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.
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I listened to this as an audio book. I would strongly recommend this format at the narrator was amazing! Wow! That one word could sum up my reaction to reading this book, both as a reader and as a writer. Oftentimes I am pulled out of a book by craft issues. I was this time, too, but not because of bad craft but because I kept pausing and thinking – wow, that is how it should be done. The prologue sets up a spooky mystery that leaves a question hanging in the air – who is the dead man? It is not until you are about a third to halfway through the book when the prologue begins to make sense. I have never read a Tamara Alexander book before. Something she does that I don’t see as often as I would like, is weaving other subplot threads through her story. The heroine is a widower with two sons and is having a tough go of things. Her father was a physician and she served as a medical practitioner until the new physician came to town. It is cute how it is clear right from the beginning that the doctor has fallen for the pretty widow but she still hasn’t recovered from the loss of her husband, who died several years earlier. Great listen, I will probably listen to this again now that I realize what the prologue was all about. I highly recommend this Tamara Alexander book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical romance. This is a story where when I was done listening I would have stood atop a chair and clapped, shouting “Brava!”
This book went beyond being merely a wonderfully written, engaging story with captivating characters and a satisfying storyline, though it was all those things. This was wisdom and life-experience written from the heart. Rarely does a book cause me to take pause and evaluate my faith the way "Within My Heart" did. As the reader, I benefited from the profound journey shared by Tamera Alexander via the pages of this novel. It was a delight, with true-to-life questions to grapple with, and deeply spiritual wisdom to sift through while doing so. I heartily recommend this book.
Within My Heart was a book that once I started reading couldn't seem to put down. I read the book in 2 evenings. It was very entertaining. I didn't realize it was a part of a series until now, I would love to read the other books. The author did a great job of allowing the reader to connect with all of the characters in the book. If you like historical novels you would be interested in this book. I do think the book could have included more of the what the Lord was doing in the characters hearts but overall I really enjoyed this book. I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House.
Are you a fan of Historical Christian Fiction ? , Love those tales set in the country and small -towns of America back in the mid-late 1800's?.
Review: Within My Heart - Tamara Alexander - Book #3: Timber Ridge Reflections.
In Book #2 "Beyond this Moment" we saw the arrival of Dr. Molly Whitcomb taking the role of schoolhouse teacher and then falling in love with the sheriff James MacPherson. Now married and have a little girl , Book #3 Within My Heart is the story of James's sister Rachel Boyd. Widowed after a hunting accident , Rachel was left to raise her two boys Kurt and Mitchell and the ranch of her own . We read as several of the townspeople have their own problems going from Ben Mullins with his heat attack which is the first monumental moment of bringing Rachel and the Doctor - Not Molly of course but Dr. Rand Brookston , the new and local physician He is looking for a bride, somebody to share his life with and his eyes are set on Rachel however she is still in a process of healing from her husbands death as even in literature and life , a knock like that can take ages maybe even years to heal. The second moment is when Rachel's cow is having a baby and it gets stuck , so Rand helps out and the third is when Rachel's boys go missing. But is all these moments enough to break and pull Rachel's guard down and what about the secret admirer Rand has following him. Who will Rand choose Rachel -the girl of his dreams or will he take second best with his admirer. One thing that I really liked with this book is that they bought in Characters from the previous novels and weaved them in and out of the story quite nicely.
I think every woman wonders what would happen if something awful happened to her husband. What would we do? How would we take care of our children...provide for them? That would be difficult to think about today, but it was a terrible situation to be in in the late 1800's. Tamera Alexander has woven a wonderful tale about a mother in just this situation. Rachel Boyd is struggling to provide her sons the childhood that her late husband and her dreamt about. A ranch to grow up on and to provide for the family. The dream is not so easy...and it is turning out to be a nightmare. Enter Dr. Rand Brookston, a handsome doctor wanting to make a difference and build a town clinic. Dr. Brookston has his own secret past, one he is trying to forget. With so much hurt in the past, can they overcome the past and enjoy a future together? Within My Heart is a new book from Bethany House Publishers and I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys historical fiction. The story and characters are endearing and leave you smiling. I was given this book by Bethany House as part of their book review program I am under no obligation to provide a positive review
I loved this book. The characters are great and I really connected with them. I understood their trials and wanted to help them succeed. The setting is beautiful and I could nearly see the mountains and scenery being described. The plot was great, and especially towards the end was fast-paced. I didn’t experience any times when I felt like the story lagged, or I got bored. The only thing that wasn’t great for me is that since I am a Word of Faith believer, the whole sickness side of the story was harder for me to accept. I don’t think most people will have a problem with it, though. I would recommend each book in this series, as I personally LOVE them.
When I sat down to read this last of the Timber Ridge Series I knew I was in for a good read. What I didn't know was that this was going to be a great read! If you like American history, if you like medical history, if you like romance, and I love them all, then you're in for a great read too.
