Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Review: "Beloved" is the third book in Robin Lee Hatcher's "Where the Heart Lives" series. Unlike many romances that focus on new love, Hatcher crafts a story about an estranged married couple who are reunited under unusual circumstances. Both Diana and Tyson have been shaped by past experiences and hardships that give dimension to their characters. Each chapter ends with a glimpse into Diana's and Tyson's courtship, marriage, and separation. Although brief, these insights provide necessary background to the range of emotions that Diana and Tyson experience.
There aren't many surprises in the plot; it progressed as I anticipated based on the synopsis. Various conflicts both within the characters and among them, provide tension. Two characters in particular seem determined to sabotage any attachment between Diana and Tyson. I felt that the climax and resolution was relatively predictable.
"Beloved" is a story of relationships, and there are a few relationships besides the one between Diana and Tyson. I particularly liked young Ned, a local orphan who easily finds a way into Diana's heart. The mother-son bond that develops between them is sweet, though not without conflict. Each of the protagonists undergoes transformation and healing, which leads to a happy ending. "Beloved" is an enjoyable novel that is well-written and developed. Hatcher introduces themes of redemption, forgiveness, and love to create a more meaningful romance novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Summary from Zondervan: A most unwelcome guest surprises Diana at her engagement party---the husband she thought was dead!
Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took o for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him in years, Diana is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when Tyson returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.
He agrees with one condition---she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.