Shanda's Reviews > To Win Her Heart

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
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's review
May 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: romance, historical
Read from November 18 to 21, 2012

I’m a sucker for historical romance. When I see books like this on my library shelf, I can’t resist picking them up. To Win Her Heart is like a lot of other Christian historical romance I’ve read, which is good because I enjoy most Christian historical romance, the exception being those that preach the reader to death. This book was not overly preachy at all, with simple messages of repentance, forgiveness and acceptance.

I really liked the hero, Levi. As a youth he struggled with a lisp and was teased a lot, leading to fights in the schoolyard. As an adult, he abandoned working with his father and brother as blacksmiths and became a prize fighter, enjoying the fame, popularity and money that came with it. That is until he unintentionally killed his opponent with a solid blow, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

When Levi is released he heads for Spencer, Texas, to work as a blacksmith and try to get back on his feet. He works to establish his place in the community before the townspeople inevitably learn about his past, hoping that will help them be more accepting of him when the truth comes out.

Eden Spencer’s father owns most of the town. She has such a large collection of books that she opens her personal library up to the town and lets them check books out to read. She loves pressing flowers and creating artwork with them as well as reading to the town’s children every week. When she meets Levi, her first impression is that he is slow, due to his hesitant speech.

As she listens to him speak and use certain words only an intelligent, well-read man would use, she starts paying attention and realizes he’s avoiding certain sounds. Soon she and Levi are exchanging letters, using the excuse of “borrowed” and “returned” library books as a way to pass these letters back and forth to each other secretly.

I found the concept of exchanging letters hidden inside library books even though they saw each other often to be romantic and intimate. Levi was my favorite character. I liked that he envisioned a life with Eden despite feeling unworthy, determined to give things a try and see if she could love him in return.

Eden took a a little while to grow on me. Sometimes she felt like a more mature woman, one who had been practically left at the altar and had gained some worldly wisdom. Other times she seemed more closed-minded and prudish. I liked her more by the end of the book.

I thought the other characters in the book, including Eden’s father, were well-written though the sheriff felt a bit flat to me. I never really believed he was as much of a threat or villain as he could have been. Other than the part he played in the climax, he was more annoying than anything.

Overall I enjoyed To Win Her Heart and look forward to reading more by Kate Witemeyer, particularly Short-Straw Bride. Readers who like clean historical romance will enjoy To Win Her Heart.

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11/18/2012 page 31
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