Even though, widow and mother Rachel Boyd's and Dr. Rand Brookston's story are already set up pretty well in the previous two volumes of this series (From a Distance and Beyond This Moment), this volume starts out deepening the characters quite nicely and is a good stand alone. But why eat an appetizer when you can enjoy the whole meal, right? I like to see situations that show the character's relationship with God and each other growing. I want to be moved by their experiences. I want to see how they deal with their strengths and weaknesses in order to inspire me in my own.
Being a Southern woman myself, I really connected with Rachel in this: "No question, she was a Southern woman through and through, and like a lot of Southern women, when push came to shove, she had a will of iron that cut straight through the sugar and sweetness."
Being a nurse, I enjoyed reading the trepidation with which a new procedure is used and how the medical model (theory of how a disease is treated and how death and dying are approached) has changed over time. For instance, when nothing curative could be done, doctors and nurses could concentrate on helping the family move through the dying process with as much dignity and grace and with as little physical pain as possible. Nowadays, well, let's just say that there are ways to go through the death and dying process that can ultimately feed the survivor's souls and ways that don't. "Knowing death was coming, or not knowing...Both ways held blessings, he (Rand) guessed."
Here, Rachel "....wondered....what must it be like for him, knowing he was close to the end of his life? At least his life on earth. Everyone died. That was a given. But not everyone was warned of death's approach. And she wondered whether knowing was better, or worse. She decided the former, based on regrets she had...."
I think this story could be pivotal for someone out there in that their life could be affected by the wisdom seen here. I certainly hope so. Keep a tissue box at the ready, I certainly needed it. Just in case, you're thinking that this is a terribly sad book, it isn't, they were tears of bittersweet joy. On a personal and professional note, this touches on a soap box of mine: "I don't mean any disrespect by this, but...it only seems right that the person dyin' should get to choose." Hallelujah and Amen Sister Tamera! Back in those days people knew that death was coming at some point, had thought about it, had even discussed it. Nowadays, people think that no one they love will ever get sick or die, so they don't discuss it. Poor thinking folks. We will all, at some point face death and/or dying and it is selfish not to discuss it with your loved ones. Watching deaths, like the one in this book, is sad, no doubt, but peaceful too. The Holy Spirit surrounds the people in the room and the peace is transcendent, nearly joyful.
As far as the romance goes, another reviewer suggested that the heat be lowered for the more youthful but raise the heat a bit for the more mature. I vote for increasing the heat just a touch, there's plenty of great reads out there for teens. I'm sure that sexual tension is bound to be a difficult thing to write about without getting explicit at any rate.
Within My Heart is the emotional conclusion to Tamera Alexander's Timber Ridge Reflections trilogy. The spotlight of this novel is on Rachel Boyd, a stubborn and guarded widow who is raising two young sons and struggling to maintain her ranch. As Rachel's feelings develop for the town doctor, Rand Brookston, she must also confront matters of the heart. Both Rachel and Rand are scarred by past tragedies, but the health problems of a beloved townsman teach them valuable lessons about life, love, and faith.
Tamera Alexander is a masterful story-teller with the ability to create multi-faceted novels with developed plots, realistic characters, stunning scenery, and interesting historical detail. Within My Heart is yet another example of Alexander’s talent as an author. Both the main and sub plots of this novel focus on the strong emotions of grief and fear. As a result, Within My Heart strikes a sadder note than its two predecessors, but the overall message is hopeful.
After reading the other two novels in the series, I was glad to have the opportunity to hear Rachel’s story. Rachel is a very stubborn woman, and one of the most stubborn characters that I have met in my recent readings. At times, I was a bit frustrated by Rachel’s sensitivity, especially when she found herself annoyed by Rand’s unintentional poor choices of words. Because her character is fully developed, it is easy for the reader to understand Rachel’s personality, and ultimately empathize with her struggles.
Overall, I enjoyed From a Distance and Beyond This Moment a bit more than Within My Heart. The final installment in the Timber Ridge Reflections series is still a worthy read, as are all of Tamera Alexander’s novels. Many novels that present such emotional subject matter as loss and grief are often melodramatic. Alexander covers these topics without the melodrama. The result is a well-crafted and touching novel that will long remain within readers’ hearts.
I read "From A Distance" (1st book in this series) quite awhile ago and really liked it - I found it to be a pretty original historical fiction and I appreciate originality in a basically formulaic genre. I somehow or another missed #2 but was excited to read this one. Tamera doesn't disappoint. This book stands alone just fine, but the characters from #2 and #3 are right in the midst of everything so having read them will be beneficial but not necessary. In this particular book we follow widow Rachel and her 2 boys Mitch and Kurt as they are trying to make it on the ranch when everything seems to be working against them. In the meantime Dr. Rand has been in town as the only Dr. for a 57 mile radius and now someone that the whole town loves has fallen ill and Dr. Rand needs Rachel's help to perform a new surgery on him to give him a little more time.
