Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

November 23, 2018

Heart Land {Kimberly Stuart}

heart land kimberly stuart
A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love.

Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home.

Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place.

And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here.

But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland?

My Thoughts:
Being unfamiliar with both Kimberly Stuart or her work, I picked this book strictly based on the cover (I tend to do that often). The result was my picking out one of my favorite books of the year.

This book centers on Grace, a girl after my own heart trying to make a name for herself in the big city of New York. Grace has lost her purpose in life, her home and her roots, and her relationship with God. As one can imagine, it makes for a tough go of it.

I was completely touched when Grace returned to her hometown and was immediately embraced by Gigi and all the people who knew her growing up. She was not judged, but rather she was loved on and welcomed home with open arms. As someone who also left for the "big city" and returned home, it felt like familar ground.

I loved watching Grace and Tucker fall in love all over again. I knew when she broke his heart the second tie she would have to come back to him. They were such a perfect match, I could not imagine either being happy with someone else.

My heart cringed as Grace returned to New York and found herself chasing success over happiness once again. But watching her walk right back to God and her roots made my heart leap with joy.

As I cried through the last chapter of this book - both happiness and grief for the characters - I made a note to put Kimberly Stuart on my must-read list. Her writing style and storytelling is beautiful and makes for such a great book.

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