To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Bethany House Publishers
ISBN 0764207571 (ISBN13: 9780764207570)
After serving the allotted time for his crime, Levi heads to Spencer, Texas to start again. In the small town of Spencer, he fills the needed position of blacksmith, a trade he learned from his father. As he gets comfortable in the new town, Levi begins falling for the librarian. Eden is the librarian of Spencer, but she is also the daughter of the man who owns the majority of the town. As the weeks go by, Eden also begins to feel drawn to this new man in town. Will she understand his need to start over and forgive him for keeping his past a secret or will she see to it that her father makes him leave?
I have never read anything by Karen Witemeyer previously. I must honestly say, this story was hard for me to get into. I’m not sure what it was, but it just didn’t have a strong, attention getting, beginning. However, as I pressed on, I began to really enjoy not just the story, but the messages of God’s love.
What I loved about this story, unlike other stories, is that each character was dealing with something different in their Christian walk. Many times, it’s only one character that you get to see transformed from God’s unwavering love. But, in this story, you saw Levi, Eden, and Chloe all transformed in different ways and all for God’s glory. Levi was a man trying to move on from his past. He had a tough road to hoe because not only was he trying to start a new life, but he was also trying to keep his secret from the whole town until he had established himself and proven to them he was not what he once was. However, we all know when you try to break old habits; it’s never an easy thing. With God’s love though, we can do anything.
Eden’s walk with God was quite different. As the daughter of the man who owned Spencer, she was not to mingle with the “common” people. Being seen with a young girl from a bar or a man previously in jail, was not proper for a lady of such stature. When she was found with the girl from the bar, Chloe, living in her home, she was immediately shut-out from the Ladies Society that she once was a large part of. But, my favorite part of Eden’s walk was her conversation with Chloe. Now, Chloe was also on her own walk with God. Being from the bar, she felt she was worthless and God wouldn’t hear her prayers because he didn’t love her. So, when Eden and Chloe were talking about the book of John where Jesus said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” it was really an eye opener to both of the girls. I just loved Eden’s teaching to Chloe and it was at that point in the book when I could no longer take breaks in reading the story! “Those rock-toters were the religious leaders and should have known better. They were so busy trying to prove themselves righteous, they forgot to show love.” Wow! Don’t we all need to be reminded of that sometimes?
While I felt the beginning of the story was a little slow-going, by the end I was smiling, biting my nails, crying, and just plain in love with the characters. Karen did a great job of weaving God’s love throughout these characters and making them seem real. I encourage anyone looking for a story of forgiveness and God’s love for ALL his children to check out this book!
I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from Bethany House to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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