Book Review

Review: Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus

I’ve often wished I could live in a different era. The dark ages I imagine were fascinating. Fortresses, knights, kingdoms. The Industrial age with all the new advances in technology. Pre civil war with the huge dresses. Even the 20’s seem appealing with the ease in which the American dream felt it could be achieved. It is easy to focus on the good things that these eras had. In many cases, it just seems that life was simpler “back then”.

Then I read a book such as Follow the Heart, and it reminds me why I would really just prefer immersing myself in a different era through fiction. Follow the Heart centers around Christopher and Kate. Two siblings with one goal: make a financially advantageous marriage. It doesn’t matter if they find love, money is the priority. It seems that being able to fully marry for love is fairly recent. I imagine that now, if we heard of someone marrying for any other reasons, we would think them to be archaic (even though in some parts of the world, love is not a reason for marriage).

While I’m sure that I will still wonder about living life a hundred years ago, I think I will always prefer to experience it through a book.

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**I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review**

Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age. Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money. At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America. Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess. While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake? Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?

If one romance makes for a good book, then two must make it exceptional. Follow the Heart follows Kate and Christopher, two siblings who are sent to England to marry wealthy spouses. Of course as any book worth reading would do, Kate and Christopher develop affections for a gardener and a governess, not exactly wealthy prospects.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. While it might not be a novel that stands out to me among others, I was entertained and wrapped up in the story. Both of the storylines are a bit different from each other but they are also intertwined. And amidst it all, is a lesson in trusting God.

The cast of characters was quite vibrant. The cousins, sour Edith, timid Dorcas, and inquisitive Florence, each add their own element to this story through their interactions with Kate and Christopher.

I do wish that a bit more of the story would have occurred around The Great Exhibition, as that is one of the reasons that this book drew me. The World’s Fairs settings are always fascinating to me and they seem like excellent story fodder. While we do see a bit of the fair and Queen Victoria, there isn’t much, but I’m hoping the next novel in the series has a bit more.

I would love to hear from you! Ever wished you could time travel to a different era? Where and when would you choose?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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