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A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream) by Susan…
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A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream)

by Susan Anne Mason

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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. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jun 18, 2016 |
Title: A Worthy Heart (Courage to Dream Series #2)
Author: Susan Anne Mason
Pages: 400
Year: 2016
Publisher: Bethany
My rating is 5+ stars.
When Irish Meadows the first book in the series was released, I read it with a voracious appetite! Now, having just completed A Worthy Heart, I am not exactly sure what to write. You see it really is so good and entertaining with suspense, mystery, faith and romance it defies my ability to write a review, but I will make an attempt.
There are two families that are central to the novel’s suspense and romance: One family lives in America and the other family lives in Ireland. In America, the Montgomery family has various business ventures that have obtained success, but not all is happy in their home. In Ireland, the O’Leary family has Ryland now joined by his brother Gabriel and their sister Maggie. Some of the O’Leary family has chosen to remain in Ireland. There are hints that a war may be brewing with Ireland being pulled into the fracas by Britain as they are under British rule.
I loved how the author wove several characters’ personalities and their own lives with the bigger picture. Each person in the two families has their own story to tell along with where their personal faith is or where it isn’t and for some we get to know why. The society era the story is placed in is during a time when people married within their own social class, and the father had much to say about who his daughter could or couldn’t marry.
In the novel, there are troubles that stretch some characters’ faith that I am sure some real people can identify with today. One theme that seemed most prevalent throughout the book was redemption and how in the characters’ settings some needed a second chance to prove how God had changed them.
I sure hope the author is planning more novels in the future whether for this series or something new as she can tell a good story with such realism that people are bound to be drawn into this fictional world. Last but not least to mention in the books is the telling theme of how much higher, brighter and different God’s love is from any human being’s love. Terrific and touching themes, characters and more await those who open the Courage to Dream series!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Mar 19, 2016 |
“It must be hard to imagine. You’ve probably never experienced the self-sacrificing type of love that thinks only of another’s welfare.”

With a feeling that is Downton Abbey-esque, A Worthy Heart, is one of my new favorite books and deservedly earned my 5-star rating. More than a romance, it’s a story with incredible depth and significance that creates a fictional story demonstrating God’s love. Maggie and Adam’s story is of forgiveness even when it’s the most difficult.

New York Harbor, 1914, Maggie and her brother Gabe arrive from Ireland to visit their brother Rylan and wife Colleen who run an orphanage. Maggie’s failed engagement has afforded her the trip to America, but she has secret intentions that she solidifies in her mind on the voyage–she wants to start life anew and doesn’t plan on returning to Ireland.

Yearning for his father’s forgiveness and acceptance, Adam O’Leary is in essence the prodigal son. But when a family secret threatens to forever isolate Adam, God intervenes and begins to work on Adam through Maggie. Their friendship grows to love and it seems everyone is determined to prevent the courtship from ever beginning because of Adam’s stained reputation.

More than a romance, A Worthy Heart literally left me weeping at the very last page. Susan Anne Mason beautifully crafted distinct characters and their struggles that all have a recurring theme–forgiveness. Although A Worthy Heart is the second book in the Courage to Dream series, it can easily stand alone; I can attest because this is the first book I’ve read in the series.

About the author:

“Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as ‘romance sprinkled with faith.’ She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys.” (Excerpt from A Worthy Heart)

***** 5 Stars

A Worthy Heart: Courage to Dream Book 2

by Susan Anne Mason

400 Pages

Published January 5, 2016 by Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Christian, History, Modern Literature, Women’s Fiction

ISBN-13: 978-0764217258

*Disclaimer: This paperback copy was received from Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review.

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  SDBritt | Mar 9, 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. ( )
  lanehillhouse | Feb 21, 2016 |
I loved the book, I read the 1st book in this series & was happy to see another one by Susan Anne Mason. is there a country song name that name? any who ... it was a fast read ... & was totally sold. i will read more of her writings very soon. please see more of my review at my blog.

http://hike2forty.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-worthy-heart-by-susan-anne-mason.html ( )
  ElizrdbthSpeaks | Feb 19, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764217259, Paperback)

Can an Irish Lass with a Dream
for America Find True Love?

Maggie Montgomery's long-held wish to see America is finally coming true. She'll visit her beloved brother Rylan and his wife, Colleen, and at the same time, escape Neill Fitzgerald's unwanted attention. In addition, Maggie has a secret! She plans to remain in America to seek her fortune and to hopefully find love. While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man whom she thinks is a stable hand. Only when Rylan demands she stay away from Adam O'Leary does she realize he's Colleen's brother, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can't seem to make her heart conform to her brother's request.

Adam O'Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Spending time in jail only reinforces his belief. Now that he's free, Adam hopes to make amends and earn back his family's trust. Falling in love with Maggie Montgomery, however, was never in his plans.

Despite everyone's effort to keep them apart, the two develop a bond nothing can break--but has Adam truly changed, or will the sins of his past prove too much for Maggie to overcome?

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:10:35 -0400)

Maggie Montgomery arrives in America from Ireland under the premise of visiting family, but really, she intends to stay in the Land of Opportunity, and soon she meets Adam, a black sheep whose past may come in the way of their love.

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