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By Nancy Lynn White

IR Rating:
Nancy Lynn White's GUILTY OF STEALING HIS HEART is a compelling and uplifting read that seamlessly blends historical elements with romance and inspiration.
IR Approved
A Christian historical romance about an orphan who grows up to become a strong, kindhearted woman.

GUILTY OF STEALING HIS HEART by Nancy Lynn White is a captivating Christian historical romance. The story opens in 1844, when five-year-old Carrie is abandoned by her parents and left in an orphanage in Ohio. The emotional trauma of this abandonment lingers throughout her life, shaping her character and fueling her commitment to a higher purpose. Life gives her temporary rest when she gets married to Philipp Wagner. However, her joy does not last long. Her husband’s criminal activities come to light, throwing her life in disarray. Determined to leave her painful past behind, she embarks on a journey to California to start a new life.

Carrie’s path intertwines with that of JT Grant, an ex-Pinkerton detective on a mission to avenge his best friend’s death. As they face hardships, criminals, and the constant threat of danger, their unlikely bond is forged through heartache and desperation. The arrival of twelve-year-old stowaway Billy adds complexity to their journey, revealing secrets and challenges that test their resolve.

White’s portrayal of Carrie’s growth from a traumatized child to a resilient, caring woman is both poignant and captivating. The slow-burn romance between Carrie and JT, tinged with elements of the enemies-to-lovers trope, adds depth to the storyline and keeps readers engaged. One notable feature of the book is incorporating Bible verses at the end of each chapter, enhancing the overarching themes of forgiveness, non-judgment, and a life of giving and sharing. This Christian influence contributes to the uplifting and inspirational nature of the novel.

The book has its share of surprises, and the plot unfolds with a perfect balance of suspense and sweet romance. White’s writing is heartfelt, and the emotional depth of the characters makes the story gripping. The inclusion of young orphan Billy brings an additional layer of complexity to the narrative, as secrets from his past threaten to disrupt Carrie’s pursuit of her dreams.

GUILTY OF STEALING HIS HEART is a well-crafted historical fiction novel that skillfully navigates the challenges faced by its characters. The book delves into the trauma of abandonment, the pain of betrayal, and the power of faith and forgiveness. White’s storytelling is rich in detail, and the book is enhanced by thoughtful subtitles that provide context for the chapters, such as “December 28, 1859, The Adoptees Arrive.” Historical context helps, too, as when the first three chapters illustrate (among other things) society’s preference for boys over girls: “He wanted boys to work the land with him when they finally reached their farm, yet all Mama could give him was a daughter and a sickly son.” With details like that, the novel seamlessly weaves historical elements into the narrative and captures the essence of living between 1844 and 1860.

While the pacing, relying heavily on dialogue, may be slow in the early parts, it picks up towards the end and reveals the author’s deliberate approach to building tension and anticipation. Overall, the narrative’s ability to evoke a deep emotional connection with the characters compensates for any pacing concerns. Nancy Lynn White’s ability to convey valuable life lessons through the journey of her characters makes this novel a highly recommended choice for enthusiasts of historical fiction, realistic fiction, and stories with shifting paces.

Nancy Lynn White’s GUILTY OF STEALING HIS HEART is a compelling and uplifting read that seamlessly blends historical elements with romance and inspiration.

~Bonface Landi for IndieReader

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