Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander is book three in the Timber Ridge Reflections series. I have not (yet) read the first two books.
The basic story is that Rachel Boyd, a widowed mother of two young sons, struggles to keep her ranch running. She is forced to turn to the town doctor for help, a person she has tried to avoid under the assumption that all doctors are like her father.
Dr. Rand Brookston came west, dreaming of bringing modern medicine to the Colorado wilds. A patient’s life is at risk, and he makes a choice that “sends ripples through the town of Timber Ridge. And through Rachel Boyd’s stubborn heart.”
One of the reasons I chose to review this title is that I was interested in historical fiction from my neck of the woods, more or less. Having read it, I’m not sure I would exactly classify this as historical fiction, but the story was great, albeit fairly predictable.
The story opens with a strange prologue (that makes a lot of sense later in the book) taking place after a Civil War battle, and then jumps forward a number of years to April 1877.
Once we are in the main story, the characters are engaging and seem real. I had the feeling (confirmed by reading the synopsis of the two earlier books) that having read the previous two books in the story would have made this one a bit richer, as I would have understood why the townspeople weren’t happy with the sheriff (that story is apparently told in Beyond This Moment). However, this story did stand on its own.
Although I stated above that the basic plot was fairly predictable, there were a few twists, turns and surprises, primarily involving other characters or side plot-lines.
I enjoyed the story enough that I will be finding the first two books to read.
Disclosure: Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.