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A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream Series #2)

Susan Anne Mason, Susan Anne Mason
A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream Series #2)

Maggie Montgomery has always longed to see America. At long last she will travel from Ireland to visit her brother and his wife. Unbeknownst to her family, she is planning on staying in America to seek a fortune, and hopefully find love! Product Details: Page Count: 384Relea... Read More

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Item # 1589396


Item # 1589396

Maggie Montgomery has always longed to see America. At long last she will travel from Ireland to visit her brother and his wife. Unbeknownst to her family, she is planning on staying in America to seek a fortune, and hopefully find love!

Product Details:
Page Count: 384
Released: 12/2015
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Jan 5, 2016
  • UPC: 9780764217258
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Publish Date: Jan 5, 2016
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0764217259

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Second book in series! by Kristina Anderson, The Avid Reader on 6/18/2016

A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason is the second book in Courage to Dream series. It is June of 1914 and Maggie Montgomery has just arrived in New York City from Ireland. Maggie broke off her engagement to Neill Fitzgerald and came to America for the summer (or so everyone else believes). Maggie does not plan on going back to Ireland. Maggie is looking forward to reuniting with her brother, Rylan and his wife, Colleen. Gabriel "Gabe" Montgomery accompanied his sister to America. Gabe is a fireman and is eager to see the equipment used in the states. Then Gabe runs into Aurora Hastings. Aurora wants to be a nurse, but she is a society lady. Her father, of course, expects her to marry well (like the doctor who is interested in her) and makes sure that Gabe knows his opinion of him. Gabe is attracted to Aurora, but there is little chance of her family approving of the match. However, fate seems to keep throwing them together especially after Gabe rescues Aurora from a fire in her home. Adam O'Leary has just been released from prison and wants to make amends with his family. Adam (he is Colleen's brother) and Maggie meet each other at Irish Meadows. Maggie is warned to stay away from Adam (and Adam is warned to stay away from Maggie). Their paths continue to cross and love starts to bloom. Is there a chance of love and a happily-ever-after for these two couples? The four of them will have many obstacles to overcome. They will need to have faith and believe that God has a plan for them.

A Worthy Heart is a lovely novel. It is well-written and enjoyable to read. The story line is predictable (but it did not bother me), but I still liked it. It has a sweet ending that will have you making a happy little sigh (the kind where you close the book and sigh with pleasure at a good ending). I give A Worthy Heart 4 out of 5 stars. A Worthy Heart has engaging characters and a good setting. I liked the time period (1914). The author did a good job of showing what life was like during this time period. It was interesting to learn about early fire fighting techniques. While A Worthy Heart is the second book in the series, you can easily read it as a stand-alone book. However, the first book is a pleasure to read and will help you understand Rylan, Colleen, and Adam. I see more books by Susan Anne Mason in my reading future.

I received a complimentary copy of A Worthy Heart from the publisher courtesy of The Book Club Network, Inc. In exchange for an honest review of the novel.

Finding Home by Kathleen E. on 2/21/2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016
A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason, © 2016
Courage to Dream series, Book 2

Now, on to Adam O'Leary's story. He kept to himself in Book 1, Irish Meadows, scowling when he did appear.

Book 2 - A Worthy Heart ~ Adam O'Leary, newly released from prison, searches to make a new life for himself in New York. The feisty Maggie Montgomery, visiting from Ireland, makes him wish he was a better man - worthy of her heart!

Visiting for the summer, Gabe Montgomery and their sister, Maggie, join their brother, Rylan, and his family in New York City, traveling from Cork County, Ireland, their home. Gabe has come as a chaperone for his sister. Surprises await them as they take to the change. Gabe is a firefighter back home and volunteers at a nearby station to take back new skills to his station in Cork. Called upon to go with the fire crew to put out a fire, it is the home of a young woman he met at a gathering at O'Leary's Irish Meadows horse farm. (Rylan's wife is the former Colleen O'Leary.)

Maggie enjoys being at the orphanage her brother, Rylan, oversees. Working with the children is a delight. One drawback is missing her mother back home. But an adventure, for sure. Especially when she meets the stable hand at Irish Meadows, seeing him for the second time, after sending him flying from watching them at play at the orphanage yard.

