It's the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him. Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she's going to have to trust someone if she's to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband's half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door? The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God's love no matter the circumstances.
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Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher is the second in her Where the Heart Lives series about three orphans who were separated and try to find each other as adults. Each book focuses on one of the siblings: the first book in the series, Belonging, featured older sister Felicia.
In Betrayal older brother Hugh Brennan has just been released from prison where he had served as a result of his father’s betrayal. He has heard that Felicia is in Idaho and sets out to find her, but then his horse is injured and he has to stop for a while. He comes across the ranch of Julia Grace who, though wary, offers him food, a place to stay, and a few days work while his horse heals. Hugh, of course keeps his background as private as possible.
Julia has secrets of her own. She was plunged into a marriage of convenience to escape a lifetime of shame, but her husband abused and belittled her. He has passed away, and her one security is the ranch he left her, which she steadfastly refuses to sell to her husband’s brother.
Can these two wounded souls ever come to trust each other with their futures as well as the secrets of their pasts?
I enjoyed the story and the journey Robin led Hugh and Julia through and the things they learned along the way about trust and true security.
Hugh has just been released from prison, and on the way to try and find his long lost sister, his horse goes lame in Wyoming so he offers to work for a lovely widow who needs help on her ranch. Strange things are happening at Julia's ranch, pasture gates being openned and mysteriously rising taxes. Will Julia be able to trust Hugh despite his checkered past, in order to save her ranch?
I absolutely loved this story, there was great interactions between the characters and I really liked how they grew and learned that the past isn't who you are. Ms. Hatcher kept me riveted to the pages by revealing things a tidbit at a time, keeping me hungry and intrigues by the mystery of it.
There were some great twists, and turns. I felt like the characters really grew in so many ways, but especially in their faith.
Overall, for me this book had it all, a romance with mystery, great faith, cowboys, and the lovely state of Wyoming! This was a book that I sincerely, thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend. While it is the second in a series, it is very easy to read as a stand alone. A wonderful book from Ms. Hatcher!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Julia Grace was pushed into a marriage that was suppose to remove her from the disreputable occupation at which her mother worked . Her mother wanted a respectable life for her daughter and so much more. Julia's husband showed her no respect and often abused her even during her pregnancy. She prayed for God's protection. Then one day husband became ill and died unexpectedly. This left her to run a cattle ranch by herself. Her brother-in-law keeps trying to convince her to sell him the ranch and for her to take the money and move on. He even hired her ranch hands to work on his ranch leaving her without any help working her ranch. But Julia is determined to keep the ranch. It is the only real home she has ever had and it was rightfully hers.
About a year after her husband's death, a stranger stops shows up at ranch wanting water for his injured horse and possibly a place to rest the horse until it has healed. Hugh Brennan offered the beautiful young widow to work on the ranch in exchange for meals and a place to bunk in the barn. He was a hard worker and saw what needed to be done and got busy getting it done. If thought if he stayed busy hopefully it would keep his mind off Julia. He knew she was keeping her distance from him.
The author kept my attention with this story of two broken souls that have more than God in common. She also writes of secrets, betrayal, and a need for love and trust in oneself but most of all God.
This was a quick read mainly because I did not want to put the book down. I just love when a book can grab me the way this book did. My heart ached for all the trials and tribulations these two people had to endure to get to God's greater plan for their lives.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
In the first book of the 'Where the Heart Lies' series we are introduced to a set of three siblings who, upon the death of their mother and knowing their father is a rarely present drunkard, have been sent out on an orphan train to find new homes. Unfortunately, all three were placed in different families and towns along the route. The first book is about the middle child, the eldest daughter. This second book is about Hugh Brennan -- who unfortunately didn't get far enough away from the influence of their father. As the eldest, and only boy, Hugh was kept by the first available family needing a worker, and later was retrieved by their father. With his father drinking up most of his money and rarely a steady home to stay in, Hugh ends up in prison for a short term for something his father actually did. This story starts once he is released. Determined to better himself, he has become a drifter in search of reuniting with his lost sisters.
