The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere is the second in the “London Beginnings” series and while I loved The Captain’s Daughter (read more here) this book is even better. Some of my favorite things about this new installment are the same as the factors that made me love the first. Delamere entwines the history and fiction so beautifully, and includes interesting parts of our history that may have previously been overlooked by these by other books in the same genre. I give this book 5 stars!
In this second installment we follow the story of Julia Bernay, the second sister, while she pursues becoming a doctor. Given that the medical profession was an uncommon field for women of the time, I love the unique story line and bits of feminism and strength of a female character that this book subtly provides. I love the scenes that take place in the medical field, including encounters Julia has with birth, treating patients, and the overall, interesting dynamic they add to the story. Just imagine the burgeoning field of germs coming into the scientific field at this very time and Julia’s arrival at a very, what she deems unclean, home for a home birth. Quite interesting and I really couldn’t put the book down.
The romance between Julia and Michael Stephenson seems an unlikely one as Julia’s faith is strong and Michael’s is not. Despite my doubts at how the relationship began with an interesting collision of the two characters’ stories, by the end it tied up beautifully and made a lot of sense. Julia’s strong faith and their budding relationship really makes for an enthralling tale. I will say I was wary at first that this part of the story line could possibly tie up as neatly as it does, simply because Julia’s faith is so strong and Michael’s non existent. It seemed unlikely that Julia would allow herself to fall, or that the relationship could possibly work. However, by the end of the story it really does work and make sense.
Delamere has interesting, believable, and endearing characters who feel like friends. I so enjoyed seeing where the Bernay sisters are ending up. and much like the first, with the interesting twist of the theater setting, this novel also has this same unique aspect. I didn’t feel like I was just reading any other Christian fiction novel. It sets itself apart both in setting and character development.
I highly recommend you grab the first novel The Captain’s Daughter if you haven’t read it already, and be sure to add The Heart’s Appeal to your cart too. Don’t miss the interview with the author or her STARBUCKS GIVEAWAY, details at the end of the post!
About the Book
Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal
Author: Jennifer Delamere
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.
Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Book
Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.
Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere
Perhaps that’s not a concept that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Victorian England! And yet, they did exist. I love to include real people from history in my books, and in The Heart’s Appeal, Julia Bernay meets two inspiring real-life couples who will make a positive impact in her life.
In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain. She did this through a legal loophole, but soon the laws were changed to open the medical field to all women. In 1874, Dr. Anderson co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women. She remained involved in the school in various capacities for the rest of her life, even as she continued to run her own busy practice. In The Heart’s Appeal, she becomes a mentor for Julia, opening doors for her education and introducing Julia to people who can help her succeed in medical school.
Dr. Anderson’s husband, James Anderson (Jamie), was the joint-owner of a successful shipping line and also served on the boards of several organizations (including a children’s hospital). He was a handsome man, very much in love with his wife, and fervent in supporting her choice of a career.
In a letter he wrote to her while they were engaged, Jamie explained his vision for their future—how they could keep their professional and private lives separate, yet still give each other plenty of love and support:
“I think we had better lay it down once for all as a rule that I am under no circumstances to bring people ‘favorably under your notice’ or ‘exert any influence’ or anything of the sort. It will give people a wrong idea of you unless I take a decided line in this matter — and as I mean to be if I can a successful man of business, neither interfering with your pursuits nor being interfered with by you (but having our confidences on all feasible subjects at off times of the day and week and mutually advising and fortifying one another), I must let people know unmistakably not to come bothering me about your public affairs. Will you think about this, dearest?”
Who couldn’t love a man like that?
Jamie Anderson’s outlook on life comes into play later on in The Heart’s Appeal, when he provides advice and aid to Michael Stephenson, the book’s hero, at a critical time.
Julia also has an inspiring encounter with Dr. Anderson’s sister, Millicent Fawcett. Millicent was married to a Member of Parliament and actively supported her husband’s career in many ways, including acting as a scribe for him since he was blind. She is most remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, a statue of her will be placed in Parliament Square in London this summer. She was not a militant suffragette, but rather campaigned for suffrage under the banner “Law-Abiding Suffragists.”
Both couples raised families, too, and their children’s successes in life show they were raised to have the same energetic and “can-do” attitudes that their parents had.
Julia initially believes she must remain single to achieve her life’s goals. But soon she finds her heart drawn to successful barrister Michael Stephenson, who admires Julia’s intelligence and ambition. She learns that love and the freedom to pursue her dreams do not have to be mutually exclusive. A meeting of minds to spark a true romance? Yes, please! I hope readers will agree this can be the most satisfying of all.
Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22
Inspiration Clothesline, March 22
Texas Book-aholic, March 22
A Greater Yes, March 23
Among the Reads, March 23
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23
Splashes of Joy, March 23
Fiction Aficionado, March 24
History, Mystery & Faith, March 24
Red Headed Book Lady, March 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24
The Power of Words, March 25
Mary Hake, March 25
Remembrancy, March 25
Janices book reviews, March 25
Cordially, Barbara, March 26
Genesis 5020, March 26
Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26
Kat’s Corner Books, March 27
The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 27
Maureen’s Musings, March 27
Carpe Diem, March 27
Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28
Seasons of opportunities, March 28
Singing Librarian Books, March 28
A Baker’s Perspective, March 28
Baker Kella, March 29
All-of-a-kind Mom, March 29
Inklings and Notions, March 29
Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pause for Tales, March 30
Cafinated Reads, March 30
Have A Wonderful Day, March 30
Pursuing Stacie, March 30
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 31
Connie’s History Classroom, March 31
Book by Book, March 31
Bigreadersite, March 31
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 1
Neverending Stories, April 1
Ladybug Chronicles, April 1
Smiling Book Reviews, April 2
Two Points of Interest, April 2
Vicky Sluiter, April 2
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 3
proud to be an autism mom, April 3
Bibliophile Reviews, April 3
Karen Sue Hadley, April 4
Live Love Read, April 4
Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 4
Faery Tales Are Real, April 4
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cacd
To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) and a $20 Starbucks gift card!! Enter the giveaway here!
I have read A Love So True by Melissa Jagears and a review of A Chance at Forever will be coming to the blog so stay tuned! Thanks to Celebrate Lit Blogging for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review!