Here's a description of the book from Revell:
"She thought she had left her old life behind . . .
Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained
by her mother to take over the family calling. When a terrible scandal
threatens all she holds dear, Esther flees, taking a position as a
teacher in the wild western mountains of Virginia. But instead of the
refuge she was seeking, Esther finds herself in the midst of a deadly
family feud-and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict.
All she wants is to run away again.
Yet could it be that her past holds the key to reconciliation-and love?
In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you’ll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart."
The mountain setting, the family feud with the heroine caught in the middle, the love triangle - the basic elements of this story (despite being used time and time again), as well as the colorful cover, drew me in and begged me to give it a try. Similar to my experience with the first book in "The Midwives" series (Lady in the Mist), I discovered some great things about Choices of the Heart, even if it didn't completely captivate me as much as I initially hoped.
One aspect of the book that intrigued me was how much some of the characters surprised me. My first impressions were often mixed-up - a great reminder that there's much more to people than what we initially believe! And, as a romance aficionado, I appreciated that Zach and Griff - the two men vying for Esther's affections - are around often throughout the pages. There's quite a bit of romantic tension!
With all the tension and mixed-up first impressions, however, this story lacks a certain fluidity. While I hesitate to call the characters "over-dramatic," as many of the situations often warrant heightened emotions, I still felt adrift and sometimes annoyed by all of the flip-flopping feelings and uncertainty.
Even though the heroine goes to the mountains to teach the children, the story is centered more on her back story and her previous profession, rather than on the community. That isn't to say that Esther's students don't play an important, albeit limited, role or that there aren't some valuable give-and-take lessons in store for the feuding families and the heroine. But the emphasis seems to be more on Esther's healing process and her love story. I would compare this story (in regards to a mountain setting, the feuding, and the focus) to A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan. Although I personally enjoyed the characters in A Heart Divided more, I still found this particular plot to be interesting and this romance to be generally sweet.
Choices of the Heart shows how dark the choices of our hearts can be, and how much we are in need of understanding and mercy - as well as how careful we ought to be in how we act on our heart's desires. The story ultimately comes together as a fitting end for "The Midwives" series.
*With thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
“Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”