Along the way he happens upon a widow named Julia Grace. Julia's late husband was so abusive she does not ever want to marry again. However, with her late husband's brother doing all he can to take her late-husband's ranch from her, she may have to. Having been a bit of a 'street rat' thanks to his father's influence, Hugh is surprised when he finds ranch life appealing, and the widow too.
This book is a sweet romance, featuring two main characters with pasts they would both rather forget. I feel it will appeal to both men and women who enjoy American historicals from the late 19th century - though slightly more to women.
I don't usually read romance novels, but I signed up to review this book from Zondervan that came out at the end of 2012. I get the book for free, and they get an honest review! Good deal!
I was able to finish it this past week, and I really enjoyed it! This story is a clean, well-told story of healing, forgiveness and grace. Julia Grace and Hugh Brennan were both given mothers whose sole desire was to raise their children to have good lives, to have a chance for something better. Their mothers directed them both into situations they thought would benefit their children, only to have heartache result - Julia from an abusive marriage to a man she hardly knew and Hugh from his father who sought his own gain at the expense of his son.
Julia and Hugh find each other and find true love, though both are convinced at first they do not deserve it and cannot possibly have it in their lives. Time proves them wrong, and the ending is a happy one, timed perfectly.
This was a truly refreshing read in an otherwise very busy time of year!
Betrayal is an apt title for the book, as it is something both Julia and Hugh know well. Betrayal, pain, and the love of God. Julia, now free from her husband’s abuse, wants only the solitude of her Wyoming ranch. Hugh, recently free from years of imprisonment for a crime his own father committed, wants to find his sisters in Idaho. But, as Providence would have it, Hugh’s horse goes lame while crossing Julia’s property. She needs help on the ranch, he needs a place to stay while his horse rests, so they strike a deal—he’ll stay for a few weeks and then help her drive her cattle to a buyer.
Of course, you know what happens then: they gradually fall in love but don’t want to admit it because of their hurt and broken pasts, there’s trouble (in the form of a conniving, land greedy former brother-in-law) that threatens to drive them apart when they begin to think there might be hope, and, after all that, a confession of love, and a happy ending. I won’t tell you how it happens, that would be a spoiler, but it does happen, and I enjoyed finding out how it came about.
Now that I’ve told you a bit about the book’s storyline, here are my other comments on it:
Positive: -I like stories of wounded hearts being healed, so that’s a plus. -Encouraging spiritually with reminders of God’s love for each of us, of our status as new creations, and of hope for the future. -Likeable, admirable main characters. I always prefer heroes/heroines I can respect. - Good supporting characters in their gracious, loving neighbors Peter and Rose Collins -Good descriptions of the land -Is part of Where the Heart Lives series, but stands alone.
Negative: -The frequent switching of from Hugh’s to Julia’s point of view was distracting. I’d prefer longer sections from each of them. -There were too many hints from the author that they were falling in love. A few less “why should I care about her/him?” and “why was she comforted by his presence?” type of questions and comments would have improved it. -A few less comments on how in love Rose and Peter were (there were a few sections from their points-of-view as well) would be an improvement as well. We readers get the idea.
Overall opinion: Cute, inspirational romance. I read and enjoyed the previous novel, Belonging, and look forward to next one.
Confession: I received this book, and the previous book in the series, from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for a review. However, I’ve striven to give an honest review.
Robin Lee Hatcher's new "Where the Heart Lives" novel series now includes, "Belonging" and "Betrayal" titles. These books are captivating, easy reads set in the late 19th century. Her writing style draws you to the characters and appropriately written for that time period. Each of these titles is primarily based on one sibling of the 3 (Hugh and Felicia) that were separated as children when orphaned. I surmise that ultimately this series will bring them together as they find each other again.
Betrayal is about Julia, a widower who lives alone on her isolated Wyoming ranch. Hugh comes into her life as a stranger, while riding his horse out west to find his sisters, from whom he was separated years ago. Hugh and Julia both struggle with deep wounds from the past, but find themselves unexpectedly drawn to one another as they seek healing from God for their painful memories and experiences. While this story is at times too ideal (primarily the Hugh character) and certainly quite predictable, it does warm your heart for the hope we have in God.
