Disclosure: I was given a free copy this book from the publisher through the Booksneeze program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. No affiliate links are included in this post.
In May 1900, Diana Applegate gets a big surprise on the night she is supposed to announce her new engagement to the community. Her husband, Tyson Applegate, who ran away 7 years prior and then was presumed dead in the war in Cuba, returns and surprises Diana at the engagement celebration dinner. Since Diana is no longer free to be engaged to anyone else, Tyson and Diana reach an agreement where Diana will support Tyson’s status and live in his house for the next six months as he runs for a position in the Senate. Diana is convinced she then wants her freedom. Tyson has plans to win her trust and love back.
Beloved (Zondervan, 2013) is the third book in Robin Lee Hatcher’s “Where the Heart Lives” series. (I reviewed the second book, Betrayal, here.) As with the first two of this series, this book can stand alone as a single read very well. The author handles character development spectacularly.
This book differs from the other in this series as Diana’s situation was very different from her brother’s and sister’s situations (the main characters of the previous books). Some of the side characters and how Tyson’s house is able to run hint to a Downton Abbey-type existence, though not as large or extravagant.
The book switches between Diana and Tyson’s perspectives for the most part, but also includes a few portions from some of the side characters (Gloria, Jeremiah, and Brook). I particularly love how each character, including many of the side characters, experiences some sort of change throughout this book, mostly for the good (although some for bad).
“Forgiveness may be the most important lesson we have to learn, above all else.” – p. 99, Beloved
This book is the first out of the series where I didn’t like both main characters immediately. I was slightly frustrated with Diana’s stubbornness to keep Tyson at a distance, but the author shows why very well through a series of flashbacks. Plus, this initial dislike creates the opportunity for change and makes the ending that much sweeter. Those flashbacks occur at the end of each chapter and were a bit confusing at first, but the author includes bits of detail to remind the reader of the characters’ ages and order of events.
With this whole series, I’ve become so caught up in the events and the characters, I forget to read from a writing standpoint and just read for the sake of reading. If you like historical fiction, I recommend reading all three books from the “Where the Heart Lives” series – Belonging, Betrayal, and Beloved.
What’s some of your favorite historical fiction to read?