Monday, October 19, 2009

Riches or Love

Reviewed by Phee Paradise
The Jewel of His Heart by Maggie Brendan

Even though Juliana has just lost her mother, she’s not completely hopeless. She has a new friend, a new job and several men are interested in her. One of them is Josh, a sheepherder who is fascinated by Juliana’s blue eyes. They remind him of the sapphires he found on his property. The discovery of the jewels is a catalyst for the action in the book, but you will want to read it for the love story.

Juliana is a strong woman in a time when women rely on men to take care of them. She has to be, because she’s all alone. Her father deserted his family when he went in search of gold. Her anger at her father extends to God, whom she blames for her circumstances. Josh has to overcome that before he can win her heart. His faith is strong, but is tried by tragedies of his own. Their attraction to each other is powerful, but falling in love isn’t quite a fairytale.

You should read The Jewel of His Heart if you’re looking for a warm love story that is not completely predictable.

Pros: Strong characters who haven’t figured it all out yet and whose growth moves the story along. Enough action to make it exciting. Faith is an important element, and is a natural part of the narrative.

Cons: The dialogue is a bit stiff at times and the main character is not always consistent. Sometimes she reveals feelings that are a complete surprise and seem out of character.

About the book:
Romance readers have taken to the soft, romantic style of Maggie Brendan in her runaway-hit debut novel No Place for a Lady. Now, the second book in the series releases with great anticipation, taking readers back to the Big Sky Country of the American frontier—and the life and love that awaits.

The second book in the Heart of the West series, The Jewel of His Heart is set in 1890s Montana. It is here that Juliana calls home when she meets Josh McBride, a handsome, gentle sheepherder. When he discovers a rare kind of sapphire on his property and considers striking out on his own path in the world, he is forced to decide what’s most important to him: the world’s riches or the eternal value of love in a woman whose eyes rival the rarest of gems.

For fans of Lori Wick and Kim Vogel Sawyer, Maggie Brendan’s beautifully woven story captures the rugged, adventurous life on the American frontier—and the quest for love by the pioneers who live there.

About the author:
Maggie Brendan is a member of American Christian Writers and the American Fiction Writers Association, and is a contributor to, a website for inspirational romance in the old West. You can read her blog at She is the author of No Place for a Lady and lives in Georgia.

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