Belonging, the first in the series, was about Felicia, who leaves the home she was raised in after being orphaned, one in which she received no love. She arrives in a very small town, where she will be the children's new teacher. As this is her first position, she is fearful, but determined to be the best teacher possible. Her landlord, Colin, was one of those opposed to her coming, but he is overcome by the help Felicia gives his daughter, who struggles mightily with her reading. Her insight utlilizes her painful past experiences to help two orphaned boys. Colin and Felicia fight their strong attraction to one another, while Colin, a widower, faces his past and begins to draw near to God. Felicia is ousted as a teacher - as false rumors are spread of inappropriate behavior.
Belonging was a story one could easily be caught up into - while still somewhat predictable, and everything ending in tidy packages - it was very well written for that time period. I would certainly recommend this book, and probably the series to see how it all ends.
Martha: I have received these books free from Zondervan - these reflect my hones reviews of these books.
Zondervan sent me a copy of both Belonging and Betrayal for the purpose of review. While I haven't read anything from Hatcher before these books, I can now say I am a fan! Her stories in this series are a simple weaving of the lives of three siblings trying to find their way after being raised apart from each other. God's story of redemption, second chances, forgiveness, and all things working together for the good are clear in Hatcher's writing. I'll be looking to read more from her in the new year.
Robin Lee Hatcher is a name I've seen around Christian fiction for a while but had never taken the opportunity to try out. I'm glad I finally took the chance with her "Where the Heart Lives" series.
In the beginning of Belonging, we are introduced to Hugh, Felicia, and Diana Brennan, siblings living in a Chicago tenement in the late 1800s. After the death of their mother, they come under the care of Dr. Cray's Asylum for Little Wanderers and are each sent to different families out west to begin new lives. They reach adulthood without seeing each other again.
Belonging is Felicia's story as she leaves a home in Wyoming where she knew no real love and begins her life in Idaho as a teacher. Betrayal begins with Hugh traveling from Chicago (where he returned in his teen years) to reunite with Felicia in Idaho. Both their lives take unexpected turns as they find much more than they dared hope for.
Both stories were a delight to read. I was drawn into the characters' lives immediately and felt that I was right there with them as they found their places in new surroundings. These are comfortable, feel-good stories with very real people who struggle through day-to-day challenges and draw their strength and wisdom from their relationships with God.
My only negative comment is this: Beloved, Diana's story is not available yet. Now I have to impatiently wait for the conclusion!
Thanks to Zondervan for providing this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
I was due for a good read by this author. After reading quite a few more secular stories this fall, I was just ready for a really good faith based story. And Robin Lee Hatcher always delivers that for me, this book included. She always takes real characters and puts them into real situations which tests their faith and brings their flaws to the surface and then takes them through it with a biblical perspective. I really like that. This story dealt with both main characters dealing with their own deep betrayals put upon them by close family members. One character had been a Christian since childhood and the other was very new to faith. But each struggled with the forgiveness, deep pain, shame and trust issues that betrayal brings. When circumstances brought them together, they had to deal with those issues and allow God to heal their hearts and break down the walls that each had built and learn how to not only trust each other but to trust God with their lives as well as they had to pull together in order for Julia to not lose her ranch, which is all she had. This is a love story but really that was secondary to me as I read it, with their stories of forgiveness, trust and allowing God to heal them and allowing God's work in their lives as more the story that took the forefront. Some might feel the story is too predictable, but for me, that also is secondary to the fact that the story was one in which the characters walked out their faith. Sometimes I like a good comfort read. I really enjoyed it and found it as a breath of fresh air to finish off my reading for 2012.
Thanks to Booksneeze for sending me the book free of charge for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is the second book in this series about the Brennan family. We are meeting up with the brother of the family, Hugh, and he is in the process of trying to locate his sisters. When his horse pulls up lame, he makes a stop at Julia Grace's ranch. She is leery of strangers, but lets him stay. Both Julia and Hugh have many demons in their past, but they also share a great love of the Lord. Can these two forge a relationship with all that is stacked against them, they both need to find forgiveness for those who have harmed them. Will Julia be able to keep her ranch? Will Hugh find his sisters? Enjoy this look at early America, late 1880's Wyoming. Follow along and enjoy this story and a peek at our beautiful Country.
I received this book from the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.