I felt like I was on an emotional journey with the characters and I loved every minute of it. Tamera is masterful in her rendering of characters with depth, settings in detail and story lines that keep you hanging on. This series is absolutely wonderful and I look forward to more from Tamera!
In Tamera Alexander’s book “Within My Heart” Rachel Boyd is striving to keep their ranch running along with raising their sons after she lost her husband in a hunting accident.
Ben and Lyda Mullins, the owners of the general store in Timber Ridge Colorado have become quite close with the two boys and the young mom.
Rachel happens to be in the store picking up supplies when she is summoned to the storeroom finding Ben crumpled in the floor and Lyda hovering over him. Checking his pulse and listening closely she instructs Lyda to keep his head elevated and keep him still, she was going for the doctor.
The doctor was a young eligible bachelor who seems to rub Rachel the young way. Rand Brookston was nice enough but he was a doctor just like her father, wasn’t he? And she would never find another love, Thomas was her first love and her only, or was he?
Rachel checked at the doctor’s office, only to find his assistant Angelo standing at the worktable. When she realizes the doctor is not there she starts searching the shelves for medicine, in doing so she knocks a bottle off and it shatters as it hits the floor. Angelo assured her the doctor would not be angry and he would clean it up. Looking at the scattered glass, Rachel could not help but notice 2 wooden crates of lamp oil in the corner.
Rand Brookston seems to have problems of his own. After several attempts Angelo finally revealed the doctor’s whereabouts. He was at Miss Bailey’s on the other side of town, close to the saloons and gaming halls. Rachel was unsure of what his real business was there but she would find him. There were things that puzzled her about the doctor, for instance why he had enough lamp oil to last an entire year. Was darkness an issue for him?
Will Rand and Rachel ever enjoy each other’s company? Will Rachel ever open her heart to another man? Will Ben recover or will he need surgery? And if he does who will assist Doctor Brookston? Will Rachel and the boys ever be happy again? Find the answers to these questions and a lot more in this fast paced book.
MY THOUGHTS: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Throughout the book you can feel and see how Rachel's faith in God helps her to overcome what she is faced with. Tamera has a way of putting you right there with them. This is her 3rd book in the series “Timber Ridge Reflections,” however it is the only one I have read. This was complete by itself but I am looking forward to reading the previous two books. I highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group as part of their Blogger Review program. 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.”
Oh, this story had me gripping the paper cover and pages in angst. The pages exploded with so much tension and mystery that hardly came to an end until the last page. With this story, as with the other two, the character's history all set them up for conflict and had me rooting for all sides.
The amount of research and detail made the setting truly come to life, along with the medical procedures performed by Rachel and Rand. This all led to Rachel confronting key issues from her past, rather than only one. This book was filled with emotion and deeper meaning on every page and when I read Tamera Alexander's note at the end, it all made sense/
It touched me how the author's life struggles came to be the most honest and vulnerable part of the whole series. This made it a strong contender for my favorite out of the three. (Not that this is a race, children.) I think it is a testament to Alexander's brilliance that I can't tell you which one I'd recommend most out of the three books of the Timber Ridge Reflections series. All are so vivid in memorable characters and high tension that they are impossible to put down.
If you haven't read the series, I recommend you grab all three from the library, clear your calendar and order pizza for the family. And read.
Disclosure: Bethany House provided me a copy of Within My Heart in exchange for my honest review.
Wow wow wow!! This is an excellent book! I was somewhat disappointed in her former book: Beyond This Moment. But Tamera makes everything well in this book. Sometimes I couldn't read anymore because of the tears that troubled my vision. This absolutely is my favorite book of 2010!
The book starts off with a somewhat creepy scene of a funeral and where you wonder if a soldier was buried alive…or not. Rachel Boyd is a young widowed mother of two sons. Her one son, Kurt keeps the local school teacher busy with his pranks and antics, while Rachel is stretched thin caring for her boys, a ranch and helping the local doctor with medical emergencies, in spite of her lack of trust for doctors. Her love of all things medical overcome.
Dr Rand Brookston has his own fears to conquer, the townspeople wonder at the large amount of lamp oil he goes through. As the town’s only doctor, he fights to keep the needed practice when there is a lack of money all around.
This book has alot of early Colorado history in it, history of medical practices, and early resorts. The romance in it is tame, but peppered with small amounts of insinuation, I wished had been left out. Without those small things, this would be an excellent book to recommend for the young teen reader, for historical fiction. Those few things, make it a bit hard though.
I liked how the author explained the mysteries early in the book, rather than keeping you in suspense most of it. Ms. Alexander is a talented writer and you could tell she had felt the pain of a loss herself, in her writing, which the summery at the end explained.
In conclusion, a well written historical fiction that with some editing by a parent would be good for a teen reader.