A favorite character who stood out to me is John McNabb, pastor at the Shepherd of Good Hope Church. He was such an encourager to Adam O'Leary through many dismays and mishaps upon Adam's return to society. He had frequently visited Adam in prison and gave him an open invitation to come see him when he was released.

Adam O'Leary's character showed what faith in God and falling back on his own view of himself erupted change ~ for the better or to downfall. The strength that he portrayed upheld assurance invested by those who believed in him, so much stronger than defeat could prevail. This is a wonderful story of hope and dreams being realized, even with despair and starting over, again and again. Forgiveness and doing right, regardless of how he was received, opened the door to discovery and reconciliation.

Adam bent to pick up a couple of flat rocks and skipped them out over the water, watching the ensuing ripples skitter toward the shore. Events in his life resembled these stones, cast out into new territory, each creating its own set of ripples and consequences. Adam might not understand the way God worked in his life, but he had to trust it was all for the greater good.
--A Worthy Heart, 274

All of these characters were fittingly portrayed in a story of their own. Very strong building and thought out content. Conflict and support very vivid. I would like to see a further story containing the other two Montgomery brothers mentioned back in Ireland ~ and a continued series of Rylan and Colleen's children. A lot of writing forthcoming, I hope!

***Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a review copy of Susan Anne Mason's second book in her Courage to Dream series, A Worthy Heart. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

The third and final book in the Courage to Dream series releases under the title, Love's Faithful Promise, and is the story of the younger O'Leary children when they become adults. The book is ready for pre-order and releases in September 2016.

Susan Mason displays great promise as Top Writer by Mary Y on 1/14/2016

I read this book as a stand alone with no problem. By reading the back of the book there was enough info to set the scene. First of all, the one thing I really like about Susan's writing and the story was the flow of characters and different relationships. It takes a good writer to juggle those so that the reader can keep up and have a good sense of time and action. I enjoyed what her character, Adam, showed as a Christian who truly repented and changed his ways and the fact that Maggie respected that and would give him a chance for friendship even before their hearts met. I liked Aurora for having her own mind about things and bucking her father's pride even though she was raised wealthy and could have married rich. Neil was easy to hate as I had read in another review. I loved the change in James even though he was older he still allowed God to help him see what a strong character Adam had and was able to forgive him and then go out of his way to help him in his new business. Rylan kept his word. I liked all of the characters and their voices. With English/Scotch/Irish in my blood, I do enjoy these stories!

This book was provided to me by Bethany/Baker Books. All opinions are my own from the reading of the novel.

Entertaining read, but characters lack depth by Ellie Faye on 12/21/2015

A Worthy Heart continues the story of the O’Leary family of Long Island, New York. This second installment of the Courage to Dream series follows Maggie and Gabe Montogmery as they arrive in New York from Ireland, Adam O’Leary upon his release from prison as he attempts to rebuild his life, and Aurora Hastings as she overcomes a broken engagement and finds the courage to pursue her dream of nursing. Will each of these characters manage to let go of their past disappointments and mistakes in order to fully embrace the future God has in store for them?
Without having read the first book of the series— Irish Meadows— it took several chapters to grasp who each of the four main characters were, and how they related to one another. That said, Mason did an admirable job filling the reader in on each back-story without rehashing her entire previous novel. Unfortunately, most of the main characters, namely Gabe and Aurora, still felt one-dimensional. Gabe is a strapping Irish fireman, and Aurora an heiress with an overbearing father, but their characters never truly evolve past these basic types. Gabe rescues Aurora a time or two, and they are clearly attracted to one another, which is apparently sufficient reason to get engaged by the end of the book. This lack of character development caused this particular love story to fall flat.
The one redeeming exception, however, was Adam O’Leary. Witnessing his struggle to understand his own failures, forgive his hurtful father, and finally accept the blessings God has put in his life made for a compelling story. While his love interest— Maggie— could have used a bit more depth, her fiery personality and dedication to her loved ones made this story-line the most entertaining of the novel.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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