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Waltz in the Wilderness (Chaparral Hearts Book 1)

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  53 reviews

She's desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother's death, so she'll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend's unexpected assistance is a blessing she can't

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Wild Heart Books
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Average rating 4.68  · 
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 ·  60 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I know I'm going to give this book a five star rating because this book has made me groan out loud, want to give Eliza the good shaking she deserves at times and I have even snickerd in some places.
Eliza is a fabulous character though. You just gotta love her.
Daniel is a good man and he is a gentleman in every way possible. His mama raised him right! I love him too.
As for Alice, Richard and Caroline I felt this was like a second story. I can't imagine being in Alice's shoes. Not at all!! In in
Paula Shreckhise
With a stubborn but loyal heroine and an honorable hero with a steadfast faith, this story is a bit complicated but that’s what makes it interesting and enjoyable. It was fun to read about Eliza Brooks’ journey into womanhood. The historical facts about early San Francisco and San Diego and ship travel of that time were fascinating. Daniel Clarke is a man with high principles, even as he is escorting Eliza into the wilderness to find her father. He tries to honor God and his fiancée but could he ...more
Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
Right from the very first chapter, these characters invited me to join their story and waltzed their way into my heart. I enjoyed my time spent within the pages of this engaging book and I honestly hope that you get to enjoy this story as well!

Eliza Brooks has more than her fair share of rough edges. Prickly could be a word that most would use to describe her. She keeps others at a distance and doesn't let people get close. Eliza has experienced more than her fair share of loss, everyone she's
Ruth Hill
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

When I began reading this book, I figured it might be a typical historical fiction romance, but in truth, this is a cut above most in this genre. It is a Christian book, and Biblical principles are woven into the very framework of the story. Historical accuracy is also emphasized throughout. In fact, the author herself discusses the historical accuracy of the
Waltz in the Wilderness was a great trek back in time to the rugged land of California. I liked Eliza and Daniel and felt for them as they both began to experience feelings of love for each other while Daniel was still betrothed to another. I appreciated that Daniel and Eliza both respected that engagement, even as it caused them pain to do so.

I really enjoyed reading about their travels up into the mountains and what they ended up discovering up there. The side story involving Alice was also
Abby Breuklander
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love love and love this story!! One of the hardest lessons that we'll ever have to learn in life is letting God have complete control of our lives, even when we think we could do a much better job of putting the pieces of our lives together. It can be so difficult trusting Him with the people we love, our hopes and dreams, everything. The world can be a scary place and there are times when His plans never make any sense. But that's where trust and complete release come into play and it usually ...more
Becky Lewis
Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly has my feel-good nod of approval. Not only did it satisfy my reading soul, but it gave me real substance to chew on as I contemplated the characters and their response to untenable circumstances.
I fell in love with strong-headed, one-purpose Eliza Brooks and Daniel Clark, her uncle's employee who becomes her reluctant escort.
Other characters I couldn't stand at all, while I wondered how the people around them could stomach them.
The novel is pretty
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kathleen Denly has written a beautiful tale in the first installment from her Chaparral Hearts series, Waltz in the Wilderness. I adored this book. I enjoyed the historical details throughout the book. The author did a fantastic job with her vision on how it must have been like in that time in history. Eliza is one of those characters that I love from the start and feel a connection to. I admired her courage and bravery. Daniel is a wonderful man of faith. It was great seeing how Eliza and ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Kathleen Denly wrote such an entertaining story! I loved Eliza and Daniel! I enjoyed how their personalities fit together. This story was very unique. This book makes me want to read more from her!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Paula Hawthorne
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book and am kind of sad that it's over. I am very much looking forward to the next series in this author's collection. I thought the author did a wonderful job with the accuracy of the history during that time. I love that she included her research at the end of the book on where she got her information for the historical facts. Eliza, the main character is easy to love. She may be stubborn and headstrong but she is also very loving and loyal. There was adventure, ...more
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
This book has touched me in ways I’m not even sure I can entirely express in a review. Denly has penned a beautiful novel that captures the power of family, friendship, and relying on the Lord’s timing. She touches on the importance of healing, and allowing others to help you. She brings to light some difficult topics even, and yet does so in a way that just allows the characters to shine through those moments. Denly has managed to not only grab my attention through the main characters, but ...more
I have been a fan of Kathleen Denly’s BLOG for almost three years now, so when I heard she was releasing a novel I knew I had to read it immediately. Boy, am I glad I jumped at the chance to read Waltz in the Wilderness. It is fantastic. I was captivated from the very beginning and the pages kept turning at lightning speed. I am a native So Cal girl; been here my entire life. I have traveled to San Diego many a time, so getting to learn some history about the early days was fascinating and fun. ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, celebrate-lit
A promising beginning to the Chaparral Hearts series by Kathleen Denly, “Waltz in the Wilderness” combines the best of westerns, adventure and survival stories, and of course romance. This is a story that I think is best enjoyed without reading the synopsis first, which is a practice I always employ to avoid knowing how the story might play out. As I read, I was so glad that I went in blind because the characters and the plot were surprising in ways that they would not have been otherwise.

Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful wilderness adventure story and so much more besides wrapped up in this novel by new to me author Denly.

Taking place in much of wild and untamed California soon after the gold rush of 1849, we find Eliza Brooks growing up with her beloved Pa and a whole lotta of guilt on her young shoulders. Due to the dangers of a young female panning for gold, her father decides it is best to send her to her uncle and aunt to live in society. For awhile Eliza can do nothing but obey, but as
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Let us just start with the beautiful cover, shall we? It’s a dreamy one that’s for sure and seems to portray the inner struggles of Eliza quite well .

The characters in this book are quite unique. The main characters Eliza and Daniel both have some very big struggles to overcome and a lot to learn along the way. Eliza especially caught my attention as a character who had to learn some important lessons in trusting God to guide her path. I did feel that Eliza’s character was kind of wishy-washy,
Cathy Cermele
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love a strong-willed character which is why I loved Eliza Brooks so much. I understood her fears and concern for her father and their close relationship since the death of her mother. Did I understand the lengths she would go to in finding him? Not at first but that's what I loved about her, her determination is admirable and once she made up her mind to do something there was no stopping her.

Daniel Clarke is the epitome of a gentlemen, he is truly an honorable man as he escorts Eliza on her
Holly Bleggi
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! This is a Historical Christian Romance set in 1854 in California. I thought this book was great and I loved the characters. I loved how independent Eliza was and how important family was to her. I loved how honorable Daniel was and I loved the chemistry that was between them. Even though they didn’t get along as first I loved how with the different trials they had to go through together how they grew to love each other. I also loved how Daniel helped Eliza to let go of the ...more
Hallie Szott
Feb 18, 2020 marked it as reviewed
Eliza Brooks needs to find her father—and she will do whatever it takes to do so. This search takes her through Gold-Rush California and brings her Daniel Clarke. Seeing the history, adventure, and romance then come alive as the journey of this stubborn heroine and honorable hero progresses is a pleasure; add in some encouraging faith and character growth, and Waltz in the Wilderness is a book inspirational-historical readers do not want to miss.

I enjoyed this debut from author Kathleen Denly.
Maureen Timerman
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I really enjoyed this read, we are given a girl who acts and dresses like a boy. She lives in a mining area, and hides from all that he is a she.
Her Dad finally bring her to his brother to have her civilized, and my take was she became a spoiled brat! Her heart’s desire though was to be reunited with her father and she goes to all lengths to get there.
As she begins a journey to find her Dad, we journey around California during the gold rush, and see it all though the eyes of the author.
We are
Samantha McCollough
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Waltz in the Wilderness

