Pack your saddlebags, mount your trusty horse, and get ready for a westbound journey spanning hundreds of miles and a lifetime of emotions. In the new Christian Historical Fiction novel entitled ‘The Heart’s Pursuit’, author Robin Lee Hatcher takes readers on an old-fashioned adventure overflowing with uncertainty and danger, secrets and sacrifices, and maybe even love.
From the opening chapter, the story jumps into action when Jared Newman, a bounty hunter leading his current captive to justice, witnesses a young woman dressed in a satin wedding gown rushing from her own ceremony. Silvana ‘Silver’ Matlock was jilted at the altar, and not only did her fiancé skip town, but he took the savings and valuables of Silver’s father and stepmother with him. Without the money to pay back a debt, the Matlocks stand to lose their home, business, and way of life. In a moment of desperation and guilt, Silver resolves to bring justice to her family in anyway she can… Even if it means joining a bounty hunter in tracking her wayward groom across several states.
This story does not take place in any one location, but rather is set on the trail and in various western towns along the way. Jared and Silver are very realistically drawn characters who compel readers to care about them, especially after their painful history is revealed. Both hide secrets that influence their actions and decisions, but learning to trust again becomes the first step in opening their hearts to healing and forgiveness. The difference between wanting justice and seeking revenge is also compared, but the importance of God’s love and forgiveness working inside each heart is downplayed. In fact faith, prayer, and commitment to God almost seem to be added as an afterthought, making this book less inspirational than other stories in the genre. Once in a while a certain darkness enters the story in the form of memories or insinuations, but thankfully the situations are not laid out in detail and refrain from giving too much unnecessary information.
If you enjoy Wild West stories, sweet and honorable romances, or old fashioned adventures of unlikely circumstances, you will undoubtedly enjoy ‘The Heart’s Pursuit’. Although the hoped-for Christian aspects of the story are somewhat meager, the story itself is expertly crafted with an unusual plot and vivid characters. So join Silver and Jared as they journey in pursuit of justice, while at the same time love pursues them!
*** This book was provided courtesy of HarperCollins Canada, in exchange for my honest review. It is available for purchase at bookstores from Zondervan Publishers.