Julia Grace has been through a lot in her short years, suffering circumstances and loss that would dampen the spirit of a weaker woman. Julia has been through hardship to come out on the other side victorious and empowered. All she needs is her Wyoming ranch, and she’ll be fine. But when her dead husband’s half-brother threatens even that, Julia must find a way to save it.
Hugh Brennan has strong reasons not to trust anyone. His life has been lonely and filled with betrayal, leading him to a life of solitude. But something about Julia makes him long for family and companionship.
I’m a sucker for a story of healing the wounded, and that’s just what Betrayal is. Both main characters come from a past of loss and betrayal, and must work through those past disappointments and circumstances to trust each other, and find God’s love in the midst of the pain. I have to admit that I liked the first book of the series (Belonging), more than this one, but it was still enjoyable. The conflict in the story left me wanting a bit more, it seemed too “easy” at times, considering the pain and betrayal both characters had in their past. However, it was a sweet story, and a satisfying read.
Although this is the second book of a series, it is a stand-alone novel, and you can read it without reading the first one.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan so that I could read it and offer up my opinion. I was not required or encouraged to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Robin Lee Hatcher in her new book, “Betrayal” Book Two in the Where The Heart Lives series published by Zondervan brings us into the lives of Julia Grace and Hugh Brennan.
From the Back Cover: Can two wounded hearts find a way to trust again?
Julia Grace has no desire to enter into another marriage. But with her dead husband’s half brother threatening to take away her Wyoming ranch, Julia realizes marriage may be the only way to keep what is rightfully hers.
A man well acquainted with betrayal, drifter Hugh Brennan finds himself drawn to the attractive widow. Yet when he looks into Julia’s eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.
A thoughtful romance from the turn of the twentieth century, “Betrayal” will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the souls of two seekers learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances
Betrayal. It is a harsh word. For me it brings to mind the old Westerns where one gunslinger has tracked another all across the West to finally arrive at a showdown simply because one betrayed the other. This story is much gentler though it does have a degree of harsh in it. It has to it comes with the territory Both Julia and Hugh are wounded individuals who find that they they need each other, not only for the Ranch to survive but for each other to heal. It takes God to break through the pain and start the healing process that only the power of love can provide. Ms. Hatcher has given us characters that are marvelous, meticulously crafted, and each one literally breathes on the pages. Robin Lee Hatcher has written a well done novel that I liked a lot.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This book is a lot like many others. It has romance, a villain, a bit of mystery, and the faithfulness of a good and loving God. The thing that sets this book apart from the others is author Robin Lee Hatchers amazing writing. The scenery and the characters are easily envisioned and liked. I have not read the first book in the series, which did not pose a problem for understanding the story, although I suppose it would add to it.
The message Robin Lee Hatcher is portraying in this story is that of God's amazing and restoring love. So many people have been hurt deeply by others and find it hard if not impossible to forgive, love, and move on. The story here is very encouraging and will uplift your spirit to seek all that God has in store for you.
****Thank you Zondervan for the free book in exchange for my honest review.****
Betrayal is the second book in the “Where the Heart Lives” series written by Robin Lee Hatcher. Though this book could be read on its own, this reader would recommend reading book one Belonging first as intended by the author. There are several details in book two that would not be clear without the reading of book one.
This book is set in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s in Wyoming. The main characters, Julia Grace and Hugh Brennan, have lived lives filled with disappointment and betrayal. Hugh finds himself as the book opens happening upon a ranch on his journey to Idaho to seek out the whereabouts of his orphaned sisters. The ranch belongs to a beautiful young widow, Julia Grace.
Woven throughout this book is the guidance of the hand of God on the lives of two who have found Him to be their only solace in the midst of great difficulty. This beautiful story of finding peace and love when least expected is one this reader found captivating and a joy to read. Book three in the series, Beloved promises to be just as enjoyable. (By guest reviewer J.LaTour)
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary review copy was provided by Zondervan to facilitate our honest review. No obligation was made to provide a positive review.
