Monday, February 2, 2009

The Desires Of Her Heart - My Review

The Desires of Her Heart is book one of Lyn Cote’s Texas Star of Destiny series. Set in the early 1820’s, Cote explores a time of great change in our nation’s history. As white families begin to move westward, they discover that there is more changing around them than just the scenery. The idea of slavery and defining someone by their skin color is rapidly being challenged and slowly giving way to the hunger for freedom.

The ideas women began to have about their role in the grand scheme of things was also changing. Dorritt Mott finds herself the step-daughter of a gambling, small-minded, short-tempered man. Although she has managed the plantation business well, her step-father’s dishonesty ultimately costs the family everything. Seeking to escape his trouble, he begins moving the family toward Stephen Austin’s Texas settlement. It is during this treacherous journey that Dorritt is introduced to Quinn – a man half white and half Indian – commonly referred to as a half-breed. Quinn proves an able guide for the family, and Dorritt finds herself drawn to his warm compassion.

Throughout the journey west, Dorritt and her family face Mexican culture in its upheaval to be free of Spain. Slavery ahs already been outlawed in this vast wilderness, so Dorritt’s family servants also begin to hunger for freedom. The overall sense of the story is one that challenges every character in the story to examine how they view the people around them. For it seems a veritable rainbow of ethnicity is blossoming in the vast openness of the west, and it proves to be a powerful motivator for change.

Cote’s novel starts out kind of slow to me, but as the plot thickens the pace picks up a lot. It was a good story overall, and I think the historical significance of the story is particularly appealing. However, I had a hard time connecting with or caring deeply for any of the characters. I think this was a much more brutal era of our nation’s growth, and Cote tones it down quite a bit to accommodate the romance between Quinn and Dorritt. The positive side to that is that as a romance it was entertaining, and the fact that Dorritt reached a point where she could stand up for herself was particularly satisfying to me. If you enjoy historical romance, there is much to enjoy in Lyn Cote’s latest release, The Desires of Her Heart. Pick up your copy today!

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