A matter of heart by tracie peterson

This novel has such great possibilities, and lived up to the promises on the back cover. Tracie Peterson usually does live up to her promises!

I'm not sure that someone can be so convicted of selfishness like depicted in this book without somehow knowing/feeling the Holy Spirit's conviction. Then again, maybe Jessica was feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit and I somehow missed that connection. She definitely has a heart change before inviting Jesus in, and that could be a theological problem for some.

At any rate the story is a good one, but has too many characters for there to be solid character development of them all.  The two main characters are well-developed. They most definitely have reasons for falling in love with each other. They also have definitely characteristics, and they do not behave contrary to those characteristics. For some readers that doesn't seem to be a problem, but for me it is a reading deal breaker. I especially like the way consequences for actions are interwoven into the storyline. That kind of detail is rarely used to advantage in telling a tale, and Peterson does well with that.

 The secondary characters such as Jessica's mother and father have sort of wishy-washy development. However, you do see some character growth towards the end of the book. It is a bit start-stop so it isn't as smooth as it could have been. Sometimes it is best to have secondary characters have a firm foundation so you can measure the growth of the primary characters. This start-stop doesn't hurt the storyline too much. All in all it is a fairly good read.

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

Tracie's website

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