Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Review: Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

cover Choices of the HeartThose of you who visit regularly know that historicals aren’t normally my bag. And yet, I’m thrilled to have happened across this gem by Laurie Alice Eakes. Funny how I always end up picking up a series after it begins. This one is the third in the authors Midwives series. But, as you can probably guess, the story doesn’t depend on the other two novels. Though, the main characters in those novels do play minor roles in this one.

After defining so many reasons to put books down, I think I should examine this story for the lack of these rejectables. 

Here’s my take on the basic story: Esther Cherrett is running. Her noble family and high calling to be a midwife are dashed by a horrible secret that turned out to be not-so-secret. But escaping to the wild mountains of the west proves more dangerous to her life when she winds up in the middle of a feud. And more dangerous to her heart when men from either side of the conflict attract her attention and vie for her affection.

No Inappropriate content – YEA! The story that inspired my reasons to put books down dealt with the very same situation in which Esther has found herself. And yet, this author deals with the issue entirely differently. She gives enough information so the reader isn’t confused about the event, but discloses only what is necessary. No extra details. No visuals. (And that no-visual thing was a BIGGIE. One I could have done without in the book I discarded!)

No Plastic characters – Whoop! Both of the men in question have hang-ups. Zach has issues with jealousy and self-image. Griff deals with a hero complex—thinking he has to rescue everything and everyone. Esther has deep issues with her past—circumstances as well as personality flaws. All of the issues are shown throughout the story and the characters react reasonably according to their problems and archetypes. (Oh and as to archetypes, Esther is a Nurturer – typical for her occupation. Zach is a Lost Soul. And Griff is a Warrior/Chief.

No dragging Repetitive writing – Yeehaw! The descriptions seemed almost poetic. Not what I would call tight writing, by any means. But intentional writing. Every word counted.

What Else I Liked: The author’s style was my favorite element in this book, though I enjoyed the plot and characters. I loved the way she gave each character a unique voice. Not only could I hear the background and dialect, but I could identify each POV character from the word choice. And the blending of the sentences. So easy to keep them straight!

And I enjoyed the pacing of this story. A historical romance, the author kept the tension level building to the end. The slow build made the book easy to put down. Especially before I hit the three-quarter mark. But even though I had to walk away from the story, it remained on my mind. The characters kept revisiting. The next chance I had, I immersed myself in it once again.

The mark of a great story is that it stays with you long after you finish the book. (Tweet This!) Definitely comes in to play with Choices of the Heart.

Your Turn: If you could live in any time period, which would you choose?


Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

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