In "Betrayal," I thought the author did a great job making the characters’ faith real and relatable. While I might not have experienced exactly what Julia and Hugh had experienced, I was still able to relate to their thoughts and feelings, especially as it related to their faith in God. I really, really appreciated how the Bible was woven into the characters’ lives. Julia and Hugh were not perfect, but when they lacked faith or went through trials, they did their best to focus on what is true from the Word of God. They did not long neglect praying to their Father and reading His Word, especially when they faced difficult times.
Some might think that this book is preachy – that it didn’t have enough balance between Christian themes and real life. But I think that is what was so great about this book. Our lives aren’t compartmentalized – God and His Word should permeate our entire beings – and I think the author did really well with that in this novel. It truly is Christian historical fiction.
As far as the story, I really enjoyed this one. The things Hugh and Julia had been through at times were heart-wrenching to read and to think about, but there always seemed to be a sense of hope through it all. Even though the storylines were deep emotionally, I didn’t feel depressed as I was reading. I also thought their romance progressed in a realistic manner and was really sweet.
As is often true in historical fiction, I could mostly see where things were going, but there actually was a bit of a surprise for me at the end. I liked that this book didn’t have as many characters to keep straight as the last book in the series did. I also enjoyed the point of view of Julia’s neighbors, although I’m not sure if it was completely necessary. I guess it did seem to keep the flow going when the novel seemed to slow down a bit towards the middle. (The names of the neighbors’ ten kids were interesting, if a bit quirky – starting with an ‘A’ name and going through a ‘J’ name. I’m not sure I would ever name my baby girl Gomer, though, even if it is in the Bible…!)
I thought "Betrayal" was a great second offering in the “Where the Heart Lives” series.
I wish I could give this book 10 stars. I have read nearly all Robin Lee Hatcher's books and own them, but this one totally blew me away. Julia Grace has lived a life of pure pain for 11 years before her husband dies. She lives in solitude on her ranch and enjoys her life this way. One day a thirsty, hungry, tired man rides up asking for a drink of water and a place to rest his injured horse for a few days. This man is also hurting and has lived a horrible life. What God does with these two hurting individuals is remarkable. Hatcher has never written better. God's grace and mercy and forgiveness are in abundance here and in a most wonderful way. God can help us if we just unclench our fists and let Him do the work! This book had me in tears in many places and I'm still crying as I write this review. I was ministered to by this book in a situation in my own life, as if God Himself were speaking His sweet words of love and grace to me personally. You will not be disappointed in this book and you will most definitely be blessed.
I read the first story in this series and I really loved it and could not wait to read the 2nd book. I was not disappointed. Betrayal is a story about Hugh and Julia who both have troubled pasts that causes them to be cautious of others. Julia, a widow, is trying to save her home and when hope seems lost, Hugh walks into her life and helps Julia. Through their time together, they slowly begin to heal from their pasts and learn to listen to God and they learn to forgive. I truly enjoyed this book! It was so well written and it was definitely hard to put down. I highly recommend this series.
Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher is a beautiful historical romance novel set in 1899. It is the lovely story of Julia and Hugh, two people so perfect for eachother. They each have had to overcome difficulties while trying to fulfill life's promises. The journey Julia and Hugh are traveling on is believably poingnant. I could not put this book down for fear of losing my momentum. I really felt like I was right there with them in Wyoming. I also wish I can visit this gorgeous state. These are the kinds of romance novels I love reading, filled with love, forgivenance, and His presence.
Widowed and trying to run a small ranch alone, Julia feels betrayed by her abusive husband and her mother, who always wanted “something better” for Julia but didn’t succeed at providing that. Hugh Brennan was betrayed by his father and is now alone, a man with a disgraced “past” but a newfound faith in God. While seeking the sisters he was separated from 18 years earlier, he happens upon Julia’s ranch with a lame horse and no money, and stops to help Julia for a season on her ranch. Gradually, these two people begin to trust and then to care about each other, not realizing that an unseen enemy is working against them.
Robin Hatcher has crafted an engaging story of hope and new beginnings in Christ. I enjoyed meeting Julia and her faithful dog Bandit, Hugh and the neighbors who care about them. The friendly and not-so-friendly people of the area were well drawn and rounded out this entertaining story.
Although this is the middle book of a series based on Hugh’s family, it was well-crafted as a stand-alone story. I’ll look forward to reading the other books based on my enjoyment of this one.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.