The Heart’s Charge – Karen Witemeyer – Hanger’s Horsemen #2 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 1 June 2021
Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago.
After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.
However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?
It is impossible to resist Karen Witemeyer’s writing. Once again she absorbed me into this story of adventure, romance, strong female characters and the men of integrity who love them.
The Heart’s Charge provides us two stories in one. We readers first met the Hanger’s Horsemen in the first book in the series and in this second book we join up with two members of the group, Mark and Jonah. Together, Mark and Jonah stumble upon a pregnant woman in labour. They, reluctantly, assist in the birth and find themselves responsible for the care of the young infant. This then leads them to Harmony House, a place where children of any race or background can find a home. A surprise awaits them both. Mark finds the woman he once wanted to marry and who broke his heart. Jonah finds a strong and resilient Eliza who might just be the one woman who can work her way past his tough exterior.
This is such a delightful story. There are diverse characters (yay!), incredibly strong female characters who work alongside the male characters to fight for justice for the children in their care. There is action, a touch of mystery and suspense. There is such sweet romance and two romance stories to enjoy. The book touches on some important themes, including depression, grief, postpartum depression, racism, and the discrimination faced by African-Americans. This is done well in the historic setting, acknowledging the time and views of that time but also allowing for today’s more accepting and understanding approach, which is appropriate for modern readers.
As all of Karen Witemeyer’s books are, this is sensitive, beautiful, well written and thoroughly enjoyable. Can’t wait for the third book in the series where we get the fourth Horseman’s story.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Genre: Christian Historical.
Themes: Romance, racism, friendship, freedom, children, orphans, adventure, kidnapping,
Published: 1 June 2021 by Bethany House Publishers
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 384 pages.