnation" would bring a man like Jonathan Taylor to her Appalachian mountains?

"He didn't know why he was running, or from what . . . . . but he ran as if his very l
Dana Michael
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! This book was sweet, inspiring and romantic! Wonderful characters and story. I just wish this was a series!
*I was given a copy by the publisher. I was not under any obligation to leave a review. This is my honest opinion.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book reminds me of The Waltons and how the family and their neighbors were close during the depression living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mountain folk stick together. I guess they'd rather shoot you first and then ask questions later like they did Teacher.
I love Pepper's books. I love them because she ads humor. And did I ever laugh outright!! I even snickered some especially when Teacher got broke in real good lol!

I almost had something similar happen to me about 7 years ago.
was on my w
Paula White
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I loved this book. I loved the setting, the characters, the story. I hope there’s a sequel.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Somehow Pepper Bashum continues to raise the bar with this lovely story of a British teacher who travels to a remote mountain community of North Carolina hoping to make a difference. Bashum shares her love for the Appalachian people as she describes their strengths and weaknesses. The eclectic cast of mountain folk is as colorful as the autumn color in the mountains described so eloquently through Bashum's beautiful prose. The laugh-out-loud humor Bashum fans have come to expect are interlaced w ...more
Susan Snodgrass
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'I can't hardly get one dream to come true. It'd seem greedy to hope for two.'

This book just filled my heart all the way up till the goodness overflowed. Pepper Basham has just outdone herself here.

Jonathan Taylor has come from England to teach in a one room school in 1918 Appalachia. Boy, is he unprepared for what he finds. He longs to be of some use to these children, but long held family belief systems and superstition nearly break his heart. He can't go back home because his stern father do
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a sweet romance. I loved the setting. The author did a fabulous job bringing it to life. I was absolutely drawn into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sights, sounds and smells were penned beautifully. Laurel is a wonderful character. Teacher is too. I hated for it to end but the ending is lovely and very satisfying.
Dani Moore
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Taylor was running, running away from the failure his father thought he was and running toward a place he thought he could contribute. Because of an old injury, he couldn't contribute toward the war effort, but maybe his brain and his skills could contribute here, in the Blue Ridge Mountains as a teacher for his uncles' mission.
Laurel McAdams wanted more than what she had. Not material things, she had enough of those, makin' do was a way of life in these mountains, but learning. She had
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
My personal Rating- One Star

{ Due to heavy kisses, this book is receiving a one-star all-around rating. We really enjoyed the book up to those kisses and are sad to give it such a low rating.}
For the first half of this book, it felt like a 3 star.
Then a twist happened a bit later and it became a 4 star.
However, some pretty heavy kisses entered in and dropped the rating to a 1 star.
I’m sad now. ☹️
This is my first book by this author, so I decided to go into this book with no expectations and j
Karen R
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story full of life and love! A glimpse into the Appalachian culture of a small community at the end of WW1, with a conflict all its own. When a young man from England comes to teach school at the mission led by his uncle, ill feelings are stirred up among the stern mountain men and the 'flatlander' who wants to improve their lives, and open their eyes to the outside world.

“Dream, girl, but trust God to take better care of your dreams than you ever could.”

This book started out well, a
Lucette Nel
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book captivated me! My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is a beautiful historical romance about the Appalachian life and Ms. Basham did a wonderful job transporting the reader to the everyday life of the heroine. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. My opinion is voluntarily and I was not expected to post a positive one.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is a clean historical romance. Laurel wants to be a teacher, but her living circumstances are not the best. Jonathan takes a teaching job, though he wants to be a doctor. He learns from Laurel and the townspeople that happiness is not found in the things you own. He learns the value of family and love and joy. Laurel always tries to make the best of any situation and she stays positive. It's a charming story in a beautiful setting. Thanks to NetGalley for an ar ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author did a great job of bringing the essence of the Blue Ridge mountains, and specifically the mountain people's way of life and wariness towards strangers (flatlanders) to life in this beautifully sweet story about friendship and breaking barriers to love and help those around you.

The author successfully drew me into this story with interesting adventures the London bred Jonathan had to face in this "rough mountains" where he wanted to teach and help the mountain people. The differences b
Cathy Cermele
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Okay get ready to gasp, but this is the first book that I’ve read by Pepper Basham! I know that I’m late to the party but at long last, I made it.

Laurel McAdams is a character that I loved from the beginning and quickly decided that I wanted her to have the best life she possibly could. Given her circumstances I knew that it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do. Laurel has so much to overcome including a less than ideal family life since her father struggles with alcoholism.

Jonathan Tyler is the new
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely story! Jonathan and Laurel were both so sweet! It was fun to see the life of the mountain girl and the flat-lander blending together.

The setting was spectacular! I loved learning how people in the mountains live. The hardships and joys were both evident, and like Jonathan, I began to feel at home!
Tricia Mingerink
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have become slightly obsessed with books set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I visited that part of North Carolina this summer, and I think I fell a little bit in love with the mountains and the mountain culture.

This is the first book I've read by this author, and I don't think it will be my last. This book was really well written and compelling. The characters were well developed and the setting was magnificently described. I could taste the mountain air and feel the breeze and was transported
Tabitha Bouldin
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
My heart just melted like butter on a hot biscuit. Never has a book captured Appalachian culture so well. I was hooked from the first page. Basham’s way of weaving words together makes me want to capture the words and put them all in a glass jar so I can shake them every now and then like a jar of lightning bugs and watch them light up again.
Laurel is so sweet and endearing. That sweetness covers a backbone of steel and dreams of helping her community. When Jonathan arrives, Laurel is his first
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved this book!

Author Pepper Basham’s newest release My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is well written with well developed characters. The descriptions of the mountain, its people and their homes are described so well I can still see them in my minds eye.

Laurel McAdams grew up in these mountains; she loves the people and the mountain in all its seasonal splendor. When a handsome stranger comes to the mountain as the new school teacher, Laurel befriends him striving to pave the way for
Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read
Be aware before you read this review: I going to gush about this book.

I did not want this book to end. The ending was perfect, but I knew when I finished the last page I would have to leave the story of these wonderful characters. From the very first page, I knew that I was going to love Laurel, the mountain girl with a compassionate heart and the longing to go to college to become a teacher. Jonathan, who comes to the mountains from England to be a teacher but wants to be a doctor, is also an i
Emily P
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this sweet romance set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Laurel is a small town daughter of a farmer who dreams of more than mountain life. She finds an unlikely friend in the new teacher, Jonathan, who has moved to North Carolina from his native England.

Pepper Basham has done her research and effectively captures the spirit of the mountain foothills and its people. There are difficult topics such as prejudice, racism and alcoholism woven into the characters' lives, which
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Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction whe ...more

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