AUTHOR: Amanda Cabot
From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?
Prejudice is ugly, and it surrounds Lydia Crawford even before she reaches her destination of Cimarron Creek, Texas. But as the opening sentence of A Stolen Heart states, “No matter what anyone said, she wouldn’t believe this was a mistake.” And thus we are introduced to this strong-willed, compassionate young woman. Even when confronted with a devastating betrayal, Lydia determines to make the best of her situation—while carefully guarding her tender heart.
Enter Travis Whitfield, sheriff and lawyer of Cimarron Creek, the former due to his sense of duty, the latter his chosen field. His duties as the local lawman weighs heavy, though, and he feels as though he’s failing his town.
I enjoyed this story, especially Travis, his Aunt Bertha, and some of the rest of his clan. Their foibles made them recognizable. Lydia, on the other hand, seemed too perfect to me. Her ability to say just the right thing no matter the circumstance, while admirable, didn’t endear her to me. I appreciate characters who stumble, say the wrong thing, and have to apologize. But she is lovely, kind and incredibly hard-working.
The setting of the Texas Hill Country drew me in, as did the time—a few years after the War Between the States. The learned animosity plays an important role in this story and is almost a character in itself.
In A Stolen Heart, author Amanda Cabot weaves an interesting mixture of romance and mystery, earning four stars. Recommended. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.