Journal

Review: An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus

A novel with a good love triangle will usually capture my attention. There is something about two men competing for the attention of one woman that makes for a fascinating novel. I find that I am usually drawn to hoping one in particular is the “winner” and I start to find all sorts of negative qualities about the other one. When I read Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus, I was impressed when she presented her heroine with two options for a potential groom. One offered her love while the other one offered her security for herself and her family (he was also an all around good guy). 

When I saw An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus, I was further intrigued by the synopsis that suggested the heroine would again have to make a choice between two men. I knew I would have to read this 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, An Honest 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. Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honesty—both men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddy’s choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her. Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit more than the novel that comes before it in The Great Exhibition series, Follow the Heart. Caddy is a wonderful heroine. She is successful and independent, but wouldn’t mind to find someone to love. The two men who vie for her intentions are wonderful. One is a bit of a cad from the get-go and you can’t help but wonder if he can eventually redeem himself, while the other is quite honorable, but he might have a questionable past. While I wanted to see the honorable man win Caddy’s heart, I found the other man to make an interesting competitor in the novel.

The novel was full of unexpected moments and characters. For one, I certainly didn’t expect Edith Buchanan, from Follow the Heart, to have a voice in this one. But sure enough, she did. She added an interesting personality to the narrative and she made me anxious to see what might become of her in a future novel.

I also found the placement of this novel in the overall timeline quite interesting. While most sequels tend to take place after the first novel, this one occurs alongside of it. Some of the events that happen to Kate Dearing in Follow the Heart happen again in this novel. However, we are seeing it from a different perspective. I enjoyed this aspect quite a bit as it gave a whole new look to a couple of scenes from the first novel, and again, gave a bit more depth to the character of Edith Buchanan.

If like me, you like a “messy” or complicated love story, Kaye Dacus might be an author to turn to. Her characters come across with authentic feelings and the two novels I have read so far, have elements of faith in them without being a sermon, and all wrapped up in a story that keeps me turning pages quickly. I’m looking forward to reading more from Kaye Dacus in the future.

I would love to hear from you! Do you prefer a straightforward love story in a novel or one that gets a bit more complicated?

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

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3 thoughts on “Review: An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus

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