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The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere | Book Review by Loraine Nunley

Synopsis of the book:

Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor — a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

My review:

Have you ever had a character that you didn’t like in a book get their own story and change your mind about them? That happened to me with Julia Bernay. I like it when that happens because it represents hope for people. It shows that when we get to know someone’s story better, we can be surprised. I really enjoyed this story with its strong characters and romance, as well as a good historical setting.

We first met Julia in her sister’s story (A Captain’s Daughter – see my review for that book here). She was straight-forward, honest, and blunt. Her personality was a bit abrasive at first. Then we hear her story. Her personality hasn’t changed except that her gentler qualities begin to come through as well as her heart. As I got to know her, she became a favorite character of mine. Her depth of faith, her compassion, and her willingness to be used by God no matter what He asked of her — what a great combination.

Such a strong woman needs a strong man. One who compliments rather than stifles her. I am pleased to say that Michael was such a man. Their love story developed out of mutual respect and friendship. Those types of romances are my favorite ones.

The author’s notes tell about real life people that made it into the story and I was excited to learn about them.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

The romance between two very strong and ambitious people. Awesome.

What I didn’t like about this book:

Julia’s flighty sister Cara, but I am prepared to have my mind changed about her when the third book in this series comes out.

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Would I recommend this book to others?  Yes. Especially if you read the first book in this series, A Captain’s Daughter, and didn’t care for Julia. Your opinion will be changed. This is the second book in the series. We do get to visit with Julia’s family and the story of their father is continued, but it can be read as a standalone.

Note: I was gifted this book by the author. I was not required to give a review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Jennifer Delamere, author website

-Loraine Nunley


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