Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

Book Description:  Widow Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat and provide for her two young sons, though some days it feels as though her efforts are sabotaged at every turn. When her cattle come down with disease and her sons' lives are endangered, she must turn to Rand Brookston, Timber Ridge's physician and reluctant veterinarian. While Rachel appreciates his help, she squelches any feelings she might have for Rand--her own father was a doctor and his patients always took priority over his family. Rachel refuses to repeat the mistakes her mother made. But when she's courted by a wealthy client of the local resort, she faces a choice: self-sufficiency and security or the risk inherent in the deepest of loves.

My Review: I've always been partial to books that deal with the everyday struggle of surviving and depending on the Lord to get one through.  Within My Heart is such a read.  Rachel is widowed, at what I would deem a young age, and with two young sons she must make a way.  Not an easy feat for a woman of her time.
Through all her struggles and trials she relies on the Lord.  She wants to keep the ranch her late husband began.  However, it seems that troubles arise at every hedge.  Not being one to take on the negative side of life, Rachel keeps plodding on. 
Then Rand comes along.  Oh,my!  I fell "in like" with Rand at his first appearance!  A true man's man.  Can a true man help Rachel save the ranch and can he help Rachel see beyond her past?  
Rachel's feeling are sometimes overwhelming to her as she  wants to trust and do what is right for her sons and the ranch but she begins to have feelings for Rand.  Can she manage or will she be overwhelmed by it all?  Being better educated and maybe more in tune with life "on the range" sometimes makes this fiery woman a firecracker to be reckoned with!  Rachel's feisty attitude is probably what keeps her and the ranch afloat.  
I truly enjoyed this historical romance.  The frontier life wasn't an easy life and reading about a young widow with two small sons to provide for will tug at your heart strings and help you to get a feel for what it was like in the "early days."
Love lost, love tried, and love's budding bloom are all in this wonderful 5 star read!  A must read for those who enjoy an unforgettable story filled with love, hope and realistic expectations for the heroine!   Just a note that Within My Heart is the third book in this series but as I missed the first two I read this as a stand alone book and felt the story was not based on the first two books.  Great-tastic reading, not to be missed!

*I reviewed this book for Bethany House Publishers*


About the Author: Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of the critically acclaimed historical series-- Fountain Creek Chronicles (Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered), and Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart). Tamera's The Inheritance, the 2010 RITA Award winner and 2010 Christy Award finalist, was the first historical for the Women of Faith Fiction line. Tamera's deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose continue to earn devoted readers--and multiple industry awards.
These awards include the 2008 and 2009 Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, and the 2007 and 2010 RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Her books have also garnered the 2010 HOLT Medallion, the 2010 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Bookseller's Best Award, the International Readers Choice Award, and top praise from the Library Journal, among other accolades. Tamera's novels have been translated into four languages and continue to gain international recognition. Two of her novels are also being considered for movies.
After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee with Tamera's father, Doug. They enjoy life there with Joe and Tamera's two adult children, and Jack, a precious--and precocious--silky terrier.
She's currently at work on a new six-book historical series based in the South, with the first book releasing in Fall 2011.
Tamera takes steps closer to the Lord as she writes, and her greatest hope is for readers to take steps closer to Him as they read. She enjoys staying connected with readers and invites you to keep in touch through the contact page on her website listed below or through facebook and twitter.


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