Waltz in the wilderness was a great story of Eliza and Daniel‘s journey to find her father and also to find themselves. Eliza was this young girl who didn’t really know who she was and Daniel wasn’t sure what he wanted in life. Eliza had insecurities about letting God have the control over her life because she didn’t trust him fully and didn’t think that he listened to her. Daniel had a strong placed faith in God. Eliza was a headstrong, obstinate,
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to an author that is new to me, this book just makes me want to read more! The characters are either lovable or you want to shake some sense into them. Eliza is stubborn, headstrong and blaming herself for her mother’s death when she was just a child. Thus she has taken on what she feels is her job - taking care of her father - a tough situation for a young lady to be in.
Uncle Henry is just the sweetest and Aunt Celilia is one of those you’d love to shake! Daniel is a
Janice Sisemore
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Waltz in the Wilderness

Waltz in the Wilderness had me hook from the very first word. Eli and her father are left on their own after her mother dies. He takes her to his brother’s place to stay while he goes to work. After she quits getting letters from him she takes off to find him.

I loved the adventures Eli had in trying to find her father. First on the boat and then the Wilderness. She meets Daniel who helps with finding her father. I loved Eli character, she was so determined to find her
S.J. Wells
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story has an old soul feel to it that is rare these days. Kathleen Denly tells a tale of adventure and love that readers of Christian romance will enjoy. If you are looking for a book with which to introduce your teen to Christian fiction, this is the book you want. Denly adds a few twists that I didn’t expect, and the danger that the hero and heroine find themselves in is real. Speaking of the heroine, she has plenty of spunk to endear readers to her plight, and the hero’s galant manners ...more
Becca (Reflections From My Bookshelves)
Waltz in the Wilderness is s story of determination and hope. It takes place in California before it was part of the United States. It touches a little bit on the gold rush era. I haven't read a lot of books during that time so it was interesting to read. Kathleen Denly did a great job describing her characters and setting, I felt like I could be right there along with them.
Eliza and Daniel are such great characters. Both were fun to get to know and see how they interacted with each other and
Virginia Winfield
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable historical romance. I really liked Eliza even though she was very stubborn. It was interesting to read how she was not going to forget about her father. I liked reading about the historical aspects also. There were some parts when she was with her Uncle that had me crying. I really loved some of the descriptions of the scenery. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Valri Western
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At first I had a bit of a hard time getting into this story but I'm so glad I kept reading! It was marvelous! It was just slow in the first two chapters! I do have to say that I didn't relate much with the heroine, Eliza, though. That is strange for me because I usually relate immediately with heroines but I just didn't with her. I got closer as the book moved on, of course, but I really fell in love with Daniel, the hero! He was an awesome character and I adored him! In the end, the two of them ...more
Kathleen Darnell
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love a good story. Especially a good clean story. It is a wonderful period romance, that is sure to capature your heart and have you falling in love with the main characters Eli, and Daniel. I am currently 50% through and have laughed, smiled, and sliently said "OH NO! What?" I cannot wait to continue reading and see where and how the story progresses.
Victoria Rose
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful love story. It's a wonderful romance between the main characters, Eli and Daniel.
I had a lot of mixed emotions reading this book. This is my first book in this genre if you can believe that. I don't normally read romance stories but I'm glad I chose this book to be my first. Beautifully written and I highly recommend. Thank you Kathleen for an advanced copy.
Suzie Waltner
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Debut author Kathleen Denly takes readers from the gold mines of California to the bustling and thriving city of San Francisco then on to the Pacific Ocean and into the mountains.

I admit there were several times I didn’t care for Eliza. Occasionally, she came across as haughty despite her previous humble circumstances. Yet, as she embarks on her search and the hurts from her past and dreams for her future are revealed, my opinion of her was successfully swayed.

Daniel is honorable, humble, and
Kim Villalva
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Putting this book down after finishing reading it was like having to say good-bye to a new friend...that I wasn't ready to leave yet!

This story is captivating from the first page. I fell in love with the characters, especially Eliza. She is a refreshing break away from typical female heroines. She has a great many flaws and struggles and there was nothing predictable in this book. I honestly had no idea what may or may not happen. And I LOVED it! SO refreshing! So refreshing to see a heroine
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